I need to clear up all the tabs I have open in my laptop window, so I’ve decided to share with you all the things I’ve been viewing and reading today (this is, of course, just a sneaky way to use this as a placeholder post of sorts and bookmark all my new favorite links).
– You Don’t Mess With the Zohan: A Mossad agent fakes his own death so he can move to New York and become a hair stylist. [Am I the only crackhead who really wants to see this movie?]
– A weblog dedicated to photos of Abandoned Couches: Such a simple and lovely concept
– Somehow, I came across Imran Malik, who goes by Rockistani on flickr. Of course I had to click over! I followed the profile link to his band, the Fatsumas. My favorite bit was the weblog post entitled, A New Member [no permanent links; scroll down to the November 5, 2007, post, currently third down from the top], where Imran talks about the vintage combo-organ he found in Islamabad. I smiled so much (and bounced up and down in my chair a little, fine, I admit it) when I realized that Imran’s YouTube link to the previous owner of the organ was none other than Sardar Ali Takkar. I love Takkar [YouTube doesn’t have a link to one of my favorite Takkar songs, Lakha Wakhte De, stupid YouTube], and that link, among other things, just made my day.
– The Fatsumas’ website led me to their MySpace, and then somehow to the MySpace page for Arif Husain/Brewnote. I first discovered Arif’s music through the Sepia Mutiny post last year, and loved his cover of the Smiths’ There is a Light (you can download mp3s through his MySpace page as well as his website). He also has an introspective and thought-provoking weblog, which I’ve spent too much time reading this evening – including this post about his music teachers, and this one entitled Behind Dumpsters. Check out the photos on Tuesday Afternoon Snack, with its reassuring caption that translates to, Mother, see, I am eating well.
– Paduka: Feet & Footwear in the Indian Tradition
The free courses, funded by the British Government, proved so popular trainers had to turn away up to 15,000 women. Even so, at current capacity (teaching 18 women at each location in three batches of six, limited by the number of laptops) more than 2,000 illiterate women will become literate each month.
The experiences of the women provide a vivid argument for the importance of literacy. Asha is married and in her twenties with a two-year-old son. She was completely illiterate. At the end of the 30-day course, she said: “My husband used to consider me good-for-nothing because I was illiterate. He would never include me in taking decisions. But now that I can read, our whole relationship has changed. My husband treats me with respect. I am now for the first time a part of the decision making in our house.”
When I wrote an article for this website a few months ago called On Muslim Antisemitism, a Muslim friend of mine remarked, â€œWhat you say is true, but why do you have to air our dirty laundry?â€
I stared at her in disbelief. Did she really think that the world was unaware of our dirty laundry?
The sad truth is that too many people think itâ€™s the only kind of laundry Muslims have.
A lesson for mainstream Muslims: Whenever you donâ€™t offer a theory of the problem, someone else will. When there is a vacuum of information about a hot topic and you donâ€™t fill it, other people will aggressively move in.
Too many mainstream Muslims believe they have only two options in the face of the current discourse on Islam: angry indignation or stony silence.
I believe there is a third way. It is what University of Michigan Professor Sherman Jackson, one of Americaâ€™s leading scholars of Islam, calls â€˜Islamic literacyâ€™.
To mainstream Muslims everywhere: When we act and speak with compassion and conviction and knowledge, even about our â€˜dirty laundryâ€™, we are following the straight path of our faith, educating those with genuine questions about Islam, marginalizing people with destructive agendas, and doing our part to build a world based on understanding and respect.
– xvm‘s photo, Welcoming the new year on Lac Poisson, has been my favorite one today. The experience sounds so beautifully, mind-clearingly awesome, although my little Californian self is shrinking in dismay from that vast expanse of snow and ice.
– Two other interesting flickr photos I recently came across:
1. Bobby Painter, dealer in Rickshawable Bollywood Kitsch
2. Where is your hemline? [a poster displayed at Brigham Young University in Utah]
– Fabulous post by Anna at SepiaMutiny: No Business Woman, No Cry.
Two things to highlight:
Realizing that â€œthis is not workingâ€ is not the same as â€œI am a fuck-upâ€.
…when itâ€™s least tolerable, the hyphen in our identity becomes a tight rope.
– Malcolm Gladwell article from the New Yorker: Examined Life: What Stanley H. Kaplan taught us about the S.A.T.
– And, finally, two heartwarming articles to round it off all rockingly:
1. Karma Kitchen’s Stories of Raw Generosity, from the CharityFocus weblog (because I haven’t mentioned lately how much I lowve these folks)
2. The ACTS OF KINDNESS section of the Toronto Star