Abdusalaam al-Hindi has a hilarious piece making fun of stereotypical jumu'a khutbas. My favorite was the "We-Suck-Today-But-Our-Past-Was-Awesome" one, though the Jewphobic one has the best line: "Jews probably bullied this poor Khateeb when he was younger. The Jewish bullies most likely gave the Khateeb a wedgie in junior high school." rofl
Haroon Moghul writes about his outsider's experience of attending midnight mass on Christmas eve, and the insights it gave him. It's a somewhat disjointed piece, but stay the course.
Amazingly talented writer ihath pens a compelling tribute to Yasser Arafat, her fear of Saddam Hussein, preference for George Bush to win the election, and how she lost her religion in the Holy Lands. James Lileks has nothing on her for writing skill; her personal lifestory is like a romance novel come to life. Don't visit hr website unless you have an hour to spare.
The group blog Living Traditions takes on MuslimWakeUp founder Ahmed Nassef's overly broad categrization of non-Progressive muslims (ie, orthodox ones such as myself) as "neo-Salafists". They draw an analogy between this rhetorical tactic and those employed by the true fanatical Islamists themselves:
This method of dealing with questioners and critics reminds the author of the way extreme Muslim groups deal with questioners and critics. The words ("neo-Salafi, extremist" vs "kafir, mutbada'") may be different, but the purpose and ends are the same -- to shut down communication, questioning, learning, criticism. "You're either with us or against us."
While MuslimWakeUp had my sympathy for the recent hacker attack, I find that Living Tradition's points are valid in that MWU's founders often serve the cause of validating Islamic stereotypes more than refuting them - by using their publicity to denounce those muslims with whom they have ideological opposition.
And finally, fellow father of a baby girl Abu Aardvark has a post simply titled "Children" that is a must-read.
This is a miniscule sampling of the thought and debate within the Islamsphere today. Highlighting the diversity of thought and debate therein is the primary purpose of the Brass Crescent Awards. If you haven't cast your slate of nominations yet, what are you waiting for?
Remember, non-muslims are expressly invited to participate in nominations, voting, and have their own blogs eligible for nomination as well.