It's been long overdue, and with the Brass Crescent Awards on the horizon, I think that it's about time to do another links roundup. No overarching theme like last time; this is more of a quick tour of a few blogs that I think should be on everyone's radar.
Abdusalaam al-Hindi blogs from Alabama, a Daari Desi in Dixie. He has always had an eye for the eclectic, such as an interesting theory that the design of the minbar/mehrab in many masjids worldwide may have been inspired by architectual features of ancient Jewish synagogues. Lately he has been talking about the French rioting, and also has been keeping an eye on Indian politics.
Islamicate is a group blog whose primary author goes by the delightful moniker, Islamoyankee. The blog is focused on commentary about the state of the modern Islamic world, and convergence between east and west. Islamoyankee's father recently passed away, so he has understandably had more important things than blogging on his mind recently.
Since I never have defined the Brass Crescent as exclusive to practitioners of Islam, but the broader intersection of Islamic culture which neccessarily includes other faiths, I'd like to next highlight the best-named-jewish blog ever, The Velveteen Rabbi. She had a very thoughtful piece on defining "Jewish Renewal" that I found very applicable to the muslim community as well. She has recently been attending the 68th Annual Union for Reform Judaism right here in Houston and been blogging the conference diligently. I just had to steal one of her photos from the conference!
Probably everyone has heard of Haron Moghul by now, given his total dominance of last year's Brass Crescent Awards. we should create a Haroon category where everyone can just nominate him and vote for him. I predict he will take that category with ease :) But the fact remains that he is one of the Crescent's most essential bloggers. His essay a month ago about the roots of Hindu rage was particularly important. As an American desi myself, I often have trouble even understanding Partition, yet it remains central to dialouges of identity between desi-Americans. Sepia Mutiny is perhaps the best place to see these dialouges in all their nuance unfold.
Abu Aardvark is another critical read. If there's one blog that everyone in the Brass Crescent doesn't have on their blogrolls yet but should have, it's his. He has a knack for applying Arab pop-tart music as social commentary. But he also has his somber moments, such as this insightful comment about the danger of liberalizers adopting takfir as a strategy. It is tempting to declare Osama bin Laden et ilk to be unbelievers, but doing so is a validation of the binary mindset which allows OBL's brand of hirabah to grow and sustain itself. The post Liberals and Takfir is essential reading.
Zachary Latif has been blogging for about as long as I have, but he went on a pretty extended hiatus a while back. He seems to hve picked up the baton again, so do pay him a visit. As a bonus, the orange seizure-inducing layout is gone. I found his comment about France essentially being too technocratic and meritocratic to be quite interesting; it gives some added dimension to the anger of the immigrant class, who are largely excluded from obtaining the requisite strings of certificates and exam scores. Part of teh reason for that exclusion is racism, the other economic, and combined they form a barrier to full participation in French society that most immigrants can never surmount. Plus, Zack has a pretty hilarious (and possibly auto-biographical?) story about math.
Finally, I'd like to welcome Hujefa V to the blogsphere. Hojo is a physician in Dallas, whose love of the Dallas Cowboys got him some unwanted attention last year. That incident gave him his first opportunity to write in the public domain, and the result was a masterpiece of reasoned and patriotic appeal. His new blog, Am In The ICU, promises to be just as compelling, since it will be about what he knows best. That is, medicine, and football. Or both :)
That wraps it up for now. Hopefully Shahed and I will get the Brass Crescent Awards rolling soon. Stay tuned :)