BEST MIDDLE-EAST/ASIAN BLOGGER - Aunt Najma, of A Star from Mosul. There are many Iraqi blogs that give a first-hand perspective of what life is like in the most interesting (in the Chinese curse sense) country on Earth. But A Star from Mosul just has a voice that I think most can relate to.
BEST GROUP BLOG - American Footprints, formerly known as Liberals Against Terror. This blog, run by famed blogger/commentator praktike, and mysterious sage mentor Nadezhda, also features contributions from Brian Ulrich and Eric Martin. This is a truly excellent resource for those interested in a truly liberal, freedomist, and honorable American foreign policy. Their analysis of the Iraqi elections has been a superb group effort, with the latest entry by Nadezhda a rich vein of links to previous entries.
MOST DESERVING OF WIDER RECOGNITION - Hujefa Vora MD, and his new blog Around Midnight in the ICU. Hujefa and his wife got some unwanted attention last year during a Cowboy's game, and that incident gave him his first excuse to write. Since then his new blog has only five posts but each one is a gripping and amazing read.
BEST THINKER - Thabet of Muslims under Progress. He's been blogging for years and simply always has something that makes me think, learn, and speculate. He isn't a short essayist by any means - his latest post/book review In Defense of Religion is a scroll-fest of ever there was one. But Thabet takes his time, because good thinking doesn't come in factoid size. There's always a serious and thoughtful disccussion with high SNR on most of his posts as well.
BEST FEMALE BLOG - Umm Yasmin of Dervish blog. Umm Yasmin has not blogged since her State of the Ummah links roundup a few months ago, and hopefully she is well. Her essay on Tampering with the Text, a response to Irshad Manji's assertion that the Qur'an requires editing, was a masterpiece. Hopefully recognition of Umm Yasmin will entice her to return to blogging more actively :)
BEST POST OR SERIES - sepoy at Chapati Mystery, whose series labeled That Terror Thing was the best analysis I have yet seen on the issue of Islamic terror, triggerred by the London bombings. The installments are: London 2005, That Terror Thing II, III, IV.
BEST NON-MUSLIM BLOG - Dean Esmay of Dean's World. Dean is a staunch and principled advocate of freedom - that's why I label him a neo-liberal, not a neo-con. He's always been honorable about encouraging muslims in the West to engage in dialouge and defending muslims from accusations of perfidy, recognizing that the average muslim is an average person first and foremost.
BEST BLOG - Avari/nameh. Of course! He's just too good :) Haroon would be a great pick for most of the Categories above (and in fact last year won a sizable fraction of them). Maybe this year we can just accept that he's the best and leave the other categories for some fresh blood? :)
As for New Category nomination, I choose Person of the Year, which shoudl be a recognition of a single man or woman who has influenced Islam and Islam's relationship to the world the most this year. The Person of the Year need not be a muslim. And the influence need not have been positive!
Have you nominated blogs for the Brass Crescent Awards yet? If not, what are you waiting for! Remember, muslims and non-muslims alike are encouraged to participate. So join us!