In a more popular context, we see the ways in which religious illiteracy, historical amnesia, and political expedience have combined to create Islamophobic narratives informed by knowledge produced in the academy.
Merip has a brand new blog, launched today. I intend to contribute posts on a regular basis--but I will not be abandoning hawgblawg by any means. My first was a meditation on how Robin Wright celebrates Arab/Islamic hip-hop in her book, Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World. Read it here.
I recently returned from Fes, Morocco, where I attended the 16th Annual Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. Almost a decade ago, I fell in love with a recording of some of the concerts from an earlier festival. The CD, B’ismillah, had performers from various religious traditions, and I remember thinking it was a wonderful way to showcase the things that people have in common. Although I have become more cynical about the power of simply listening to music in the decade since I found the CD, I still had high hopes for the festival. As a festival for music, it was beautiful, but as a venue for intercultural understanding, I believe it missed the mark more than it hit it.
Two of my friends, Rachel the Velveteen Rabbi and Ayesha, Ms. Rickshaw, are both pregnant. They are both blogging about their experiences, and both posted the linked articles very close to one another. I tend not to get too personal on this space, but both pieces brought out powerful memories of when my wife was pregnant. As cliche as the practice hospital run is, we never did it in NY. We had the "go" bag, but we just needed to hop in a taxi. The only limit we had was that my wife could not go into labor during rush hour or shift changes. We also know the fear of a slip and fall. Our doctor told us to drink OJ, the sugar would get the baby to kick. Sure enough, that was our test, and how we played with the baby in the womb. If you are not already reading these two wonderful women, you should be.
When I started this blog almost six years ago the idea was to get some of my witty, well-informed friends to contribute to a commentary on the state of Muslims in the world. I quickly discovered either my friends were not so witty or not so much my friends [/humor]. islamicate has basically become a solo endeavor. I love the community I've entered through it and the opportunities that have come my way. It will continue to be an integral part of my online identity. However, I cannot give time to detailed posts anymore, and I don't want the site to die. As a result I will be moving to a more Eschaton-style of posting: lots of frequent updates with little commentary and a fair amount of snark.
I have the privilege of being part of larger sites now, and that's where my longer analyses will appear. I will be primarily at Religion Dispatches, with occasional appearances at AltMuslimah. I am now also part of the Talk Islam community.
Because I the shift in emphasis, I will be simplifying the design of the site. Unfortunately, ads will remain. While not making me rich, they do help defray the cost of hosting. I like TypePad too much to switch; I got my people. I will also add feeds to sites I think have done what I intended to do here. Talk Islam, AltMuslimah, AltMuslim, and Muslimah Media Watch will be there, as will my friends at City of Brass, Goat Milk and Avari. I will also maintain a Twitter stream on the site.
I want to thank you for the time and effort you've put into the site to make it a success. It's not going anywhere, it's just changing, and I hope you'll stay with me through the change.