Thursday, July 21, 2005

All right, that's enough...

I've done two months of blog postings on the Japanese theme and I need a break. Today's ramblings will be about blogs. There is an awful lot of dross out there (a certain springs to mind) but in the past few days I have come across three blogs that are worth reading. As blogs tend to be, they are quite specialised but what makes them stand out is the wit and incisiveness with which they are written. All of these are public faced blogs, rather than essentially private attempts at communication like this one, but they are at least as interesting most newspaper op-ed pages. They all have rss/atom feeds, so I can read them on my page every morning with my coffee.

The Indigo Jo Blog at - a young (I think!) Muslim convert called Yusuf Smith gives a sharp response to all the balderdash in the press about Islam. This post was particularly good: a much needed rocket up the arse of that old bullshitter Charles Moore. (G. can't read can he??)

The Danwei blog - a more commercial looking blog this one, from multiple authors, but it does seem to be giving a fairly sophisticated commentary on a certain type of China news. I thought this post was interesting.

And, finally, the Leiter Reports - essentially an academic blog in the area of law and philosophy, but it is so well written and so acerbic that I find it interesting anyway. This is his post on the new Supreme Court nominee.


Anonymous said...

H'mmm!? Whilst Indigo Jo Blog rightly rubbishes a lot of the stuff being written about Islam & the perpetration of acts of terror, his very authoritative statements need a pinch of salt to counteract his own inevitable bias. I haven't had time to read enough of his posts to get a proper fix on this but he appears to want to catch the arguments of radical 'progressives' like Wadud (with which he is perfectly entitled to disagree) in the same swat as the likes of Charles Moore's shoddy reportage. They deserve the type of considered debate that he says later in the blog is the norm in Islam. Also I wondered if there is a gender thing involved?
So, two interesting 'corrective' websites: (Progressive Muslim Union of North America) (Irshad Manji, a Canadian gay women who is promoting a reformist, progressive, pluralist Islam.)

Anonymous said...

mmmwuuh! I read the two websites and found them interesting, especially the pmuna website. I had not really looked at Yusuf Smith's political place, probably because I am very ill informed about this area.

I hasten to add that I don't necessarily agree with Smith's standpoint (neither do I agree with Leiter's at all and I don't know enough about China to know where I stand on the other one). He is clearly a very "orthodox" muslim, if that is the right word, but he doesn't just take sideswipes at Wadud, he takes full swings at her.
His rhetoric is pungent but i still think I prefer that in my opinion consumption. While I don't think he is necessarily fair to Wadud, I do think he is honest and "considered" in the sense that, fundamentally, he is taking part in a toe to toe debate on the issues. He is certainly honest in confronting the main issues that she is (presumably) trying to raise: "But the woman’s race isn't the issue! What matters is that she is a woman, and thus cannot be an imam for men in prayer!" Overall, I think it is reassuring that there are intelligent and compelling voices like his coming from places other than the more radical left of the religion. Wish we could say the same of people like Moore.

In terms of blogging, in my opinion, Smith is miles ahead of pmuna and muslic-refusenik. His daily posts are topical, individual and sharp. To be fair, I don't think that those other two "corrective" websites are trying to be blogs. The Muslim refusenik one seems to be mainly a professional publicity site and pmuna is an organisational website. What we need to find is a radical left muslim blogger of equal astringency as Smith.

Anonymous said...

I like the indigo Jo blog - I have bookmarked that one. But really this is a very meaty posting - only the likes of doltrane have the time to do it justice.....he is trying to find diversions for essay writing

Anonymous said...

I'm famous!!! The Leiter Reports linked back to me!!!!

Anonymous said...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
have bombers wear burqas