January 01
software engr, young at heart. coding from early age. "digital brain" but with lots of feelings too. writing here mainly to publicize a few key issues, let off some steam, & for the feedback. plz write me comments, very much appreciated!! even on old posts!! helps me gauge reader interest/ reaction & steer direction of new posts. oh, and IMs often make my day & I usually reply. and long IM conversations are my favorite.

Vzn's Links

My Links
vzn on politics
vzn on cyber/geek stuff
vzn on big luv
vzn misc essays
DECEMBER 21, 2011 9:22PM

all american muslims, & best muslim writing on open salon

Rate: 11 Flag

hi all. I just read a great front page article in UsaToday on the new TLC program "all-american muslim".* I havent seen this show yet but its definitely making waves & creating some buzz. it portrays "everyday" muslim americans going thru their typical struggles. I noticed another editorial cartoon in UsaToday on the show. acc to the article it has about ~1.5M viewers in its 1st season.

the article says that the now-notorious Florida Family Association calls for a boycott of the shows advertisers and calls it a "front for the islamic takeover of america". this caused lowe's and kayak company to withdraw their advertising although kayak now says "we handled this poorly".*

has anyone seen this show? Id be interested in your opinion. it sounds kind of bland to me from the description-- and Im not saying thats a bad thing. some people are saying the show is "propaganda". thats kinda strange, I thought 10 straight yrs of anti-muslim sentiments in the MSM since 911 more was what constituted "propaganda".

ok, look, I dont have a big axe to grind here. I dont really know many muslims. I mean I think I have probably met a few, but they are not overly religious or demonstrative of their religion. but I sure do have a big issue with the bush Great War on Terror. which to me has been one of the greatest scams ever perpetrated on US citizens and heck, all of humanity. Im for DIVERSITY & TOLERATION. isnt that what our country was founded on?

open salon editor emily apparently agrees. shes been running quite a few posts on the front page by everyday muslims defending their religion. Ive noticed many other posts around here on open salon on the subj. they seem well written to me and some of the posters are quite elite & accomplished.

open salon has a tremendous amt of diversity itself, but every once in awhile its interesting to take a snapshot or slice. Ive done a few posts like this.

* * *
its clear the Warmachine needs a compelling enemy, and believe it or not, somewhat surprisingly, its not actually all that simple to construct/fabricate one. the Warmachine spent massive piles of cash on creating war propaganda esp during the iraq invasion. there are old stories about this [eg rolling stone] but people have mostly forgotten them. [actually they were not really even paying that much attention when exposes on the propaganda were 1st published, either.]

so I doubt the TLC program is especially well produced or created. we're talking about reality television here! but as far as content, its kind of a breakthrough. instead of focusing on some vacuous scenario like contestants eating bugs, human darwinianism on a deserted island, kim kardashians titillating voluptuosity etcetera-- this is a kind of mundane, prosaic show, and maybe the world would be better off with more of that.

its amazing how many echoes throughout history we have here. the theme of the oppressed people, racial prejudice and "ethnic cleansing" has been going on as long as humanity. oceans of blood spilled. it staggers the moral brain.

when are we gonna GET OVER IT? it dates to ancient times with greek and roman slaves. jews. blacks. japanese during wwII. moslems are just the latest in the ancient game or barbaric, deadly, murderous dysfunction. yes, racial prejudice and the urge for subjugation are likely wired deep into human brains. but so is senseless violence, and we are not animals. at least some of the time.

its an ancient loop, an endless rerun. now we have over 1B muslims in the world, maybe close to 2B, pitted against the rest. I gotta give the Warmachine credit, it is AMBITIOUS and has to a large degree succeeded in its vilification and demonization campaign. incidental flareups of violence around the world attest to this.

this is my holiday and new year contribution to reconciliation and peace, against discrimination and prejudice & chauvinism. Im lighting this small flickering candle in the wind. I say, dont fall for the propaganda. recognize it in all its subtle and insidious forms.

I maybe see some hopeful, glimmering signs, like the muslim-american tv show, that the public is tiring of the demonization and maybe even starting to smell the manipulative, controlling sham that it is. on the other hand, I hear the show's ratings have plummeted dramatically over all the episodes. maybe its days are shortly numbered. just another casualty of the "vast wasteland".

* * *

so I started looking for some of my favorite posts by moslems on open salon, and holy cow, I got a little carried away. I turned up bunches and bunches with salon's search engine and also google. there are a few writers that focus on their muslim background almost as their key blog theme. there are others that incidentally write about it. then there are many other blogs about muslim oriented issues by a diverse crowd.

all worthwhile reading. a testament to the sheer magnitude and variety of content [esp politically, culturally, identity oriented] on open salon accumulated in a relatively short amt of time.

some of these writers are highly educated, accomplished, successful, notable. many received EPs or were on the cover of open salon [partly inspiring this post]. some vivid and memorable voices. emphatic. plaintive. impassioned. human. down-to-earth. real. candid.

I was surprised to find a preponderance of women moslem writers. there is something fundamentally subversive and empowering about blogging that can be seen in their topics and writing.

in the last 10yrs, for even those of us who vehemently reject the legitimacy, practicality, utility, sensibility, rationality, and simple *sanity* of the war on terror, we can still agree we've had a real culture clash. it reminds me of tofflers famous novel, "future shock". the great, sprawling, ugly, worldwide war on terror continues marching on in all but name by obama, and its the slimy-at-best, horrific-at-worst dark side of globalization.

this is a fast sample. I think its a balanced, worthwhile, compelling, edgy representation. this project ballooned way out of proportion to my original intentions. I found it not hard to compile this list even though its long. and Im sure I missed some notable writers. the selection process was mostly haphazard-- generally what appeared in the early pages of search results on the site & with google. thats putting a little too much trust in a search engine; I agree, but I didnt really have any alternative.

* * *
“For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive… The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity…

[The] major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might be greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.”

--Zbigniew Brzezinski

* * *

organization: in the 1st section I put prominent muslim open salon writers. these are bloggers that specialize in writing about muslim subjects and almost dedicate their entire blogs to it in some cases. these are ranked by total # of posts. in the later cases, their blogs are not nec dedicated to muslim topics but they have a definite flavor in some.

in the following section I have misc open salon writers that write on the various controversies & topics. open salon is great in that it captures amazing snapshots of the news & peoples visceral reactions to it. some of these essays are on some of the most prominent stories of the various news cycles.

media commotion on "all american muslim" show

All-American Muslim: TLC
TLC's All American Muslim show brings lives out in the open – USATODAY.com
On Religion - A One-Man War on American Muslims - NYTimes.com
The madness over All-American Muslim - - The Washington Post
All-American Muslim Is Way Too Sanitized to Be Terrorist Propoganda - San Francisco Art - The Exhibitionist
Daily Show Tackles the Lowe's 'All-American Muslim' Flap | Lauren Lipsay | Rolling Stone
Comment: The Attack on “All-American Muslim” : The New Yorker
Kayak on pulling 'All-American Muslim' ads: 'We handled this poorly' - USATODAY.com
All-American Muslim: A Programmed Deception | FrontPage Magazine

best open salon bloggers & writing on muslim topics

Hesham A. Hassaballa's Blog

  • Washington Post: At Hajj, can peace be found? - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • A Special Day I Don't Celebrate - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • What Muslims Can Learn From Gilad Shalit - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • We (Muslims) Have Nothing To Do With It - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • Security and Trust vs Suspicion and Scapegoating - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • "Never Let Your Hatred Move You..." - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • A Tale of Two Communities - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • Middle East Online: Hopes and Fears Ten Years After - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • Keeping Ramadan Alive - Hesham A. Hassaballa - Open Salon
  • M. Junaid Levesque-Alam's Blog

  • Muslim Blowback? (Homegrown Extremism) - M. Junaid Levesque-Alam - Open Salon
  • America’s Anti-Muslim Jihadists on the March Again - M. Junaid Levesque-Alam - Open Salon
  • Bill Maher Says My Faith is “Hate-Filled.” Is He Right? - M. Junaid Levesque-Alam - Open Salon
  • A Defense of Free Speech by N. American Muslims - M. Junaid Levesque-Alam - Open Salon
  • Christopher Hitchens and the Quest for Grade-A(merican) Muslims - M. Junaid Levesque-Alam - Open Salon
  • Judy Mandelbaum's Blog

  • Florida church to mark 9/11 with Koran burning - Judy Mandelbaum - Open Salon
  • Your Female Slaves: A Syrian soap opera rocks Ramadan - Judy Mandelbaum - Open Salon
  • President Sarkozy makes good on French burqa ban - Judy Mandelbaum - Open Salon
  • Gruesome find in Turkey highlights Muslim "honor killings" - Judy Mandelbaum - Open Salon
  • Sara Grace O'Connell's Blog

  • Growing Up O'Muslim - Sara Grace O'Connell - Open Salon
  • Hijab: A Love Story - Sara Grace O'Connell - Open Salon
  • Living as an American Muslim in a Post-9/11 World - Sara Grace O'Connell - Open Salon
  • Naqib's Daughter's Blog

  • Reflections on 9/11: Muslims in the Cul-de-sac - Naqib's Daughter - Open Salon
  • Mosque Controversy Revives Painful Memories of 9/11 - Naqib's Daughter - Open Salon
  • Sarkozy, the Niqab and the state as guardian of women - Naqib's Daughter - Open Salon
  • Deena Douara's Blog

  • Does All-American Muslim show the right Muslims? - Deena Douara - Open Salon
  • What Lowe’s pull-out of All-American Muslim really means - Deena Douara - Open Salon
  • Amber Nasrulla's Blog

  • The Modern Muslim Woman - Amber Nasrulla - Open Salon
  • New Year’s Eve: From Mecca to Goa - Amber Nasrulla - Open Salon
  • ILLUME's Blog

  • The Happy Muslim Men And Women Who Confuse You - ILLUME - Open Salon
  • Film Festival Presents Movies on Islam - ILLUME - Open Salon
  • Sarah Khan's Blog

  • Ramadan Rumblings - Sarah Khan - Open Salon
  • Mona Fetouh's Blog

  • Both Muslim and American - Mona Fetouh - Open Salon
  • mara ahmed's Blog

  • my response to a student's reading of "the muslims i know" - mara ahmed - Open Salon
  • Imran Ahmad's Blog

  • 'Hello America -- I'm a Muslim': my 13,934 mile drive - Imran Ahmad - Open Salon
  • misc writers & writing

  • Taqqiya: Lying In the Cause of Islam - HenryR - Open Salon
  • The Muslim on the Plane - Barbara Weicksel - Open Salon
  • Are Muslim immigrants making Europe "poorer and stupider"? - Alan Nothnagle - Open Salon
  • Heads up! Muslim protesters attack Swedish cartoonist - Alan Nothnagle - Open Salon
  • Hatred of Muslims Is Al-Qaeda's Best Recruiting Tool - Mark Wilson - Open Salon
  • The first Muslim suicide attack in Sweden - DanielKronlid - Open Salon
  • Muslim Judge Calls Beating Death of 14 year old 'Tragic" - McAuthor - Open Salon
  • Muslim boy bullied, beaten - GaryBaumgarten - Open Salon
  • Au Revoir Minarets? The Swiss Message To Muslims - Anushay Hossain - Open Salon
  • The peacefulest Muslims I've known - Max Lindenman - Open Salon
  • Obama Spoke to Muslims for Oil, Not Humanity - Kevin Gosztola - Open Salon
  • Obama's Attempt to Defend Muslims' Right to Build Mosques - Kevin Gosztola - Open Salon
  • Anti-Muslim Fear. America In Transition. - Hal_M - Open Salon
  • A Mosque, Some Muslims, and a Mob - CJ Maloney - Open Salon
  • rima fakih, miss usa, & repression of all stripes - vzn - Open Salon
  • Your tags:


    Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
    Recipient's email address:
    Personal message (optional):

    Your email address:


    Type your comment below:
    I’ll read this one tomorrow.
    Excellent post!

    I especially like Deena's writing. There's a LOT of intelligent heart there. Of course, Hesham has been writing great posts here for a while too.

    Thanks for this, BTW.
    After all these various fronts for all these attempted takeovers of America, you'd think somebody would succeed already and get it over with.
    If we didn't have Muslims to act as scapegoats, we'd have to bring up one of those we're holding in reserve. Perhaps North Koreans, or Iranians - oh wait, then there's China looming as a future threat to our arrogant claim to being the world's biggest bully. Heck, if all else fails, we can go back to turning the Russians into boogymen.

    On the other hand, the US is doing extremely well at getting "anti-terrorist" laws passed. Laws that remove American citizens' rights in order to combat "terrorists" but don't even name a terrorist organization they'd be useful in combating.

    I hope that show does well. We, in Canada, have had a long running show of similar content that has been vey popular since its inception.

    I'm so honoured to be listed here! Thanks for the thoughtful post, and the inclusion. And @Safe_Bet, if you're reading this, you just made my week : )
    I prorated this yesterday

    Maybe you should take your Shahada and Emily will put you on the front page or give you that "elusive" Editors pick, honestly vz and I am speaking as someone who likes you, your pandering to her is sometimes painful to behold. This post is just another example of why your views are so high. Nobody makes links like you, as far as I know you are the best on the internet at it. If I was putting together my own site you would be among the first on here I would get in touch with. I will tell you one thing. I know a little about literature, enough to tell you the editorial staff on here does not. Literature is not their agenda here Social Nihilism is. The love your Muslim brother kick, in the MSM, after you have spent the last 10 years kicking his head in fits right in with the OS agenda. I have another good idea. Why don’t we tease a hornets nest and then we will take turns hugging it? You and I both know what happened in 9/11. Do you think they randomly chose our enemy? The Muslims have been the sworn enemy of the West since Charles Martel and a band of farmer soldiers stood stock still in the field of Pointers and with axes hacked their horse born hordes to pieces, putting an end to their near century of invincibility on the battlefield. The hatred between them and us runs deeper than the Marianas Trench. Do you know what they did to Christians in Darfur? Do you know what they would do to the Jews if they could? Yea, I guess we owe them for the latest outrage. If it will make you feel better I will get busy writing them a letter of apology. You and I did not do this to them, nor did the ignorant Christian's and Jews who swallow the Bush’s lies, like every living soul on this planet they have been outmaneuvered by the Bush’s who used history against them.
    JH some kinda obscure stuff there:
    from wikipedia "Charles Martel (Latin: Carolus Martellus) (23 August 686 – 22 October 741),[1][2][3][4][5] also known as Charles the Hammer, was a Frankish military and political leader"
    "European schoolchildren learn about the Battle of Tours in much the same way that American students learn about Valley Forge and Gettysburg.""

    I didnt really want to get into military history here, thats quite a writhing can of worms. yes, warmachines go back through the ages, but I think its unequivocal that the US now has the largest and most well funded. as as brezinski, a consummate insider, correctly asserts, what good is it now? we have lost the concept of soft vs hard power in a time where soft power may be entering a critical new dominance in world affairs after globalization....

    re Martel the Hammer there are 3 historian camps according to wikipedia, and while the 1st two factions are roughly in agreement with your interpretation, let me just skip to the 3rd: "The final camp of Western historians believe that the importance of the battle is dramatically overstated. " huh. that kind of reflects a similar debate raging right now over american Exceptionalism, dont you think?
    I have been searching for a quote with google but cant find it, but basically, what is the strange coincidence that there is a war on terror, coinciding with a veiled war on islam, and the oil fields of the world are mostly under islamic governments? its something I noticed 10yrs ago... maybe its The Thing That Cannot Be Named... because michael moore also named it in fahrenheit 911....
    more here
    Tomgram: Michael Klare, Is Washington Out of Gas?
    Thanks for posting these links. Any talk of "the Islamic takeover of American" is shear lunacy and the direct result of FBI and CIA propaganda aimed at persuading us to surrender our civil liberties.

    A few recent studies show young people under 25 are turning away from TV to social media and on-line entertainment and videogames. This has caused many advertisers to abandon TV, in part due to the economic crisis. TV, like the major dailies and weekly news magazines are dying. It can't happen soon enough for my tastes.
    So interesting! Thank you for writing this post - it's given me a lot to discover!

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and all the best for 2012!
    Thanks again VSN. You've raised several important points.

    Tho you've stated that you've no "axe to grind" on this topic, it's obviously of concern to you, to any of us paying attention to socially relevant issues of importance.

    And this particular topic can be quite combustible, has been used (as you've noted) for political gain by those willing to exploit it, very recently in fact.

    As volatile as many of us recognize this barely controlled religious fear-mongering to be, remnants of the "Fear Agenda" following 9-11 remain with us today, spilling spilling across international borders, amplifying and encouraging those fears already present in other countries.

    US Foreign policy was essentially dictated by these conditions under the last administration, intentionally so.

    Unfortunately, exploiting that fear as a convenient political tool isn't limited to the Right Wing in the U.S., Norway was a fine example of that in July of 2011.


    (search "M Kitt" on this page, if you'd like ;-)

    And the Fear-Mongering Right will continue to exploit the distress they've nurtured, will promote that public anxiety for as long as it serves their agenda. Which is to say ENDLESSLY.
    Thank you for a thoughtful piece and a stellar list. With the exception of the few I wasn't aware of, I follow these bloggers.

    Disclaimer, my above comment is here revised!

    Attempted to rewrite/delete it several times and now thru sheer desperation am simply posting a 2nd comment.

    Emailed site management for resolve, soon to be replied to I'm sure ;-)

    Doesn't admittedly reflect well on my editing skills (posting a comment without spellcheck or concerned forethought, on the fly, never!), or site update capability since it's now a day after my first comment.

    Thanks again VZN. You've raised several important points.

    Tho you've stated that you've no "axe to grind" on this topic, it's obviously of concern to you, to any of us paying attention to socially relevant issues of importance.

    And this particular topic can be quite combustible, ongoing intolerant religious behavior in the USA has been used (as you've noted) for political gain by those willing to exploit it, very recently in fact. And across nearly the last decade.

    As volatile as many of us recognize this barely controlled religious fear-mongering to be, these remnants of the "Fear Agenda" following 9-11 remain with us today, spilling across international borders, amplifying and encouraging those fears already present in other countries.

    US Foreign policy was essentially dictated by these conditions under the last administration, intentionally so. In order to rationalize invasion and occupation of Iraq, for instance.

    Unfortunately, this tactic of exploiting fear as a convenient political tool isn't limited to the Right Wing in the U.S., Norway was a fine example of the results of that "Religious Intolerance". As reflected by events in July of 2011.


    (search "M Kitt" on that page, for my comments, if you'd like)

    And the Fear-Mongering Right will continue to exploit the distress they've nurtured against the world Islamic community, will promote that manufactured, contrived public anxiety for as long as it serves their agenda. Which is to say ENDLESSLY.
    @JH, this smiley's for you ;-)

    Religious zealot, much?
    hey KA Im kind of a football agnostic but I have been hearing more stories about "tebow". apparently its reach the level of a pop culture reference [that showed up in one of my business mtgs at work]. hence my idea to use that cartoon.
    maybe football itself is a religion. maybe sports is the opiate of the masses :p
    now surfing, *theres* a sport of kings haha