One Muslim Chaplain's Blog

Celebrating 2 Years of The Civil Muslim: A Look Back at My Rants

In Bad Ideas, Gender, Guest Bloggers, Islam, Muslim of the Month, Politics, Religion, Satire, The Next Right Thing on July 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm

American Muslim blog

Alright, this blog has been around just under 2 years (but who’s counting?). Time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going.

I have always loved words. I could reread a well-written sentence several times. I have also always loved to write. So a few years ago I sought advice from friends about whether to start a blog. Part of me felt that blogs are rather self-serving and it had been pounded into me by a certain segment of Muslims that the masses should let the authorities speak for the rabble, who are presumably not educated enough to have an opinion. (More on my epiphanies with this movement later).

Then I realized that I was not the rabble, and not uneducated, and that I observed things that I didn’t find addressed in too many places. I found few people writing about the things that I felt were important.  Muslim women were writing plenty of thoughtful, polite reflections and they continue to do so, but not the type of  forceful pieces some topics command. With my own penchant for politics and religion (before I chose chaplaincy—or it chose me—I had applications submitted to several think tanks and Muslim organizations in Washington), I decided that I’d be unabashedly me. And that meant being passionate. Here is my review of the best this blog has offered (do you agree?):

My most passionate(=angry) piece was on the Arab Spring. I was full of righteous indignation!

My most beautiful piece, prose and content-wise, was “Genealogy: For the Love of God.”

The piece that resounded most with readers was my look at the phenomenon of spiritual abuse in the Sufi Muslim community. I had several people comment or email me privately with stories of abuse. Many more found this blog by searching “cult” and [several Muslim figures I won’t name]. I don’t know what caused them to search, but I hope they found resolution to whatever crisis they faced.

FAILS: I have not been very consistent about certain aspects of the blog. For example, there were only 2 Muslims of the Month….but obviously way more than 2 months have passed between those and this. Whoops. I also had a feature called The Next Right Thing, in which I would highlight successful projects and ideas in the American Muslim landscape, rather than only focusing on what needed improvement. I did that a few times, but not enough.

I’ll have to work on that.

In the meantime, I hope the readers will stick with me as I bombard them with more of my drivel. I have several “babies” waiting in the wings. I consider everything I write to be a ‘baby’ that needs to be born at some point. This was the only metaphor that got me to finally stop stowing my writings away like some sort of Emily Dickinson. Upcoming topics include the legacy of the Ron Paul candidacy, what Muslims can learn from the American fascination with Buddhism, and an investigative piece that shall remain hush-hush. God willing, you will find something that interests you.

Offer your feedback to The Civil Muslim.

P.S. Shout out to the one person in Zambia and in Croatia who visited my blog. I don’t know what in the world you googled to get here but as the Arabs say, ahlan wa sahlan.




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