Listening past the hate

1 October 2008 by Jennifer

Via Questioning Transphobia I heard about a hate crime in the US last week, and media complicity in hate speech against Muslim people. (More commentary here.) It seems that the mainstream media have mostly kept silent on the subject, and it’s bloggers who have been passing the word.

I don’t feel I have much to add to other people’s analysis of the events, except “Yes, that is terrible, and my heart goes out to the people who were affected”.

What I did want to add is: I think one of the best counters to hate speech is to listen directly to some of the people who are being misrepresented and maligned. So in line with that, I’d like to recommend a blog I’ve been enjoying this year – Writeous Sister Speaks, by Aaminah Hernández.

As Aaminah says: “If you want to know what a Muslim woman thinks or feels about something, ask a Muslim woman. And even then, realize that we as individuals cannot speak for all others.”

Aaminah’s often writing mainly for her fellow Muslims, and I know I’m not necessarily always fully understanding the context of what she’s saying. But as well as feeling I’m learning a little, I just enjoy and appreciate her integrity and thoughtfulness and the quality of her writing.

Here’s one of the earliest articles I read of hers, about not identifying as feminist – the comments thread is interesting too.

Here are a few recent posts I liked, giving more of a flavour of the day-to-day blog.

And for extra bonus value, here’s a post where Aaminah links to some of her own favourite bloggers. Enjoy!

Update: Aaminah’s now made her blog friends-locked, so you won’t be able to view those posts any more unless she gives you a password. But it’s still worth looking out for her comments on other people’s blogs. And my point still stands about listening to people first-hand.

Appreciation, criticism & new ideas all welcome...

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