I've been posting a lot on other Muslims sites now, and am glad to discover some more moderate Muslim discussion boards. Some of them in fact, are more "moderate" than I am, in that they are more forgiving of various manifestations of Islamophobia than I am. Shiren Qudosi's Revolution Islam Has this statement on the front page:
REVOLUTION Islam is a movement gathering a diverse community in a single online forum for people of all faiths and backgrounds who want a change in Islam.
Islam is yours. You need no "special connection" to God, no scholars, mullahs, or madrasas. No figure of authority has the right to tell you of your faith.
A revolution in Islam is only possible when a larger Muslim community realizes, accepts, and practices this fact.
Qudosi was willing to blame Muslims for the Swiss ban on Minarets, which I am not, especially because the districts in Switzerland with the four minarets in them all voted against the ban. This is a pretty good indication that it was Islamophobic propanda, not actual contact with minarets that caused the ban.
I also thought it was cool that she kept her hair uncovered. She has lovely hair, and no, I do not think I am going to hell for having an allegedly "lustful thought". Such thoughts are spiritually dangerous only when they are translated into action. In Vajrayana Buddhism, we do not deny that we have such thoughts. We let them arise and disapear, and give them neither attachment or aversion. That's the goal anyway, and it's definitely a better strategy than repression. Islam, unlike Christianity, has no tradition of celibacy, and no place for the idea that Sex is intrinsically evil. On this score, Islam scores even somewhat better than certain sects of Buddhism. There are no Muslim Celibate Monks. Even the most conservative Salafi Muslims will usually say that the purpose of the head-coverings is to discourage promiscuity, not sexual desire itself. I think head coverings are a really bad strategy for this, but that's a subject for another blog.
I found Qudosi's blog when she joined Beliefnet. There's a nice mix of Muslims on Beliefnet, from the courteous gentlemen who defended Salafi Islam on his comments on my site, to an American Muslim who fought in Iraq. (For the Americans.). Qudosi seems quite far to the left of most of them. It will be nice to see how she shakes things up.