so i've been having a nice relaxing weekend. yesterday we managed a trip to raglan, to splash around at the beach. it was lovely, but quite windy & the water still a little cold. but well worth the trip. today, i spent the afternoon shopping, which is something i usually avoid because i generally hate shopping. but i really went on a splurge today, and bought stuff just because i could rather than because i particularly needed it. haven't done that in a long while.
i've bought music cd's for the first time in i don't know how many years. i used to buy a lot of them when i was in my teens & twenties, but had pretty much given up on music in the last decade. but after attending the concert earlier this year, i was inspired enough to buy yusuf's roadsinger and an other cup. i'm loving both of them, but the second one a little more. the next thing i want to own is the "we shall overcome" cd that someone lent me earlier in the year.
in other muslim-related news, interesting to hear that lauren blair (sister-in-law of tony blair) has decided to become a muslim, after some kind of spiritual experience she had in iran. i guess this is of interest not so much because of her connections, but more that it has happened in spite of the pretty negative coverage that islam & muslims have been getting quite consistently over the last decade. it appears that she has been an activist for some time, particularly for palestinian rights, and this has brought her into contact with muslims.
also i was sent this link to an interview with canada's first muslim mayor. i haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, and i have no idea about his politics. but well done him for his success.
and finally, i was emailed news of the firing of juan williams from american national public radio, for some bigotted remarks he made on fox news. predictably, fox has ensured that it's audience directs its vitriol towards NPR, whose staff have been facing a barrage of nastiness. all the old "freedom of speech" arguments have been dredged up, just like with the broadcaster who won't be named, here in nz. i've gone over those many times before and can't be bothered to do it again tonight.
but let's just remember the consequences of this type of speech for muslims living in america. a jar of nails was thrown in the driveway of a new york mosque in the last week. two muslim women were subject to a physical and verbal attack while filling petrol at a seattle station. a muslim woman and her child were attacked in a hate crime, a muslim student was harrassed and bullied for months, an islamic centre in carolina was defaced with pork. there's so much more, a constant and unrelenting series of hate crimes and vandalism that has been escalating over the last few months.
and no, i'm not saying juan williams is personally responsible for any one of these, but when he participates in the sort of discussions that are happening at fox, and when he adds to the open bigotry that network practices, then he becomes part of the problem. it's nice that his main employer has recognised this fact and refused to give him any further airtime.