this very long essay is really one of the best things i've read in a while. the issues of nationalism covered by the author state much more clearly what i was trying to say a few days back. but also, i found very interesting the way he writes about historical views of women and the history of anti-semitism in europe. a lot of this was honestly new to me - i'd never heard of the "blood libel myth", the notion of effeminism and lost manhood.
i haven't read the other posts in the series, linked to at the bottom of the one above, but hope to do so at some point soon. i find the stance of the author very courageous, to be critical of a community he belongs to which has faced, collectively and individually, such a severe degree of oppression is not an easy thing.
it's something i struggle with from the point of view of my own community, where i see many things that need to change, but know that speaking out about these things will just add another layer to the bigotry and hatred already out there. i'm afraid the main message will be lost, and that the only thing taken from my words will be "see how awful those muslims are, we knew it and here is a muslim who confirms our [bigoted] views".
i don't want to end up being another ayan hirsi ali, who makes things worse and not better in the way she approaches things. but i do try to be an agent of positive change, by trying to deal with what i see as "internal" issues in an internal way ie quietly within the community rather than through public condemnation. it's a very fine line to tread, making sure that you're not an apologist for things that are clearly wrong and yet making sure that you don't increase the level of discrimination and alienation.
i'm sure that i don't always get the balance right. i'm sure i could say more about things that i don't speak up enough about. i'm sure i'm probably a bit too vocal on other things. but i hope that sometimes i do get it right, and sometimes it does make a difference even if only in a small way.
just as a post-script, this post by maia and resulting discussion is also well worth a read.