I feel a little guilty for not mentioning the Brass Crescent contest that Aziz, among others, has been promoting. I imagine these things require a lot of work to set up, and a lot of work to publicize -- even if you're not interested in contests, it's well worth checking out because they've chosen some very fine blogs and bloggers and posts. I followed some of the links, and there's a tremendous amount of erudite and intelligent commentary, of which we could always use more. Even if you, like me, find it too difficult to choose favorites, it's worth taking a look.
I have to admit I'm tremendously flattered and also a little embarrassed to be nominated in a couple of categories. As I think I've written at least once or twice, the value Islam places on the soul of each human being, the equality it demands -- the most humble peasant can be the equal of the Caliph in Allah's eyes -- will be what turns the Middle East from despotism to democracy. But I should point out that while I personally have tremendous respect for Islam (especially, of late, Shi'ism, although that would take a too long post to explain), I don't think ideofact "seeks a genuine dialog with Muslims," or with anyone else, for that matter. Don't be insulted -- I certainly don't want to lose any of the two or three regular readers I have -- it's that I don't think I've ever made much of an effort to "seek" readers or dialogs of any kind. But, for what it's worth, I try to answer comments and the few emails I get.
In any case (and this seems a far more relevant point to me), while we should all be grateful to the organizers for devoting time and effort to pulling together so many interesting blogs and posts in one spot, it seems to me that blogging (or writing in general) isn't, after all, a competition. (I wish that observation was original, but it comes from a Borges review of Virginia Woolf.) So by all means, visit the contest, check out the links, and if you're so inclined, cast your votes.Posted by Ideofact at January 14, 2005 01:14 AM