This may cost me readers.
But, honestly, I think that’s okay.
I’ve never been shy about criticizing aspects of internationalism that I don’t like, like off-shoring call-center jobs. But, on the other hand, I’m also not shy about reminding people that extremists give us a skewed view of a larger population. I know there are people in the United States right now that think every Arab or Muslim is bad. I disagree. I think those people who claim to believe that they are all evil are simply ignorant of the rich and diverse culture that exists outside of their own small neighborhood. I hope before those of my readers that may think that there is no such thing as a good Arab, or Muslim, follows the link I’m about to share and reads a little of what they find there before writing me off.
Some time ago, through various other blogs, I came across a link to Apex magazine’s 18th on-line issue. The Arab/Muslim Issue.
I have to admit, I was intrigued. For one thing, I don’t think I’ve read any recent fiction by anyone from that culture. For another, Apex specializes in fantasy and science-fiction.
This is some brilliant work.
Go read “The Green Book” by Amal El-Mohtar, a story about a book possessed of a spirit that corrupts her reader.
Or, try “50 Fatwas for the Virtuous Vampire” by Pamela K. Taylor about a Muslim vampire trying to follow the Law of the Koran and stay pure.
Or, my favorite, “The Faithful Soldier, Prompted” by Saladin Ahmed about a soldier who’s combat implants talk to him with the voice of God Himself, perhaps.
There are more, but these three stories were masterful looks at a culture most of us don’t see. They see myths reinterpreted in ways we may not have considered, or a future which may be all too possible.
Really, I joke around a lot on wasting time on a Friday, but these stories aren’t a waste of your time, I promise.
Go and read them. Then think.