Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Broadening our perspective: Pamela K. Taylor joins In This Moment

I am pleased to announce the addition of a new contributing writer to this illustrious blog. Please welcome Pamela K. Taylor!

Pamela writes from the perspective of a mother, fiction and nonfiction writer and Muslim, not to mention the all-important viewpoint she gets from living in Indianapolis, Ind.

Oh wait, I kind of sped by that Muslim thing, didn’t I?

I first met Pamela at a WisCon a few years ago. I have to admit that when I first saw her I was a bit uncertain about how to approach a woman wearing a traditional Islamic head scarf. However, her t-shirt certainly caught my eye. See a recent photo here.

Knowing Pamela, even briefly, has helped me expand my understanding of Islam and made me look squarely at my own assumptions. I am so happy she agreed to join us at In This Moment.

Who is Pamela?

Raised as a bleeding heart liberal with Kantian ethics, socialist politics, feminist sensibilities and a ferocious individualism, Pamela has been a political activist since her college days when she was a participant in the South African Divestment movement at her alma mater, Dartmouth College.

The stunning success of the anti-apartheid movement a few years later convinced her that political activism can indeed change the world, and that a group does not have to be powerful, rich, or even terribly numerous to make a huge change. This optimism has stuck with her throughout her adult life, and colors both her writing and her activism.

It also colors her understanding of her adopted religion, Islam, which she embraced twenty years ago. She has been active in interfaith dialogue for eighteen years, and has worked with various Islamic organizations to improve understanding between the Muslim community and mainstream America.

Pamela is also committed to articulating and promoting a humane, tolerant, and merciful understanding of Islam. She is currently co-Chair of the Progressive Muslim Union, which brings together progressive Muslims to work for social justice and Director of the Islamic Writers Alliance, a professional writers group dedicated to promoting Muslim women writers. She is active with the Network of Spiritual Progressives and Broad Universe.

In her spare time, she raises four kids, two cats and a pony, practices Shorei Goju Ryu karate and writes science fiction.

You can check out her web site at

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