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Black Gate 4

A New Anthology

You might not have noticed, but we don't see a whole lot of Moslem protagonists in science fiction and fantasy.

A recent collection assembled by Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad and Ahmed A. Khan sought to address that very problem with twelve stories, including a reprint of a Dabir and Asim story from yours truly.

Too often our science fiction and fantasy is informed only by western outlooks, and it's about time somebody made a collection like this available. I have my fingers crossed that it's the first of many -- the editors, though, need readers, so I hope you'll try it out!

Here's the Kindle link:

http://www.amazon.com/A-Mosque-Among-the-Stars/dp/B0027P87LU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240829292&sr=8-1


Comments

I would argue that any SF story that portrays a member of any given real-world religious or ethnic group as a villain is on firm ground.

But any SF story that portrays an entire real-world religious or ethnic group as the villains--whether explicitly, or by omitting any members of said culture except the villain--espouses an agenda, consciously or not, that editors are well within their rights to reject.
But any SF story that portrays an entire real-world religious or ethnic group as the villains--whether explicitly, or by omitting any members of said culture except the villain--espouses an agenda, consciously or not, that editors are well within their rights to reject.

As should be obvious, my belief that modern Islam represents a mostly destructive and negative force in the world does not imply that all Muslims are evil. However, a "religion" is simply an "ideology about God," and like ideologies in general, can be primarily destructive in its influence -- as were fascism, Communism, and 4th-century Christianity.
As should be obvious, my belief that modern Islam represents a mostly destructive and negative force in the world does not imply that all Muslims are evil.

I have no idea, and made no comment, about any personal beliefs on your part. I'm talking about how religious or ethnic groups are portrayed in fiction.

However, a "religion" is simply an "ideology about God," and like ideologies in general, can be primarily destructive in its influence -- as were fascism, Communism, and 4th-century Christianity.

Perhaps, but again, I'm not talking about the ideology. I'm talking about the population. If a short story presents all Muslims--or all Jews, or all Christians, or all Wiccans, or all white people, or all black people--as evil, without any nod toward the notion that the villains don't represent the entirety of said group, it's not "political correctness" to object to said portrayal.
Islamic ideology is based upon the Qur'an and the teachings of Muhammad. Using those sources show me how Islam represents a mostly destructive and negative force in the world.
I am not familiar in detail with the Qu'ran, and hence cannot demonstrate this "using those sources." I am however aware of some of its contents, and know that it enjoins holy war to the point of conversion, subjugation or death against all non-Muslims, the murder of dissenters, and the treatment of women as second-class humans. It's quite true that I could find plenty of this in the Old Testament as well -- the difference is that modern Christianity and Judaism have long since progressed beyond applying those parts of the Bible literally, while modern Islam has not.
I do not intend to turn this blog into a forum for discussion of any particular takes on the merits or faults of ANY religion. If you wish to discuss this elsewhere, feel free, but THIS blog is about writing, fantasy, and most especially Black Gate and sword-and-sorcery. Other subjects are germane only as they tangentially relate to the above. At this point we have lost that relation and I want to drop this line of discussion here.

Howard