Roll up, roll up! Vote for the best of the British Muslim blogosphere

It’s that time of year again. The fourth annual Brass Crescent Awards, sponsored by City of Brass and alt.muslim, are seeking nominations for the best of the Muslim blogosphere up until Friday, 9th November. Voting, in ten categories, runs for two weeks from Friday, 15th November.

So let me do a bit of shameless plugging for British Muslim blogs.

British blogs have done well in the past. Thabet (Muslims under Progress), now reincarnated as pixelisation, got an honourable mention for “Best Writing” in 2004, won “Best Group Blog” in 2004, was a runner-up as “Best Thinker” in 2005. Islamophobia Watch got an honourable mention as “Best Non-Muslim Blog” in 2005. The indefatigable Indigo Jo was a runner-up in “Most Deserving of Wider Recognition” in 2005. In 2006, for “Best Post or Series”, Thabet got shortlisted for “Policy, Profiling, Poverty” and Bradford Muslim for his insightful “The Muslim Condition” (in six parts). Again Thabet got more nominations in “Best Ijtihad” in 2006 for “British Muslims Must Fight Extremism” and “Prattle from the Party” and an honourable mention for “Best Thinker”. Dal Nun Strong’s well-informed A Muslim Think Tank got a nomination for “Most Deserving of Wider Recognition” in 2006.

British-focused collective Muslim blogs are beginning to emerge like the MIAH Project, Umma Pulse, Muslimstan and City Circle’s new blog (yes, that’s two shameless plugs). Many of our bloggers are London-based but there is more regional blogging out there: Rolled-Up Trousers, Noman Tahir and Islam, Muslims and an Anthropologist in Scotland, the eponymous Bradford Muslim, Walls Come Tumbling Down, the hilarious The Islamicist and Muslim Minorities in Birmingham, Alternative Entertainment in Manchester, The Cutting Edge in Brighton, Masudblog in Aylesbury and Abdur Rahman’s Corner in Wales. In London, one should make mention of Cricklewood Blogger, iMuslim, Islam’s Green, Muslims and Musings, Radical Muslim, Spirit21, Suspect Paki and The Thing About This Is… alongside the above-mentioned Indigo Jo Blogs and A Muslim Think Tank. Pixelisation is now out in Dubai but hopefully that’s only a temporary relocation and he’ll be back on home territory soon.

Many of our top activists and commentators have been sucked into the omnivorous Comment is Free website that features Ajmal Masroor, Anas al-Takriti, Asim Siddiqui, Ed Husain, Fareena Alam, Inayat Bungalawala, Salma Yaqoob, Soumaya Ghannoushi and Zia Haider Rahman to name but few, as well as American imports like Ali Eteraz. With the current focus on “the Muslim problem”, if you’re a halfway-decent writer, are a “youngish” British Muslim and know a thing or two about British Islam (and have a penchant for “liberal discipline”), then it is not that difficult to get into mainstream publications and their online platforms. It would be interesting to know whether these are eligible for the Brass Crescent Awards or not.

But for the most perennially underrated British Muslim blog, for its sheer honesty and gutsy writing, its mix of the personal and the political, the academic and activist, the surreal and the real, the political and the spiritual, check out Muslim Recovery. It hits you in your comfort zone as you are meant to be hit. Of those not nominated in previous years, I would also have to single out Rolled-Up Trousers, as one of our most important political blogs, which has gotten wider recognition as well (named as the top Scottish political blog and it came in at no. 92 in a recent top 500 list of the UK’s political blogs, which says more about metropolitan bias than anything else).

I have links to nearly all these blogs (and more) here. I’m sure that there are many great British Muslim blogs out there that I’m totally unaware of, so do contact me here to tell me what I’ve been missing. And don’t forget to nominate a few British Muslim blogs for the Brass Crescent awards too.

Update: Aziz (City of Brass) and Shahed (alt.muslim) think it’s fine to nominate individual bloggers on Comment is Free. Just in case you want to nominate someone. And Muslim Recovery usefully provides the necessary corrective, noting the groupie-ness of bloglists and the vanity of wanting to get that virtual bloggery award but not wanting to be seen to be doing so. The kind of fake nonchalance that some of us are so very skilled at! But notwithstanding all that, the Awards do encourage and highlight the talent that is out there, so get nominating away.

6 Comments

Filed under Blog, Culture and the Arts, Internet, Media

6 responses to “Roll up, roll up! Vote for the best of the British Muslim blogosphere

  1. With the current focus on “the Muslim problem”, if you’re a halfway-decent writer, are a “youngish” British Muslim and know a thing or two about British Islam (and have a penchant for “liberal discipline”), then it is not that difficult to get into mainstream publications and their online platforms. It would be interesting to know whether these are eligible for the Brass Crescent Awards or not.

    That is a very good question. Let me talk it over w/Aziz.

    [Shahed Amanullah, Editor, alt.muslim]

  2. salaams

    I think that as a blog, “Comment is Free” is too general, but I see no reason why a specific post or series by a muslim (or nonmuslim) of general interest within the Islamsphere wouldnt be eligible. I intendde to nominate Ali E’s series on Islamic Reform, for example, which ran in the Guardian. What is and what isnt eligible is probably best left to the nominations process in an irganic sense rather than we trying to set more rules and filters up front. We want to be as laid back about this as possible… we have enough fiqh to worry about without creating more 🙂

    I look forward to your nominations. Also, I had a favor to ask of you while I am at it; would you be interested in adding the Carnival of Brass here to YahyaBirt.com? As a tool to promote the Islamsphere in general it has been quite a success and it woudl be great to have you aboard. I also could use your help in submitting articles ot the Carnival as well.

    Aziz Poonawa, City of Brass

  3. Abu Nauman

    Assalamualaikum
    Great list of British Muslim blogs – thanks for that.
    I have always thought that we were far behind our brothers and sisters in the US when it comes to blogging but having a quick look at your list shows that we are catching up.
    I have recently come across UmmahPulse.co.uk and I would highly recommend it as an excellent group blog.
    Wassalam

    Yahya Akhtar, UK

  4. Yahya Birt

    Salams,

    Dear Aziz, I do have a plan to put in an RSS Feeds page linked off the front page. If you notice I’ve done the same with my links, and taken them off the front page to avoid clutter. So inshaAllah I will get around to it.

    Dear Yahya, thanks for the link. I have come across Ummapulse recently but forgot to put it in my links and hence in my little article. Jazakallahu khayran for flagging it up.

    Regards and salams, Yahya

  5. Assalamu Alaikum,
    I am trying to access the blog Muslim Recovery, but find that the authors have deleted it. Have they moved it, or is it just *poof* gone?

  6. Salam and thanks a lot for sharing all these muslim blogs with us 🙂

    Jazakallahu khair

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