This is one of those half-brained ideas I came up with yesterday while doing some googling for good articles on the niqaab ban. There are people I love to read–many of them are listed to the right, in my blogroll–but there are some people I think ought to be read by everyone (or, at least everyone with similar interests to mine!). Thus, a new tradition is born: Each Friday, I will recommend 5 writers whose work I can’t get enough of. Boom.
- Ethan Zuckerman: I’m guessing this one is obvious to many of my readers, but I’m going to offer it up just in case someone has no idea. Ethan is an incredible thinker on issues ranging from technology in Africa to the net freedom debate to global Internet memes to …sumo wrestling… and is one of my personal heroes. The founder of Global Voices, Ethan has risen to academic stardom without being a traditional academic. He’s also a star conference blogger; I often find myself reading his posts from speakers at conferences I missed. And this week, he gave his very first TED talk. He mostly writes on his blog, but you may occasionally spot an op-ed.
- Fatemeh Fakhraie: Ever since I discovered Fatemeh on Twitter, I’ve been following her blog posts and columns around the Web. An Iranian-American Muslim, she writes on Islam and religion in general at numerous places around the Web, including altmuslimah, Muslimah Media Watch, and Religion Dispatches. Her sometimes snark-filled, sometimes courageous pieces are a must-read for anyone interested in race, religion, and feminism (and particularly any intersections therein).
- Kenan Malik: For people deeply involved in free speech issues in the Arab and Muslim worlds, the Salman Rushdie affair is the quintessential example of the challenges presented. Kenan Malik, a contributor to Foreign Policy, has just written a book on the subject. And how timely, given that levels of Internet and media censorship continue to rise in the region. Malik also writes on race, politics, and Islam, often taking a strong stance in favor of free speech (sample post: a defense of Geert Wilders).
- Glenn Greenwald: Another potentially obvious one. Greenwald’s no-bullshit approach to politics–both domestic and foreign–have earned him plenty of fans, and plenty of enemies. Much of Greenwald’s writing focuses on media bias and transparency–or the lack thereof–in the U.S., but his Salon column also serves as a good source on a variety of topics: Israel and Palestine, the U.S. occupation of Iraq, even gay marriage. He’s also an active tweeter.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates: This is one blog I read almost daily. To be honest, I don’t agree with Coates probably 25% of the time, but I love that his blog is a mishmash of everything: comic books, hip hop, racism, and plenty of other stuff. And he’s writing a book on the civil war (and has written a book on his upbringing, which I own but have yet to read). Most of all, I appreciate Coates’s introspective tone, open-mindedness, and willingness to engage with his many readers (as he does, frequently, in the comments section of the blog).