- For those who are not familiar with your blog, Darvish, could you give a brief summary of it?
The word darvish, which is a Persian pronunciation of dervish, means one who has been initiated into a Sufi order, and so the Darvish blog deals with spiritual matters on the Sufi path of Love. It also has poetry, Sufi exercises, true teaching stories, and lessons from every mystical path.
- How does the Darvish blog reach out to the Muslim community abroad?
Darvish has readers all over the world, and exchanges links with Muslim bloggers in almost every Muslim country. It is a very active community.
- What are you doing to conquer prejudice and stereotypes about Muslims?
The only way to conquer prejudices and stereotypes is with love and with the truth. In expressing the real heart of Islam through the stories and poems and lesson of Sufism, we attempt to show that Muslims are no different than members of any of the religions of the book, that is, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They all worship and believe in one God, though each has a different name for Him, and they all believe in the same values of treating your neighbor as you would wish to be treated, as well as kindness, generosity, charity, forgiveness, and love of family and friends.
- What sort of news or information do you share on your blog to help foster a sense of solidarity for the Muslim community?
Darvish is not a news blog, and rarely political, but it does attempt through the stories, poems and sayings of Sufi masters both past and present, and the traditions and hadiths of the Prophet (peace be unto him), to help foster the inner tradition of Islam, the hospitality and courtesy and manners, called the adab, which are an integral part of Muslim family and community life.
- How does your blog interact with other religious/nonreligious blogs or online organizations?
We interact through the blogroll, by reading each others blogs and commenting on them if appropriate.
- How many readers/supporters follow your blog?
Darvish receives between 250-350 hits per day, and much more during Muslim holy days, such as the fasting month of Ramadan.
7. Does your blog ever promote community involvement or participation in the Islamic communities of your readers?
Not as a rule, but Darvish does support a few particular organizations, such as the Roshni Center in the Northwest frontier region of Pakistan, which promotes education and work for the women there, and Possible Dreams International, which was begun by an Australian medical doctor to help fight HIV/Aids in Swaziland, Africa.
Dr. Laurence Brown is the author of The Eighth Scroll and many other thrillers. For more information, visit: http://www.EighthScroll.com