I thought I would share a few links to some interesting blog posts that I’ve come across recently.
Although the controversy over the proposed Muslim community center in New York City is somewhat outside the geographic focus of the Western Literature Association blog, this post by Simon Moya-Smith (originally posted on I am Not a Mascot and reposted on the always interesting Native Appropriations blog) makes an interesting connection between the actual treatment of western sacred places and the outcry against the community center. Click on the excerpt for a link to the whole article:
Since time immemorial, the Black Hills in South Dakota have been a holy place for the Lakota Sioux – my people. And to the Lakota the Black Hills is where Life began. Although the story of creation significantly differs between Sioux and Christians (our messenger from The Creator came in the form of a woman) Paha Sapa is not unlike Christianity’s Eden in its significance.
But here is where today’s debate over the mosque and my peoples’ sacred site come together: It didn’t matter to the Christians, those innumerable settlers who came west seeking gold, land, riches and religious freedom (ironically) that the Black Hills was our holy site, our sacred location, our Jerusalem. No. What mattered was that their monument – Mount Rushmore – be chiseled into it.
And the key word here is “on,” not “near.” The American Muslim community wants to build their 13-story mosque near the World Trade Center bombing site, not on it. Only if we – American Indians – were lucky enough to have seen Christians build their much coveted religious institutions and monuments to their leaders near our holy sites, and not on them.
Also, to draw your attention to another new blog of interest, the folks associated with the new film adaptation of James Welsh’s Winter in the Blood have started a blog, which has lost of good stuff about the process of making the film (which is now scheduled to start production in spring 2011): The Official Winter in the Blood Film Blog.