As-salamu Alaykum (peace be upon you), Dear Readers...
NEW for September 18, 2016:
This blog has MOVED to the Muslim Writers Club, a new website dedicated to all of your writing needs.
Here are some of the pages you will find on the new site:
Jobs and Internships for Muslim Writers – Check out the latest opportunities.
Freelance Markets for Muslim Writers – A list of magazines, newspapers, and websites that want to work with YOU, insha'Allah. Includes many paying markets.
Book Publishers of Interest to Muslim Writers – Have you written a book? Start your search for a publisher here.
Contests & Events for Muslim Writers - Competitions, courses, webinars, and more. Don't miss the fun!
Writing Activities for Muslim Children – Coming Soon!
Q&A Page - Get your questions about the art (and business) of writing answered.
Articles and Other Resources – Even more resources for Muslim writers.
Hope to see you at the new site, Insha'Allah!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Where do you draw the line?
The other day, I received an e-mail from someone who is seeking freelance bloggers to write about love and relationships from a Muslim perspective. It is a low-paying market that pays $10 per post. The hiring website is a popular mainstream website that focuses exclusively on "love and relationships."
Upon visiting the site, I found it did not meet my personal standards for a halal writing opportunity. The vast majority of content published on the site is contrary to Muslim values and includes advertisements and articles that discuss (and promote) dating, premarital relations, drinking alcohol, and other practices that are alien to Islam.
Browsing the site, I saw a few articles discussing relationship issues from Jewish and Christian perspectives, so it seems that the site is branching out to include Muslims as well. It is not, however, a religious site, and most of the articles have nothing to do with religion at all.
When Sr. Sadaf and I discussed a similar ad back in 2008, we both thought that writing for sites of this nature could be risky for Muslims striving to please Allah SWT with their writing. On the plus side, you would be reaching out to thousands of people and educating them about love and marriage from an Islamic perspective. There is a genuine need for this. Unfortunately, however, your articles would be surrounded by countless objectionable links, photos, ads and articles by other authors. Your articles would drive pageviews to the site and cause others to view haram content. This, in turn, would be a source of increased revenue for the site as a whole, and your own income might be tainted.
"Opportunities" like this present a real conundrum to me. If this blogging position is to exist, then I would certainly prefer that a knowledgeable Muslim do the writing. In the wrong hands, such a column could turn into something rather distasteful or present a distorted image of what Islam says about love and relationships. Nevertheless, concerned Muslims might do better to establish their own (independent) blogs/sites on these very important topics and not rush to write for mainstream sites just because they are popular. "Love" is a sacred topic in Islam and should be written about in the most dignified and serious manner possible.
Longtime readers of this blog know that I regularly encourage Muslims to write about Islamic topics for mainstream sites, but this particular site is not one I would feel comfortable linking to. There is a line that must be drawn, and the racy photographs and headlines are (to me) just too bold to ignore.
What are your views on this topic? Should Muslim writers be seeking increased visibility on sites like the one I have described? Where do you draw the line?