Okay, first off, as a warning, this post has nothing really to do with Islam or Islamic history, and is only tangentially relevant to those who are not US citizens.
I debated for the last few days whether to black out this site in protest of SOPA and PIPA. And, as you can tell, obviously I didn’t. There was a lot of internal debate that went into this decision – that this site’s readership is about half international and half American, but at the same time, SOPA and PIPA could potentially affect people all over the world, since the internet isn’t region-locked; that the whole purpose of this site is to make sure information on Islam is available, but the whole point of the protest is to highlight how much of the internet is devoted to providing information . . . in the end, I couldn’t really decide, so this is my half-way solution.
If you want to know more about SOPA and PIPA, here’s some useful links for you – there’s a useful discussion of SOPA and PIPA on reddit, there’s a very good response to criticisms of the blackout on Wil Wheaton’s blog, and if you are so inclined to contact your Senators, there’s a handy-dandy tumblr for that. Also go check out The Oatmeal, as at least of the one’s I’ve seen so far, they win for having the cutest blackout page.
If you’re not an American citizen, then none of this really applies to you, and I apologize that us Yanks are screwing with your internets for the day. I’m also really, really sorry if PIPA passes, and we screw up your internets permanently.
If you are an American citizen, then as a personal favor to me (who is, after all, someone you have never met who, as far as you know, lives in the internet), if you are so inclined to write to your Senator, please don’t do it because I told you to. Or because wikipedia told you to, or facebook, or Wil Wheaton, or anyone else. Please educate yourself first, and then, if you agree with our side, please contact your Senator. I know we’ve all gotten used to the ‘increase awareness of people who’ve been eaten by dragons by listing your bra size on facebook’ kind of political action in the last few years, but please remember that contacting your Senator *is* a form a political action, ever bit as much as voting or running for office or giving money to a campaign. It should represent *your* beliefs and opinions, *your* understanding of what’s best of our country.