well lets get on to something entirely uncontroversial, Islam! Cool!
The Green Party leadership debate continues to get very small numbers of people on both sides quite fraught and the George Monbiot affair will be discussed in detail when I publish my diary ('More more years of the locust' may be), if some one has not felled me with a cross bow bolt (sustainable wood shaft, recycled tip from green collections mail order) , the archer shouts out empowering leadership before pinning me to the ground and cutting my throat in a caring non violent way.
That's enough leadership Doctor Wall, perhaps you would like to expunge all your published comments on leadership and we will release your kids from the cell where we have been holding them.
Seriously the whole affair is dragging and distracting all from the big questions of getting to a green society....
Anyway I have been reading Reza Aslan's very informative book No God but God, I guess it is from a liberal shia perspective....really unput downable honest, a very interesting book which covers many interesting developments in the history of Islam.
I found the material on Muhammed new and fascinating, I guess the 'fundi' sort, mainstream sunni scholars and the islamaphobes would take issue with much here.
A strong case is put by Aslan for seeing Muhammed as a progressive, progressive on women (in a very very anti-female context), big on social justice. is he correct i would need to read more.
Muhammed died suddenly with no named successor and conflict ensued giving rise to the division between Shia and Sunni Muslim's....no illusions about the horror this gave rise to from Aslan.
This is a good introduction to the idea that Islam can be political and progressively political and the historical context is very very interesting.
Be interesting to read more about the political/theological divisions in early Christianity....from jesus to an imperial power over a few centuries.
Hopefully will get time to read it on the train, as well as working on conference speech.