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Presenting the winners of the Fourth Annual Brass Crescent Awards
On behalf of all the organizers, we would like to thank the more than 1,000 people who voted in this year's Brass Crescent Awards! The winners and runners-up, along with all nominees, are listed below. Special thanks to all those who blogged about the awards and helped to spread the word!

Winners and Honorable Mentions may contact us to receive a badge announcing their achievement if they desire.


BEST BLOG:
This category honors the most indispensable, Muslim-authored blog there is. Period.

Spirit 21 (Shelina Zahra Janmohamed)
Nominators call Shelina Janmohamed's Spirit 21 "intellectual without being overbearing" and "insightful".

WINNER
Jihad of Umar (Umar Lee)
Umar Lee's Jihad of Umar is "one of the most popular blogs" on Muslim issues, created "because we needed it."

HONORABLE MENTION

Ali Eteraz
Known for his contributions to the Huffington Post and Comment is Free, Ali Eteraz's personal blog is called "thought-provoking" and "intelligent" by fans.
Mind, Body, Soul (Yursil Kidwai)
Brass Crescent veteran Yursil Kidwai's "Mind, Body, Soul" is called "all around wonderful" by one fan. "Just read his entries," says another.

Tariq Nelson
Tariq Nelson's blog is called "reliable" and "thought provoking without being offensive" with discussions that "manage to bring it back to deen."
Musings on the Britannic Crescent (Yahya Birt)
"Well thought out" and "well researched," Musings is City Circle director Yahya Birt's personal blog.

MOST DESERVING OF WIDER RECOGNITION:
Which blog is a true diamond in the rough, one that everyone should be reading but who most just haven't heard of (yet)?

The Islamicist
The mysterious Islamicist writes the "funniest posts this year" in a "post-9/11 confessional." "A comic talent in the making."

WINNER
HijabMan & KufiGirl
The ubiquitous HijabMan runs a "quirky blog" that delves into subjects "below the radar on most blogs." "Needs more attention."

HONORABLE MENTION

The Cutting Edge (Nafeez Ahmed)
Britain's Nafeez Ahmed's writes a "refreshing, much needed and comprehensively researched" blog with "much to say."
Sweep The Sunshine (Yasmine)
"Quirky, stylish and hilarious" blogger Yasmine "speaks her mind" and "spreads the poetry."

Rolled-Up Trousers (Osama Saeed)
"Does this man do any work?" asks a fan of Scotland's Osama Saeed. "Whatever the topic, he's already written about it."


BEST DESIGN:
Which blog has the most aesthetically pleasing site design, appealing to the eye, evoking Islamic themes, and/or facilitating debate and discussion?

Deenport
Blog and information aggregator DeenPort's technical wizardry earned it a place on this list.

WINNER
Sunni Sister (Umm Zaid)
The SunniSister blog was nominated for Sheba Sanders' "Persian" template, which is currently displayed on the page.

HONORABLE MENTION

Nzhinga's Soap Box
Fans of Nzingha's Soap Box call her an "online scrapbooker" whose blog has a "look is always uniquely her."
Hadithuna
Admirers of the Muslim blog host site Hadithuna like its clean interface, bold fonts, and clever use of scripting.

Concealed Pearls (Snowdrops and Ayla)
This joint blog by two Muslim sisters, Snowdrops and Ayla, features their own custom flower motifs.

BEST FEMALE BLOG:
The woman's voice in Islam is equal to the man's, and in the Islamsphere we seek to make sure the female perspective is highlighted and given its rightful due. Which Muslim woman's blog has done the most to explore the role that women play within Islam and society?

Spirit 21 (Shelina Zahra Janmohamed)
Shelina Janmohamed's Spirit 21 is written "with authority," a "high standard of English," and an "interesting insight."

WINNER
Muslimah Media Watch (Zeynab Sarbaazi)
Zeynab Sarbaazi's blog "reports on Muslim women in a refreshing way," with a "deconstruction of sexism, Islamophobia, and racism."

HONORABLE MENTION

Nzhinga's Soap Box
Nzingha is "honest and insightful" about Saudi Arabia, but "never makes Islam look bad in the process." Plus, "she's hilarious."
Achelois (Suroor)
Suroor's Achelois blog was lauded for its "invigorating intellectual debates" sprinkled "with personal anecdotes... surrounding women and Islam."

Lightness of Being (Maliha)
Maliha of Lightness of Being is called "an amazing, wonderful writer" who "never ceases to touch us deeply. Each post "blows me away."

BEST GROUP BLOG:
Which multiple group blog in the Islamsphere has the best diversity of writers and the most interesting debate on Muslim issues?

Indian Muslims
A group blog featuring Indian Muslims that "is an excellent source of information and opinion" with "an eclectic mix."

WINNER
Muslim Matters
The new group blog Muslim Matters has an "amazing diversity of opinion" about Islam which "has taken off unbelievably."

HONORABLE MENTION

Aqoul
Previous nominee Aqoul is called a "favorite read" with "fresh perspectives from one of the most misunderstood regions on Earth."
Austrolabe
Past winner Austrolabe "continues to deliver thoughtful commentary," recognised by The Guardian as one of the top religion blogs.

Disconnected Verses
The members of Disconnected Verses "are a talented bunch" with a "unique concept" and "creative writing by young Muslim women."

BEST MIDEAST/CENTRAL ASIAN BLOG:
The Islamsphere is truly a global phenomenon. In Iraq, despite the chaos and uncertainty, there is a sea change of free speech and expression, the vanguard of which are blogs. There are also bloggers in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Palestine, Jordan, and most other countries that host Muslims, all of whom have their own perspectives on faith, culture, and politics.

Raising Yousuf, Unplugged (Laila El-Haddad)
Long time favorite Leila El-Haddad offers an "inside view of the situation in Palestine" coupled with the stories of raising her young son.

WINNER
Sabbah's Blog
Palestinian exile Sabbah, now in Bahrain, writes "one of the most popular Middle Eastern blogs" on the Internet.

HONORABLE MENTION

Between Hope & Fear
Written by "The Muse", Between Hope and Fear "explores Egypt - culturally, artistically, politically."
Nzhinga's Soap Box
Multiple nominee Nzingha offers "some of the best, most honest, and most provocative writing" on the Middle East.

Living In Egypt (Maryanne Stroud)
Living in Egypt's Maryanne "tells the story of what she sees and hears in and around Cairo" with "thoughtful, insightful, and objective" comments.

BEST SOUTH/SOUTHEAST ASIAN BLOG:
The Islamsphere is truly a global phenomenon. In Iraq, despite the chaos and uncertainty, there is a sea change of free speech and expression, the vanguard of which are blogs. There are also bloggers in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Palestine, Jordan, and most other countries that host Muslims, all of whom have their own perspectives on faith, culture, and politics.

An Indian Muslim's Blog
The Indian Muslim's Blog is "journalistic" and "quite classy in it's content and convictions."

WINNER
The Other Malaysia (Farish Noor)
Farish Noor's The Other Malaysia provides "great insight" into a fascinating country. "No other Malaysian blog like it."

HONORABLE MENTION

Fug's Blog
Fugstar gives "a different perspectives on the happenings of Bangladesh" with "Islam-centric" analysis. "It's different, I assure you."
All Things Pakistan
The "wide-ranging, funny, sad and insightful commentary" on Pakistaniat covers "the local chipwala, to Edhi, to the General himself."

Frida's Notebook
Written by a development worker in Afghanistan, Frida shares "humanizing tales of Afghanistan."

BEST NON-MUSLIM BLOG:
Which blog writen by a non-Muslim is most respectful of Islam and seeks genuine dialogue with Muslims?

Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Professor Juan Cole's "excellent description on Iraqi/Middle East/Muslim issues" is full of "informed thoughts" on foreign policy.

WINNER
On the Face (Lisa Goldman)
Past winner Lisa Goldman's posts about encounters with Palestinians, Lebanese, and other members of the Arab world "are always excellent."

HONORABLE MENTION

Jews Sans Frontieres (Mark Elf)
The "authoritative" Jewish anti-Zionist blog Jews Sans Frontieres challenges "disinformation, polemic and cant" in the media.
Unclaimed Territory (Glenn Greenwald)
Glenn's "sympathy for the Muslim predicament" and his "dismantling of the excuses" for Iraqi and Palestinian suffering make him a "friend of Muslims."

Ultrabrown
The "Indo-centric" Ultrabrown group blog by those of South Asian descent is both "stylish and fun."

BEST POST OR SERIES:
Which single post or group of posts in the Islamsphere was the most original and important, above all the others?

Umar Lee, Rise and Fall of the Salafi Dawah in the US

Umar Lee's personal experiences of the Salafi Movement in America is a "must read for all Muslims" and among "the best series... over the year."

WINNER
Ali Eteraz at Comment is Free, Islamic Reform
(parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7)

Ali Eteraz's "thought-provoking whirlwind tour" of seven posts on Islamic Reform in the Guardian's Comment is Free is "earth-shattering."

HONORABLE MENTION

Chapati Mystery, Pakistan Round Up
(parts 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6)

Chapati Mystery provides "great coverage of Pakistan since the emergency" and features "wonderful satirical paintings by Lapata."
A Muslim Think-tank, Muslims and the New EU
(parts 2, 3, 4, & 5)

These five posts cover a "longer-term approach" to issues in Britain which have "never been treated so seriously before - and in an engaging manner."

Naeem's Blog, Workout Nafs and Qalb
(parts 2 & 3)

In "Workout Nafs and Qalb", Parts 1, 2, and 3, Naeem uses exercise as a metaphor for spiritual strengthening.

BEST MULTIMEDIA BLOG:
Which multimedia blog - podcasts, video blogs, or photo essays - makes the best use of the latest technology to entertain and enlighten using Muslim themes?

The Reminder Series (Baba Ali)
The wildly popular video blogger Baba Ali provides "humorous, witty, and original" anecdotes about Muslim life.

WINNER
Islamophonic (Riazat Butt)
Riazat Butt, a reporter for the UK's Guardian newspaper, started Islamophonic as a side project and ended up with an award-winning podcast.

HONORABLE MENTION

Frida's Notebook Photoblog
A "great photo blog" that "speaks thousands of words as we read the light in the eyes of Afghanis she meets."
MeccaOne Podcast (Omair Ali)
Omair Ali's MeccaOne podcast provides analysis and insight from Silicon Valley, and regularly features scholars from the Zaytuna Institute.

Al-Miskeenah (Nur Um-Bilal)
Nur Um-Bilal's "wonderful eyewitness photos from the Two Holy Cities "keep us all connected to that beautiful place."

BEST IJTIHAD:
Which blogger is the most stimulating, insightful, and philosophical, providing the best rebuttals to extremist ideology and making an impact whenever they post?

Ali Eteraz
The ever present Ali Eteraz is "controversial" but "brilliant and a provacative pleasure to read."

WINNER
Akram's Razor (Svend White)
Svend White "knows his religion" and "brings it incisively into the modern world of academia." Plus, "he talks about fun geek stuff too!"

HONORABLE MENTION

The Cutting Edge (Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed)
"Sublimely authoritative" Nafeez Ahmed analyses the geo-political economy and "challenges mainstream reporting and interpretations."
From Clay (Ibrahim Abusharif)
From Clay's Ibrahim Abusharif has "prose and insights that knock your socks off" and is "a master of the writing craft."

God, Faith & a Pen (Hesham Hassaballa)
The prolific Dr. Hassaballa offers "sincere advice" that is "near saccharine" but "always heartfelt."
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About the Brass Crescent Awards
Aziz Poonawalla and Shahed Amanullah started the Brass Crescent Awards in 2004 with the purpose of promoting the best writing of the Muslim web and exposing them to a greater number of readers, and with your help we seem to have succeeded. We are humbled and overwhelmed by the response that the awards have been given by the nominees, winners, and voters, and hope to improve and expand the awards to more effectively serve the growing community of Muslim bloggers.

The Brass Crescent Awards are awarded on an annual basis, based on the Islamic calendar. Nominations begin immediately after Ramadan, with a panel of judges narrowing the nominees down to five in each category. Voting then begins and concludes shortly before Eid al-Adha, when the winners in each category are announced.