CSM cover story on American Muslims

Given all the attention that Islam and Muslims get today and all anxiety that exists over their relationship to America, I'm often surprised how little attention is paid to the American Muslims as a community and subculture.For all the provincialism and resentment that reigns in many quarters towards America's increasing ethnic and religious diversity, I think it's fair to say that Muslims are set apart these days by the extent to which they are widely assumed to be intrinsically *foreign*. … [Read more...]

The scourge of Veil Porn

I have a complicated take on veils (by which I mean actual veils, not the headscarves often poetically referred to as such).I think them neither religiously mandated nor ultimately healthy for society. While some women certainly choose it freely and while I concede that veils play a more complex role in some places (especially environments where women lack the relative physical security that Westerners can take for granted), I think the veil's primary function in most, for lack of a better … [Read more...]

Fasting during pregnancy

[This was originally an extended postscript on last week's post, "Yuletide musings on the Ramadan shutdown," but I think the topic warrants its own post and these long postscripts on tangents are distracting. When I have a chance, I'll try to beef it up by adding some links to studies. For now, here is the earlier comment, unedited.]This is a bit of a tangent, but I have to say that I think it's disgraceful how--in this day and age, when new evidence comes out every day showing the serious … [Read more...]

Marriage, motherhood, & the Nuclear Option

There's a wonderful post on Imam Suhaib Webb's website on the need for the Muslim community to recognize that, as important and noble as traditional family roles are, there is an infinity of ways that Muslim women may achieve their spiritual potential and serve their Lord. Here's an excerpt from Maryam Amir-Ebrahim's Wifehood and Motherhood are Not the Only Ways to Paradise: Allah (swt) did not create women for the sake of wifehood or motherhood. This is not our first goal, … [Read more...]

Timely report on French women and the veil

A very timely study on Muslim women and the veil in France has just been released by the Open Society Foundations. It's available for download in English. Unveiling the Truth: Why 32 Women Wear the Full-Face Veil in France | At Home in Europe Project | Open Society Foundations This report from the At Home in Europe Project aims to distinguish myths and misrepresentations surrounding women who wear the full-face veil from the actual experiences and testimonies of the women themselves, by … [Read more...]

Marietal doublestandards about Muslim women

Reacting to an idiotically misogynist comment on my blog, I posted the following status update on Facebook a few days ago.Svend White  is pondering the paradox of American Muslim women professionals finding it so hard to find husbands given how comparatively well educated, integrated and well-to-do American Muslims are.The cavalry always rides the instant in when male privilege gets challenged in any way, so an exchange ensued. Not that this is a terribly significant one, but it does … [Read more...]

A modern-day Scheherazade in Khartoum

A disturbing case of stupidity and intolerance masquerading as Islamic law in Sudan. Sudan trouser woman 'ready for 40,000 lashes' - Yahoo! NewsKHARTOUM (AFP) – A Sudanese journalist facing 40 lashes for wearing "indecent" trousers vowed on the eve of her judgment that she is ready to be whipped 40,000 times in her bid to change the country's harsh laws.Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who works for the media department of the United Nations Mission in Sudan, is to be judged on Tuesday after waiving the i … [Read more...]

The personal is theological

Two years ago, I shared a great cartoon commentary on hijab in  "The infinite varieties of hijab," and wrote:Doing a web search, I came across an entertaining cartoon drawn by Syrian cartoonist Puppeteer cataloging the many styles of hijab out there. Its focus is on Syria, but aside from the Kubeisya it seems pretty universal to me. And every community has its well-meaning but unnerving glarers who more or less share the aesthetic (if not the trademark coat...or the … [Read more...]