Afghani women still subject to violence

The topic of this report isn't Islam or Afghani religious beliefs but I think it's still very relevant to our contemporary debates about gender relations in Islam, as it's an illustration of the savage practices many of us used to support,  whether actively or passively, in the name of Islam. There was a time, before the international media shamed us into reexamining our priorities, when many, many Muslims effusively praised the Taliban for being "traditional" (by which was often … [Read more...]

Shabana on “Clothes, Class and Religion”

My better half just blogged insightfully about the intersection of money, class and gender among North American Muslims. Some excerpts:The most high-profile second-generation American Muslims of immigrant origin tend to be high-income, upwardly mobile, elitist. And very fashion-conscious.As a result, their notions of "modesty" are pricey ones. These notions are pretty specific. The clearance aisle at KMart does not cater to these notions of modesty. Heck, Marshall's doesn't. Sears … [Read more...]

Why European women are turning to Islam

I'm not one of these Muslims who measure Muslim "success" or Islam's validity by conversion rates, but I found this article enlightening: "Why European women are turning to Islam" by Peter Ford.The death of Muriel Degauque, a Belgian convert who blew herself up in a suicide attack on US troops in Iraq last month, has drawn fresh attention to the rising number of Islamic converts in Europe, most of them women.This subject is close to my heart, as my mother was a European … [Read more...]

A good “mullah”

There's an unsung hero in the Muktaran Mai case, and it's not the usual suspect.  Saleem H. Ali writes in The Daily Times ("A Maulvi that mattered") about how  Mai's village religious leader Maulvi Abdul Razzaq courageously spoke out from the pulpit at Friday prayers against the heinouse crime committed against her, supported her personally, and even urged her to seek justice when she was waivering.  At a time when this woman was suicidal (the article notes that she … [Read more...]

Muslim Miss England raises some eyebrows

Some stimulating observations by Junaid Quadri about the coronation of an Afghani-born Muslim woman as Miss England. Junaid reports how one rather benighted "leader" in the UK went so far as to more less declare the woman a kafir.  Now, I think beauty pageants are silly, demeaning spectacles devoid of redeeming features--the explanation provided by another Muslim contestant that her involvement was motivated by the noble objective of proving the existence of "attractive … [Read more...]

The Dars Ladies

Shabana wrote a wonderful, brilliant piece about "The Dars Lady" phenomenon among older Pakistani women (does it happen in other communities too?).    … [Read more...]

Misplaced priorities over Sania Mirza

My wife Shabana wrote an article in alt.muslim a few days ago about the doublestandards and problematic attitudes on display among manyof Sania Mirza's critics. … [Read more...]

Women & mosques: Giving credit where it’s due

UmmZaid  made the following observation about my entry on "Muslim organizations waking up to discrimination in mosques"Salaam 'Alaikum"I'd wonder if this wasn't a cynical PR move by hardliners in the establishment who've been embarassed by the Asra Nomani crusade..."I just have to point out, b/c this point seems to be missed time and again, that although CAIR released the document, it was written by Shahina Siddiqui and done in conjunction with Women in Islam, led by the … [Read more...]