Banning Burkinis Won’t Stop Muslim Integration

“Jump in – I’ll catch you!” My swim teacher is patient. I am 7 years old. My new bathing suit is shiny. My hair is in a bun under the swim cap. This is my third false start. I take a deep breath, close my eyes. Finally, I jump. Freckled shoulders, dark eyes, a supportive smile. “You did it! Now let’s [Read More…]

Blackface in Amsterdam

A few years ago, I came across David Sedaris’s essay 6 to 8 Black Men, a  light-hearted look at how the Dutch celebrate the Christmas season holiday of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) and his servant Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Sinterklaas is similar to Santa Claus; he rewards good children with presents for their good behavior. The [Read More…]

An American Hijabi in Europe

  I first visited The Netherlands in 2008, when I was part of a delegation of American Muslims who were invited to learn about the integration of Muslim immigrants there. My most vivid memories of that trip are of conversations I had with young Muslims about their relationship with Dutch national identity. When a young [Read More…]