WISE Reflections on Muslim Women’s Leadership

This year the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) held its third global conference in Istanbul Turkey. The conference, titled “WISE: Muslim Women Leaders at the Frontlines of Change,” lasted just four days, from October 14 to October 17, 2011.  It included panel discussions, debates, and training sessions.This year’s conference was centered on the topic of Muslim women’s leadership. “A Woman’s Place in Islam – Views from Turkish Women” was just one of the featur … [Read more...]

HBO’s “Love Crimes of Kabul”

HBO is set to air “Love Crimes of Kabul” at 9pm tonight as part of their documentary films summer series. This intimate documentary goes inside Badam Bagh, a women’s prison in Kabul, Afghanistan, to tell the stories of three women who are being accused of committing “love crimes” or more commonly termed, “moral crimes”.Among the prison’s 125 female prisoners, those who are there for “moral crimes,” are accused of things that, in most societies, would be termed rebellious at worst. These women, … [Read more...]

Headscarf and the Angry Bitch: A Review of Zehra Fazal’s Play

I recently had the opportunity to see Zehra  Fazal preform her musically-inclined comedy show titled “Headscarf and the Angry Bitch” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  Her one-woman show centers on a fictional character named Zed Headscarf who tours around mosques, giving lectures in order to educate congregants about Islam through her folk songs.Her “lecture series” opened with a discussion of the most basic of topics, with Fazal defining for the audience key words such as halal and haram an … [Read more...]

The Light in Her Eyes: An Eye-Opening Documentary

I stepped into a cozy loft, decorated minimally with Moroccan style tapestry and into an experience I won’t easily forget.The Light in Her Eyes, a documentary film following the story of  Houda al-Habash, the founder and teacher of an all girls’ Qur’an school in Damascus, Syria, sparked my interest about a year ago where, in a similar intimate gathering, I was first able to see the footage gathered.I must admit I was skeptical, even after meeting the charming directors, Julia Meltzer and Laur … [Read more...]

I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim

“An identity neither begins nor ends on a stretch of land, for identity lives within the heart and consciousness. Land erodes, land evolves; it is plundered, and it is cultivated. It is not the master of its destiny. An identity is elusive; it can be neither contained nor defined by standards other than its own. Encompassing, defiant, and alive, the American Muslim identity is that of the ocean, its waves washing over diverse shores and merging their remnants into one entity” Hadia Mubarak This i … [Read more...]

The Women of Deaffinity

Deaffinity is a group whose mission is to “help break barriers and improve the quality of life for the BME [black and minority ethnic] D/deaf community.” While advocating on behalf of the deaf community, Deaffinity provides culturally sensitive services to the Deaf community, such as their Youth leadership and Engagement program, and is also involved in fostering awareness within the hearing community by creating various campaigns.Their most recent campaign, which won first place at the London … [Read more...]

CNN and the Muslim Women Next Door

Coming on the heels of a seemingly endless surge of anti-Muslim bigotry in the U.S., CNN picked the most opportune moment to air its special on Muslims, titled “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door” with reporter Soledad O’Brien.After having been glued to the news in the last couple of weeks, following Rep. Peter King's hearings on Muslim extremism in the United States and the recent display of anti-Muslim bigotry to hit the community of Southern California, I cringed at the title of this docum … [Read more...]