Law & Order’s Lovesick Jihad Jane

The story of Colleen LaRose, an American citizen charged with terrorist-related crimes, made headlines last March as Americans were assured that yet another terrorist plot had been foiled. Colleen La Rose, infamously known as “Jihad Jane,” was pictured all over the news, described in most cases as a victim of brainwashing. Captivated by the fact that a woman, instead of a man, was behind a terrorist plot, the media zoomed in on the life of Colleen LaRose, delving into areas of her love life and e … [Read more...]

Wishing Upon an Afghan Star

The images that Afghanistan conjures are usually ones that mirror front-page stories of newspapers around the world: armed Taliban crouching at the entry of a mountain cave, women in burqas, and images of public stonings are just a few that are constantly associated with the country.HBO is schedule to air a two-part documentary that paints a broader picture of Afghanistan and its women. The first part titled, “Afghan Star,” named for Afghanistan’s first televised singing competition, follows th … [Read more...]

A Far-Reaching Film Fest

In January of this year, philanthropist Leslie Sacks, human rights lawyer Catinca Tabacaru and a team of extraordinary women came together to create Women's Voices Now, an organization based in New York whose aim is to “empower women and give voice to the struggle for civil, economic, and political rights.”This group of women has wasted no time in carrying out their mission. Already hosting what is being called the “first-ever international showcase of short films about Islam and women,” Women’ … [Read more...]

ABC’s Show About Biases Reveals its Own

ABC’s “What Would You Do?” creates controversial scenarios using actors, filming and then analyzing the resulting responses of bystanders to the situations unfolding before their eyes. Host John Quiñones stands by as people react to morally questionable situations by stepping in or backing out, catching them at the last moment to ask them to explain their reactions, whether heroic, shameful or passive. The show is usually entertaining and thought provoking, but the latest episode was simply offen … [Read more...]

The Fourth Annual International Congress On Islamic Feminism

In late October, this year’s Fourth Annual International Congress on Islamic Feminism was held in Madrid, Spain. The conference encompassed Islamic feminism in Palestine, America, Malaysia, Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan, inviting speakers from various backgrounds to explain what it means to be an Islamic feminist and how this role has manifested itself in various cultural and national settings to bring about a positive change for Muslim women.Among the participants were Zahira Kamal, former M … [Read more...]

Funny or Far-Fetched? Ghada Abdel Aal’s I Want to Get Married

It reads as if the pages were lifted right from the script of Mad Men. Dozens of eager women primping and pinning every loose strand of hair into place, applying the last touch of lipstick, giving each other catty glares and then waiting, like sitting ducks, to be called upon by the handsome leading male character.Only this isn’t 1960s New York City, where the ability to lure males to bed means notoriety and these aren’t a couple of secretaries working in an ad agency. This is modern-day Egy … [Read more...]

A Poignant Poet: Anida Yoeu Ali and the 1700% Project

The headlines are hard to ignore: “Muslim Cabdriver Stabbed in New York Bias Attack;” “Vandalism at Madera mosque one of several incidents under investigation by Justice Department;” “Obama Weighs in as Plan to Burn Quran Sparks Debate.” These are just to name a few stories of hate that seem to be a part of the never-ending attack on Islam and Muslims.Fighting back against this anti-Muslim rhetoric and against these acts of violence is a most unlikely character. Her name is Anida Yoeu Ali and s … [Read more...]