A Letter to Mona Eltahawy on “Headscarves and Hymens”

Dear Mona,Some of my fellow Muslimah Media Watch writers put together a roundtable about their thoughts on your book, and as I read it, I decided to explore some of their ideas and thoughts further. This review in the form of a letter stems from the need to address not only the book itself, but also the themes that are the core of your work in general.“Headscarves and Hymens” is a personal book. In fact, the information in this book is at times so intimate that you explain, “I have had to … [Read more...]

Do Women have a Voice in the Qur’an? Review of “Recovering the Female Voice in Islamic Scripture.”


I started reading “Recovering the Female Voice in Islamic Scripture” by Georgina L. Jardim a few weeks ago. As I approached the end of the book, I was traveling and got to read the conclusion by the beaches of the Caribbean Sea. I write this as a way of placing myself into the reading of this book. My latest academic endeavours include intersectional feminist, Indigenous feminist and decolonial literature, which have influenced and transformed the ways in which now I read the texts of prominent M … [Read more...]

On Sex Work and “Muslimness” as a Fetish

Mia Khalifa via Genius.com

Before I go right into this post, I think I should make some things clear. This is not a post about the “moral” or religious side of sex work. In fact, very much the opposite. It is rather an analysis of how sex work is depicted in intersection with Muslim identity and traditionally Muslim garments like the hijab and the niqab.You will note that I use the term “sex work” rather than prostitution, which from some perspectives is a colonial term meant to target Indigenous women in countries lik … [Read more...]

Reconsidering Muslim Dating & Expectations


One of my very first projects at Muslimah Media Watch was to review dating sites. The experience of discussing how we use technology to find a mate (here, here, here and here) baffled me a little because of the gendered and racialized aspects that I found while doing research. Later on, I also discovered that the bulk of people profiting from these sites are men, which added to my discomfort. A few years later, I had the opportunity to review Hipster Shaadi, which later evolved into Ishqr. This … [Read more...]

From Che Guevara to Malala


In my humble (maybe not so much) opinion, Latin Americans feel a strong attachment to charismatic figures. Think for example, of Che Guevara. Che Guevara is drilled into our minds since an early age as a symbol of justice, leadership and true revolutionary Latin American spirit. In fact, even thinking about challenging the idea of what Che Guevara means to my Latin American identity makes me nervous!However, much of what we say about Che Guevara has more to do with what he means to our … [Read more...]

Death, Grief and Womanhood


I must admit, I can’t wait until the year is over. I have had a difficult year first dealing with my partner’s passing, and then trying to figure out what follows the grieving process. Right after Saad’s passing, I found that my Muslim community had a rather complex and unexplored relationship with death. Many of my fellow Muslims did not only tell me that I should have gotten over Saad’s death after three days, as some traditions mandate; but some felt so uncomfortable having a young, “single” w … [Read more...]

Dear Muslim Leaders: I am a Convert not an “Extremist”


  A few months ago I was applying for a job when I was suddenly required to attend an in-person interview with a member of the intelligence services. I was interviewed by a white male, who very politely went on to ask me questions for the next two hours. The most puzzling part of the interview though was that I suddenly saw my life through a very gendered lens.I was asked about my conversion to Islam and whether or not a “boyfriend” had tried to recruit me for the purposes o … [Read more...]