Book Review: Muslim American Women on Campus by Shabana Mir

[Source].

As an American Muslimah who graduated from an American university in 2004, I was very interested to read Shabana Mir’s new book Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity, to see how her conclusions lined up with my experiences. In this book, Mir looks at how Muslim women students forge their social and religious identities on campus. In doing so, she touches on three main themes (which we can agree could be the great unifiers of any college experience): clothing, b … [Read more...]

Ramadan for One

Having moved to a new city two years ago, and going through some changes in my personal life last year, my “Zurich-era” Ramadans have become rather solitary affairs.  I’m away from family, I’m away from what I consider “my” masjid, and I live alone. Since I tend to be an introvert and my day job keeps me busy, I’m not as upset about it as I could be.  Before, my Ramadans ebbed and flowed with the cultural expectations that Ramadan absolutely MUST include copious amounts of cooking, tons of guests … [Read more...]

It’s Almost 2013 and Yet We Still Have to Write About This Stuff

I do feel a twinge of guilt at the hipster irony of being the white girl here (there’s a joke somewhere I am sure) but can we talk about this article from The Telegraph?  With the title “The Unique Advantage of Female War Reporters in Muslim Countries,” we are treated to the special version of the weak sauce “third gender” argument, because, you know, all Muslim men only respect white women professionals, the third gender; and we (white women) have special access to Mozrab field reporting. The ar … [Read more...]

Recent Good News Out of Switzerland

Girls in headscarves enter a school. Image via RTS.ch.

Courts in the Swiss canton of Thurgau have overturned on appeal the cantonal school district’s decision to forbid two Albanian girls from wearing the headscarf to school.  The story begins in 2011, when two 14-year-old girls were forbidden from wearing their headscarves to classes.  What ensued was a two-year legal battle that saw the school’s decision approved once by the courts, then now overturned. Surprising to me is that the ruling found that a blanket ban on headscarves was dispr … [Read more...]

French Magazine Le Point’s Shameless Headline

November 1 cover of Le Point.

France is and will always be my special soapbox, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when crap like this comes out. On November 1st, the magazine ran a cover with a niqabi (OF COURSE) on the front, with the headline “Cet Islam sans gêne” (This Brazen Islam), with a sub-headline of examples of where Muslims are behaving badly: schools, cafeterias, pools, schools, school programs. Note that in France these are always the examples of Muslims behaving badly, the actual content is such weak sauce I wo … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Islamophobia Industry

Cover of The Islamophobia Industry. Image via Pluto Press.

Nathan Lean’s book The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims is a look at the pernicious ways in which anti-Muslim sentiment is fostered, both in the US and to a smaller extent in Europe.Although MMW is primarily focused on Muslim women in the media and their issues, I chose to review this book anyway because it lends context to the issues that affect us. In recent months, I have been told that Islamophobia doesn’t exist (and is just a fabrication of the victim men … [Read more...]

When Laïcité Goes Wrong, or When Burqa Checks Start Getting Real

Since the anti-burqa law (or whatever you want to call it, I can’t anymore) was passed in France, women with “full cover” can be cited for non-compliance, and can be stopped for identity checks.  We all remember the story of the polygamous butcher and his many niqab-clad wives gleefully committing welfare fraud.  One of his wives was stopped while driving, and it was argued that she was pulled over, not for a traditional traffic offense, but because she was driving with a niqab on (which is why s … [Read more...]


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