The French “Niqab Ban,” One Year On

Visage découvert poster

A year ago this week, a French law came into effect banning face veils for women.  At the time, the law was subject to much derision for “only” affecting the very specific number of 367 niqab and burqa-clad women (as of 2009) in France, although at its time, the law was thought to concern a couple thousand women.Anything relating to Muslims has long been a political tool in France, be it from the far-right National Front (FN) party, or from President Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement (UM … [Read more...]

Hey Girl, You Got It Covered

Let's try for a little less of this...

The ladies of MMW recieved a link to this video on Twitter. For the videophobes and those who don't want their brain to melt and leak out of their ears, it is a song apparently about hijab called “You Got it Covered.” sampling of the lyrics is as follows: “girl, you’re more than just some skin and a fashion trend”“you remind me that you’re more than just a pretty face/ you remind me that you’re more than just a pr … [Read more...]

Gender, Religion, Custody: The Case of Amina Tarar

Last month, the Lahore High Court made an interesting decision: to hand over a Pakistani child, Amina Tarar, to her French mother.  The case made headlines because the child’s mother, Ingrid Brandon Burger, is a non-Muslim. Amina’s father, Abdul Razzak Tarar, had taken the child from France to Pakistan in 2005, but the parties disagree on whether the mother had consented at the time. What is known is that French courts had given the mother custody shortly prior to Amina leaving the country, and t … [Read more...]

NiqaBitch Did it Better

An-Sofie Dewinter in her niqab-bikini combo. Image via Arrêt sur Images.

As MMW’s Artsy Niqab Spotter, man my hands are full!  If I’m not checking out French performance artists or Swiss campaign posters with minarets and niqabs, there are just so many people using niqabs as their accessory du jour and not enough time to write about them all.  I can’t keep up!So I had to make a choice, and our latest candidate in the “Let’s Play Dress-Up Like Muslim Women and Call it an Edgy, Disruptive Political Statement” is An-Sofie Dewinter, daughter of Filip Dewinter, a l … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Crescent Directive

The Crescent Directive was, for me, a fun but perplexing read.  The concept is simple and noble: it gives guidelines for American Muslims on how to lay a groundwork for action in our communities in order to improve our image in America.Written by Khurram Dara, the book starts out with looking at how Islam and Muslims have evolved in American discourse since 9/11. He then explains the current situation of the American Muslim community and talks about why certain efforts at understanding … [Read more...]

An Update of Sorts on the Sura al-Shawk Case

Sura al-Shawk. Photo via

Almost a year ago, for my very first MMW post, I wrote about Sura al-Shawk, a professional Swiss basketball player from Luzern who was forced to choose between wearing her headscarf and playing professional basketball due to the supposed “uniform” regulations of the local and national basketball associations, both affiliated with FIBA, the International Basketball Federation.Last March, after my original article was published, the regional courts in Luzern ruled that al-Shawk must go thro … [Read more...]

“Me, the Muslim Next Door” – What Muslim Reality Shows Should Be

Dania from "Me, the Muslim Next Door

One of the main criticisms of TLC’s All American Muslim was that the show’s characters were representative of only a small part of the American Muslim community.  If you felt that way, then a great antidote is “Me, the Muslim Next Door,” a web documentary produced for Radio Canada International.  Filmed in Montreal and Toronto in both English and French, “Me the Muslim Next Door” is over two hours of audio, video, and still photography, broken up into 4-6 minute segments, with each of the show’s … [Read more...]