Maya Khan’s Marriage Police

When your everyday news consists of the purported collapse of your government and a small but unfortunate obsession with treating the ill with fake drugs at a major regional cardiology institute, it seems that very few things will actually cause you to upchuck any remaining disgust floating around in your metaphorically ulcer-ridden stomach.Fortunately for Pakistani TV station Samaa, Maya Khan was able to do just that.Okay, so maybe I’ve got too much of a flair for the occasional h … [Read more...]

Reading Too Much into Veenagate

Veena Malik is a Pakistani actress with a special flair for controversy. She first made major headlines after confronting a Mullah who accused her of inappropriate and vulgar behavior while participating on the Indian reality show ‘Bigg Boss.’ Her confrontation was praised by many, as she took a stand against general double-standards thrown at men and women in Pakistani society as well as staunchly stating that she did not need to be told about her religion.“I’m a Muslim woman and I know my … [Read more...]

The Faux Phallic Fatwa

On December 6th, a headline hit Facebook and Twitter feeds that an unnamed Islamic cleric – a Salafi cleric at that – residing in an unnamed European country declared that women were forbidden from touching and eating fruits and vegetables that were phallic shaped unless accompanied by (“preferably”) a male relative who would then have to cut the demon shaped foods into small pieces. The reasoning behind such a fatwa was that these fruits and vegetables would invoke thoughts of sex within the min … [Read more...]

Selective Shivers in the Islamist Winter

The election of the so-called ‘moderate Islamist’ party, Ennahda, to the head seat of the government, has put Tunisia at the center of the discussion on the rise of Islamist post-Arab Spring. Media coverage has focused primarily on the alleged ‘inevitable’ imposition of the headscarf on all women and the possibility of great setbacks to the gains made by Tunisian women.There has been little, if any, actual engagement with the evolving positions and campaigns of the party, as substantial o … [Read more...]

Zehra Fazal’s Shock-n-Schtick

When I clicked on a link forwarded to me, I was pleasantly surprised to see a woman wearing a headscarf with a guitar in hand, an almost rare sight given some socio-communal stigmas associated with music. I was even more intrigued by the subject of the video, “The Ramadan Song”--a take on Adam Sandler's “The Hannukah Song,” with a Muslim angle, of course.The song (from her one-woman show, entitled Headscarf and the Angry Bitch) itself starts off wonderfully, borrowing the melody from the Chri … [Read more...]

Dictatorships Are No Longer in Vogue

What does one of the world’s premier fashion and culture magazines have in common with one of the world’s most relentlessly brutal dictators?A love for Asma al-Assad.In the recent issue of Vogue, writer Joan Juliet Buck profiles Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s charming, educated, eloquent and fashionable wife for her February 2011 piece “Rose in a Desert.” While renowned for exceptional aesthetic preferences, it is apparent that the magazine decided to let good taste take a backseat amidst … [Read more...]

Der Spiegel Highlights the Poor, Slutty Muslim Girls of Europe

Apparently, and without my own knowledge, I, as the generic Muslim female, have been gettin' the haraam on in public washrooms. Der Spiegel recently published a two-part piece looking at the secret sex lives of young European Muslim women.  The article surveys the "shame" that leading sexual lives can bring upon young Muslim women, from varying backgrounds, as well as the danger and general deceit: Young Muslim women are often forced to lead double lives in Europe. They have sex in public … [Read more...]