Switzerland’s Latest Referendum: No Uglies Allowed

On November 28th, the Swiss voted in one of their many referendums. The topic of this referendum was the deportation of criminal foreigners. This seems innocent enough, but the Swiss, at least for one local party, found a way to give it an anti-female anti-Islam twist.  Sadly, this initiative, spearheaded (as usual) by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP/UDC in French) passed at almost 53%, albeit with a low participation rate by Swiss standards.Known for its colorful campaign posters with “Islamic t … [Read more...]

The One Day, One Struggle Campaign

November 9th was the second international “One Day, One Struggle” campaign, organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslims Societies (CSBR). Fifty participants from 20 human rights organizations, universities, and municipalities from 12 countries from the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia worked together to call for public attention for issues such as sexual education, sexual health, bodily autonomy, LGBT rights, sexual diversity in Islam, and sexuality and S … [Read more...]

A Little Old Lady vs. A Burqa-Clad Mob: The Sweden Democrats’ Banned Campaign Ad

A political ad that portrays a pensioner hobbling forward for a share of the national budget only to be overtaken by a crowd of burqa-clad women pushing baby carriages has been rejected by a Swedish TV channel on the grounds that it promotes religious hatred.The campaign ad for the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) party begins with a number signifying Sweden's national budget rapidly decreases onscreen, while a female voice over notes that "all policies are about prioritizing." As the number … [Read more...]

Striking the Wrong Note: Melody TV’s Sexist Ads

Egyptian satellite TV station Melody has struck the wrong chord with audiences. The station, based out of Cairo, is famous for its MTV-like youth appeal. The network of five channels (including an English-only channel) broadcasts a variety of pop culture, youth culture, and music videos.Their ongoing promotional campaigns, however successful, are leaving a bad taste in the mouth of some Egyptians, who find the commercials’ irreverent humor and sexual infatuation to be too risqué for the st … [Read more...]

A Woman Without Hijab is Like a Chair with Three Legs

If you still haven’t figured out that wearing black chadors will save your worldly soul and that wearing lipstick and heels will get you sent to the hellfire, Iran’s “Cyber Group for Promoting Chastity and the Veil [Ifaf]" is here to clear that up for you.  They are sponsored by the Iranian government and have a sleek website where you can view their posters, buy t-shirts, and brush up on hijab laws in Iran!They have a new ad campaign for “good hijab” (because, you know, chastity really only ha … [Read more...]

“Really Dutch:” On Consumerism and National Identity

Al Nisa (Arabic for “the women”), a Muslim woman’s organization based out of the Netherlands, has found a new and eye-catching way to combat misconceptions about Muslim women in the Netherlands.In early May they launched their campaign titled, “Really Dutch.” This poster campaign features Muslim women, pictured wearing a headscarf, doing things which are “Dutch.”What is “Dutch,” you ask? According to the posters, drinking tea and eating herring are things which are indicative of one’s Dutch-n … [Read more...]

Ufone Commercials: the Positives and Negatives

While wasting time on YouTube, I recently came across a series of Pakistani commercials for the phone service Ufone. I tend to roll my eyes at the attempts of companies to get people’s money, but with Pakistani commercials it’s different.  Watching Pakistani commercials remind me of the winter evenings I’ve spent in Pakistan, cuddled under the warm comforter with my aunts and cousins watching Pakistani or Indian dramas interspersed with wholesome, lively Pakistani commercials.As I watched one c … [Read more...]


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