Book Review: Muslim American Women on Campus by Shabana Mir

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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...]

Book Review: Sin is a Puppy that Follows You Home

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Reading Hajiya Balaraba Ramat Yakubu's Sin is a Puppy That Follows You Home was to me like watching a Nigerian movie, in particular one on Africa Magic Hausa, a channel devoted to Hausa language movies. I could picture popular actors and actresses in the roles of different characters and imagined them bringing these roles to life. I have no idea if there is a movie equivalent of Sin is a Puppybut there just might be a movie version, considering that Yakubu has ventured into Kannywood (the Hausa … [Read more...]

Sandcastles and Snowmen: When Personal Stories Become Tools for Support and Education

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In her recent book, Sandcastles and Snowmen, Egyptian writer Sahar El-Nadidelivers what she calls "a personal search for spirituality." By combining her personal stories and experience with the main pillars and teachings of Islam, El-Nadi tries to give her readers a glimpse of her perspective on what Islam is.Sahar El-Nadi is a writer and an international speaker who focuses on advocating tolerance, integration, inclusion, and respect of diversity. She is the person behind the initiative … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Hijab of Cambodia

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This post was originally published at Aquila Style.Stories of gender-based violence, especially in times of conflict, is nothing new. But what pulled me towards this book was the geopolitical situation and demographic of conflict: the Khmer Rouge regime (also known as Democratic Kampuchea) of 1975-1979, and women of the targeted minority group of Cham Muslims. The sober dark purple and black cover foretells the sinister atrocities that I am set to read about; stories told by Cham Muslim … [Read more...]

Book Review: Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition

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Content note: This post includes discussions of domestic violence and of scholarly attempts to justify it.For a number of Muslim women I know (myself included), one of the most complicated Qur’anic passages to contend with is verse 4:34, a verse that, at least in many of the most straightforward translations, appears to establish men as superior to women and to authorise (or even encourage) men to hit their wives if they “disobey.”  Muslim feminist scholars have tried to address it in variou … [Read more...]

Book Review: Salaam, Love

Image via Love, Inshallah.

When Love, InshAllah, edited by Ayesha Mattu and Nura Masnavi,  was initially published two years ago, I was thrilled. I may not have necessarily related to all the stories of those women but was happy to read them. And as cliche as it sounds, it was really challenging the notion that Muslimahs are a monolith. But the editors’ second anthology, Salaam, Love,  "an anthology of stories about love written from the perspectives of Muslim men," initially had me less convinced. I really wanted to dis … [Read more...]

Book Review: “Normal Calm” by Hend Hegazi

Cover of Normal Calm. [Source].

According to statistics provided by RAINN, the United States-based Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, “1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.” The organization further notes that women who have experienced sexual assault are at higher risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and thoughts of suicide.Such important consequences of rape led American writer Hend Hegazi to tell the story of a rape survivor in her fir … [Read more...]


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