Stories of South Asian Women in Heartbeats: The Izzat Project

Cover of Heartbeats: The Izzat Project. Artwork by Somya Singh.

At Muslimah Media Watch, many of our posts are critical of the way Muslim women are portrayed in various films, literature, and news articles—Muslim women (and other racialised women) are not given the space and time to share their personal stories of struggle and triumph on their own terms. Women’s stories are often mired with assumptions that women’s cultural and religious backgrounds condone the ill treatment they receive from their communities, that their personal experiences of abuse are com … [Read more...]

Gendered Expectations in Facebook Cartoons

An image from the Lukisan Dakwah Islam group, on how women should dress.

I have noticed a trend on Facebook of pages created and maintained by male religious teachers in the Malay-speaking communities of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. CahayaIslam ("Light of Islam") and Lukisan Dakwah Islam ("Islamic Drawings for Da'wah") are two pages most intriguing to me for two reasons: because they create and share cartoons that are drawn in the style of manga, which is popularly associated with comic books cheaply available to children and youth; and because they circumvent t … [Read more...]

How are Muslim Women Doing in Political Cartoons?

Image via CartoonStock.

After having written my undergraduate dissertation on depictions on Mexican First Ladies in political cartoons, I gained some insight into what it means to be a woman portrayed in editorial cartoons. Despite how funny political cartoons may be, they might also carry very strong messages, and these are often gendered.Political cartoons are a powerful medium because, although they are not news, they facilitate the delivery of specific messages. Political cartoons work in two ways: they reflect … [Read more...]

MMW 2011 Year in Review: Arts and Entertainment

As 2011 draws to a close, we at MMW are looking back at our year of posts.  For those who missed posts earlier in the year, or for those who want to look back through some of the things we wrote about, we’ll be going through some of those through the rest of this week.  Yesterday, we started off with an overview of some of the news highlights that we talked about in 2011; today, we look at books, movies, and television; and tomorrow will look at some of the more ridiculous stories that cam … [Read more...]

Self-Conscious Orientalism in Craig Thompson’s Graphic Novel Habibi

Editor's note: A longer version of this post is available on Tasnim's personal blog.Craig Thompson’s graphic novel Habibi took 7 years to complete and is close to 700 pages. The result is described on the book’s website as “a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.” Set predominately in the imaginary Wanatolia, Habibi tells the stor … [Read more...]

Brainless Badly Veiled Women

Golnaz Esfandiari writes about a cartoon by a hard-line news agency: "The cartoon suggests that women who cover their hair and body fully are perhaps as smart as Albert Einstein, while those who don't completely observe the obligatory Islamic dress code are brainless." … [Read more...]

X-Factor’s M: Kicking Ass and Taking Names…While Muslim

In an issue of last month’s X-Factor comic (#217), one of the series’ long-time characters—M, also known as Monet St. Croix—revealed that she was Muslim (“I’m a Muslim and a mutant!”) during anti-Muslim protests in New York City, akin to the ones that took place last year in response to the proposal to build a Muslim community center.  The series follows a group of mutant detectives in New York City.This wouldn’t be the first time that a Marvel comic introduced a Muslim woman character in one … [Read more...]