Is Islamophobia Real?

The bench at the bus stop in front of my house.

A few weeks ago, I was meeting a friend of a friend for the first time. Now usually, my name gets transformed into Tamsin, or Tasmeem, or Tasmeen (the last two have quite unfortunate meanings in Arabic). In this case, the person I was introducing myself to said “Oh, like that creepy ISI woman.” I wasn’t sure what this referred to. Cue explanation that there was a character named Tasneem on season four of the TV show Homeland, a creepy ISI woman who was in league with the Taliban.Although Home … [Read more...]

Where The Undesirable Go

Sign at Assunah Muslims Association in Ottawa. Source.

This post was originally published on the writer's blog.  I left the mosque many years ago. I think the last straw for me was seeing female teachers and preachers telling us that women should not be in positions of leadership; that they should stay home and care for their children; or that a woman’s nature is _____________ and therefore, she does not belong in the public sphere. One day I just walked away and did not look back. Yet, once in a while I feel guilty. I think to myself, mosques re … [Read more...]

Why does an Indonesian woman need to be a virgin to join the military?

Source

An expose by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in November 2014 on the use of virginity tests in Indonesia’s police force has revealed that just because people are silent over a long-standing practice, it doesn’t mean that it is accepted as a normal part of everyday life. Also referred to as the “two-finger test”, it involves a female physician inserting two fingers into the vagina to check for vaginal laxity and the presence of an intact hymen. Women who failed the test are not necessarily rejected, but … [Read more...]

Ignorant Solidarity with Muslim Sportswomen

skateistan

Who doesn’t love stories and reports of young Muslims girls in Afghanistan, leaping through the air and landing on their skateboards? The agility and passion for skateboarding is juxtaposed with general tomboy badassery, which it is implied, is surprising to find in in their homeland. Their long colourful dresses heighten the wonder of their athleticism. Protective helmets are carefully placed on top of their headscarves. As members of Skateistan, they stand for much sought-after photographs. T … [Read more...]

Defensiveness in the Time of Da’esh

One of the events at the All About Women program held at Sydney Opera House this year was entitled “Conversations with Muslim Women.” Featuring two Australian Muslim women, Randa Abdel-Fattah and Susan Carland, the event was advertised as a conversation with, rather than about, Muslim women. So the three women on stage have an engaging discussion, by turns funny and poignant, about the dilemmas of being a Muslim woman in Australia, from facing discrimination, to negative perspections of Islam, t … [Read more...]

Friday Links

Warner Bros. Studios officials allegedly told two Muslim women wearing headscarves they could not sit in the front row of ‘The Real’ because they should not be seen on camera.Unveiled is a play that focuses on the struggles of five Muslim women learning to live in the post 9/11 world. It will be presented in Suisun City, California. Have you heard about the Halal Shops opening here and there? Now there is one which will open in Mecca, and the goal is to challenge stereotypes abo … [Read more...]

Who Can Talk About Palestinian Misogyny?

Palestinian rap group Dam’s latest song “Who You Are,” featuring newest member Maysa Daw tackles misogyny and “make believe feminism.” As one of the groups members, Tamer Nafer, puts it: we need to “criticize the hypocritical part of our society, which likes to play ‘make believe feminism’ from time to time.”This is not the first Dam song that tackles misogyny– an earlier song, “If I could go back in time” featuring Amal Murkus, was about honor killing in Palestine, sparking a debate about wh … [Read more...]


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