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...]

Book Review: The Crescent Directive

The Crescent Directive was, for me, a fun but perplexing read.  The concept is simple and noble: it gives guidelines for American Muslims on how to lay a groundwork for action in our communities in order to improve our image in America.Written by Khurram Dara, the book starts out with looking at how Islam and Muslims have evolved in American discourse since 9/11. He then explains the current situation of the American Muslim community and talks about why certain efforts at understanding … [Read more...]

Revisiting Miriam Cooke’s “Muslimwoman”

Photograph by Shekaiba Wakili

Miriam Cooke has described her use of "Muslimwoman" in one word as a reference to embracing and performing a singular gendered and religious identity, a way of reflecting the intertwining of gender and religion and describing this erasure of diversity. In 2008, in her essay on deploying this term, Cooke explained:The neologism Muslimwoman draws attention to the emergence of a new singular religious and gendered identification that overlays national, ethnic, cultural, historical, and even … [Read more...]

Reviving the Spirit Without Recognizing Half The Audience?

Editor’s Note: As previous RIS-themed posts have noted (see our post from 2008, two posts from 2009, and two posts from the 2011 Convention), the lack of women scholars is a persistent problem at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit events.  Here, Sumaya, a guest contributor to MMW, outlines some of the reasons that this is problematic, and proposes possible speakers for future conferences.So it’s been a couple weeks since the end of the 10th annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit conf … [Read more...]

RIS Knowledge Retreat, Gender, and Feminism

Yesterday, we posted Sharrae’s analysis of gender issues at the 2011 Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention.  Although I wasn’t able to attend the Convention, I did make it to the Knowledge Retreat, a six-day series of classes with several of the RIS scholars.  There is much to say about the Retreat, but one moment in particular deserved attention.  (Please read through the whole post, as the ending of this is the most important.)On December 29, Dr. Abdal Hakim Jackson spoke about gender … [Read more...]

Reclaiming Inclusion of Sisters at RIS: Part Two

See Part One here.Oh it did NOT just go there...My blood began to rise during the lecture of Dr. Abdal Hakim Jackson within the session, "Changing the Present, Dreaming the Future." Mid-way during his lecture, Dr. Jackson beseeched us sisters to "calm down for the next 30 seconds." He then asked the audience what was common between Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton and other politicians whose careers were compromised due to their extramarital relations. Dr. Jackson then proceeded to e … [Read more...]

Reclaiming Inclusion of Sisters at RIS: Part One

Editor’s note: I would like to welcome Sharrae, MMW’s newest contributor!  Sharrae starts us off with a two-part post on the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference held in Toronto ever December.  MMW has covered previous RIS conferences in 2008 and 2009 (part one and part two).  Check back tomorrow for even more RIS-related coverage.For those who attend, Reviving the Islamic Spirit is treated almost like a second Ramadan. Ramadan is when the iman boost is sought after, and the yearly RIS … [Read more...]