Re-Humanize Me: Risky or Repetitive?

Poster image for "Re-Humanize Me." Via Deha Vasana.

A couple weeks ago, I was walking with a friend, when she abruptly stopped listening to me and turned to look at a bulletin board we were passing.  I followed her gaze, and… oh.  Uh.  Wow. Poster image for "Re-Humanize Me." Via Deha Vasana. Advertising a contemporary dance theatre performance called “Re-Humanize Me” at Montreal’s Fringe Festival, the poster features a woman in niqab in an Indian dance pose – with one bare leg peeking out from her abaya.  When I looked up the performance onli … [Read more...]

Fashion in Russia: “Proving” that Muslim Women are Beautiful, Smart and Fashionable

Image via Vestnik Kavkaza.

Earlier this month, the Russian capital held the first Islamic Style festival.  The festival was organized by the Council of Muftis in Russia and aimed to show a “correct” image of Muslim women’s clothing. The Muftis, perhaps concerned with mainstream media showing Muslim women as weak and oppressed, decided try out fashion world by encouraging Islamic fashion designers to come out and present their work.Rushan-hazrat Abbyasov, deputy chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia, and member of … [Read more...]

Book Review: More Than a Prayer

More Than a Prayer

The title of Juliane Hammer’s new book American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer, refers to the much-publicised Friday prayer led by Amina Wadud in March 2005. As Hammer explains in the introduction to her book,“The 2005 prayer, itself part of a larger trajectory of events, debates, and developments, focused and changed existing intra-Muslim discussions and reflections on issues ranging from women’s interpretation of the Qur’an, leadership, mosque space, a … [Read more...]

Are We So Different: A Documentary Short Film That Falls Short of Telling Women’s Stories

Still image from the film, via its Facebook page.

Taking the title of “Best Documentary Short Film 2012” in the third Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is the telling documentary, “Amra Ki Etoi Bhinno.” The KASHISH – Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, an annual event held in Mumbai, India since 2010, screens films related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer issues India and around the world.“Amra Ki Etoi Bhinno” or “Are We So Different” is a film that follows hijras — a South Asian term for physiological males w … [Read more...]

The Case of Södertälje: “Immigrants Can Be Racist Too”

Donna El Jammal, the first policewoman who wears hijab, now lives in Södertälje. Source: Pitea Tidningen

On the 3rd of June, four Assyrian teenagers were sentenced to probation and community service for attacking a Somali Muslim woman in Södertälje, Sweden. The attack happened on November 17, 2011. The woman, who wears a headscarf, had been out to buy some milk from a shop in Hovsjö. On the way home, a group of teenagers kicked a football directly at her back. When she tried to get away they caught up with her, and for the next ten minutes screamed racist insults, spat at and slapped and punched her … [Read more...]

#UAEDressCode: A Tool for Judgement, or Education?

Sign requesting people to wear "respectful clothing."  Image via sandierpastures.com.

A few years back, when shopping malls turned into major destination for shoppers and tourists in the United Arab Emirates, the issue of how men and women appear in public began to gain greater attention. Mall entrances have come to carry signs and instructions relating not only to pets, trash, bicycles and skaters, but dress codes as well.  In a cosmopolitan society, the idea of modesty does not have a clear definition; it just refers to wearing clothes that do not resemble wearing a swimming … [Read more...]

“The Polygamist is Political”: Muslim Women and the Issue of Polygamy in the West

Malaysian Muslim women protest against polygamy.

A few months ago, while reviewing one of my friend’s profiles on Facebook, I was surprised to see the amount of discussion that Shari’ah rulings regarding marriage provoke in the West.My friend, an orthodox Sunni Muslim and avid follower of the Hanbali school, had commented in a picture from 2010 that depicted Malaysian women protesting against the legality of polygamy.   The picture, while not shocking for many of us, seemed to bother a number of commentators across the globe. Some peopl … [Read more...]


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