Burqa Woman Blunder? Saad Haroon’s Parody

Parts of the blogosphere appear to be in a tizzy over a recent parody of Roy Orbison’s classic “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Now a hit on YouTube, Saad Haroon’s “Burqa Woman,” tells the story of a young man’s fumbling attempt to woo a woman in abaya and niqab, who, after much cajoling, reciprocates amorously via text message.  Modern technology appears to connect the two lovers in a country where public displays of affection and mixed social gatherings are generally frowned upon.Saad Haroon is a Pakist … [Read more...]

Music to Our Ears: May Matar’s Metlak Mish Ayzin

Most Arab women I know have at one point or another cursed an Arab man and his stubborn adherence to male chauvinism, something that rears its ugly head in patriarchal societies around the globe. This topic usually boils down to this: a man has problem with independent woman.In a song titled “Metlak Mish 3ayzin” or “We’re not in need of people like you,” singer May Matar parodies popular misogynistic Arabic songs, such as “Jumhoriyet Albi” (or “The republic of my heart”) by singer Mohammed Iska … [Read more...]

Regressive Redemption in CII’s Ramadan Serial

Channel Islam International, often considered to be the “more progressive” Muslim community radio station in Johannesburg, is broadcasting a radio drama series for the month of Ramadan. The show is titled “Redemption Road,” and aims to be a representation of South African Indian Muslim society and its idiosyncrasies while reminding listeners to their often-forgotten purpose in life.While the show does deal with important issues like wife neglect/abuse and teen problems, it is severely stereot … [Read more...]

On the Radio: Nisaa FM

This June, one of the first all-women radio stations in the Arab world was launched from the most unlikely of places, the West Bank. Appropriately titled NISAA FM, (nisaa means “woman” in Arabic) this station is by women, for women.Maysoun Odeh, founder and manager of NISAA FM, describes the aims of the station: “NISAA FM motivates women through success stories and interaction, while at the same time creating employment, particularly for women. We also plan to introduce training on broad … [Read more...]

The New Music Makers: European Muslim Women

Europe’s controversial stance and inflammatory language surrounding the burqa puts Muslim women, veiled or not, in a tight spot. Instead of donning a low profile, some Muslim women are turning to music to speak their minds.European Muslimahs are defying stereotypes by promoting their art and pushing themselves front and center. Take Diam's, a French recording artist who shot to fame with her 2006 album Dans Ma Bulle (In My Bubble). Born in Cyprus, Diam's raps about discrimination, poverty, a … [Read more...]

One Legacy Radio: A Mixed Bag for Women

New voices are invading the airwaves in Southern California. The voices of local Muslim activists, community leaders, scholars and public speakers have come together for One Legacy Radio, the first English-speaking Islamic radio station in the U.S. It’s leaving listeners with high expectations as it aims to provide “thought-provoking material which inspires spiritual reflection and ultimately closeness to Allah.”The station features many programs to “enrich the Islamic spiritual experience.” Tw … [Read more...]

Iskandar’s Republic of Concubines

“We have no girls here that work with their degrees. Our girls are pampered. Everything she wants is at her service.”“Assuming I agree that you work, what would we do about your beauty? Your job is taking care of my heart ...isn’t it enough that you're the president of the republic of my heart?” Activists protest Iskandar's song in Beirut. Image via Alexandra Sandels/Los Angeles Times.These words are from Lebanese singer Mohammed Iskandar’s latest single Jomhouriyet Albi (“The republic of m … [Read more...]