The Crimes and Punishment of Apostasy and Adultery

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Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese doctor who married a Christian man in 2011, was convicted last week on charges of apostasy.  While Ibrahim has a Muslim father, she appears to have been raised Christian. Apostasy implies conversion, but as Ibrahim reportedly told the judge, "I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.” By her account, Ibrahim has always considered herself to be Christian, raising the question of what it means for a court to be using “Islamic law” to sentence her when its basis for … [Read more...]

All of Our Missing Daughters

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On April 15th about 300 girls were kidnapped from a Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria by gunmen dressed as Nigerian army-men.  ABC News reports that some of the girls were taken to Chad and Cameroon for the purposes of forced marriage.  The news of the kidnapped Nigerian girls made it slowly to Facebook and Twitter, but it is only weeks later that the case has featured heavily in international news outlets and blog posts.It is a dramatic story, and if the dateline was elsewhere, i … [Read more...]

Indonesia’s trans Muslim Maryani: “Seeking Paradise is not limited to our sex or clothing”

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An article in the Jakarta Post last week followed the latest developments on a pesantren (Islamic boarding school) for transgender people in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Although it is called a boarding school, the Pondok Pesantren Waria Al-Fatah functions more like a religious school where students can learn classical religious subjects like fiqh and Qur’an recitation, as well as a community centre where students gather to break the fast together during Ramadan.It was opened in 2008 by the late M … [Read more...]

The Bee and the Butterfly

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This post was originally published at wood turtle.This woman is my hero.I’m not saying this just because a newspaper is showcasing her fabulous strength and intelligence — or because I love amplifying stories of amazingly fierce women.This woman is my hero because we’ve laughed together, shared incredible experiences, seen each other at our most vulnerable, and have given each other support in countless ways.This woman is my AMAZING sister-in-law and I am incredibly proud of h … [Read more...]

Mata Najwa: A Rare Glimpse of Real Journalism in Indonesia

Image via matanajwa.com.

Sometimes I don’t know where to start when it comes to critiquing Indonesia’s media, especially television programs. There is so much gibberish that comes out of the TV screen – and increasingly so – these days that sometimes I feel my head is heavy with rants after watching just one program.Having seen so much disappointing content in the media, I found it extremely refreshing when my husband switched on the television a few nights ago and Mata Najwa was on. The program is a talk show ho … [Read more...]

Not in Our Name: Muslim Women and the Quebec Charter

Quebecers protest the Charter of Secularism. [Source].

A few weeks ago, I spoke as part of a panel at the University of Ottawa about the Quebec Charter of Secularism, speaking both as Editor-in-Chief of Muslimah Media Watch and as a founding member of the Collective of Muslim Feminists of Quebec.  This is an edited version of my talk, updated to reflect shifts in the political context in the time since it was first presented (notably the announcement last week that Quebec will be holding provincial elections on April 7).  Many thanks to the Muslim L … [Read more...]

The First Saudi Woman to become Editor-in-Chief: New Achievements and Challenges

Somayya Jabarti. [Source].

On February 16, 2014, Khaled Almaeena announced his resignation as head of the editorial team of the Saudi Gazette, and appointed Somayya Jabarti as the first woman editor-in-chief in the history of the Saudi press.  In a tweet, Almaeena said: "For 25 years, I have been looking for the best journalistic skills and qualifications, and today, my dream comes true in appointing a qualified woman to head the editorial team of a Saudi newspaper."For those who don’t know Jabarti, she started her ca … [Read more...]


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