From Gaga to Malala: Muslim Women as Stereotypes and Exceptions

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Editor's note: Malala Yousafzai has been extensively covered in media lately, and several MMW writers wanted to weigh in on the way she is being portrayed.  Today's post is by Amina; stay tuned for reflections from Nicole and Eren later this week.Just a couple of months ago, Lady Gaga wore a ridiculous, sheer pink burqa. While I didn’t buy her reasons for it, she allegedly did it as some vague, old attempt at empowering Muslim women by trashing a form of hijab.(Read Eren’s take on “Pink Burqa … [Read more...]

Thanks, Sheikh, But My Pelvis Is Fine

Eman Al Nafjan driving recently in Riyadh. [Source].

Editor’s note: I would like to welcome Nicole Hunter Mostafa, a past MMW guest contributor, on board as our newest regular writer!Currently in Saudi Arabia, sisters are attempting to do things for themselves. There is a movement afoot. Saudi women are being encouraged to drive on October 26, in defiance of the de facto ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.*Last week, as the movement ramped up, a Saudi sheikh, Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan, told the Saudi online newspaper Sabq that d … [Read more...]

White Widows, Black Widows and Jihad Janes: What Does A Terrorist Look Like?

Samantha Lewthwaite pictured on the cover of a newspaper in 2005. [Source].

The recent arrest warrant issued by Interpol for Samantha Lewthwaite has fuelled media fuel speculation that she was involved in the attack that killed more than 60 people in Nairobi’s Westgate mall. Since speculation always makes a good story, there has been an overwhelming amount of coverage on the woman dubbed “The White Widow.” The stories seem eerily familiar. Perhaps because, like Colleen LaRose (aka Jihad Jane), Lewthwaite has her own alliterative alias. Or because like Katherine Russell ( … [Read more...]

Officials Claim Tunisian Women are Waging a ‘Sexual Jihad’ in Syria, But What’s the Real Story?

Image © The Telegraph.

This piece was originally published at PolicyMic.By now you have probably already heard of the harem of Tunisian sex-warrior slaves heading to Syria in order to give up their young bodies to the appetites of deprived rebels to fulfill ‘jihad al-Nikkah’ --- “Sexual Jihad" --- and are coming back to the country with bellies full of Jihadi babies. Unfortunately for what seems to be that blind spot people have when it comes to stories on Muslims and sex, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence … [Read more...]

Beauty Pageants: Does Anyone Actually Win?

Miss World Muslimah winner Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola.

This post was written by guest contributor Nicole Hunter Mostafa (@nicolejhm).When I think about topics that are directly relevant to the lives of Muslim women, one that would probably be pretty low on my list is beauty pageants. Sure, in terms of feminist discourse, it’s not that hard to make the connection—beauty pageants’ primary goal is to make judgments about women based primarily on how they look, while media coverage of Muslim women, even when ostensibly regarding other subjects, still … [Read more...]

Muslim Women, Religious Neutrality, and Quebec’s Charter of Values

Women protest against the Charter of Quebec Values. [Source].

The news here in Quebec – and in many other parts of Canada – has been flooded in the past few weeks with stories about the newly-proposed Charter of Quebec Values.  Formally announced on Tuesday, September 10 (although some details had been leaked a couple weeks prior), the charter, if eventually passed as law, would prevent people working in the public sector from wearing “conspicuous religious symbols,” including headscarves, face veils, kippas, turbans, and large crosses.  Framed as a way of … [Read more...]

Islamic Scholarship and the Muslimah: A Reaction to Dr. Amina Wadud’s Cancelled Engagement by the University of Madras

[Image source].

At the end of July, American Islamic Scholar Amina Wadud was scheduled to speak at the University of Madras. Her engagement was cancelled by the university at the 11th hour, in the midst of confusion after the city’s police force alleged unnamed threats of violence, suggested her appearance had earlier precipitated riots in Tamil Nadu (flatly false, as she has never spoken there before), and refused to offer security.The University of Madras's decision elicited a slew of sensational h … [Read more...]


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