The “Story” of Suha Omar Ali

Haya, Sama, and Julia, Suha Omar Ali's daughters, who drowned. [Source].

“I can’t follow the news anymore, it’s too much.” Over the last two years, I’ve heard this sentence over and over again from friends and family who no longer live their lives to the soundtrack of Arab satellite channels, from local variants like Libya Al-Ahrar to the pan-Arab channels Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera. It has become too much. When they say this, they’re talking about car-bombings in Iraq, drones in Yemen, militias in Libya, the “second revolution” in Egypt, and most of all these days, th … [Read more...]

Is Pakistan Really Neverland?: Malala, the Perpetual Child Activist

Malala Yousafzai being interviewed by Jon Stewart.  Via News Asylum.

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. Yesterday, Amina wrote about portrayals of Malala as an exception, and today Nicole Hunter Mostafa looks at the focus on Malala being a child.  Stay tuned for a final Malala post by Eren later this week.Are you tired of hearing about Malala Yousafzai yet? If you type “Malala is” into Google (at least, here in Saudi Arabia), the first three … [Read more...]

From Gaga to Malala: Muslim Women as Stereotypes and Exceptions


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...]