A Potential Burqa Ban at the Federal Level in Switzerland

The optimism in my last post, at least for Switzerland, has been tempered with news coming out of Switzerland last week.In Switzerland (where niqab is already banned in Ticino since 2013), the German-speaking newspaper SonntagsBlick recently cited a survey saying that 62% of the Swiss population would be in favor of a burqa ban.  Granted, the Tribune de Geneve mentioned that the methodology of the SonntagsBlick survery was not made clear. But as usual, Muslim women and their clothing are the … [Read more...]

Will Jordanian Hind Al Fayez Sit Down? A Look at the Trending Hashtag #Sit_Down_Hind

Hind Al Fayez. [Source].

Women's participation in the Jordanian political scene has always been a controversial one. Several women in Jordanian political history have made news because of their strong political opposition to their male counterparts' dominance. The most famous one was Toujan Al-Faisal, who was Jordan's first female member of parliament. In 2002, Al-Faisal made it to the news headlines after she published an open letter to King Abdullah II, accusing the government of corruption. She was arrested and … [Read more...]

The Latest on the Headscarf “Situation” in Switzerland

[Source].

The Swiss federal government gives a lot of leeway to cantons, cities and even schools and professional associations (for those of you who remember the Sura al Shawk case, where the original decision of basketball association, Probasket, was allowed to stand by the courts) to decide their hijab policies on a case-by-case basis.So despite having a nationwide minaret ban (which isn't as much about Islam as it appears on the surface), unlike in France, there is no national headscarf "law" in … [Read more...]

Stability and Sustainability: Interview with Dr Hawa Abdi

hawa

It is a calm and cool afternoon in Nairobi, Kenya, when I catch up with Dr Hawa Abdi over Skype. After working hard in Mogadishu’s difficult circumstances with her two physician daughters Deqo and Amina Mohamed, she sometimes comes to Nairobi to rest and relax. Speaking over a passable internet connection, our conversation is peppered with silences, as our words travel between Kenya and Singapore. 68 year-old Dr Abdi, affectionately known by Somalis as Mama Hawa, is more than Somalia’s first gyn … [Read more...]

Dear Muslim Leaders: I am a Convert not an “Extremist”

Source

  A few months ago I was applying for a job when I was suddenly required to attend an in-person interview with a member of the intelligence services. I was interviewed by a white male, who very politely went on to ask me questions for the next two hours. The most puzzling part of the interview though was that I suddenly saw my life through a very gendered lens.I was asked about my conversion to Islam and whether or not a “boyfriend” had tried to recruit me for the purposes o … [Read more...]

No Culture for Niqabis

Part of the infographic produced by Libération.

The French "niqab" ban (burqa ban, whatever ban…call it what you will) of October 2010 has not faded away from the public consciousness in France at all. What I had originally hoped was just right-wing propaganda has turned out to be, since its entry into force in April 2011, part and parcel of a unique French interpretation of democracy and a revisionist version of French secularism, or laïcité. What started as laïcité was a series of what were originally anti-Catholic laws in 1882 and 1905, whi … [Read more...]

Malalagate, Patriotism, and Disingenuous Agendas

Art by Eiynah (@nicemangoes).

Last week, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai was declared a co-winner of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, along with activist Kailash Satyarthi. Since then there have been numerous articles, support pieces and critiques addressing her win, and the expected conspiracy theories. The announcement even reheated a discussion on the validity and relevance of the Nobel Peace Prize itself.We have covered Malala a few times on MMW. Merium has written of the media frenzies that have engulfed … [Read more...]


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