A Muslim Woman Is Running for Congress – So What?

Image via Facebook.

This post was written by Laila Alawa (@lulainlife).There’s a new face in town this congressional election season in the United States, and she isn’t here to contribute to the general elderly white male trope that is usually the case, plastered across campaign posters and events. Cheryl Sudduth is set to run for Congress, hoping to represent the 11th congressional district of California. Ms. Sudduth hopes to improve the public education system, and close the achievement gap for the commu … [Read more...]

The Countdown to the Jaafari Law Decision

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On April 30th the Jaafari Personal Status Law will be voted on in the Iraqi Parliament. The Jaafari Law, as it's being referred to, has been controversial because it would enable Shia men to marry girls as young as 9 years old. Whereas the legal age for marriage in Iraq is 18 years of age, the Jaafari Law does not state an age limit for marriage, but spells out the divorce conditions for girls who have reached the age of 9. This piece of legislation, nonetheless, would also legalize marital rape … [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...]

Rediscovering Noor Inayat Khan and the Good Muslim

Cover of Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan. [Source].

I will confess that I first became aware of Noor Inayat Khan, also known as Madeline, only quite recently, that is, during the campaign in 2011 to commemorate her, before it was discovered that she had already been commemorated. I remember looking up her story at the time and coming across her biography, Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu. I did plan on reading the book, but reviews at Goodreads, which complained about the amount of detail and the tone of the first half … [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...]

How “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?” Saved Me

[Source].

“This book is about what lies behind such deceptively simple responses to problems we think we already understand or believe that we should act on even before we understand.” - Lila Abu-LughodWhen Muslimah Media Watch started out in 2007, one of the goals was to be able to create a platform for self-identified Muslim women to be able to critique portrayals and stories about us and our communities in mainstream media. Comment and speaking for ourselves was a novel concept.  There continue to b … [Read more...]

Unintended Consequences: Minority Rights and Policy Making in the West

For many years now, countries around the world have been faced with the question of minority rights and religious accommodation. In Canada, where I currently live, questions about niqabs in courtrooms, voting stations and citizenship ceremonies have been raised in the past five years. Part of the debate has been the meaning of religious accommodation, the latest case being that of a student at York University who requested to be excused from working with females on religious bases. While the … [Read more...]


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