Are we Truly Breaking Stereotypes about Muslim Women?


What does it mean to ‘break’ a stereotype? Does it mean acting contrary to what society expects? Does it mean to be the first to do something? Does it mean to do something actually ground-breaking? Or does it mean to abide by what some else thinks is news worthy?A few weeks ago Al-Jazeera’s The Stream, a discussion program, featured an episode called “Muslim women breaking stereotypes.” The purpose of the show was to highlight the ways in which Muslim women are “challenging stereotypes.” Give … [Read more...]

Is Islamophobia Real?


A few weeks ago, I was meeting a friend of a friend for the first time. Now usually, my name gets transformed into Tamsin, or Tasmeem, or Tasmeen (the last two have quite unfortunate meanings in Arabic). In this case, the person I was introducing myself to said “Oh, like that creepy ISI woman.” I wasn’t sure what this referred to. Cue explanation that there was a character named Tasneem on season four of the TV show Homeland, a creepy ISI woman who was in league with the Taliban.Although Home … [Read more...]

American Crime Series Recapped

In this post, Azra concludes her series of reviews of American Crime.  Read her earlier reviews here.Spoilers ahead—you’ve been warned!Last week, American Crime concluded on ABC. I hadn’t reviewed the past several shows, as Aliyah’s time on screen became more and more limited with the show focusing on some of the other character’s concerns. She was able to work with her brother Carter’s attorney to have his case thrown out of court, in conjunction with Carter’s girlfriend, Aubry, confessi … [Read more...]

Defensiveness in the Time of Da’esh

One of the events at the All About Women program held at Sydney Opera House this year was entitled “Conversations with Muslim Women.” Featuring two Australian Muslim women, Randa Abdel-Fattah and Susan Carland, the event was advertised as a conversation with, rather than about, Muslim women. So the three women on stage have an engaging discussion, by turns funny and poignant, about the dilemmas of being a Muslim woman in Australia, from facing discrimination, to negative perspections of Islam, t … [Read more...]

American Crime Episode 5 Recap

Azra continues her review of the TV show American Crime. Read her earlier review here.  (Spoiler alerts ahead!)It was a quiet show for Aliyah this week, where she shared only one scene with her brother, Carter. She sets him up with an apartment in Modesto, and has a job lined up for him at the masjid. He’s still struggling with calling her by her Muslim name:It goes downhill for Carter once Aliyah leaves, as he: meets Aubry, loses his tracking device, sets off to leave the country, … [Read more...]

American Crime Episode 4 Recap


Azra continues her review of the TV show American Crime. Read her earlier review here.  (Spoiler alerts ahead!)American Crime settled into a more police-procedural tone last week, as Carter attended his bail hearing. We get to know more about Aliyah this episode, as she devotes herself to helping her brother. They continue their strained, racially charged relationship, when she visits him in jail along with an attorney. She still insists he change his behavior and try to get his life back on … [Read more...]

American Crime Review: Introducing Aliyah Shadeed

Regina King as Aliyah Shadeed. Source.

 On Thursday nights in the United States, ABC airs American Crime, an 11-part series that looks at a murder that took place in Modesto, California. The story doesn’t follow the detectives around as they solve a mystery-of-the-week like most crime shows, though, and instead focuses on the lives of everyone else involved and the relationships between one another.Each week reveals a new layer of information for each of the characters, who include:the couple—a murdered husband and a … [Read more...]