Bones of the #Mipsterz Debacle

[Image source].

The beginning of December brought a season of joy and cheer. For Muslims in the United States and Canada, it also brought some of the most heated and intense debates on social media about Islam and identity, community, critique, critique of critiques, slut-shaming, and who may (not) speak for, to, about (un)veiled Muslim women regarding fashion, art, videography, music, and make-up artistry. Cue the most overused hashtag of 2013 known to Muslims in social media: #Mipsterz and the ‘Somewhere In A … [Read more...]

Sexy Fun and What’s Up with “Halal” Sex Shops

Snapshot of the online store. Source

Growing up in Mexico, immersed in a culture that debated “Western” values and was skeptical of its imports, I spent my early years in a society that taught me from the beginning that my sexuality was not mine, but someone else’s. Even when the institution of marriage started to crumble and common-law unions became more common, women’s sexuality was still viewed as taboo and their pleasure was considered unimportant. I actually recall my best friend’s grandma, in elementary school, telling us that … [Read more...]

Little Hijabis: To Wear or Not to Wear?


Recently, a series of online shopping sites were brought to my attention: at first glance, they seemed to be the garden-variety online hijab shops. Some even had blanked-out faces – again, nothing that I hadn’t seen before. However upon a closer inspection, I noticed that the hijabi models on the website were smaller than usual – they were little girls.My immediate reaction was that of uneasiness. Even though in Singapore where I grew up, it is common for parents to dress their pre-pubescent … [Read more...]

Privilege and Prayer Spaces: An Interview with Hind Makki of Side Entrance

A woman prays at the Dome of the Rock. Photo provided by Hind Makki.

“I am airing dirty laundry, because it needs to get washed” - Hind Makki "Children of Adam, take your pleasantness to every Mosque." (Qur'an 7:31)How often have we as Muslim women been enthusiastic about praying in a new space, and have attended a new masjid only to be discouraged by the lack of accommodation, area or accessibility for female worshippers? How often have we been pleasantly surprised by the well-lit rooms and inviting, comfortable spaces for female worshippers?An int … [Read more...]

On (Not) Living Up to the Hijab Tutorial Ideal

From a YazTheSpaz photoshoot. [Source].

It was after my marriage that I decided to wear a hijab in public. Like most others who are evolving on their hijab journey, I had my fears – my biggest one being that it was going to make me look horrendous. After all my hair was my best feature.To help me on my hijab journey, one of my friends suggested that I look for hijab tutorials, online, so I started googling. This “easy” hijab tutorial told me that to cover my hair and to look good while doing it, I will have to take a piece of cloth … [Read more...]

Interview with Celebrity Food Blogger Thasneen Ansi

Thasneen Ansi.

Cooking hasn’t been one of my strong points ever, and after getting married to a family whose cuisine was completely different to mine, I was lost. Since most of the dishes prepared in my husband’s home are unique, their recipes were pretty hard to find online as well. That’s when I found Thasneen Ansi’s blog “Cooking with Thas.”  Almost all of mother-in-law’s signature recipes, like steamed plaintain cakes and layered crepes, were available to me. I became an ardent fan of the blog, especially b … [Read more...]

Telling the Stories of Street Children in Cairo

A picture drawn by one of the girls that Nelly Ali works with, and posted on Nelly's blog.

This post was written by guest contributor Yasmeen Nizamy.The most basic rights: that’s what we will be talking about here. Forget about the flashy statements of the declarations of human rights, for the people I’m discussing are not recognized as humans to begin with. I’m talking about street children.But, who are street children? They are known in Colombia as “the plague” or “dirty faces”. If you are Indian you’d be calling them “Sadak Chap,” while in Brazil the word for them is “Molequ … [Read more...]