When Arab Women Artists “Revisit The Harem”

Originally published here.  Where does parody end and self-exoticization begin? At what point does the Arab woman artist, stepping into the so-often imagined space of “The Harem” risk pandering to an audience that seems to have a never-ending appetite for remediations of Orientalist artwork? Lebanese photographer Rania Matar’s wonderful and insightful A Girl in Her Room series (capturing teenage girls in their most sacred space, the bedroom) includes some photographs that are clearly posed to mimic familiar odalisque imagery: Was the subject asked… Read more

#ListenNotSave – Niqab in Canada

          Last month Canadian social media went wild with covering puns and jabs at the extraordinarily Islamophobic leader of the government, Prime Minister Harper. The Harper Government are challenging a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that allows Ms. Zunera Ishaq to wear her niqab at her Canadian Citizenship ceremony.  A ruling that Harper insists he will challenge. According to the Prime Minister, Ms.Ishaq’s choice to wear niqab, as a practice of her faith, is… Read more

Friday Links

A local council in Victoria, Australia asked non-Muslim women to wear hijabs to raise awareness and combat islamophobia, stirring controversy.   A group of Muslim Pakistani-American women are pushing the boundaries on how Muslim women are perceived, especially when it comes to the comedy scene. They say: “Nobody expects Muslim women to be comedians.”   Global life stories: capturing Muslim women’s lived realities is a project that reveals the striking disconnect between the juristic and legal constructions of gender roles… Read more

On Sex Work and “Muslimness” as a Fetish

Before I go right into this post, I think I should make some things clear. This is not a post about the “moral” or religious side of sex work. In fact, very much the opposite. It is rather an analysis of how sex work is depicted in intersection with Muslim identity and traditionally Muslim garments like the hijab and the niqab. You will note that I use the term “sex work” rather than prostitution, which from some perspectives is a… 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… Read more

A Thousand Shames

This article was originally published at Sixteen Minutes to Palestine  by Sami Kishawi. Saying that this photograph recently resurfaced would imply that it had somehow gotten buried. But that is simply not true. Published for the New York Times just days after Israel pulled back on its most deadly assault on the Gaza Strip yet, the image sent and continues to send shockwaves around the world. What was a child doing in the middle of that victory rally? Why was the… Read more

Friday Links

Tajik state television has aired a documentary that alleges that prostitutes in the country have been wearing Islamic veils to earn more money.   Once a month, Muslim women gather in a bright open space inside a brick building near downtown Los Angeles. They come for jumu’ah or Friday prayer. This “all women’s mosque” has been described as an unconventional.   Pakistani kids will finally meet homegrown heroes, when the first Pakistani animated feature is out this May.   Sarah… 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… Read more

Farkhunda, A Long Term Vision

Guest Post by Kawsar Hosseini (@kaw_sarr), who writes at the blog East-West Bridge.  The story of the lynching of Farkhunda, a woman accused of burning the Quran in Afghanistan, has been widely covered by media in recent days. Among those who have written about the lynching are many Afghans. In a Guardian article, Frozan Marofi, one of the women who went to the burial of Farkhunda calls her “this martyr of Afghanistan” while BBC Afghan’s Karim Haidari writes of why he… Read more

Friday Links

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, CEO of Muslimgirl.net, explains how Muslim women are ‘spoken over by the public’ and their voices ‘ignored.’ In a rare protest in Afghanistan’s male-dominated society, female rights activists in Kabul carry coffin of a woman beaten to death for allegedly burning Quran to graveyard. A Muslim woman left severely shaken by a physical and verbal assault on a packed Sydney train this week believes she was targeted because of her religion…. Read more

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