Peace in Aloneness: Muslim Women in the Ivory Tower

For the last month, I have been looking into the literature on discrimination in academia, reading books with titles such as Making Our Voices Heard: Women of Color in Academia and Overcoming Adversity in Academia: Stories from Generation X Faculty. At the same time, I have been attending a course intended to teach academic teachers how to teach in higher education. The experience has left me thinking over my situation, as a hijab-wearing Muslim woman in the ivory tower. For… Read more

Friday Links | December 5, 2014

Last Wednesday was the funeral of Tugce Albayrak, a German woman of Turkish descent who died of her injuries after she intervened in the harassment of two girls, and was in turn attacked herself. May God grant her everlasting peace. Indian presenter Gauhar Khan was slapped during a live televised show for wearing revealing clothing, not deemed appropriate for a Muslim woman. Senegal’s abortion law is one of the most strict in Africa, resulting in women and girls taking drastic measures… Read more

The Latest on the Headscarf “Situation” in Switzerland

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… Read more

Friday Links | November 21, 2014

Women in Iraq’s Anbar province have come together to form “Women of Justice,” a group aimed to fight ISIL. Meanwhile an article on Global Voices Online suggests that many remain “obsessed” with the Kurdish female fighters. Yet another article tries to explain why women would join ISIL, and the Canadian government called for proposals for a study on the same topic. A Dutch mother travelled to Syria to help her daughter escape from ISIL, after she left the Netherlands to… Read more

Stability and Sustainability: Interview with Dr Hawa Abdi

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… Read more

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

    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… Read more

Friday Links | November 14, 2014

The UN peacekeeping mission investigating the reports of rape in northern Darfur, says it hasn’t found any evidence of the mass rape, which was reported last week, shocking victims. A Moroccan teen, who was forced to marry her rapist last year, has been attacked by him with razor blades for trying to seek a divorce. Five French Muslim women share their stories of harassment. A female suicide bomber has killed herself and injured three others, when she blew herself up… Read more

TED Talks and Superheroes: New Representations of Muslim Women

I have a friend who is obsessed with TED Talks, and who recently sent me link to this TEDx Talk with the title “I am a mad Arabian woman.” I rolled my eyes a little. Anything with the word “Arabian” (when its not followed by the word “horse”) makes me roll my eyes. But then, this was the same person who had sent me the video of Palestinian-American stand-up comic Maysoon Zayid’s talk “I got 99 problems… palsy is just… Read more

Book Review: She Wore Red Trainers

I was expecting a review copy of the book She Wore Red Trainers in my mailbox any time. It was early September, the time of year when the kids start school, get busy with homework, enroll in a soccer team, and so on, so it is the time of year when I have no time to do anything for myself, let alone reading a book! But I had already heard some good things about this novel, written by Na’ima B…. Read more

Friday Links | November 7, 2014

Last week over 200 women and girls, many of them minors, were reportedly raped in North Darfur by Sudanese military men. Later this week, two young women have been gang-raped in Central Darfur, Sudan. Meanwhile, Sudan has denied access to the UN in Darfur to investigate the report of the mass rape. According to a report, ISIL is using women to lure European Muslims (male and female) to join ISIL in their “Islamist utopia.” As well, women within ISIL share cooking tips on… Read more

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