Bérengère Lefranc’s “Un voile, Un certain moi de juin”

Un voile, Un certain moi de juin is the story of French artist Bérengère Lefranc's decision to wear a "burqa" (although she hesitates to define it as such) for one month and write about it.  I was skeptical about this book after reading an initial review of it in Swiss daily Le Temps. Not normally a fan of these "Let's play dress up" stories, I set out to read the book anyway.  Already, the title bothers me.  "Voile" is "veil" in French, and the garment Ms. Lefrance wears most closely resembles a … [Read more...]

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming…

Salam alaikum, readers!I'm traveling this week, and so I didn't have any time to put together my usual Friday Links.I thought I would share one link with you, however. I spoke with Voice of America about stereotypes of Muslim women in Western media. I hope you enjoy it!Since this week saw International Women's Day, I wanted to check in with everyone.What did you do for International Women's Day? Did you participate in local or international events? … [Read more...]

Reading Religion and Canadian Identity: Sheema Khan’s Of Hockey and Hijab

Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman, published last October, is a collection of monthly columns written by Sheema Khan and originally printed in Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, between 2002 and 2009.  Khan, who founded the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), was born in India and moved to Montreal when she was young.  The short essays that form her book cover a range of topics, interweaving personal experiences of interfaith interactions and s … [Read more...]

Muslim Daughters: Small Catastrophes?

In early February, a story broke about a briefing being given to Belgian soldiers departing for Afghanistan. In this briefing, the speaker notably made the following points, as related by the Belgian newspaper Le Soir: "[Having a] girl to a Muslim usually means that the man has poor sperm quality. I'm not joking. Manly men make boys and men who are not manly make girls. Also obviously because a girl must be married, [girls] costs a dowry; a girl, it's a small catastrophe because you have to … [Read more...]

Drastic Plastic: emel Focuses on Women and Body Image

Very seldom does Muslim media produce quality critical analysis of issues facing Muslim women. But emel magazine published a series of articles doing just that to tie in with International Women's Day, They are, thankfully, not the run-of-the-mill articles about "why hijab" or "how to be the perfect (insert womanly role here)" that a lot of Muslim media is awash with these days.This issue of emel focuses on body image, and in the introduction, Sarah Joseph, a revert to Islam, discusses her … [Read more...]

Mona Muslim: Marshaling Islamophobia in Sweden

Mona Sahlin, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic party (SAP), is known by many names among her opponents. Though Sahlin is not Muslim, one of the most common nicknames for her is “Mona Muslim.” This appellation might suggest a cartoon character, or perhaps a Sesame Street muppet, but behind it  lies a deepening anxiety about levels of immigration in Sweden, which has been profitably tapped into and exploited by right-wing political leaders.Sahlin's nickname goes back some time, with one of … [Read more...]

Friday Links — March 5, 2010

Kuwaiti novelist Laila al-Othman believes that there is "too much sex" in new Saudi literature.HijabStyle has an interview with the woman behind Birmingham-based Masoomah clothing.The Arab Times gets around to reporting on Divorcee Radio.Islam Online profiles several brave Kenyan Muslim women who have worked for positive change in their communities.Arab News reports that four talented women have been chosen as part of a Saudi delegation to a U.S. entrepreneurship summit.The … [Read more...]