Two Girls, One Tired Romantic Comedy: I Can’t Think Straight

I Can’t Think Straight is a film by Shamim Sarif that attempts to deal with culture, religion, and sexuality within the period of an hour and fifteen minutes. The story tells the tale of Leyla, an Indian Muslim, who falls in love with Tala, a Jordanian Christian. Heavy on Orientalist porn and thin on a plot, the film was a major disappointment. Instead of actually providing a critical look into how being a lesbian would be impacted by culture or religion, it followed the formula for a romantic c … [Read more...]

On the Map: Liberation Won’t Be Gained On Behalf of ‘Others’

This was written by Mandy van Deven and originally appeared at Bitch Magazine.Poster 4 Tomorrow is a project based out of France that was founded this year to encourage artists to advocate “on behalf of those who don’t enjoy the same freedom of expression that you do” by designing posters that pronounce an explicitly political sentiment regarding the universal right to free speech. Right away this struck me as problematic. In order to truly work from a praxis of liberation, one must strug … [Read more...]

Friday Links — January 1, 2010

Happy (Gregorian) New Year, readers! Here's to another year together!A recent Cairo conference suggests that the sexual harassment of women is becoming a pan-Arab phenomenon, according to Al Ahram.Iran has barred single women from working for a state firm that operates a huge gas field and petrochemical plants on the shores of the Gulf.Hurriyet Daily News reports that the former director of Boğaziçi University blames women for the lack of women in administrative roles. Uh...The N … [Read more...]

Husband(s) and Wife: Nadine Al Bedair Writes About Polgamy’s Double Standard

Allow me to choose four, five or even nine men, just as my wildest imagination shall chose.I’ll pick them with different shapes and sizes, one of them will be dark and the other will be blonde. Tall or maybe short, they are to be Chosen from different denominations, religions, races and nations. And I promise you there will be harmony.Create a brand new positive law for me, or may be a divine one. Make me a new law under the umbrella of the fatwa and fantasies, those which you unanimously a … [Read more...]

Muslim Women Cartoonists

This was written Iqbal Tamimi and originally published at Middle East Online.One of the amazing fields where Muslim women have shown extra special skills in self expression is working as cartoonists. The skills of two Muslim women working in the same field but separated by a wide geographical and social distance is highlighted here, one in Pakistan and the other in Palestine.I guess a very small number of people in the West know about Muslim women creative artists in general, the majority … [Read more...]

Ted Talks About Women’s Bodies at Cultural Battlegrounds

TED Talks are short lectures of no longer than 18 minutes, delivered on a variety of subjects by numerous speakers.Sherin El Feki introduces her lecture as being about pop culture in the Arab world. She then states she's brought along an old friend and holds up a naked Barbie doll. Then she holds up a Fulla doll and introduces it as the Arab world's answer to Barbie. The Fulla doll is dressed in a black abaya and hijab, presumably for maximum contrast. … [Read more...]

Switzerland’s Minaret Ban: New Victims for an Old Propaganda

Last month, Swiss voters approved a ban on the construction of mosque minarets. It’s worth reminding everyone that among the 150 mosques built in Switzerland, only four used to have a minaret. Four too many, according to the right-wing Swiss People’s Party and 57% of the Swiss voters.Unlike other European countries, Switzerland has no colonial past in Arab or predominately Muslim countries, which many of the Muslim migrants living in Europe come from. Almost 60% of the Muslims based in Swi … [Read more...]