The Jewel of Edina: Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Edina Lekovic, the Communications Director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, says the hardest part of her job is convincing the media to run non-crisis stories about Muslims. Yusra interviews her to figure out what drives the woman we see on TV.Yusra: You work as the communications director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles—and you've called yourself a translator between Muslims and mainstream journalists. What's the hardest part of that job?Edina L … [Read more...]

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda: Islam as Rehab for Women

British novelist Martin Amis has expressed regret that his late sister did not embrace Islam to save herself from self-destruction. Everyone is understandably confused.To begin with, Amis is not a neutral figure on Islam and women: he thinks that Muslims should be masterminded into becoming “more like human beings.” He likes the idea of being a “gynocrat,” a feminist self-styling so unconvincing even the most naïve will feel cynical about his political predilections. In an interview with Abu Dh … [Read more...]

Nasir’s Nikah: One Woman’s Marriage Contract

Ayesha Nasir's recent article on Slate about signing her religious marriage contract in Pakistan tells of the family pressures that she and many of her "well-educated female friends" faced that led them to sign marriage contracts without reading them fully.The article is generally well-written, and brings up some important points.  Nasir talks about the ways that the Islamic marriage contract can be ideally used to protect the women who sign it (through the possibility for including sti … [Read more...]

The Green Scare: Muslim Immigrants as Britain’s Welfare Queens

British tabloids are often accused of offering hysterical coverage of major and inconsequential events alike.* The Daily Mail lives up to this unflattering generalization in its article regarding Essma Marjam, a single mother of six who is receiving housing benefits for a five bedroom house in the London Borough of Westminster.This is one in a long line of articles in The Daily Mail and other newspapers reflecting their outrage over single mothers receiving living costs from the state … [Read more...]

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...]