Looking at Egypt’s first female mayor

Eva Habil, a 53 year-old Christian lawyer, became Egypt’s first female mayor on December 14, representing Komboha, a rural town in the south with a Coptic majority community. Habil (pictured left), whose father was mayor of Komboha, beat out five male candidates, including her younger brother. Why mention she’s Christian? Well, because in this same story, a niqabi who came out to congratulate Habil was asked if she’d ever pursue politics. She didn’t even have time to answer before her... Read more

Minaret by Leila Aboulela

In spring 2006, I was in a Barnes & Nobles in downtown Philadelphia looking for a book to read, when Minaret caught my eye. It was in a display of books recommended by the staff. The front cover wasn’t that intriguing (usual woman with a veil on her face that often shows up on books about Muslim women) but I do remember being intrigued by the back cover especially a quote taken from the book: “I’ve come down in the... Read more

Online Activism: Can it Work?

MMW thanks Ali Eteraz for The Huffington Post tip. Last week, Peter Daou at The Huffington Post wrote about the use of the internet’s growing and powerful use as an activist medium. He stated that “[o]ne universal aspect of effective activism is raising awareness and there’s no doubt that the web is an ideal tool to do that…” He continued to say that the rise of the internet as a tool of activism is “transformative, not just because it is... Read more

The Rahma Campaign: Have Mercy

There is an interesting new public service announcement campaign being produced in Saudi Arabia and shown across the Middle East, drawing attention to the abuse that many migrant domestic workers face, and emphasising Islamic traditions of mercy in calling for a change of attitude. (Okay, it’s not that new anymore, but we haven’t covered it yet!) Esra’a from Mideast Youth writes that: Domestic housemaids number in the millions in the region and most are in the Gulf. Many are reportedly... Read more

Friday Links — December 12, 2008

Muslim women in Jaipur, India, came out to vote in large numbers last week. Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil plans to run against Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz for the post of Wanita Umno chief in Malaysia at the party polls next March. The Guardian profiles photographer Haleh Anvari. Last week Bangladesh celebrated Begum Rokeya Day. The National highlights female racers organizing a charity drive in the U.A.E. IslamOnline covers the E.U.’s backing of the hejab ban. The Deccan Herald discusses... Read more

Princess Hijab

I admit, the title put me off a little. Princess Hijab? But when I looked through her flicker albums, I was blown away. Princess Hijab is an anonymous 20-year-old guerilla street artist based in Paris, who began her “noble cause” of “hijab-ising” advertisements in 2006. She does this by using spray paint and a black marker to cover women’s faces and bodies in ads, or by pasting “hijab ad” posters everywhere she goes. There’s no way of knowing if Princess... Read more

Salaam from a new blogger

Salamu Alaikum, It feels good to say that. I won’t answer my cell phone like that, but Salamu Alaikum from one Muslim sister to another, ain’t nothing wrong with that. One of the best ways of combating how the world perceives us, the poor Muslim female, the exotic Muslim female, the oppressed Muslim female, is to come together as a collective, united by our love for “the other.” As females, Muslim or not, hijabi or not, we are already “other.”... Read more

Salamu Alaikum. I’ll take the beaded nipple tassels please.

Before I graduated college, I had a hard time walking into Victoria’s Secret. The thought of picking out lingerie in front of total strangers made me uncomfortable, even if most of the other customers were women. Growing up an Arab Muslim woman, my shyness, genuine or not, was expected and encouraged. Our culture teaches us to be wary of sex, sexiness and the opposite sex, even as we voluntarily advertise, solicit and welcome it. [caption id="attachment_2005" align="alignleft" width="139" caption="Image via... Read more

Looking at Masjid Inequality in Australia

‘Eid Mubarak to everyone! ‘Eid ul’adha is a reflective time for Muslims all over. There’s the story Abraham and Ismail’s sacrifice to God and what that sacrifice means in terms of our own relationships to God. There’s also Hagar’s story of being in the desert and actively asking God to help her find food and water for her and her child. During Hajj itself, there are many lessons learned by the pilgrims. One of the greatest is the equality of... Read more

Bollywood’s Muslim Heroines: Of Love and Hate

I have been wanting to write about this for a looooong time. As a South Asian who grew up in Canada, Hindi films (aka Bollywood films) were always a way to stay connected to the my South Asian heritage. However, I have always known this to be a problematic connection, for a number of reasons: 1) I was born in Canada so have never actually lived in South Asia, making the connection distant and the culture often irrelevant to my... Read more