Politics as Usual: France Gets Riled Up About a Candidate’s Headscarf

Headscarves are the hot talking point in French politics again. But on this occasion, we aren’t talking about girls getting kicked out of high school or women getting kicked out of mayors’ offices.No, the latest uproar comes about Ms. Ilham Moussaïd, a candidate from the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) in France’s upcoming regional elections who dares to “visually” identify herself as a Muslim and stand for election.  Feminists and politicians are up in arms. While not the first candidate wit … [Read more...]

An Interview with Emma Tarlo, Author of Visibly Muslim

Last week, I reviewed Emma Tarlo's book Visibly Muslim: Fashion, Politics, Faith. This week, I got the chance to speak with her further about the book and her experiences writing it.Sara: Was there any inter-generational tension involving “newer” hijab fashions?Emma Tarlo: With most of the people I interviewed, their mothers did not wear hijab so the parents did not object. In a few cases mothers even adopted hijab following their daughters’ examples. More often, I came across cases where pa … [Read more...]

Portrait of The Grey Lady: Aafia Siddiqui’s Construction in the Media

Following a long trial, this month Aafia Siddiqui was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder of U.S. soldiers and FBI agents while being held in custody in Afghanistan in 2008. Known as “Lady al Qaeda,” she was identified in 2004 as the only woman among seven most wanted al Qaeda operatives.The media coverage of her trial has made much of her extensive psychiatric testing, which eventually concluded that she had faked her mental illness. Doctors stated that she was "in … [Read more...]

Malaysia’s Newest Cane Campaign

In Malaysia, where we are swamped with mixed messages from religious authorities and pop song lyrics, those of us lucky enough to find love are bound to run into trouble. Just a week short of Valentine's day, three women and three men were caned under Shariah law for committing “illicit sex.” This marks the materialization of a long threat to punish Muslim Malaysians for moral crimes – prior to this, no one had been caned for unlawful sexual behavior. Curiously, the public was informed more than … [Read more...]

Friday Links — February 19, 2010

Daily Nation profiles the gender issues that a Muslim woman man has been living with since he was born.Islam Online gives us the story of a Parisian niqabi whose life will be affected by the burqa ban.On the difficulty and danger that female Gazan journalists face.Parveen Abidi believes that the All-India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board isn't taking Muslim women's concerns or needs seriously.Two Emirati Women Scale Mount Kilimanjaro!The Buffalo News remembers Aasiya Zubair H … [Read more...]

Honoring Aminatou Haidar

Sahrawi activist Aminatou Haidar has recently been awarded the first annual International Jovellanos “Resistance and Freedom” Prize, bestowed by the governments of the Spanish regions of Asturias and the Balearic Islands, in order to “acknowledge the civic values of people from anywhere in the world who have distinguished themselves through their struggle for freedom and human rights and in particular, of persons who have unjustly been the object of persecution, or are undergoing or have under … [Read more...]

Maher’s Muddled Muslim Dior Mockery

Based on his über-liberal political views, I assume Bill Maher has an open mind, and therefore understands that fashion transcends cultures. But for the sake of being a douche, he pretends like he doesn’t in his parody of niqabi women in a skit called "Muslim Dior,” part of his But I’m not Wrong comedy show. He also ran the skit on his television show, Real Time:I think it’s hard to argue with this statement: All women wear clothes and many women like fashion. Muslim women are no different. … [Read more...]