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...]

Friday Links — December 25, 2009

Fifteen-year-old Fahema Abdillahi has been missing for over a week. May Allah keep her.Afghan women write their stories for the Afghan Women's Writing Project.Iran plans on holding an International Congress on Successful Women Who Wear Hijab.A French parliamentarian said he would file legislation to bar Muslim women from wearing veils that hide their faces in public.Egypt’s Attorney General Abdel Maguid Mahmoud revealed that there were an estimated 9,351 under-age marriages in t … [Read more...]

A Tale of Muslim Women Activists in Two Cities

Writing for MMW, I often get tired of seeing images, over and over, of Muslim women as oppressed, helpless, and passive. It's always a nice change to see pieces in the media that demonstrate alternate representations, even when these can come with their own problems.  Two recent articles about Muslim women working as activists and community leaders illustrate two very different ways of writing about active Muslim women.The first article, Muslim in NYC: Muslim Women Defy Stereotypes With … [Read more...]

Homeland Insecurity: A Study in How We Felt After 9/11

September 11, 2001 was different for everybody. But it’s safe to say that U.S. Muslims bore a significant burden. As soon as it was announced that the hijackers were Arab and Muslim, it seemed we’d inevitably be associated with the hereto-unpronounced “tribe.” After all, wasn’t that how America thought of us anyway?In her book Homeland Insecurity, Louise A. Cainkar argues that the idea that all Muslims were somehow connected to 9/11 was easily accepted because of the preexisting isolation of Ar … [Read more...]

Pop Meets Sufi Soul in Rajae El Mouhandiz’s New Album

East meets West and pop meets soul in the latest album from Dutch international music star, Rajae El Mouhandiz, released this past Saturday.But of all the words to describe Hand of Fatima, Sufi-inspired might be the most fitting.The album is a musical meander through the life and times of Rajae, a 30-year-old North African Muslim woman who grew up in Amsterdam and who uses her international background to inspire her music.Released three years after her debut album Incarnation, Rajea’s l … [Read more...]

Tavakoli’s Triumph: Scores in Chadors

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to side with either the government or the opposition of Iran, but to analyze the use of gender in a recent campaign.Being a woman is considered so shameful that if you are an outspoken male opposition supporter in Iran, the press will release a picture of you wearing a headscarf and chador to humiliate you.This is exactly what happened to Majid Tavakoli, a prominent student leader in Iran (image below). Tavakoli was arrested in last week's … [Read more...]

Friday Links — December 18, 2009

Salam waleykum, readers!As you can see, we have a lovely new look here at MMW. I hope you're as excited about it as we are!I also hope you can forgive the terrible job I'm going to do with this week's Friday links. I'll be honest: I thought I could do a quick linkup job last night. When I looked at my Delicious inbox and saw 100 new links, I knew I was wrong. So I'm just going to cut and paste all the links here (yes, all 100 of them), without my usual finesse or snark. I'll try to delete … [Read more...]