Al Jazeera profiles Tuareg singer Fatimata Oumarr. Christian and Muslim girls from northern Nigeria talk about the risks they face in attending school. A Uyghur woman living in the United States pays tribute to her father, who is currently imprisoned in China. Syria Deeply interviews a Damascus woman who runs an orphanage about the increasing number of children orphaned and abandoned because of the war in Syria. A new IRIN short film called The Sins of the Fathers features the work of a… Read more

Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese doctor who married a Christian man in 2011, was convicted last week on charges of apostasy.  While Ibrahim has a Muslim father, she appears to have been raised Christian. Apostasy implies conversion, but as Ibrahim reportedly told the judge, “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.” By her account, Ibrahim has always considered herself to be Christian, raising the question of what it means for a court to be using “Islamic law” to sentence… Read more

In recent years, there has been a flood of talent shows in the Arab world, with tens of thousands of young (and sometimes old) people showing their talents in different fields. These shows are Arabic editions of international shows that have witnessed continuous success among a universal audience. There are shows for singers, such as Arab Idol, X-Factor and The Voice. There are also shows for different kinds of talents, such as Arabs Got Talent. There are even shows designed… Read more

“Breaking-barriers”, “challenging ideas”, and “crashing stereotypes” are just some of the words used to describe the activity of a popular group of Palestinian athletes known as the “Speed Sisters.” In 2009, this group of intrepid Christian and Muslim women started out as a racing team of eight, with the support of the Palestine Motor Sports Federation and some support from the British Embassy in Jereusalem. Now the team has four remaining members: Betty Saadah, Nour Dawood, Mona Ennab and Mahra… Read more

This post was written by Laila Alawa (@lulainlife). There’s a new face in town this congressional election season in the United States, and she isn’t here to contribute to the general elderly white male trope that is usually the case, plastered across campaign posters and events. Cheryl Sudduth is set to run for Congress, hoping to represent the 11th congressional district of California. Ms. Sudduth hopes to improve the public education system, and close the achievement gap for the community’s underserved. She’s… Read more

A new ad for a fashion label features a man in a burqa (oops, just spoiled the ending!) The photographer whose photos of girls from Guinea-Bissau were used as part of campaigns related to the girls kidnapped in Nigeriawrites about how African girls are not, in fact, interchangeable. A Feminist Wire piece by Rochelle Terman looks at the problems with Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s portrayals of Muslim societies and Muslim women. Teenage Muslim girls from Indonesia, Yemen, Mali, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan speak… Read more

When Love, InshAllah, edited by Ayesha Mattu and Nura Masnavi,  was initially published two years ago, I was thrilled. I may not have necessarily related to all the stories of those women but was happy to read them. And as cliche as it sounds, it was really challenging the notion that Muslimahs are a monolith. But the editors’ second anthology, Salaam, Love,  “an anthology of stories about love written from the perspectives of Muslim men,” initially had me less convinced…. Read more

On April 15th about 300 girls were kidnapped from a Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria by gunmen dressed as Nigerian army-men.  ABC News reports that some of the girls were taken to Chad and Cameroon for the purposes of forced marriage.  The news of the kidnapped Nigerian girls made it slowly to Facebook and Twitter, but it is only weeks later that the case has featured heavily in international news outlets and blog posts. It is a dramatic story,… Read more

Editor’s note: Anneke is taking a break from the Friday Links at the moment because she has just given birth to her third child.  We wish her and her family all the best, and I apologise that the links will not be nearly as extensive in Anneke’s absence! The situation of the more than 200 girls who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria has gotten increasing attention this week, both in mainstream media and on social media.  Many have… Read more

This post was written by Laila Alawa (@lulainlife). There is a serious paradox within the fashion industry. More specifically, within the subset of fashion ruled by Muslim women, a niche that has shifted greater fashion perspectives on hijab and modest-leaning clothing, and one that taps into the wide-open Muslim consumer market valued at $170 billion by marketing firm Ogilvy Noor. That problem comes in the form of the opposite gender – and the problems the male gaze brings with it…. Read more

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