Bangladeshi Women, Media and the “Helpers of Allah”

This post is written by guest contributor, Sarabi N. Eventide (@SarabiNEventide)Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), the extremist group in Bangladesh responsible for the deaths of numerous secular and liberal bloggers, is once again attempting to dictate what is and is not acceptable in Bengali media. In its most recent move, the group issued a threat to media companies employing women and insisted that the female employees are in violation of Islamic law, especially the unveiled models in adve … [Read more...]

Making Sense of “the Other”: A Review of Without Shame by Katherine Russell

I am not going to lie, I started reading Without Shame with some skepticism - and I have to confess that skepticism stemmed at least in part from the author's background and previous writing. Katherine Russell is a non-Muslim, white Western writer with a background in poetry and love stories. In 2006 she published a book on stories of people living with cystic fibrosis (endorsed by Celine Dion), but it was only recently that she started writing about “the other.” You can find her reflections on h … [Read more...]

Book Review: Lajja, by Taslima Nasrin

I have been hearing about Taslima Nasrin from the time I was a child. The Muslim Bangla woman was accused of writing blasphemous anecdotes about Islam in her 1993 novel  Lajja, which drew a number of protests, including at least one group calling for her death and offering a reward; Lajja was banned in Bangladesh following widespread protest against its contents.So it was natural that I picked up a copy of Lajja when I recently found it in a roadside bookshop, as it was hard to find a copy … [Read more...]

Are We So Different: A Documentary Short Film That Falls Short of Telling Women’s Stories

Taking the title of “Best Documentary Short Film 2012” in the third Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is the telling documentary, “Amra Ki Etoi Bhinno.” The KASHISH – Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, an annual event held in Mumbai, India since 2010, screens films related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer issues India and around the world.“Amra Ki Etoi Bhinno” or “Are We So Different” is a film that follows hijras — a South Asian term for physiological males w … [Read more...]

Islamophobia in Transnational Feminist Discourses

Around 4,000 academics, scholars and activists gathered from March 16-18th at Pace University’s annual Left Forum conference. As a recent Occupy activist, I was ecstatic to come across a conference that centers on issues of capitalism and imperialism, along with panels that focus on the importance of feminist discourse to envision an alternative world. The Left Forum has been organized annually for many years and its 2012 theme –  “Occupy the System: Confronting Global Capitalism” –  was chosen i … [Read more...]

The price women leaders pay

Salam waleykum, readers! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to put together Friday Links for this week because I've been traveling and have some serious jet lag. But here's a great article instead! Try not to be too disappointed, mkay?Friday Links should return next Friday, enshallah.This was written by Bina D'Costa and originally appeared in The Daily Star.A little respect, please! Photo: Munem Wasif/ Drik NewsIs the global media completely oblivious to the … [Read more...]

Stand Up WITH Muslim Women, Johann

Muslimah Media Watch thanks Thabet for the tip.In Thursday, October 23rd's edition of The Independent, journalist Johann Hari asked the question "Dare we stand up for Muslim women?" Hari (pictured below right), a young British journalist with left leanings and who has defended Muslims against the fear mongering of Canadian right-wing writer Mark Steyn, has presented an interesting and compelling case for the need to better the situation of Muslim women in the world. His examples are … [Read more...]