Dear Muslim Leaders: I am a Convert not an “Extremist”

Source

  A few months ago I was applying for a job when I was suddenly required to attend an in-person interview with a member of the intelligence services. I was interviewed by a white male, who very politely went on to ask me questions for the next two hours. The most puzzling part of the interview though was that I suddenly saw my life through a very gendered lens.I was asked about my conversion to Islam and whether or not a “boyfriend” had tried to recruit me for the purposes o … [Read more...]

Malalagate, Patriotism, and Disingenuous Agendas

Art by Eiynah (@nicemangoes).

Last week, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai was declared a co-winner of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, along with activist Kailash Satyarthi. Since then there have been numerous articles, support pieces and critiques addressing her win, and the expected conspiracy theories. The announcement even reheated a discussion on the validity and relevance of the Nobel Peace Prize itself.We have covered Malala a few times on MMW. Merium has written of the media frenzies that have engulfed … [Read more...]

A Muslim Thanksgiving?

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated the second Monday of October. Coming from Mexico, Thanksgiving has never meant very much to me. In fact, it tends to be a reminder of how complex and honestly messed up settler-Indigenous-immigrant relationships are in Canada.Whereas some Canadians have tried to differentiate themselves from Americans by tracking the history of the holiday to the pre-contact harvest season, the so-called “discovery of America,” or the successful completion of set … [Read more...]

Not in Our Name: Muslim Women and the Quebec Charter

Quebecers protest the Charter of Secularism. [Source].

A few weeks ago, I spoke as part of a panel at the University of Ottawa about the Quebec Charter of Secularism, speaking both as Editor-in-Chief of Muslimah Media Watch and as a founding member of the Collective of Muslim Feminists of Quebec.  This is an edited version of my talk, updated to reflect shifts in the political context in the time since it was first presented (notably the announcement last week that Quebec will be holding provincial elections on April 7).  Many thanks to the Muslim L … [Read more...]

Unintended Consequences: Minority Rights and Policy Making in the West

For many years now, countries around the world have been faced with the question of minority rights and religious accommodation. In Canada, where I currently live, questions about niqabs in courtrooms, voting stations and citizenship ceremonies have been raised in the past five years. Part of the debate has been the meaning of religious accommodation, the latest case being that of a student at York University who requested to be excused from working with females on religious bases. While the … [Read more...]

The Elephant in the Room: Niqabs in the Courtroom

The Supreme Court of Canada. Guided Tour 2013.

A couple of years ago I attended a lecture delivered by Dr. Natasha Bakht at the University of Alberta, who had come to advocate for women’s right to religious accommodation in the courtroom, a subject which proved to be quite divisive. I wrote a post about it on my personal blog, as I personally felt that her views on the issue were refreshing after all the anti-niqab brouhaha that was around back then.Dr. Bakht’s speech focused on the now famous N.S. vs. the Queen case that took place in On … [Read more...]

Eid in Four Countries

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As one final addition to our Ramadan 2013 posts, we wanted to share a series of reflections on how Eid was spent among some of our writers. Writing, respectively, from South Africa, Pakistan, Canada, and Kuwait, MMW bloggers Safiyyah, Merium, Shireen, and wood turtle bring us their experiences of food, gender issues, politics, and celebration.Safiyyah (South Africa)In South Africa this year, 'Eid day coincided with our national holiday, "Women's Day" on 9 August. Women's Day in South … [Read more...]


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