Colours and Voices: The International Museum of Women Muslima

After converting to Islam, I struggled with my community’s views on art, women and the combination of both. Having grown up in a society that prides itself on a variety of artistic movements, and being part of a very artistic family, I felt uncomfortable accepting my Muslim community’s idea that art is prohibited in Islam.Growing up, I was part of a children’s musical show that played music specifically for children. Being a child singer was a great part of my life from age four to eight … [Read more...]

China’s Women’s Mosques: Claiming Women’s Space in the Mosque

Over the past few years, I have been quite interested in Chinese Islamic practices. Part of it comes from my own Chinese ancestry, which is often clouded by strong Mexican traditions and marital institutions. Although today my mother’s family acknowledges that my great-great-grandfather was Chinese, a few decades back, no one was thrilled to admit that my great-great-grandmother engaged in an extra-marital affair with a man who “used to bow to pray,” as my great-grandaunt says.Although I will … [Read more...]

The Media’s Love Affair with Rebiya Kadeer and the Uighurs

Uighur Women in the SpotlightThe media loves Uighur women.They give them lots of margins, and inches on front pages. They plaster their photos and quote them favorably. In prominent photo spreads, they marvel at their exotic traditional attire. They sympathize with their struggle against the brutal, ruthless Communist China.Looking at the photos and pairing them with the numerous mainstream accounts of the Uighurs' struggle suggests (to even the casual follower of news) that Islam is not … [Read more...]