Gendered Expectations in Facebook Cartoons

An image from the Lukisan Dakwah Islam group, on how women should dress.

I have noticed a trend on Facebook of pages created and maintained by male religious teachers in the Malay-speaking communities of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. CahayaIslam ("Light of Islam") and Lukisan Dakwah Islam ("Islamic Drawings for Da'wah") are two pages most intriguing to me for two reasons: because they create and share cartoons that are drawn in the style of manga, which is popularly associated with comic books cheaply available to children and youth; and because they circumvent t … [Read more...]

Faceless on Facebook

This Facebook page says women are daughters, wives or mothers, and hence should “hide” their beauty.

We've got yet another new contributor to introduce!  Welcome, Izzie!Recently, I got a Facebook friend request from a two-year-old boy. This wasn’t created by one of those enthusiastic parents who create Facebook profiles for their children as soon as they are born. This was of a Muslim woman who didn’t have a profile of her own, but who was interacting with her friends and family under her son’s name. I was largely irked out by why she didn’t use her own name, and how this practice was glorif … [Read more...]

Semra Çelebi’s Double Trouble with Hijab

Semra Çelebi's Facebook page "I took off my hijab" shares her decision to remove her headscarf after 16 years of wearing the hijab. According to Çelebi, the page was created "to gather stories and experiences of all those women around the world who stepped out of their traditional social environment and chose to live their own lives" and is dedicated to "all those women who struggle and have struggled to live their own lives." Both statements, inclusive and nonsectarian as they are, support Ç … [Read more...]

Using Laila ElBaradei as a Clear Smear

Egypt is gearing up for its presidential elections next year. As campaigns are off to a head start, so too is the mudslinging. The latest smear campaign is targeted at opposition leader and potential presidential candidate, Mohamed ElBaradei. However, instead of maligning ElBaradei himself, the smear campaign dishes out its unscrupulous attack on Laila ElBaradei, his daughter.The defamatory campaign, in which an anonymous Facebook page was created, featuring pictures of Laila wearing a … [Read more...]

68 Percent of Saudi Girls Drop Last Name on Facebook

This was written by Iman al Khaddaf and originally appeared in Asharq Alawsat.Are you on Facebook under your real name? This is the question that continues to haunt a large number of Saudi Arabian women, despite the fact that internet social networking sites rely primarily on factual personal information. However, a recent study carried out in Saudi Arabia shows that 68% of Saudi girls prefer to withhold their family name due to the sensitivity of this information, in comparison to just 32% of … [Read more...]


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