Revisiting the Islamic Spirit: Women at the 2009 RIS Convention: Part I

This is part one of a two-part series reviewing the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention. Stay tuned tomorrow for part two!This year’s Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) Convention was held in Toronto from December 25-27, 2009.  Those of you who have been reading MMW for a while might remember my reflections on it last year (in which I praised the conference, but lamented the very small number of female speakers), and my reflections on the joint RIS-ISNA Canada conference that happened last su … [Read more...]

Tavakoli’s Triumph: Scores in Chadors

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to side with either the government or the opposition of Iran, but to analyze the use of gender in a recent campaign.Being a woman is considered so shameful that if you are an outspoken male opposition supporter in Iran, the press will release a picture of you wearing a headscarf and chador to humiliate you.This is exactly what happened to Majid Tavakoli, a prominent student leader in Iran (image below). Tavakoli was arrested in last week's … [Read more...]

Tariq Ramadan Speaks to South African Women

Last weekend, my husband and I made the six hour drive to the coastal city of Durban, to attend a series of lectures and seminars by Professor Tariq Ramadan. In an earlier post, I reviewed Ramadan's latest book, Radical Reform. I certainly appreciate Ramadan's work, and feels he is one of the very few contemporary egalitarian Islamic scholars.One evening of the conference was dedicated especially to women's issues, as the rather simplistic poster advertisement points out. "To work or not to … [Read more...]

Authority, the Media, and Muslim Women

I have begun to read Khaled Abou El-Fadl’s Speaking in God’s Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women again. My first attempt was about two years ago while I was still finishing my Bachelor’s. The book is not easy to get through and the first time out proved to be a massive failure. This time is proving to be better, since I have more time to read it (although it is still proving to be difficult yet enjoyable to read). As we can tell from the title, a huge part of the book is dedicated to autho … [Read more...]

Mild Toxic Waste: Malaysian Women’s Television Programs

As I count the hours to the day I return to Malaysia, I'm compiling my notes and thoughts for a small research project on media images of women in the capital. But I've already started collecting preliminary data; my immense curiosity in the representation of Muslim Malay women in the current media took me as far as binging on toxic levels of Malaysian online television recently. So in a way, this post will serve as an introduction to an analysis of the popular trends affecting Muslim Malay … [Read more...]

Announcing the Arrival of altmuslimah and Muslim Lookout

Salam waleykum, readers! I have lots of announcements!altmuslimah, a kind of "sister" site to altmuslim, launched today. It's a wonderful site that discusses gender and Islam in an intelligent, thoughtful way, and it's put forth by many of the same people who are behind altmuslim, with one notable addition: me! I'm serving as associate editor to the site. I've also written a piece for the website's launch. It's a review of the movie AmericanEast. Be sure to check altmuslimah out!Also, Sobia … [Read more...]

A Look at Women in Iran 30 years after the Islamic Revolution

It has been 30 years since the Islamic Revolution in Iran and Western media has a slew of various features looking at Iran. The subject of many of these features is Iranian women and, the common themes in these stories are that Iranian women have made some progress, but that more progress has to be made.There is the usual focus on hijab, with stories pointing out that hijab is mandatory. The AFP seemed particularly focused on hijab: "The Islamic republic still struggles to keep women properly … [Read more...]


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