The Latest on the Headscarf “Situation” in Switzerland

[Source].

The Swiss federal government gives a lot of leeway to cantons, cities and even schools and professional associations (for those of you who remember the Sura al Shawk case, where the original decision of basketball association, Probasket, was allowed to stand by the courts) to decide their hijab policies on a case-by-case basis.So despite having a nationwide minaret ban (which isn't as much about Islam as it appears on the surface), unlike in France, there is no national headscarf "law" in … [Read more...]

No Culture for Niqabis

Part of the infographic produced by Libération.

The French "niqab" ban (burqa ban, whatever ban…call it what you will) of October 2010 has not faded away from the public consciousness in France at all. What I had originally hoped was just right-wing propaganda has turned out to be, since its entry into force in April 2011, part and parcel of a unique French interpretation of democracy and a revisionist version of French secularism, or laïcité. What started as laïcité was a series of what were originally anti-Catholic laws in 1882 and 1905, whi … [Read more...]

I know, I know, hijab makes you beautiful

Screenshot from video

When I was 19 years old and just exiting from the rebellious teenage years, I stepped out of the house with my hijabi sister. I was newly de-jabbed (the first tentative attempt of many), and feeling awkward and – for lack of a better description – naked. My neighbour happened to step out at the same time, looked at the two of us, and proceeded to declare my sister the prettier of the two of us.“Beautiful! Your sister looks so beautiful in hijab!” Embarrassed, I tried to disappear. Eventually … [Read more...]

Muslim Women in Sports Media: Is It Still Progress if No One Cares?

Egypt’s national women’s basketball team. [Source].

On September 16, 2014, basketball’s international governing body, FIBA, announced it would be allowing headcoverings during competitive play for a trial period. It stopped short, however, of permanently lifting its ban on hijabs, turbans and yarmulkes worn by basketball players. Stories of players being rejected from tournaments and forced to forfeit because of their headcoverings have been reported for the last few years.A development that could potentially include thousands of players is g … [Read more...]

My Subversive Little Girl in Blue

Photo provided by the author.

I’ve always been fascinated by how certain symbols function as gender markers in the societies I’ve known. Little hijabs for little girls is one example, while a non-Muslim friend of mine dresses her also sparsely coiffed infant in frilly pink dresses because people keep thinking she’s a little boy. It can be so uncomfortable for parents to see their little girl babies be still bald for years that a little hijab or flower headpiece seems truly essential.I’m not too bothered by what people … [Read more...]

The Headwrap Expo: Shifting the Conversation

[Source].

On June 8th, the 2014 Headwrap Expowas held in Dearborn, Michigan, billed as an event on “the art of headwrapping and scarf styling,” bringing together fashion, culture and interfaith dialogue.The event was presented by Beautifully Wrapped, an organization celebrating the art of headwrapping. According to Zarinah El-Amin Naeem, founder of Beautifully Wrapped, The Headwrap Expo is intended to celebrate “fusion — looking at how different cultural aspects, different things that people wear in di … [Read more...]

The Sad Stories of Muslim Women in Pictures

Aid, a body builder, and his mother by Denis Dailleux - via World Press Photo.

My dad has been an avid photographer since I can remember. As a kid I was constantly photographed with a traditional analog camera and black and white film. As a teenager, it was my dad’s passion that led me to learn professional photography through vocational education. Photographs, my dad used to tell me, are a “window” into someone else’s life. This “window” is not necessarily how they see themselves, but how the world around them perceives them.It was not long before I started collecting … [Read more...]


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