The H Word: A Piece of Cloth Loaded with More Than It Can Bear?

I have to admit that hijab narratives in media turn me off. Whether because it is exhaustively discussed or because most of these narratives rely heavily on clichés and fallacies, hijab is a subject that seems to me overloaded with notions that are not related in any way to what I see as the core of its true essence. However, being surrounded with multitudes of articles and reports on the topic, and being a Muslim woman living in a Muslim country that witnesses a shift in the way people perceive … [Read more...]

The Ramadan Blues

Since my conversion to Islam, I have spent every Ramadan in Canada. My Ramadans are often filled with the fasting experience and sumptuous iftars in my local mosque, as well as visiting fellow converts, for whom Ramadan can be a very lonely experience.This year was different. My life is currently in flux, first because I am moving from one city to another to pursue a Masters Degree and will be leaving behind the part of my family that lives in Canada, and also because I decided to visit … [Read more...]

The Burkha Rapper: Sophie Ashraf

Sophie Ashraf, also known as The Burkha Rapper, is an Indian Muslim female rapper for whom Muslim identity seems central to her art. This comes across clearly in her following statement on the Blind Boys website: Its like when you really like a band, you wear T-shirts of that band, Well we really, really like Islam, so we wear the burkha. I rap because I cant sing. But I love music, so it had to be rap. Soon, the burkha and the rap formed an identity of itself, and people started recognizing me … [Read more...]

Looking at Sarah from Little Mosque

The third season of Little Mosque on the Prairie has just started up, so I figured it was time to have a discussion about it. Actually, I'll be honest and admit that really, the reason I'm talking about it is that I wrote a paper on it for a class on popular culture last week, and figured I'd multi-task by tweaking the paper to post on MMW as well. But still. Although Little Mosque has been discussed on MMW a few times already, there's always lots to say..As a white Muslim woman who … [Read more...]

The Maple Effect: Sarah Maple’s Art

I've always loved viewing art, especially at museums, though I've never considered myself savvy enough to 'get it,' always resorting to a laywoman's interpretation. However, I've learned that regardless of what the artist intended in his/her piece, the observer/viewer/art connoisseur will see what s/he wants. Therefore, art can be a very controversial arena for expressing oneself, because the message of the piece never seems to be in anyone's control. Mind you, is it ever meant to be? So then … [Read more...]