Friday Links


AfghanistanAfghan rights activist Aziza Rahimzada has been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize - an award previously won by Malala Yousafzai - and, like her Pakistani counterpart, hopes to spread her message of universal education and fundamental rights for Afghanistan’s youth.AustraliaA man attacked a 21-year-old Muslim woman outside the State Library of Victoria. The man then reportedly held a knife at a Muslim boy, 16, who tried to intervene. Although the police … [Read more...]

Friday Links

AustraliaMonique Toohey, a Muslim psychologist, met with Australian Labor MPs on Wednesday to discuss the need to change Australia’s tone on the discussion about violent extremism and Muslims. Toohey, who has experienced online bullying for her activism, is calling for the government to consult with Muslim communities in order to develop well-rounded de-radicalization programs.CanadaIn Canada, Zarqa Nawaz, creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie and Me and the Mosque, was quoted c … [Read more...]

“Amira & Sam” and the Hijab


The issue of stereotyping Muslims has been controversial throughout Hollywood’s history, and looking at American films and TV in general, we can see that Muslim men (usually represented as dark skinned, bearded, and speaking broken English) have almost invariably placed the "bad people category." Nick Recktenwald, from The Mic comments on this here: In general, Muslims in Hollywood cinema exist as one-dimensional characters: ignorant menaces hell-bent on kidnapping or killing as many Westerners … [Read more...]

The Countdown to the Jaafari Law Decision


On April 30th the Jaafari Personal Status Law will be voted on in the Iraqi Parliament. The Jaafari Law, as it's being referred to, has been controversial because it would enable Shia men to marry girls as young as 9 years old. Whereas the legal age for marriage in Iraq is 18 years of age, the Jaafari Law does not state an age limit for marriage, but spells out the divorce conditions for girls who have reached the age of 9. This piece of legislation, nonetheless, would also legalize marital rape … [Read more...]

Hayv Kahraman: ”Telling Tales of Horror with a Demure Grace”

Hayv Kahraman, Collective Cut, via Art Slant

Hayv Kahraman is an Iraqi artist whose work reflects on issues of gender, looking at the victimization of women during war, and the effects of practices such as honor killings and genital mutilation, as well as alienation, marginalization, and displacement. Kahraman addresses these contemporary issues through paintings which have a classical and timeless feel to them, her delicate and elegant work in tension with the complex issues and painful real-world realities which she often takes as her … [Read more...]

On Mannequins and Messaging in the New York Times

This article was written for Muslimah Media Watch by Anny Gaul.Yesterday, The New York Times ran an article about what Iraqi women are wearing these days. It paints a picture of a once-secular society’s pluralism run amok: “Vendors around the Kadhimiya mosque in northern Baghdad sell all manner of women’s clothing, from drape-like black abayas to racy evening wear. But on a recent afternoon, Hameed Ibrahim ushered his family toward a different kind of fashion display.” The piece goes on to des … [Read more...]

The New Pornographers: Operation Iraqi Freedom?

Few people would agree that pornography has hardly been an indicator of freedom or political stability. Some more would also agree that it is not a universal symbol of advancement or female empowerment. Nonetheless, this week Tarek El-Tablawy, an Associated Press writer, affirmed that pornography availability mirrors Iraq’s improvements in security and politics.More surprising, however, is the fact that many well-known websites published his article with little or no analysis. Websites such as … [Read more...]