Knight in Shining Armor or Idiot in Tinfoil?

Dear Bill Maher,Hey there, Billy. I’m pretty sure I can call you that now, since you have taken a personal interest in saving my life. Recently, you made the statement that Muslim lands will not get democracy without a “sexual revolution.” Muslim men, in your opinion, are sexist demons, which are an extension of states that crush the rights of women.Let’s be clear: a lot of screwed up things happen “over there,” and some of those things are “far worse” than “here.” You’re right about that. Bu … [Read more...]

Law & Order’s Lovesick Jihad Jane

The story of Colleen LaRose, an American citizen charged with terrorist-related crimes, made headlines last March as Americans were assured that yet another terrorist plot had been foiled. Colleen La Rose, infamously known as “Jihad Jane,” was pictured all over the news, described in most cases as a victim of brainwashing. Captivated by the fact that a woman, instead of a man, was behind a terrorist plot, the media zoomed in on the life of Colleen LaRose, delving into areas of her love life and e … [Read more...]

(Attempting to) Go Beyond the Stereotypes

The headline of a recent series about Muslim women of the community in the Utica Observer-Dispatch reads, “Behind the veil: Stereotypes can be frustrating for Muslim women.”  Major groan.  You know what else can be frustrating for Muslim women?  Headlines like “Behind the veil.”But for the most part, this article, and its related stories of four Muslim women, reflects some degree of openness and honest curiosity to know more about Muslim women on their own terms, not simply to regurgitate stere … [Read more...]

Switzerland’s Latest Referendum: No Uglies Allowed

On November 28th, the Swiss voted in one of their many referendums. The topic of this referendum was the deportation of criminal foreigners. This seems innocent enough, but the Swiss, at least for one local party, found a way to give it an anti-female anti-Islam twist.  Sadly, this initiative, spearheaded (as usual) by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP/UDC in French) passed at almost 53%, albeit with a low participation rate by Swiss standards.Known for its colorful campaign posters with “Islamic t … [Read more...]

The Doha Debates on The Burqa Ban: Filling in the Gaps

This is a guest post, written by Layla in response to our Doha Debates Roundtable.I’m a Muslim woman by birth and cultural affiliation that has lived in the U.S., the Middle East, and most recently, France.  For a year and a half now, since President Sarkozy first began advocating the ban on the face veil, I’ve had mixed feelings about this issue.  So I was very excited to watch the Doha Debates on this subject, thinking that I’d finally hear an echo of how the two sides of this debate have be … [Read more...]

Gareth Compton’s Tweet: A Stone’s Throw from Islamophobia

Last month, Tory councilor Gareth Compton was arrested and later released on bail for writing a message in Twitter that said: "Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really."Compton has apologized for the Tweet and has declared that he was quite frustrated because Alibhai-Brown said in an interview that no British politicians are morally qualified to talk about human rights violations. Compton’s membership to the C … [Read more...]

Revealing Democracy: A Conference on Bill 94 (Part I)

Quebec’s Bill 94, which would deny access to public services to women who wear niqab, is back in parliamentary hearings and, by all accounts, likely to pass.  This past weekend, an international conference entitled "Revealing Democracy: Bill 94 and the challenges of religious pluralism and ethnocultural diversity in Quebec" was held at Concordia University in Montreal.  Its focus was on looking critically at the social and political contexts in which the bill has come to be.  Among other topics, … [Read more...]