Malalagate, Patriotism, and Disingenuous Agendas

Art by Eiynah (@nicemangoes).

Last week, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai was declared a co-winner of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, along with activist Kailash Satyarthi. Since then there have been numerous articles, support pieces and critiques addressing her win, and the expected conspiracy theories. The announcement even reheated a discussion on the validity and relevance of the Nobel Peace Prize itself.We have covered Malala a few times on MMW. Merium has written of the media frenzies that have engulfed … [Read more...]

What Should We Make of the Malala Issue?

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Editor’s note: Malala Yousafzai has been extensively covered in media lately, and several MMW writers wanted to weigh in on the way she is being portrayed. This is the final post about her; see also Amina's and Nicole's posts from earlier this week.Malala Yousafzai has figured in MMW’s posts since the Taliban attempted to kill her due to her activism, which was discussed by Merium last year.  In another post, guest contributor Ossob described the difficulties that Malala’s figure posed not on … [Read more...]

Is Pakistan Really Neverland?: Malala, the Perpetual Child Activist

Malala Yousafzai being interviewed by Jon Stewart.  Via News Asylum.

Editor’s note: Malala Yousafzai has been extensively covered in media lately, and several MMW writers wanted to weigh in on the way she is being portrayed. Yesterday, Amina wrote about portrayals of Malala as an exception, and today Nicole Hunter Mostafa looks at the focus on Malala being a child.  Stay tuned for a final Malala post by Eren later this week.Are you tired of hearing about Malala Yousafzai yet? If you type “Malala is” into Google (at least, here in Saudi Arabia), the first three … [Read more...]

From Gaga to Malala: Muslim Women as Stereotypes and Exceptions

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Editor's note: Malala Yousafzai has been extensively covered in media lately, and several MMW writers wanted to weigh in on the way she is being portrayed.  Today's post is by Amina; stay tuned for reflections from Nicole and Eren later this week.Just a couple of months ago, Lady Gaga wore a ridiculous, sheer pink burqa. While I didn’t buy her reasons for it, she allegedly did it as some vague, old attempt at empowering Muslim women by trashing a form of hijab.(Read Eren’s take on “Pink Burqa … [Read more...]

America and Oppressed Muslim Women

Malala Yousafzai on the cover of Time Magazine.  Via Yahoo! News.

“She ought to be in prison for wearing the hijab” said conservative political pundit Ann Coulter on Fox news two weeks ago. Then she added, seemingly baselessly, “Did she get a clitorectomy too?” Given that America’s impression of Muslim women as a whole is often still that of oppressed and childlike foreigners, remarks like Coulter’s are no shock. They do, however, raise the question of how a culture that views a group as so devoid of agency handles the power and activism that they do demonstrat … [Read more...]

Malala and the Media: Not Black and White

Malala Yousafzai. [Source].

This post was written by guest contributor Ossob.Looking back at recent media attention on Muslim women, the story of Malala Yousafzai stands out because it simultaneously inspired and frustrated me. A young Muslim woman had captured the attention of the global media for, it would appear, all the right reasons. Malala Yousafzai, the bright 14-year-old activist brutally attacked by the Taliban, has not fit neatly into the dominant narrative of Muslim women as oppressed, feeble, and silent. … [Read more...]


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