Friday Links

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British Pakistani Azi Ahmed has written a book called 'World’s Apart', about her experience as a Muslim training to join the SAS (Special Air Service).Julia Hartley Brewer investigates the motivations of British Muslim women who are joining Isis, arguing that they are seeking "freedom" from family members who control their lives, expecting them to "live in the Wes without enjoying many of its freedoms." Malaysian gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi has been criticised for her "revealing" leot … [Read more...]

Friday Links

A local council in Victoria, Australia asked non-Muslim women to wear hijabs to raise awareness and combat islamophobia, stirring controversy. A group of Muslim Pakistani-American women are pushing the boundaries on how Muslim women are perceived, especially when it comes to the comedy scene. They say: "Nobody expects Muslim women to be comedians." Global life stories: capturing Muslim women's lived realities is a project that reveals the striking disconnect between the … [Read more...]

One Muslim’s furry initiative gets Malaysian religious authorities hot under the collar

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Previously published on the author's personal blog.A few days ago, my husband killed a small mouse which had been living in our kitchen for some time (possibly a year, if it's the same one). He meant to trap it and release it but in a moment of panic he killed it (while apologising to it and that's why I married this dude). After the trauma of having experienced the senseless killing of an innocent animal, I lay in bed thinking about why I had such an irrational reaction to seeing the … [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...]

Entrenching Stigma: Malaysia’s Cross-Dressing Law

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2013 ended with another decision, somewhere in the world, to entrench the persecution and ostracisation of a minority group. I'm referring to a new syariah law introduced by the Pahang Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (MUIP) in early December 2013, which would imprison for a maximum of one year or fine up to RM1000 (USD 304) a man who dresses like a woman, or a woman who dresses like a man.The deputy director of the Pahang Islamic Religious Department (JAIP) added that the ruling … [Read more...]

Miss Malaysia – Not for Muslims?

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Beauty pageants have gotten a bad rap over the years for objectifying women by putting them on parade and privileging their looks over their personality or brains. Some pageants have actively tried to change this idea, by including a talent segment, and making charity work an increasingly bigger part of the winners’ duties. One such pageant for Muslim women was the 2011 Indonesian Muslimah Beauty competition, which emphasised women who "don hijab, have Internet and technology capabilities, Q … [Read more...]

On Insulting Islam: Maznah Yusof, Dog Trainer

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In Ramadan this year, a video made by Maznah Yusof, a 38 year-old Muslim woman dog trainer, caused controversy in Malaysia. Three years ago, she had created and uploaded a video of her and her dogs in celebration of Eid ul-Fitr. The video shows her walking her dogs on a street as the takbir (chanting on the eve of Eid ul-Fitr) is heard in the background.At the end of the video, Maznah explains that her message was meant to show that Eid should be celebrated regardless of species (animal or … [Read more...]


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