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...]

A Letter to Mona Eltahawy on “Headscarves and Hymens”

Dear Mona,Some of my fellow Muslimah Media Watch writers put together a roundtable about their thoughts on your book, and as I read it, I decided to explore some of their ideas and thoughts further. This review in the form of a letter stems from the need to address not only the book itself, but also the themes that are the core of your work in general.“Headscarves and Hymens” is a personal book. In fact, the information in this book is at times so intimate that you explain, “I have had to … [Read more...]

A Roundtable on Mona Eltahawy’s Headscarves and Hymens

kawragehh.jpeg

We will soon have a full review of Mona Eltahawy's Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. In the meantime, here is a discussion on the book by three of our writers.Sya: What's up with books about "the Middle East and North Africa" that are about female genitals, one way or another?Tasnim: The title reminded me of Shereen El Feki’s Sex and the Citadel. Having read both books, I feel Sex and the Citadel (reviewed here by Sya) was much better than H … [Read more...]

A proposed headscarf ban in the Swiss Canton of Valais

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 So apparently Swiss politicians, lacking in creativity, have nothing better to do than copy what is going on in France. After the burqa ban in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino and some local issues in the German-speaking cantons, the latest part of Switzerland to jump on the “policing women’s clothing” bandwagon is the Canton of Valais. In an article in the Geneva daily Le Temps, a delegate from the Swiss Socialist Party was quoted as asking if there was really a reason to vote … [Read more...]

Unintended Consequences: Minority Rights and Policy Making in the West

For many years now, countries around the world have been faced with the question of minority rights and religious accommodation. In Canada, where I currently live, questions about niqabs in courtrooms, voting stations and citizenship ceremonies have been raised in the past five years. Part of the debate has been the meaning of religious accommodation, the latest case being that of a student at York University who requested to be excused from working with females on religious bases. While the … [Read more...]

Rise of the Niqabi Criminal: Balaclavas, Burkas and Bank Robberies

Source: danielpipes.org

On December 30 of last year, someone wearing a niqab threw acid in the face of 20 year old Victoria's Secret shop assistant, Naomi Oni as she returned home after a late shift work one night. As Naomi Oni approached the flat she shared with her mother in Dagenham, East London, she caught a glimpse of the attacker before the acid was thrown at her.  Naomi Oni was almost blinded in the terrible, apparently random attack, although the Daily Mail guesses that this attack may have been motivated by … [Read more...]

Change Is Now? No, Not Yet: Manuel Valls as France’s New Interior Minister

Manuel Valls

I was rather excited about Francois Hollande winning the French elections this month.  I hoped that five years of hateful, fear mongering policy towards Muslims by Sarkozy and his minions would come to an end and that Hollande, for all his supposed blandness, would bring some low-key normalcy to the French presidency.There was one flaw in my reasoning: Manuel Valls, Hollande’s new Interior Minister.  The Interior Minister in France is a quite important cabinet position, responsible for int … [Read more...]


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