Negotiating Muslim Steampunk

This post was originally published at wood turtle.Goggles and gears, corsets adorned with brass and lace brocade, Victorian aesthetics meshed with clockwork, artisans selling creative curios, side show fancies and handmade wares — all came together seamlessly for an imagined moment in time that transformed the historic Gladstone Hotel in Toronto for an annual steampunk street festival.With my feathered top hat pinned firmly to my hijab and my robotic “ocular enhancement” painted on my fac … [Read more...]

MMW Roundtable: Responding to Randa Jarrar’s “Why I Can’t Stand White Bellydancers”

Last week, Salon published Randa Jarrar’s “Why I Can’t Stand White Bellydancers” as part of their “feminists of color” series curated by Roxane Gay. The response to her post has been overwhelming, including responses from dudes at the Washington Post and The Atlantic to G. Willow Wilson’s response at her blog. We’ve been exchanging emails back and forth here ourselves at MMW. The following is our edited take on events: Fatemeh: Have you seen Randa Jarrar’s “Why I Can’t Stand White Bellydancers” … [Read more...]

Talking to White People (According to “Mike”)

A parody of Sex With Egyptian Women (According to “Mike”).  Hat tip to Sara Salem for her more straightforward takedown of the same article.Sometime ago I was twiddling my thumbs, waiting for a cab, in Luxor. As the wind pushed against me, I was reminded that I had missed lunch. I needed to eat something. Anything. My stomach cried out for a spoonful of koshary much in the same way those cute little beggar kids do. As I was trying to reassure my gastronomical desires that food was minutes awa … [Read more...]

Jellyfish Fantasies: The Creature with the Black Niqab Fetish

Like a horrific scene from a 1960s monster movie: unbeknownst to scientists on a fossil-hunting expedition along the mist-shrouded Arabian Gulf, a prehistoric creature of gargantuan proportions slowly emerges from the water to the piercing screams of... oh no, wait. It's not the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or even the Loch Ness monster -- it’s just a woman in niqab taking a dip off the cost of Dubai for a staged photoshoot."An Emerging Mystery" is the creation of Sebastian Farmborough, a … [Read more...]

Self-Conscious Orientalism in Craig Thompson’s Graphic Novel Habibi

Editor's note: A longer version of this post is available on Tasnim's personal blog.Craig Thompson’s graphic novel Habibi took 7 years to complete and is close to 700 pages. The result is described on the book’s website as “a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.” Set predominately in the imaginary Wanatolia, Habibi tells the stor … [Read more...]

In your local bookstore…

This great picture from Kawdess is one reason why MMW needs to exist. Thanks to Sabina England for the tip! We're going to go on a little vacation until Ramadan starts. We'll miss you a lot, but we'll see you again next week! … [Read more...]

A Danish Scheherazade: Suzanne Brøgger’s The Veil

The prolific and eclectic Danish writer Suzanne Brøgger has more than twenty works to her name, most of which have at one time or another been labeled as provocative. Brøgger became an overnight celebrity in Denmark back in 1973 with the publication of her acerbically-titled book of essays Fri os fra kærligheden (Deliver Us from Love), in which she presents elegantly formed arguments that conclude, in a manner both logical and tongue-in-cheek, that the family unit should be abolished and that me … [Read more...]