Maher’s Muddled Muslim Dior Mockery

Based on his über-liberal political views, I assume Bill Maher has an open mind, and therefore understands that fashion transcends cultures. But for the sake of being a douche, he pretends like he doesn’t in his parody of niqabi women in a skit called "Muslim Dior,” part of his But I’m not Wrong comedy show. He also ran the skit on his television show, Real Time:I think it’s hard to argue with this statement: All women wear clothes and many women like fashion. Muslim women are no different. … [Read more...]

The Boy Who Cried “Witch!”: Saudis Investigate Domestic Workers for Witchcraft

Something decidedly medieval is in the air in Saudi Arabia. Fears of black magic and curses cast by Indonesian domestic helpers have spread across the country, and  Saudi employers increasingly feel the need to hire private investigators to check their domestic workers for suspicious behavior and evidence for witchcraft.Investigators, mostly foreign women from neighboring countries, are paid to search for photographs, hair, or clothes belonging to the employers before the domestic helpers are … [Read more...]

Don’t Ask Why: the BNP on Question Time

If you live in the U.K., you've no doubt been following (or have at least heard about) the controversy surrounding the far right British National Party's appearance on Question Time. If you don't, or you haven't, allow me to explain: following the election of two British National Party (BNP) MEPs in the 2009 European elections this summer, a representative of the BNP was invited onto one of the BBC's flagship political debate television programs last Thursday. The panel included Chris Huhne … [Read more...]

Your Joke is Not My Joke: Racism and Sexism in Jokes and Satire

Have you ever noticed how minorities—and oppressed people in general—lack a sense of humor? Lately, there have been plenty of jokes about Arabs and Muslims. So why aren’t we laughing?French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux recently felt his joke fall flat after this year’s summer congress. One of his traditional supporters, Amin Benalia, asked if he could take a picture with the minister. A woman in the crowd jokingly introduced Benalia to the team as someone different because he “eats pork an … [Read more...]

Burqa Tourism at its Finest: How to Become an Expert on Muslim Women in Just One Week

Alicia wrote last week about female members of the British police force wearing burqas and headscarves to try to better understand the Muslim community.  Well, it seems like it's "dress like a Muslim" month in Britain, because the Daily Mail's Liz Jones has just written about her own experience wearing a burqa for a week.  It's not pretty.Before I start, I'll just say that, while I'm skeptical of any attempt to wear hijab in order to better comprehend (hijab-wearing) Muslim women's lives, I c … [Read more...]

Judge Judy: Judy Bachrach Plays Judge, Jury, and Executioner

Some articles are fairly subtle in their Islamophobia, others less so.Judy Bachrach's article "Twice Branded: Western Women, Muslim Lands," starts off badly and then to proceeds to elicit gasps with its sheer awfulness. It even cites Not Without My Daughter as an accurate depiction of life for most Muslim women. Yes, really. The title itself states how difficult it is to be a white woman in a Muslim (read: non-white) place. Grab an onion, folks, it's time to cry for the poor white … [Read more...]

It’s Barbie’s World

This post was written by Farah Banihali and originally appeared at AltMuslimah and Nuseiba.Last month Melbourne was host to “Forever Barbie” – an exhibition which “celebrates 50 years of a pop culture icon.” I’ve had my fair share of Barbie dolls when I was younger, but an exhibition? Since when did Barbie become an appropriate "cultural" artifact to celebrate?The critiques against Barbie are well known: she is a commodity that has come to define femininity and symbolize and perpetuate Weste … [Read more...]