Discussing Muslim Women in Australia: An Interview With Joumanah El Matrah

Recently, Australia's ABC National Radio show, The Religion Report, covered the issue of racism experienced by Muslim women. In light of a recent Australian report entitled "Race, Faith and Gender" published by the Islamic Women's Welfare Council of Victoria that assessed the impact of racism on Muslim women, host David Rutledge interviewed Joumanah El Matra, the Executive Director of the Islamic Women's Welfare Council of Victoria about the issue. You can listen to the interview and read the … [Read more...]

Lisa Valentine: hijab and expletives

American hijabis often have a lot to think about when they step outside their doors. Will we be denied a job because of hijab? Will we be asked to take off our hijabs at work or school? Will our hijabs make us a target for racists and xenophobes? Will we be pulled out of line at the airport because of our hijabs? However, one place we don't expect hijab to cause us issue is in court. In courtrooms throughout the U.S., Muslim women wear hijab and Muslim men wear kufis if they're inclined to do … [Read more...]

Unpacking the “culture” argument

I wrote a few weeks ago about the effect of a fictional white character's Muslim identity on possible constructions and understandings of Islam and Muslim; this week I want to look at a couple non-fictional women in similar positions.On Open Salon, a network of bloggers, this weekend's top story was written by Sara O'Connell, an American woman of Irish descent who has been Muslim all her life. (In case you're wondering, no, I'm not going to engage with her discussion of hijab. I mean that. … [Read more...]

The Invisible Muslimah

What's the first image that comes to your mind when you think of a Muslim woman? Is she Arab or South Asian? White or maybe Afghan or Indonesian? Notice that I haven't mentioned African American (and also Latina). The media depiction of Muslim women usually does not include African American women. Often, Muslim women are depicted as coming from the Middle East or South Asia, and occasionally sub-Saharan Africa. Also, there has been increasing focus on Muslimahs of European descent, especially … [Read more...]

Drawn-Out: Stan of Arabia

So this is old. 2005 old. But I just saw it so I'm writing.I'm not the biggest fan of animated cartoon series like South Park, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad. Mainly because I believe that there are so many underlying messages that you don't notice you're exposed to because they're packaged in this cutesy way that makes you let down your guard and get sucked in. They perpetuate ideologies and modes of thinking according to the whims of the scriptwriters—whether they be supremacist, … [Read more...]

By the Pound: Racism in the Wrestling Ring

Last night, as I was flipping through the channels, I stopped on the Spike network, which is geared toward a male audience (well, most television is geared toward a male audience, but that’s a different soapbox). Perhaps I should say heavily geared toward a male audience. I mean, between the James Bond marathons, Axe commercials, and ultimate fighting programs, it starts to get a little, uh, over-done. The same way the Lifetime network’s pregnancy test commercials and movies about victimized wom … [Read more...]