The Subtleties of Being Caught in the Crossfire

This post was written by guest contributor Amina Jabbar (@AminaJabbar).

Amina Jabbar, Twitter handle: @AminaJabbar

In a recent article, “Muslim women are caught in the crossfire between bigots on both sides,” Sara Khan thoughtfully maps the spaces that Western Muslimahs negotiate. Muslim women, on one end, are more likely to experience Islamophobic violence than Muslim men. In the UK, Khan notes, as much as 54% of the violence is perpetrated by those with links to the British National Party (BNP) or the English Defence League (EDL), groups that fall on Britain’s far-right. On the other end, Khan notes that Muslimahs often live with patriarchal, religious edicts from the not-so-different extreme corners of some Muslim communities. In the end,

“Stuck between a rock and a hard place, some vulnerable Muslim women experience victimisation on multiple fronts: they face violent anti-Muslim attacks at the hands of racist bigots, and encounter gender discrimination from within their own communities.”

In my experience as a queer-identified, brown, Muslim woman in Canada, the vast majority of my encounters with homophobia, sexism, racism, and Islamophobia have been far more subtle than the incidents Khan describes. Yet, while nuanced, those moments are often no less painful because they frequently originate, not from “extremists” or the “bigots,” but from communities I belong to and people I love. [Read more...]