The Crimes and Punishment of Apostasy and Adultery

[Source].

Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese doctor who married a Christian man in 2011, was convicted last week on charges of apostasy.  While Ibrahim has a Muslim father, she appears to have been raised Christian. Apostasy implies conversion, but as Ibrahim reportedly told the judge, "I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.” By her account, Ibrahim has always considered herself to be Christian, raising the question of what it means for a court to be using “Islamic law” to sentence her when its basis for … [Read more...]

How Not to Discuss Sexual Violence against Third World Women

Source

Last week I was invited to the Dutch embassy to celebrate the launching of the Nobel Women’s Initiative’s report on sexual violence against women in Sudan. The report is titled “Survivors Speak Out: Sexual Violence in Sudan,” and it is meant to address the situation of “mass rape” and other forms of sexual violence against Sudanese women of all religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.As a Masters student interested in issues of gender and gendered violence, I was quite excited to be on … [Read more...]

The Colourful Hijab of the African Muslimah

Photo from the Darfur Sartorialist (source).

The Darfur Sartorialist is an exhibition launched by Portuguese urban engineer, humanitarian and photographer Pedro Matos to showcase the colourful clothing and trendy fashion sense of women in Darfur, Sudan.Matos was in Darfur for three and a half years with the World Food Programme when he started taking these photographs in a country where it is apparently forbidden to do so. Initially surprised by the style and fashion that thrives in Darfur, contrary to Western images of the region … [Read more...]

Sisterhood of the Hot Pants: the Media’s Coverage of Lubna al-Hussein

Lubna al-Hussein’s recent trial for wearing pants has received a lot of attention in the media. Most of the attention has been focused on the “backwardness” of indecency law that apparently prevents women in Sudan from wearing pants in public. The law itself doesn’t actually describe what is “indecent” but it seems to be understood that the indecent clothing in this case was al-Hussein’s pants.This story did not initially spark much interest on my part, not because I don’t find the idea of fl … [Read more...]

Minaret by Leila Aboulela

In spring 2006, I was in a Barnes & Nobles in downtown Philadelphia looking for a book to read, when Minaret caught my eye. It was in a display of books recommended by the staff. The front cover wasn't that intriguing (usual woman with a veil on her face that often shows up on books about Muslim women) but I do remember being intrigued by the back cover especially a quote taken from the book: "I've come down in the world. I've slid to a place where the ceiling is low and there isn't much … [Read more...]


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