#PrayforParis, Muslim Women and Third World Violence


Upon learning about the Paris attacks and the #PrayforParis hashtag that emerged, I felt many things – but I was not shocked. Violence does not shock me. As a woman of colour and as an immigrant, it is part of my surroundings.I have become desensitized to violence. If you are like me and grew up in a Third World country that has experienced violence during your lifetime, chances are you understand.Growing up in Latin America in the 90’s in 2000’s I witnessed hundreds of missing and murde … [Read more...]

Has Quantico got positive female Muslim roles covered?


This post is written by Guest Contributor Fatin Marini (@FatinMarini1)As of this writing, the author has watched up until episode 5. We will have a follow up post soon!  When I first heard about ABC’s Quantico, I rolled my eyes. A show about FBI recruits, one of which was a Muslim hijabi woman, with an Indian leading lady and a terrorist attack? I knew where this was heading. It was going to be Homeland all over again. And I didn’t need to spend my evenings on that. … [Read more...]

Friday Links

Linda Sarsour is a woman in a hurry. Only 35, she has already helped to partly dismantle the New York Police Department’s program of spying on the city’s Muslims and has worked with officials in City Hall to close public schools for the observance of two of Islam’s most important holy days. The New York Times writes a special profile on Sarsour.Inside Behpooshi Modelling School in Tehran, models-to-be learn to pose and catwalk in accordance with Iranian law. The Middle East Eye highlights Ira … [Read more...]

Why, My Brother? On Terror in Ramadan


I was breaking my twenty hour fast when I saw the footage from Sousse for the first time, a video taken by one of the hotel workers who is heard saying, repeatedly: “aleish, aleish tugtel fil naas?” (Why, why are you killing people?). The familiar accent, and the bewildered tone of the man speaking, brought home to me what the man meant when at one point he said “ya khuya,” my brother. Because the murderer who massacred at least 38 on that beach resort was someone who could have been his brother … [Read more...]

“Torn”: A Tale of Tolerance and Doubt

Scene from the movie Torn.

After reading the synopsis of Torn , a film written by Michael Richter and directed by Jeremiah Birnbaum, I thought: Oooh, this might be yet another film on the post 9/11 era, blaming the Muslim community for all evil things that happened, and echoing  all sorts of stereotypes that have defined America’s perceptions of Muslims around the world.But Richter and Birnbaum proved me wrong. After watching Torn, I believe cinema can still surprise us with bold ideas and out-of-the-box un … [Read more...]

White Widows, Black Widows and Jihad Janes: What Does A Terrorist Look Like?

Samantha Lewthwaite pictured on the cover of a newspaper in 2005. [Source].

The recent arrest warrant issued by Interpol for Samantha Lewthwaite has fuelled media fuel speculation that she was involved in the attack that killed more than 60 people in Nairobi’s Westgate mall. Since speculation always makes a good story, there has been an overwhelming amount of coverage on the woman dubbed “The White Widow.” The stories seem eerily familiar. Perhaps because, like Colleen LaRose (aka Jihad Jane), Lewthwaite has her own alliterative alias. Or because like Katherine Russell ( … [Read more...]

Al-Shamikha: Not Your Average Ladymag?

A new magazine is “making waves” in Europe and North America—or so it would seem from the media coverage. Al-Shamikha, a publication directed to women and published by Al-Fajr Media Centre (Al-Qaeda’s online propaganda distributor), has been defined as “Al-Qaeda’s Cosmopolitan” or “Jihad Cosmo.” The magazine, which is roughly 30 pages long, covers a variety of topics that range from beauty to “proper” wifehood and motherhood.  The magazine’s conception of “jihad,” which it defines specifically as … [Read more...]