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...]

“Just look at our women!” Or, how to use female bodies to prove your point

Check out Muslim Lookout for an expanded version of this post.Be prepared for some major eye-rolling in this article from the Calgary Herald.  In it, Mahfooz Kanwar praises Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney (see here for why this is a bad idea), and berates Canadians that he perceives as not having "assimilated" enough.I could talk about Kanwar's narrow definitions of "Canadian" identity and values, or his call for all immigrants to be unquestioningly patriotic and un-dividedly … [Read more...]

How to Use a Murder Victim: The Exploitation of the Aqsa Parvez Tragedy

A recent Toronto Life magazine article regarding Toronto teenager Aqsa Parvez's murder, entitled Girl, Interrupted, has sparked outrage in many circles in Toronto and beyond. And for very good reason. Journalist Mary Rogan has simply perpetuated stereotypes about Muslims, South Asian culture, and immigrant communities.The disrespectful treatment begins with the front cover, where you see a full page picture of Aqsa's face, posing seductively with only a hint of a strap on her bare shoulder. … [Read more...]

Halal TV: Before and After

These articles were written by Tasnim and was originally published at epiphanies. For another perspective on Halal TV, check out Ethar's analysis here.Critical Storm before the program begins--Halal TV:"Critical storm before the program begins” the headline reads, and that, it seems to me, is exactly what happens whenever a head-scarf wearing Muslim woman makes up her little hijabied head to step into the public sphere, the limelight, the media, and presume to take on a role that c … [Read more...]