Friday Links

Friday Links October 16, 2015


Monique Toohey, a Muslim psychologist, met with Australian Labor MPs on Wednesday to discuss the need to change Australia’s tone on the discussion about violent extremism and Muslims. Toohey, who has experienced online bullying for her activism, is calling for the government to consult with Muslim communities in order to develop well-rounded de-radicalization programs.


In Canada, Zarqa Nawaz, creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie and Me and the Mosque, was quoted comparing the Canadian Conservative government’s stands on the niqab to residential schools.

The Stream featured a segment on the niqab as an electoral issue in Canada. Participants included Zainab bin Younus (The Salafi Feminist), Jonathan Liedtke (Windsor Independent), Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail) and our own Shireen Ahmed (MMW).

Several Canadian Jews have come together to support women who choose to wear the niqab through a public letter that accuses the Conservative government of bigotry and xenophobia.

The Quebec National Assembly has called for calm in the midst of Canada’s federal election after several instances of Islamophobia were recorded in the province and at least one violence attack targeting a Muslim woman.


An Egyptian official said that women wearing “hot pants” will be banned from voting in this month’s parliamentary election. A definition of “hot pants” was not provided.


Iranian satirical cartoonist Atena Farghadani that she was forced to undergo a “virginity and pregnancy test”, prior to her trial for a charge of “illegitimate sexual relations” for shaking hands with her lawyer. Amnesty International is calling for her release.


ISIL fighters are said to encourage the rape of non-Muslim women with the purpose of automatically making them Muslim. Yazidi women have been primary targets of the sexual violence perpetuated by the organization.


Palestinian women are seeking to play a more active role in peace talks. According to the region’s activists neither Hamas nor the Fatah Party have done much to meaningfully include women in political discussions.

Palestinian teenage girls are joining the stone-throwing protests in Ramallah. According to the Daily Star, much of the violence in the area is being carried out by young people without visible political affiliations.

Palestinian women are at the forefront of the latest protests as fighters and as first-aid providers. Thousands of Palestinian youth are resisting against Israeli forces all across the occupied territories and have called for the Third Intifada.

Saudi Arabia

Women in Saudi Arabia were offered free rides for breast cancer checkups. As part of efforts to raise breast cancer awareness in society, Easy Taxi has partnered with the Zahra Breast Cancer Association to give away all its female customers free rides to do breast cancer check-ups in different hospitals in Jeddah and Riyadh.

The Saudi government launched a new organization to address the rising problem of unemployment in the country. The Commission for Job Generation and Anti-Unemployment will report directly to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Unemployment is particularly high among women in the country, even though they are among the most educated women in the region.


El Principe a popular Spanish TV show depicting drug trafficking and jihadism in Ceuta perpetuate orientalist views about Muslims. Yasmina Aidi argues that the TV show is sold as a reliable source of information about Muslims and the Middle East, but in reality perpetuates the othering of Muslims and Arabs, something that particularly affects Muslim women.


In the UK a Jewish-Muslim women’s network has been granted 30,000 pounds to promote women’s leadership in both communities. The network has three principal aims: to bring women from the two communities together, to promote women’s leadership and be “active in wider society.”

A report commissioned by Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) reports several instances of attacks against Muslims in the UK. The report reveals that many Muslims were reluctant to report the incidences and were unlikely to be supported by witnesses. One of the attacks involved a Muslim woman named Hira, who was showered in alcohol by a group of men while riding the train.

Nadiya Jamir Hussain is the winner of The Great British Bake Off. Nadiya has been described by some as the “ultimate symbol of modern, multicultural Britain.”


Anousheh Ansari has reportedly become the first Muslim woman in space. Ansari used her own money to fund the trip.

HRC Releases New “Coming Home” Guide for LGBT Muslims Seeking Renewed Relationship with their Faith. Coming Home to Islam and To Self features the journeys of American Muslims, including a transgender woman, a lesbian and two gay friends, whose journeys highlight their relationship with God and their commitment to creating LGBTQ friendly communities.

Shugs & Fats, a Muslim feminist comedy, addresses taboo topics among some Muslim communities, such as dating, sexuality and LGBTQ marriage. The show centers on the idea of traditional Muslim women exploring life on the streets of Brooklyn.

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