Ramadhan book club: Our Stories, Our Lives

Originally published at Muslimah Media Watch, with thanks to The Policy Press. Our Stories, Our Lives is an anthology of a diverse group of women in Bradford, England, offering a glimpse into their lives and their issues with reconciling their Muslim identities with being British. With the media’s daily onslaught on the image of Muslims… Continue reading Ramadhan book club: Our Stories, Our Lives

Purdah

When I was in school, congregations in the surau (small prayer halls or mini mosque) would be segregated by gender: women on one side, men on the other. We would enter the same door, pray next to each other but separated by a wispy thin, almost see-through curtain. I understood that women simply felt comfortable… Continue reading Purdah

Film Review: The Mosque in Morgantown

First published at Feminist Review. Muslimah Media Watch has also the goods. Reading the official synopsis of The Mosque in Morgantown, I quickly got the impression that it was a documentary film that revolved around the battle between journalist-activist Asra Nomani and “the extremists” in her hometown Morgantown, West Virginia. It is the kind of… Continue reading Film Review: The Mosque in Morgantown

Mother of all sins: the caning of Kartika Sari Dewi

They say that money is the root of all evil. At times, I couldn’t agree more. But now I hear that alcohol consumption is the “mother of all sins”. I’m not going into detail about which sins are worse, but more on the earthly consequences of such sins as defined by the male religious elite.… Continue reading Mother of all sins: the caning of Kartika Sari Dewi

Joint statement by civil Malaysian society on PAS resolution to ban Sisters In Islam

In light of the recent furore over the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) iron-fisted decision to ban the Muslim feminist non-governmental organisation, Sisters In Islam, and to severely punish its members if found to conduct “un-Islamic” activities, a joint statement on behalf of a democratic Malaysian society has been released for the consideration of PAS members… Continue reading Joint statement by civil Malaysian society on PAS resolution to ban Sisters In Islam

Pink is for tween Muslimahs

Update: An extended version of this post can be found at Muslimah Media Watch It had to happen sooner or later. With Barbie and now Hannah Montana merchandise dominating the tween to early teenage market in Malaysia, products for young Muslim women in hijab are starting to appear, particularly on the bookshelves. And they look… Continue reading Pink is for tween Muslimahs

The astonishing case of the shrinking Muslim woman

First published at Muslimah Media Watch It’s become common belief that Muslim women, particularly those who wear the hijab, are liberated from the media-driven standards of beauty that values the thin and the willowy. But it’s a belief that couches on the idea that head-coverings and modest clothes provide little incentive for showing off a… Continue reading The astonishing case of the shrinking Muslim woman

Review: Walking the precipice: Witness to the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan

Crossposted at Feminist Review: A deluge of books on Islamic fundamentalism had swamped the world’s bookshelves following the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Some 100 books and 5,600 articles were written on the subject, many focussing on the lives of Afghan women under Taliban rule. I chose to review Barbara Bick’s Walking the Precipice: Witness… Continue reading Review: Walking the precipice: Witness to the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan