My daughter's keeper: Nahid Persson's Prostitution behind the veil

Crossposted at Muslimah Media Watch For a relatively high-brow TV channel, BBC4 is known for providing top quality programs and dramas. So when the BBC commemorated the 30th anniversary of Islamic Revolution in Iran, I became glued to the channel’s string of intriguing documentaries on all things Iranian, post-1979. There were plenty on Iran-US nuclear… Continue reading My daughter's keeper: Nahid Persson's Prostitution behind the veil

Polygamy: A woman's right?

While digging out the image library on my hard drive, I found some pictures taken of an Indonesian ‘edutainment tabloid’ called Poligami. I found the line, Hak dan Kebutuhan Perempuan (the rights and needs of women) across the cover of the magazine interesting – mainly because here polygamy is pitched as pro-women rather than the… Continue reading Polygamy: A woman's right?

Guest post: Redefining Malay womanhood in Yasmin Ahmad's films

The following was written by guest contributor and fellow Malaysian feminist, Mohani Niza. Writing on the “New Malaysian Femininity’ in the films of Yasmin Ahmad, she presents a Malay womanhood that contrasts squarely with the misogyny and whore/virgin stereotypes typically found in Malaysian cinema. In 2004, Yasmin Ahmad, famed for her Petronas advertisements depicting multi-racial… Continue reading Guest post: Redefining Malay womanhood in Yasmin Ahmad's films

The ideal Muslim man is… blond and blue-eyed.

Isn’t it depressing that according to Nesrine Malik the so-called ideal Muslim man is blond and looks suspiciously white? Apparently, this beautiful mythical creature can be found in the popular Turkish soap opera, Noor, where he can be seen observing Islamic customs like a good Muslim son-in-law (*half-hearted sarcasm*). She writes: […] the male protagonists… Continue reading The ideal Muslim man is… blond and blue-eyed.

Retro pop orientalism: Dissecting Alison Moyet's 'Love Resurrection'

Written for and (soon to be) cross-posted at Muslimah Media Watch As we all know, pop culture can’t get enough of ‘the mysterious Orient’ and its ubiquitous exotic women. The 80s New Romanticism movement is a case in point. Known for its exaggerated and often outrageous attitudes to fashion and music, the movement inspired pop… Continue reading Retro pop orientalism: Dissecting Alison Moyet's 'Love Resurrection'

Open thread: Is religion good for women?

This week, The Guardian is running a series of articles on whether or not religion is good for women. I suppose if whether you speak from first-hand experience or from news stories and statistics, you will find that religion with its roots firmly planted in patriarchy is never going to be good for women. Savitri… Continue reading Open thread: Is religion good for women?

"The day I met Amina Wadud" – a critique

Any self-respecting news editor would know that significant, if not historical events require pretty polished reporting. The star-studded Musawah conference last February on Islamic family law reforms was one such significant event. Organised by Malaysia’s very own Sisters In Islam (SIS), it was something to be proud of. But reading Malaysian journalist Siti Nurbaiyah Nadzmi’s… Continue reading "The day I met Amina Wadud" – a critique

Book review: Ombak Bukan Biru by Fatimah Busu

Fatimah Busu has a gift for telling stories of social alienation. Her stories are often a provocative social critique of Malay society but are easily accessible and good for philosophical rumination. In Salam Maria, her protagonist is a misfit, a social castoff who is forced to the depths of the forest to live with those… Continue reading Book review: Ombak Bukan Biru by Fatimah Busu

Notes on Islam and feminism in science fiction

I’ve been reading a lot about feminist science fiction lately, mostly of out fascination for its philosophical what-ifs and fantastic plots and situations. And as a casual reader of the genre rather than a fan, I am intrigued by the questions raised by feminist science fiction writers about culture and heteronormativity (guest contributor Gareth shares… Continue reading Notes on Islam and feminism in science fiction

Book review: The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie – Intimacy and Design by Malu Halasa and Rana Salam

Syria’s unlikely notoriety for racy underwear collides head on with the stereotyped image of the veiled and prudish Muslim woman. In a way, ‘The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie‘ (2008, Chronicle Books) had come at an opportune time to dispel these fossilised images, but at the same time will feed to a ‘Western’ obsession with… Continue reading Book review: The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie – Intimacy and Design by Malu Halasa and Rana Salam