“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [Surah al-Nisa: 135]
“The Brown Hijabi”:
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is a writer, spoken-word poet, speaker, and educator invested in unlearning the modalities of knowledge she has internalised, disrupting power relations, and interrogating narratives around race/ism, gender(ed oppression), Islamophobia, state violence, knowledge production and (de)coloniality.
Suhaiymah founded this blog anonymously in 2014 with the aim to create space: space for her voice and space to be able to think. That space and her voice/thinking have changed/grown over the years but the archive remains as a testament to the fact that life is a learning process.
Suhaiymah was born in Bradford, raised and state-schooled in Leeds, and with a background in History at Cambridge University, and an MA in Postcolonial Studies from SOAS – alongside a wider education from the epistemology of Islam and work of women of colour and anti-systemic thinkers from across the world – she regularly writes, speaks, performs and workshops on Islamophobia, racism, feminism and poetry both nationally and internationally.
She and her work have been featured in The Independent, Al-Jazeera, The Guardian [x], on BBC Radio, ITV, Sky TV and The Islam Channel, and she has performed at TEDx conferences, music festivals, The Southbank Centre, US Slams, Da Poetry Lounge in California, in New York City and across UK universities. Suhaiymah was the runner-up of the 2017 Roundhouse Poetry Slam and her poem, This Is Not a Humanising Poem, gained 2 million online views; was short-listed for the 2018 Outspoken Prize for Performance Poetry; and has been translated into German, Italian, Spanish, Icelandic and Urdu. Suhaiymah is a Nicola Thorold Fellow at the Roundhouse for 2018 and all Suhaiymah’s work is rooted in Islam and her duty to her creator, Allah.
Suhaiymah has published a book with co-authors Lola Olufemi, Waithera Sebatindira and Odelia Younge that is now available to purchase online regarding the experiences and politics of being women of colour at University Institutions. She also has an essay in Cut From The Same Cloth, a ground-breaking anthology by hijab-wearing Muslim women in Britain, coming out in 2019. She also has her first short-play, commissioned by Theatre Uncut as a “Power Play” for 2018 – made access-free to perform on a not-for-profit basis: A Coin In Somebody Else’s Pocket.
Talk & Workshop topics include:
Islamophobia 101, Beyond the Good Muslim/Bad Muslim Binary, Critical Feminism/The Collusion of Feminism & Islamophobia, What is “Britishness”? – as well as more general poetry-writing workshops for high schoolers – and more customised workshops upon your request. See examples of past talks (including her TEDx talk) here.
Her talks and workshops have been delivered to high schools, colleges, University students and youth groups in the UK as well as student societies, mosques and independent community spaces nationally and internationally. Email if you would like a workshop delivered in your organisation or society and we can work forward from there.
To keep up with events follow:
If Suhaiymah’s work has been enjoyable, validating or educative to you then please consider supporting her labours through a one-off Paypal contribution.
Become a Patron:
You can also now become a patron of Suhaiymah’s work, supporting her on a monthly basis in order to access unseen and newly-written poems, or early-access to new works at patreon.com/thebrownhijabi. Click for more info.