I am sitting on a train on my way home from a panel talk on Feminism & Islamophobia, on how the two collude to undermine Muslim women, and how Muslim women are erased and reduced to “the veil”. I am exhausted and bewildered. The panel consisted of five (four panellists and one chair) hijab-wearing women of colour. In a University setting this is a rarity. … Continue reading Reflections on a panel talk: the violence of white fragility and the erasure of its victims
This post is an original-format one, by which I mean I am writing to find out how I feel. This is my blog and always was. I know everybody likes me at my ‘dissecting Islamophobia’, and I don’t ask you to love me at my ‘exploring sadness’, but I will not suppress it for you. To be honest my mind has been in many other … Continue reading Iron-rod necks & blackberries
It has been exactly one Gregorian-calendar-month since I left Granada, Spain, where I attended the Critical Muslim Studies two-week summer school. I had intended to write up some notes or musings as soon as I got back because there was so much to reflect on from what I enjoyed, to what frustrated me, and unresolved questions. But upon returning to the UK a certain heaviness … Continue reading What if Neo had taken both pills? | A Reflection on a Summer School and Feelings of Madness
Today we stand in a moment, or many moments, where people talk about the world being broken. For many of us, globally and historically it has been broken and breaking and completely destroyed already many times and again and again. How do we move forward then? How do we reconceptualise societies that are healing rather than negligent, celebratory rather than unjust and fundamentally committed to … Continue reading Ramadan Reflection: Islam is a duty to Resist
I had the privilege of being aided to travel to the USA (the southwest) for the past month in order to perform poetry, give talks and facilitate some workshops. It was an unexpected opportunity and one I saw as a real blessing and chance to expand my understandings and perceptions of the world. However, the USA threw me. I thought I knew what to expect … Continue reading Not Great Yet: reflections on a month in the USA
Content Note: cultural appropriation, discussion of oppression, dehumanisation and historic injustice, discussion of white privilege. A lot has been already been said and written about cultural appropriation. It’s been defined, dissected and debated by others with far more nuance and knowledge than me. But something I feel has sometimes been missing from the discussion – or something that often gets subsumed to the greater task … Continue reading Maybe the difference between Appropriation and Appreciation, is the Pain
This is going to be a post based on a talk I gave last week (I have always wanted to say that, please forgive the pretentiousness). It was loosely about ‘Liberating Academia’ and what that would entail. Two other amazing panellists talked about their experiences and ideas too and for my part, I talked about my experience studying history and my conception of what liberation … Continue reading Liberating Academia: Believe Nothing, Question Everything
Content notes: Islamaphobia, colonialism, imperialism, misogyny, orientalism, racism. Yesterday David Cameron announced that a £20 million fund to teach Muslim women in the UK to ‘speak English’ will tackle segregation and help prevent ‘radicalisation’ – though he also said there was no causal connection between radicalisation and English language… Now, my initial reaction, beyond an eye-roll, was to wonder how and why this policy was … Continue reading Is it time for the British government to stop Saving Muslim Women yet?
Content Note: discussion of migration, racism, racialised masculinities, masculinity, gendering of migration, colonialism, imperialism, Euro-centrism, dehumanisation of black and brown bodies. “Migrant crisis”. These two words have become so overused as a label to term the plight of non-white human beings deemed “problems” to the European continent, that they have lost any poignancy they may once have held. I saw an article yesterday headlined something … Continue reading Why are we calling it a “Migrant Crisis”?