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
Today I was interviewed for a Radio 4 documentary that will most probably come out in a way that doesn’t reflect my full feelings. It is being made by Sayeeda Warsi whose politics and complicity in structural violence as a Conservative party member, former Cabinet minister and House of Lords peer, I ardently oppose. She asked me questions about myself and my views and I … Continue reading What does it mean to be a Muslim woman?
This post is a response to a question I got asked during my Instagram takeover of amaliah.com’s story (@thebrownhijabi). I mentioned my fascination with “the way liberal feminism colludes with islamophobia” and was then asked to elaborate – which I did, but which I want to do more now. How do liberal feminism and Islamophobia work together? First off, we need to define what I … Continue reading When Feminism & Islamophobia are Two Sides of the Same Coin
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
EDIT: disclaimer that this is from my perspective in Britain and primarily about rhetoric here and in other Western European/North American contexts. The hijab, burqa, burkini, FGM, ‘honour killings’ and ‘forced marriages’ are familiar tropes when it comes to thinking about migration and Islam in ‘the West’. Their prevalence represents the slippage between ‘women’s rights’ and questions of national borders and religion, reflecting the way … Continue reading Why are we obsessed with Muslim women?
CW: discussion of racism, islamophobia, presidential election, fear. This is not a clever political analysis and this is not an attempt at explanation. This post is purely feelings. It is feelings because feelings are deemed irrelevant in political discourse and devalued as feminine traits more widely. I’d like to think its transgressive to write only from the perspective of feelings then. But more than that, … Continue reading On Fear
This post is based off a discussion I led this week on ‘Decolonising Feminism’. *** When we think of feminism we tend to think of the suffragettes and suffragists asking for the vote and political rights in late 1890s and 1900s Britain. We then follow that up with the 1960s ‘sexual revolution’ which saw issues to do with sexuality, sex and bodies come to the … Continue reading Decolonising Feminism
A friend of mine once told me that one of the things she most respected about her partner was her ability to say, ‘I don’t know’. ‘I don’t know’ was the humility to admit her lack of knowledge and to acknowledge that some things just had not been thought through yet. It deserved respect because it was rare, indeed, it is rare to hear those … Continue reading Not Everything has (or needs) a Feminist Explanation
I’ve been putting off writing this post. I was hoping I wouldn’t need to, hoping I wouldn’t bother. Hoping that I’d see outrage fill people’s timelines and all the usual feminist social media spaces so I wouldn’t feel forced to write something, anything, explaining my outrage. But here I am. Here I am writing about feminism and Muslim women again and namely responding to the … Continue reading Being Forced To Undress Is Not Exactly The Liberation I Have Longed For