Why are we obsessed with Muslim women?

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?

Maybe the difference between Appropriation and Appreciation, is the Pain

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

Liberating Academia: Believe Nothing, Question Everything

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

Is it time for the British government to stop Saving Muslim Women yet?

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?

‘I thought YOU’D find that problematic?’

CN: racism, sexism, marginalisation, silencing. It’s 2016 and I am That Person. Not always, but a lot of times. The One Who Talks About Race, The Angry One, The Intersectional Feminist. Sometimes I like it, I like to make people feel uncomfortable, like to be a Nuisance just by being there. But recently its also begun to make me feel trapped. People expect opinions on things, … Continue reading ‘I thought YOU’D find that problematic?’

I am a woman of women, and without them I would not be

Content note: imperialism and colonialism, British Empire. They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone; well, in the case of the heritage, culture and history of a third-generation Pakistani woman, I am thankful that the knowing has taken place before the going has gone. Iconic Pan-African philosopher and Black nationalist Marcus Garvey famously said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and … Continue reading I am a woman of women, and without them I would not be