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
Since 2013, February 1st has been marked as an annual “World Hijab Day”. The intention behind this labelling was that women (Muslim and non-Muslim) globally would be invited to experience wearing a head-covering for one day in hopes of fostering “religious tolerance and understanding”. I get where this comes from, I do – but I do not support the endeavor. In suggesting that one must actually … Continue reading This World Hijab Day put your money where your mouth is
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
Its 1.45am as I write this and I fully disclaim that this is not a political analysis or breakdown, you can find the statistics and figures elsewhere. Instead, this is a short and feeling-fuelled appeal. I’m not the most partisan of people, I’m not a card-carrying member of any party. Politics happens outside and well away from the ballot box, elections are somewhat mechanical and … Continue reading I’m voting Labour tomorrow and you should too
I fully fully back the importance of representation. I get it. I get that it matters who we see because that impacts what we can imagine. It hurts to be unimaginable. It hurts to never be an image equated with beauty. It matters that more and different body types and shapes and colours with different features and hair textures and skin tones get visibility and … Continue reading Becoming Market Niche isn’t the same as Becoming Free
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?
This time last year I wrote a summary post titled, ‘An A-Z on being Muslim in Britain in 2015’. Looking back, as 2016 ends, I have no idea how. No idea how I could list it like that; explain it like that. Since then it feels like everything has changed and nothing has. Brexit happened, Trump is happening, refugees are innumerable, existence is criminalised, but … Continue reading Muslims Like Me
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