Can we be something more honest than “woke”? I’ve been thinking a lot about the performativity of all our politics recently. I am worried. An MP describes people as ‘a funny tinge’ and to be a “good” person you have to perform outrage/ridicule, though I’m sure many of us funny-tinged people feel nothing deeper than an eye-roll. It’s not that deep. And by not that … Continue reading Everybody wants to be ‘woke’ but who wants to be honest?
Because that’s all these can be really isn’t it? Notes on her. Not for her. Not about her – this will never be about her will it? Its not really about her and never was. No one wants to know what her favourite sauce was with chips, she is far too much gone for that, or too far gone, I suppose. Is it that I … Continue reading Notes on Shamima
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
I go to hug my little sister at the kitchen table and suddenly we’re both crying. I cradle her in my arms as wordless sobs wrack through her. I know that there are other girls, so many other girls, across this country feeling the way she is right now. I know because I did, and I hurt because even though I did she still seems … Continue reading On brown girls learning to be Self AND Other
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
The 8 pm train from London Kings Cross to Leeds is pretty quiet. I see a few exhausted people like myself, who I presume – from the bedraggled placards they still clutch – have also spent the day protesting Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. I sit down heavily and sink lower into my seat when I notice two men with ‘Make America Great Again’ … Continue reading Everyone “Loves” a Muslim on a March, but Who Loves Us on the Train Home?
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 do not know if I will be satisfied with this post at its end or if it will even provide any insights or answers at all, but it is something I must write to work through thoughts which have been scratching at me recently. Last week I got into a discussion about the question of “the future”, in fact, I feel that over the … Continue reading When do we get to exist beyond “re-“?
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