Everybody wants to be ‘woke’ but who wants to be honest?

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?

Reflections on a panel talk: the violence of white fragility and the erasure of its victims

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

What if Neo had taken both pills? | A Reflection on a Summer School and Feelings of Madness

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

Everyone “Loves” a Muslim on a March, but Who Loves Us on the Train Home?

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?

Ramadan Reflection: Islam is a duty to Resist

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

Sexual abuse survivors deserve more than us blaming brown men

Content warnings: discussion of rape, victim-blaming, sexual abuse, child abuse. After first avoiding all news relating to the sensationalist and provocative headline, ‘British Pakistani men are raping and exploiting white girls’ I’ve decided to throw my hat into the fray over Sarah Champion, Labour’s shadow secretary for Women and Equalities (which women? which equality?) writing a piece for The Sun (who does that?) in light of … Continue reading Sexual abuse survivors deserve more than us blaming brown men

The pain of not being able to hurt you the way you hurt me

Over a month ago I read a line that I haven’t been able to get out of my head ever since. It was in the context of being on the receiving end of racial microaggressions – those off-hand comments that say you don’t belong, jokes that lay bare your dehumanisation, questions that make assumptions about you. The line was this: “I hated not being able … Continue reading The pain of not being able to hurt you the way you hurt me