Love in a Headscarf. A book by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed

This book got a warm recommendation by one of the biggest Danish news papers.

Shelina Zahra Janmohamed blogs at spirit21, and she is the winner of brass crescent awards for best blog and best female blog.She writes:

I took the book to a number of publishers whose commissioning editors loved the story, but couldn’t see it fitting with the existing mould of books about Muslim women. “We need an ‘alias’ of a book that is already out there so people understand how it relates to previous books,” they explained, meaning it should be either a forced marriage story or one of escape from Islam.

With such black and white views about the stories that Muslim women are permitted to tell, how can it ever be possible to create an understanding of our diversity and complexity?

I hope my book brings a fresh perspective to the discussion about Muslim women. But there is a serious question to be asked – will it provoke the Muslim community to look into itself and wonder why these lazy stereotypes exist? Sometimes as Muslims we lack an intellectual honesty about ourselves, and are not brave enough to tell our stories as human beings on a journey, with all our flaws. If publishers are guilty of monolithic misery memoirs, then Muslims must also take some of the blame for not sharing our universal experiences in a language and context that everyone can relate to.

To find out more, click here.

Kids will be Kids

We were tipped about KidswillbeKids. Nabeel Akbar publishes his own books for children from this publishing house.

We did not read their books, but we checked a video based on one of their stories, and the story was nice, Masha’Allah,- even though the video was a little amateurish, it seemed to me that on print it will look a better.  There is need for more such efforts.

The Art of Integration, by Peter Sanders

Adnan alerts us of the upcoming book entitled “The Art of Integration” by Peter Sanders, who many of you may recall as one of the judges for our recent photo competition.

The Art of Integration is a graceful and visually poetic reminder that Muslims have been a part of British life for well over a century and have made and continue to make an important contribution to the United Kingdoms rich cultural diversity. Contrary to the headlines and editorializing, the vast majority of Muslims live peacefully and productively in Britain and many have significantly enriched the intellectual and cultural landscape of this great island nation.

Anwar Al-Awlaki: The Blog!

I am sure many of you are familiar with the inspiring compilation CDs featuring lectures by Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, who, by Allah’s grace, was released from imprisonment recently. With the help of some brothers, he now has his own blog – I love it when our ulema get with the times, alhamdulillah! :D

His latest entry is just as inspiring as his audio works, as he writes about the positive consequences of his imprisonment:

I was in an underground solitary cell made up of four concrete walls with an iron gate on one side and on the opposite side a small window -rather a hole- covered with iron mesh to allow for some fresh air to come in. I couldnt see much from it because it was about four meters high. Then there was the roof with a bulb hanging from it which was on continuously day and night. Then the floor with a mattress 2-3 inches thick, a blanket, a worn off pillow, a plastic plate, a bottle for water, and an empty bottle just in case. And then there was a Quran

In this environment there is nothing to do and nothing to read but the Quran, and that is when the Quran reveals it secrets. When the hearts are clean; when there is nothing clouding the spirit, the Quran literally overwhelms the heart.

What does One Sister have to say?

Sticking with the “sisters” theme, a reminder that there are only a few days left of Halfdate.com’s latest drive:

Before the end of Jumada Ath-thani, 1429 (June 8th, 2008), please help Sister Linda (Widad) Delgado, who runs the one-sister-show of Muslim Writers Publishing, to help teachers by publishing five teacher study guides (TSG).

You are not helping a lazy dude who opt to beg, NO, this sister didnt ask for help, but the community recommeded HalfDate to help her. She had TWO HEART ATTACKS, yet, ma-sha-Allah still serving our community and doesnt want the focus to be on her.

If you contribute between May 24 to May 31, LivingHalal.com will match $1 for $1 towards this cause.

Its All In The Clothes, So Is Sex And The City Movie

Muslimah Media Watch like to know why Muslim womens clothing are important for western journalists when it is not relevant for most of the time.

Quote:

Well look first at the Afghanistan-based Reuters reporter, who cant seem to stop judging womens appearances. The writer interviews a few women who have turned to prostitution to support themselves. For each interviewee given more than a line in the story, the writer notes her appearance.

(more…)

Wajahat Ali reviews the much talked about summer movie; Sex And The City (btw; Jerusalem says ‘no sex in this city’).

Some quotes:


Along the way, the ladies travel to Mexico to cheer up their depressed friend. They also drink lots of product placement Starbucks and intoxicating beverages, wear several high-end shoes, buy ridiculously expensive clothing, and check out fashion week in New York City. They also acquire some model minorities in the form of Jennifer Hudson, who represents the only color and middle class component of a very White and affluent narrative. Admirably, she brings charm to a secretarial Bagger Vance character whose job is to organize Carries post breakup, faltering life. Thankfully, after fixing Carries life, Hudsons character also gets a reward in the form of a designer purse and romantic fulfillment. Its amusing to me how a show that celebrates materialism, selfishness, class-ism, and Whiteness can have such a broad following. When looking for an apartment in a low income district, Miranda and her White nanny remark disapprovingly about the all-Asian neighbors. In fact, Miranda says, Oh, look! One white person! Follow him and, much to her relief, finds one White person living amongst the minorities. But, I digress.


Like I said, it was a parade of female stereotypes and clichs stitched together in episodic fashion but ably played by all the female leads…..This was like Gone with the Wind of female movies in terms of length.

Aush!

New Islamic Podcast Review Series

As mentioned on the recent welcome message, my new role on Ijtema.net is to highlight the latest Islamic Audio content, insha’Allah.

My initial plan was to simply replicate the current formula we have been using the past few months for blogs, which is to subscribe to a bunch of Islamic podcast channels, and every week listen out for the ones I like the most, to post on my day (that’s Saturday, by the way – even though by my timezone, it is already Sunday!).

However, looking at the Islam section of the iTunes directory, I was faced with a whole bunch of new channels that weren’t there a year or more ago, when I last checked it out. I wasn’t familiar with most of the names shown, and had no idea which ones would be worth my time subscribing to – so how was I going to fulfil my new online mission?!

Then it hit me… I can’t be the only one thinking that way when faced with such a long list! With this revelation, I decided that what might be more useful, would be if I took the trouble of going through every channel on said list, and basically outlined what’s ‘hot’ and what’s ‘not’, from a somewhat Islamic perspective.

So from next week insha’Allah, you can expect a weekly review of so-called ‘Islamic’ podcasts – including the ones that have clearly been planted by people who are most likely not into their Islam, so much (like the guys behind the “Arabic Audio Bible” podcast, perhaps?).

I pray that my opinion – although personal, and mostly uninformed – is hopefully not irrelevant, and helps you to make wiser choices when it comes to selecting your online source of Islamic knowledge, and Muslim news, insha’Allah.

To end, I may as well plug the latest Islamic podcast to hit the scene, produced by Muslimmatters.org. I won’t bother reviewing it as such, due to my involvement in setting it up – I wouldn’t want to be accused of bias now – even though it’s, like, the best podcast out there, masha’Allah (except for the other podcast I help to produce for Nisaa.ca ;) ).

Until next week, insha’Allah