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.

Emory Art Gala 2009

Anybody in the USA and near Atlanta, will be delighted to hear that there is an art gala happing close to them.

The main goal of the Art Gala is to promote understanding and tolerance through the medium of art. They believe that the universal language of art is one of the few forms of expression that can transcend divisions like race, religion, and other boundaries we set up for ourselves. It is also important because this event promotes a celebration of diversity and a coming together of different races and faiths.

Some of the artists that are participating are Haji Noor Deen from China, Peter Gould from Australia and Kelly Izdihar Crosby from Dubai, as well as local Atlanta artists.

For more information about the event, go to the Emory Art Gala website.

Organic Light Photography

You know, the one think I like more than art is good photography.  It shows a glimpse of the creator’s power within a small frame.

This is why I love meeting new photographers.  This is also the reason that I wanted to show you the website, Organic Light Photography.

The person behind Organic Light Photography is Youssef M. Ismail.  He hopes through these photographs that we may all come to recognize the Signs of the Creator, ponder on them, and eventually come to the recognition and glorification of the Creator in concert with the rest of creation, in unity, as a whole, the way we were meant to be.

The website isn’t much to look at but the gallery is filled with some wonderful shots.

The FundamentaList

If you are interested in politics and religion, one place to be is to read Sarah Posner’s The FundamentaList

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, has covered the religious right for the Prospect, The Nation, The Washington Spectator, AlterNet, and other publications.

U.S. Academic Boycott Call

USACBI Mission Statement (excerpts)

Responding to the call of Palestinian civil society to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement against Israel, we are a US campaign focused specifically on a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, as delineated by PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel). – see

PACBI and the entire movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (representing the overwhelming majority among Palestinian civil society parties, unions, networks and organizations) emphasize fundamental Palestinian rights, sanctioned by international law and universal human rights principles that ought to be respected by Israel to end the boycott. We struggle to achieve an end to Israel’s three-tiered injustice and oppression: 1) occupation and colonization in the 1967-occupied Palestinian territory; 2) denial of the refugees’ rights, paramount among which is their right to return to their homes of origin, as per UN General Assembly Resolution 194; and 3) the system of racial discrimination, or apartheid, to which Palestinian (all non-Jewish) citizens of Israel are subjected to.

The principles guiding the PACBI campaign and the three goals outlined above are also points of unity for the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USCACBI). We believe it is time to take a public, principled stance in support of equality, self-determination, human rights (including the right to education), and true democracy, especially in light of the censorship and silencing of the Palestine question in US universities, as well as in US society at large. There can be no academic freedom in Israel/Palestine unless all academics are free and all students are free to pursue their academic desires.

We are also responding to the Open Letter to International Academic Institutions from the Right to Education campaign at Birzeit University in Palestine (January 17, 2009), calling on the international academic community, unions and students “to show support and solidarity with the people of Gaza by calling upon their respective governments to impose immediate boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel.” – see

As academics working in the US, we wish to focus on campaigns in our universities and in institutions of higher education to advocate for compliance with the academic and cultural boycott, a movement that is growing internationally across all segments of global civil society.

This call for an academic and cultural boycott parallels the call in the non-academic world for divestment, boycott and sanctions by trade unions, churches, and other civil society organizations in countries such as the US, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Norway, the UK, Brazil, South Africa, and New Zealand.

As educators and scholars of conscience in the United States, we fully support this call. We urge our colleagues, nationally, regionally, and internationally, to stand up against Israel’s ongoing scholasticide and to support the non-violent call for academic boycott, disinvestment, and sanctions.[...]

Endorsers (so far)

1. Rabab Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University
2. Mohammed Abed, California State University, Los Angeles
3. Wahiba Abu-Ras, Adelphi University
4. Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Montclair State University
5. Lisa Albrecht, University of Minnesota
6. Hamid Algar, University of California, Berkeley
7. Naser Alsharif, Creighton University
8. Evelyn Alsultany, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
9. Floyd Anderson, State University of New York, Brockport
10. Ian Barnard, California State University, Northridge
11. Anis Bawarshi, University of Washington
12. Lincoln Bergman, University of California, Berkeley
13. Tithi Bhattacharya, Purdue University
14. Bruce Braun, University of Minnesota
15. Timothy Brennan, University of Minnesota
16. Steve Breyman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
17. Robert Brooks, Cornell University
18. Anna Brown, Saint Peter’s College
19. Bill Buttrey, University of Southern California
20. Steve Cameron, North Iowa Area Community College
21. Scott Campbell, New York University
22. Rand Carter, Hamilton College
23. Piya Chatterjee, University of California, Riverside
24. Dennis Childs, University of California, San Diego
25. Bouthaina Shbib Dabaja, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
26. Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University
27. Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University
28. Nicholas De Genova, Columbia Univ
29. Lara Deeb, University of California Irvine
30. Alireza Doostdar, Harvard University
31. Eleanor Doumato, Brown University
32. Ronald Edwards, DePaul University
33. Nada Elia, Antioch University, Seattle
34. Nava EtShalom, poet, University of Michigan
35. James Faris, University of Connecticut
36. Grant Farred, Cornell University
37. Sasan Fayazmanesh, California State University, Fresno
38. James Fetzer, University of Minnesota, Duluth
39. Manzar Foorohar, California Polytechnic State University
40. Paul Foote, California State University, Fullerton
41. Robert Frager, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
42. Cynthia Franklin, University of Hawaii
43. Keya Ganguly, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
44. Jess Ghannam, University of California, San Francisco
45. Bishnupriya Ghosh, University of California, Santa Barbara
46. Him Glover, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
47. Sherna Berger Gluck, California State University Long Beach
48. Avery Gordon, University of California, Santa Barbara
49. Marilyn Hacker, City University of New York
50. Christian Haesemeyer, University of California, Los Angeles
51. Elaine Hagopian, Simmons College
52. Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles
53. Leila Hamdan, George Mason University
54. John Hartung, State University of New York, Brooklyn
55. Salah Hassan, Michigan State University
56. Frances Hasso, Oberlin College
57. Nicholas Heer, University of Washington, Seattle
58. Lyn Hejinian, University of California, Berkeley
59. Annie Higgins, Wayne State University
60. Chris Highley, Ohio State University
61. Jim Holstun, State University of New York, Buffalo
62. Sally Howell, University of Michigan, Dearborn
60. Mahmood Ibrahim, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
63. Ibrahim Imam, University of Louisville
64. Pranav Jani, Ohio State University
65. Amira Jarmakani, Georgia State University
66. Kenneth Johnson, Pennsylvania State University, Abington
67. Brian Johnston, Carnegie Mellon University
68. Pierre Joris, State University of New York, Albany
69. Mohja Kahf, University of Arkansas
70. Rhoda Kanaaneh, New York University
71. Tomis Kapitan, Northern Illinois University
72. Susan Katz, University of San Francisco
73. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University
74. Assaf Kfoury, Boston University
75. Issam Khalidi, Independent Scholar
76. Kathleen Kinawy, University of Southern Maine
77. David Klein, California State University, Northridge
78. Yael Korin, University of California, Los Angeles
79. Dennis Kortheuer, California State University, Long Beach
80. Felix Salvador Kury, San Francisco State University
81. Mark Lance, Georgetown University
82. Werner Lange, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
83. Amanda Lashaw, University of California, Davis
84. David Lloyd, University of Southern California
85. Georgette Loup, University of New Orleans
86. Paul Lyons, University of Hawaii
87. Graham MacPhee, West Chester University
88. Shireen Mahdavi, University of Utah
89. Sunaina Maira, University of California, Davis
90. Harriet Malinowitz, Long Island University
91. Ahmad Malkawi, University of Kentucky
92. Khaled Mattawa, University of Michigan
93. Todd May, Clemson University
94. Ali Mazrui, State University of New York, Binghamton
95. Bryan McCann, University of Texas, Austin
96. Daniel McGowan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
97. Jad Melki, University of Maryland
98. Martin Melkonian, Hofstra University
99. Mark Mendoza, Miami University, Ohio
100. Targol Mesbah, California Institute of Integral Studies
101. Ali Mili, New Jersey Institute of Technology
102. Jessica Morris, University of Louisville
103. Fouad Moughrabi, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
103. Aamir Mufti, University of California, Los Angeles
104. Bill Mullen, Purdue University
105. Donna Murdock, University of the South
106. Mara Naaman, Williams College
107. Marcy Newman, An Najah National University, Palestine
108. David O’Connell, Georgia State University
109. Judy Olson, California State University, Los Angeles, CFA-LA
110. Sirena Pellarolo, California State University, Northridge
111. David Naguib Pellow, University of Minnesota
112. James Petras, Binghamton University
113. Kavita Philip, University of California, Irvine
114. Julio Pino, Kent State University
115. Edie Pistolesi, California State University, Northridge
116. Deborah Poole, The Johns Hopkins University
117. Gautam Premnath, University of California, Berkeley
118. Jessica Quindel, Berkeley High School
118. Peter Rachleff, Macalester College
119. Aneil Rallin, Soka University of America
120. Junaid Rana, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
121. Adolph Reed, University of Pennsylvania
122. Steve Roddy, University of San Francisco
123. Ilia Rodriguez, University of New Mexico
124. Sonia Rosen, University of Pennsylvania
125. Suzanne Ross, United Federation of Teachers, Clinical Psychology
126. Marty Roth, University of Minnesota
127. Lori Rudolph, New Mexico Highlands University
128. Steven Salaita, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
129. Rakhshanda Saleem, Harvard Medical School
130. Basel Saleh, Radford University
131. George Salem, University of Southern California
132. Rosaura Sanchez, University of California, San Diego
133. Eleuterio Santiago-Diaz, University of New Mexico
134. Bhaskar Sarkar, University of California, Santa Barbara
135. Aseel Sawalha, Pace University
136. Simona Sawhney, University of Minnesota
137. Seleem Sayyar, Emory University
138. Robert Schaible, University of Southern Maine
139. James Scully, University of Connecticut
140. Evalyn Segal, San Diego State University
141. Anton Shammas, University of Michigan
142. Matthew Shenoda, Goddard College
143. Setsu Shigematsu, University of California, Riverside
144.Magid Shihade, University of California Davis
145. Snehal Shingavi, University of Mary Washington
146. Ella Shohat, New York University
147. Yumna Siddiqi, Middlebury College
148. Andor Skotnes, Sage College
149. Scott Sorrell, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
150. Ted Stolze, Cerritos College
151. Patricia Stuhr, Ohio State University
152. Kenneth Surin, Duke University
153. Simone Swan, The Adobe Alliance
154. Juan Carlos Vallejo, State University of New York
155. Stefano Varese, University of California, Davis
156. Dorothy Wang, Williams College
157. Richard Wark, University of Maryland
158. Brad Werner, University of California, San Diego
159. Jessica Winegar, Temple University
160. Mansour Zand, University of Nebraska, Omaha

Niqab (Face Veiling) Is Islamic

Dervish on the recent order for a Muslim woman in Canada to remove her niqab during her testimony in court, and she tells you that the Niqab  is Islamic whether you like it or not.

To quote:

For someone like myself (an Anglo-Celtic convert), the veil is also a manifestation of Muslim identity where skin-colour, ethnicity and language do not link me to Muslim identity. I do not wear the face-veil much in the West (I have from time-to-time) only because it is often interpreted as threatening to non-Muslims who misunderstand it. But I have to confess I do like the privacy that the face-veil offers me, and I am comfortable in drawing on a long history of Islamicity of face-veiling as a manifestation of the positive virtue of haya’ (bashfulness). As a feminist, I completely reject that any man has a right to tell me I cannot wear it, or that my wearing it is
not Islamic. It may not be particular interpretation of the religion, but he does not have the right to tell me how to interpret my religion for myself.

Broug Ateliers

Looks like its time for me to highlight something about the art world in my slot.

I wanted to focus your attention to the following page – Broug Ateliers Islamic geometric design.

Broug Ateliers was established in 2004 to create a commercial outlet for the artist’s geometrical designs. He has range of products and services inspired by Islamic geometrical design. His aim is to present this traditional design in a contemporary light and to make Islamic art affordable to a large audience

In the last two years he has started to share some of his acquired skills and knowledge through special introductory courses in geometrical design. He teaches students how to create traditional designs, as well as provide a bit of history on the Islamic design tradition.

He Said, She Said…The Zionist Said

A very new blogger, who calls himself “A Shackled Traveller” writes on conspiracy theories-

It pains me to write this article, but I feel I must. Conspiracy theories, yes, we’ve heard them all, some of us attribute credibility to them and others ridicule it. Conspiracy theories are, without a doubt, rife within the Muslim ummah, the western Muslims are not exempt from this trend. I hardly hear Muslim’s rejecting conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, they’re enforcing them, and referencing them during conversations, frankly someone needs point this out. They need a slap in the face, I’m definitely not condoning violence, but a slight tap to bring them back to reality, will do.

The majority of people have gotten bitten by the conspiracy bug, it has infested their brain, and introduced it’s progeny to their new comfortable nest i.e. the Muslim mind. Whenever you prove one is wrong, somehow, you’re hit with an even more absurd one. I remember not too long ago at a gathering, laughter was in the air, no audible voice could be discerned, for all the tepid fun we were having. Then the ambiance turned sour, someone mentioned from a “credible” source that 9/11 was a set up. I don’t want to repeat the story, in case some might believe it to be true, but unless you live under a rock, your ears have been insulted by this one. Unfortunately, once in a while, personally is one to many, I’m left flabbergasted, by such comments.