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.

The Veil

I have heard so many times how some Muslim Male scholars referred to the Hijab/ veil or Niqaab as a 30 g cloth. It reveals indeed their disdain and prejudice for Muslim women and how much deep the Western Orientalists grasped their way of thinking without realising it.

John Borneman reviews The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore and Politics ed by Jennifer Heath [LRB Vol. 30 No. 24] I have chosen the book review because it got quite a lot publicity in press media, and I’ll will quote only this passage from John Borneman:

The veil, in whatever form, is not and never will be just a scrap of cloth, as Taylor wishes the hijab to be thought of, because it is worn in order to symbolise something, or many things. Veils are not, as many of the contributors to The Veil want to think, merely a diversion or distraction from issues of more substance to more women, such as poverty, the distribution of rights, the allocation of resources, sociopolitical disenfranchisement and violence. Attending to these issues, important as they are, will not necessarily affect the ways in which the veil’s meanings are made.

John Borneman, who teaches anthropology at Princeton, is the author of Syrian Episodes: Sons, Fathers and an Anthropologist in Aleppo.

The Art of the Ninjabi

Hey everyone,

I’m here to update you on the world of arts.

Too be honest…I didn’t have anything planned for this week as I just finished creating an album for ‘The Brothahood’.

Anyways, as for this week’s feature…erm…I wasn’t sure, but then I remembered Ninjabi.

I’m not ashamed to admit but I like to read graphic novels and comics. I love the artwork inside them plus some of the story plots can easily compete with awarding wining story books.

So it was interesting to find a comic strip that was made by Mediha Sandhu.

The comic is loosely based on the creators’ lives and deals with many current issues facing Muslim youth. The main character is Noor, a hijabi Muslim girl. Her best friends include non-muslims and non-hijabis.

Soooo…if you’re into that sort of thing then go check or do if you don’t!!! [erm…did that make sense?!]

Viral Dawah 101- The Hijab Challenge

Shirien

Yesterday was a really awesome experience, alhamdulillah. A couple of weeks ago I challenged the women on LSU’s campus to wear hijab for a day. If you want to know how this deals with viral marketing, read on.

I wrote a column called surprise, surprise: “Columnist challenges women to wear hijab for a day“. And that day was April 25th. Writing my columns I really had no idea how many people read them. I know I get a lot of hate mail, and a lot of hate comments, and I knew at least a couple of thousand people read them every week, but this hijab challenge took it to a whole new level.