Some of my best friends are Jewish, and other confessions of an ex-Muslim

Some of my best friends are Jewish, and other confessions of an ex-Muslim

By Yasmine One of my earliest memories is of being bound to my bed as the soles of my feet were whipped. At five or six years old, this was my punishment for not correctly memorising surahs, chapters, from the Quran, or for missing one of the daily prayers. Lying on my bed, in the room that I shared with my sister, I would feebly struggle to free my feet from the skipping rope that bound them. But it was pointless. My strength was no match for the man who…

The “burkini” ban is the result of tolerance towards Islamism but it unfairly targets Muslim women

The “burkini” ban is the result of tolerance towards Islamism but it unfairly targets Muslim women

Mahnaz Nadeem I remember a drawing room discussion as a young adult, in which a scenario was presented by a secularist Muslim debating a “moderate” Muslim. The secularist argued that if we carried on as we were a time would come where Muslims in the UK would became so publicly religious that it would be at odds with Western society and that we would no longer be tolerated. That stark warning was 20 plus years ago when fatwas and edicts on modesty were becoming religious mainstream. Even putting a Qawwali (Sufi music from…

The burkini ban is yet another way of policing women’s bodies

The burkini ban is yet another way of policing women’s bodies

  By Aliyah Saleem   You know what they say: one woman’s bathing suit is another’s tool of Islamism that needs to be crushed before we see the full Islamisation of Europe. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when French officials in Cannes or Nice sat together in their meetings, after sending serious emails to one another to discuss the banning of an ominously named swimsuit. Women of Muslim heritage just don’t seem to get a break. If we aren’t fighting Islamic patriarchy to show…

Taking your time is not encouraged on the rishta scene

Taking your time is not encouraged on the rishta scene

By Damn Fab Desi It was bad enough doing this the first time around.  The dreaded chat would start once studies had finished. “It’s time to find a rishta”. Well, at least back in the day — and I can’t imagine much has changed in that respect.  The word ‘rishta’ is used loosely now to basically mean, find a man. However, so much has changed for me from then to now.  One marriage, broken by a betrayal I never saw coming, left its mark for a long time — and if…

Muslim women should be a priority for the Government as well as their own communities

Muslim women should be a priority for the Government as well as their own communities

This is a cross-post By Yasmin Weaver   The Women and Equalities Committee’s report entitled “Employment opportunities for Muslims in the UK”, released on Thursday 11th August 2016, makes a great number of recommendations to the Government on improving the accessibility to employment for British Muslims. According to the report, unemployment rates for Muslims are more than twice of that of the general population at 12.8%. A further breakdown shows 41% of Muslims are economically inactive, 65% of which are women. Addressing and removing barriers to employment for Muslims, and Muslim…

I’m not a ‘House-Muslim’… I’m more into rap

I’m not a ‘House-Muslim’… I’m more into rap

By Haydar Zaki   House-Muslim. Uncle Tom. These are just some of the terms thrown at me because, as a Muslim, I have a different political outlook to others. Fetishising over my physical appearance and religious identification, the groups that use these (frankly racist) terms so carelessly aim to portray me as one who has no agency, and is merely a slave or a “sell-out” to their community and cause. My abandonment of the tribal political mentality was the first step to warrant such a slanderous response. Many of us,…

I find Jeremy Corbyn’s grip on the Labour leadership sinister

I find Jeremy Corbyn’s grip on the Labour leadership sinister

By Aliyah Saleem As a Labour member I was invited along to an emergency meeting in my area which aimed to lend support to Corbyn. I went with the intention to listen to the other side and to explain why I believe that he should resign. This was of course before he was kept on the ballot paper after his legal team threatened to sue Labour. I was the first person to openly say that I think he should resign. I noticed that some seemed disappointed in me and others…

“My Mother Won’t Let Me Borrow It”: Homophobia At My Local Library

“My Mother Won’t Let Me Borrow It”: Homophobia At My Local Library

This is a cross-post   By Samar Esapzai I love libraries. Those who know me well know how much I’ve always loved going to the library, sifting through book after book, and pretty much spending hours there in my spare time. This was, of course, way back in the day when I was still in high school, unmarried, and had no kids. It was a time when I had so much free time that I decided to spend quite a chunk of it at my local library. Indeed it was…

Dupatta

Dupatta

  By Jimmy Bangash Dupatta I stand within the kitchen gazing up to watch my mother As she places back the huge black dustbin lid; having taken out a bowl of flour. White snow upon winter lands captured in her hands. She smiles down at me as I wait in anticipation. Then she begins; as she kneads the dough; a low hum in an octave so angelic telling tales of distant lands in languages I cannot speak And I smile. And I try to catch her tune with my voice…

They Called me Shameless

They Called me Shameless

By Scheherazade They called me shameless A disgrace For falling in love For wanting control over my own life The heart wants what it wants What could I have done? When I came home that night Trying to creep into my bed There they were Waiting for me instead. Rage on their faces. Slut Whore Beghairat, they said. All I wanted was to be free Soar with these wings Fly, wherever the wind would take me But I carried their honour Like a noose around my neck Which became tight Until…