Terror in Manchester

Terror in Manchester

By Iram Ramzan   A terrorist attack in my own city is the last thing I expected to wake up to on Tuesday morning. There were several messages on my phone from concerned friends and acquaintances urging me to contact them as soon as I could. I wondered what had happened, until I went online to read the news. At least 22 people were killed and 59 injured after a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena on the evening of Monday, May 22. Thousands of gig-goers were packed into the…

Dear Aliyah – I don’t want to wear the hijab

Dear Aliyah – I don’t want to wear the hijab

Dear Aliyah, I was watching some of your videos and wanted your help. I have worn hijab for a few years and now I don’t want to wear it anymore. I am afraid to tell my family, I don’t want them to think I want to flirt with men or be disappointed in me. If you have any advice, please let me know, Thank you, M. – – – – Dear M, I understand that this can be a very confusing and difficult time for you. You seem conflicted about…

Political correctness has gone mad

Political correctness has gone mad

By Shazia Hobbs   “Political correctness is a weapon used to silence people who tell the truth” — Ayaan Hirsi Ali   I remember being told that it was no longer politically correct to sing the nursery rhyme ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ to my son, who is now almost 24 years old.  I remember being told that it was offensive to black people.  The fact that I was singing about sheep and not black people was neither here nor there.  Black people and black sheep were one and the same to…

State of Neglect: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

State of Neglect: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

By Ammara Mustafa  This is a cross-post from Daily Times   Why does the State not take it upon itself to pursue cases of sexual assault? Does the fault lie in the judicial system or is it a deeper malaise? A child is full of curiosity, wonder and excitement when he or she opens their eyes into this new and alien world. A child who learns to walk by holding their parents’ hands and then later takes their first steps towards formal learning in educational institutions is a vulnerable being…

How to beat your wife

How to beat your wife

By Saima Baig   A few days ago, a video surfaced on the internet. In it, two hijab-clad women  in Australia were discussing the verse Surah Nisa in the Quran (4:34). The translation of the verse in question is as follows:   “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend for [maintenance] from their wealth. So, righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom…

Extremism-o-phobia is a crocodile that feeds upon extremism

Extremism-o-phobia is a crocodile that feeds upon extremism

By Mo Dawah   Since my last interruption in the debate on things the world has erupted into more and more violence and hatred against those who question why we must define terrorism as motivated by hate or whether it is actually violence at all. For when we focus on the violence perpetrated by perpetrators of violence it makes us lose empathy for them. And as we know, a lack of empathy for those who we force into killing us is the major cause of them killing us. We will…

Women smearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali are ‘carrying water’ for Islamists

Women smearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali are ‘carrying water’ for Islamists

By Arshia Malik   For us women in India, carrying water signifies courage, fortitude and surviving amidst insurmountable odds, considering the country still has parts where drinking water is not available and women have to walk miles to get two potable vessels of water for the cooking of the day. Compared to the slur of “carrying water” which the dictionary defines as “performing menial tasks for or to serve; to assist; to be forced by politics or pragmatism to endorse or promote a belief”, this act has become symbolic of…

Blasphemy-o-phobia is the Leading Scourge of our Time

Blasphemy-o-phobia is the Leading Scourge of our Time

By Mo Dawah   As the premier spokesman for self-appointed community leaders in the media, and one of the leading campaigners for religious freedom in Britain — where religious freedom is defined in its classical sense as freedom to obey and do as I say —  I am very passionate about the issue of how to enrich society by making it scared. Recently, the BBC Asian Network asked, ‘What is the right punishment for blasphemy’? This is a very important question, and the response to it unleashed a tsunami of…

Where is the Solidarity With ex Muslims?

Where is the Solidarity With ex Muslims?

By Yasmine   If you prick us, do we not bleed? In the Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare wrote those words for a Jew to say, but today, those words will come from the mouth of an ex-Muslim. I normally try to stay positive and veer far away from the victimhood narrative, as I was raised to think of myself as a victim when I was a Muslim. I was taught that the big, bad non-believers all hated us and wanted us dead and don’t care about us and that we…

The Ex-Muslim Community is Growing and Our Voices are Being Heard

The Ex-Muslim Community is Growing and Our Voices are Being Heard

By Shazia Hobbs   I had never heard of the term ‘ex-Muslim’ until a few years ago and it was thanks to social media I discovered there were many others who thought like me, who no longer identified as Muslim. Many of these ex-Muslims were anonymous on social media, hiding their true identities for fear of being disowned by their families and the wider community.  For many more there is the fear of being beaten and even death for leaving Islam and proudly shouting that they no longer believe. Yes,…