The Al-Hijrah School ruling was a demonstration of powerful women in action

The Al-Hijrah School ruling was a demonstration of powerful women in action

By Amina Lone Women are often the first victims of extremism whether it is in policing what they wear, where they go, how they live or as victims of domestic violence.  Society looks, but we don’t see. We hear, but we don’t listen. Like campaigning for a new crossing on a dangerous road, an accident(s) has to happen before we act. At a time when sexual abuse allegations against establishment figures like Harvey Weinstein and others finally come to the fore, quietly in the background, a landmark decision was made…

The burden of reform and why we do it

The burden of reform and why we do it

Arshia Malik “The 21st century belongs to women of Muslim heritage,” said Jimmy London [Sedaa contributor Jimmy Bangash] in a Facebook post/thread. He is right. When we expose or talk about our lives under Muslim culture, we are not just doing it out of spite, we do it for our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, scores of neighbours, friends and relatives whose troubled lives spilled before us while growing up and getting conditioned into our culture. We could do nothing except watch and listen and observe as the adult women consoled,…

Unholy Alliance: Why do left-wing Americans support right-wing Muslims?

Unholy Alliance: Why do left-wing Americans support right-wing Muslims?

By Yasmine Mohammed At the age of six, I bolted out the front doors of my elementary school and ran to give my first-grade teacher a goodbye hug. As I skipped towards my mother, my bubbly mood was snatched away by her stern voice and admonishing stare. “Did you just hug your teacher?” my mother asked. “Yah, I love Mrs. Roth!” “You do not hug non-Muslims! That is disgusting,” she said. She then marched me over to the principal’s office to demand that Mrs. Roth never touch her child again. I sat in…

An open letter to my community: yes, I sent perverse sexual comments to women, but who is really to blame?

An open letter to my community: yes, I sent perverse sexual comments to women, but who is really to blame?

In recent days, revelations have surfaced about leading community leader and social-sharia-justice activist Mo Dawah having sent lewd texts and priapic personal messages to some women. In a coruscating open letter written exclusively for Sedaa, Dawah says that in an era in which Trump is building walls rather than bridges, and climate change is percolating the environment, this is not the time to hold progressive community leaders to account for being perverts.     Dolphins are dying. You may not realise it, given the attention paid to me sending messages…

FGM in America: End cultural and religious based violence

FGM in America: End cultural and religious based violence

By Shirin Taber and Rickie Farnes, Middle East Women’s Leadership Network, in partnership with America Matters   Religious freedom — the right to practice your religion freely — is one of the greatest merits of the American experience. However, systematic abuses in the name of religion, committed daily against women, cut away at our universal rights and cannot be tolerated. A growing number of Islamists and male-centric communities inside the U.S. treat women as commodities for control and reproduction. Girls are taught that female genital mutilation (FGM) is a right…

The morality of the faith and faithless

The morality of the faith and faithless

By Amina Lone   Women and equality rights campaigners nervously await the High Court judgement in the gender segregation case: Ofsted v the Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham. Firmly opening up Parveen’s (Pandora’s) faith and education box again, I predict these types of cases will increase. Educational environments, primary right through to university campuses, are a key battleground for Islamist propaganda. Conversations revert back and forth, in the hope of the faith and faithless finding common ground. The most obvious manifestation of dysfunctionality — complete gender segregation — masked multiple levels…

Mahira Khan: A double helping of hypocrisy

Mahira Khan: A double helping of hypocrisy

By Aisha Ali-Khan   This is a cross-post The latest Pakistani woman to take a few million direct hits in the past 24 hours has been Pakistani actress Mahira Khan.  So what was her ‘crime’, I hear you ask?   Well the only ‘crime’, in my honest opinion, that she may be guilty of is not giving a flying hoo ha of what people think of her.  Her other crime, if you must know, was to enjoy a cigarette with a male colleague, Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, while at work….

Doctrine: a poem

Doctrine: a poem

By Jimmy Bangash   I couldn’t wash my brothers corpse; “You are no longer Muslim!” Religious prohibitions. Enforced by other Muslims     Islam had kept us strangers the last decade of his life, In death it intercedes my attempts to quell our strife As his corpse was lowered to the ground and ground upon it lain, My mother watches from afar; Islam supersedes her pain For women may not linger near; This domain belongs to men, And mothers, sisters, wives & more must segregate again So Far from Son…

Open letter: hijab in the classroom

Open letter: hijab in the classroom

Following the report in The Times, we, the undersigned, request a meeting with Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector of Education, to discuss the unacceptable rise of the classroom hijab in state-funded primary schools. Female Muslim children as young as five are increasingly veiled and schools are sanctioning this by including it as part of school uniform policies. This is an affront to the historical fight for gender equality in our secular democracy and is creating a two-tiered form of non-equality for young Muslim girls. At a time of rising religious…

Hijab: Empowering or Oppressive?

Hijab: Empowering or Oppressive?

By Aisha Ali-Khan This is a cross-post   Last week, a Sunday Times investigation found that 1 in 5 primary schools now listed the ‘hijab’ as a official school uniform policy, even though young girls under the age of puberty are actually exempt from wearing it under accepted Islamic rulings. Campaigners such as Amina Lone, Gina Khan and Shaista Gohir have already brought a lot of attention to this very polemic issue. I hope to outline my own position and help put my previous comments into context with this blog….