The UK needs to legalise cannabis

The UK needs to legalise cannabis

By Saima Baig In the last few weeks or so, a fracas has unfolded in the UK media. Charlotte Caldwell, from Northern Ireland, had cannabis oil which was confiscated at Heathrow Airport, because it contains a psychoactive substance called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the psychoactive element in marijuana), high concentrations of which are illegal in the UK. The reason she had the oil was that her son Billy suffers from severe epilepsy and a doctor in Northern Ireland had prescribed it for him in 2017 – the first time someone was…

Is the Danish ‘burqa ban’ an infringement on Muslim women’s rights?

Is the Danish ‘burqa ban’ an infringement on Muslim women’s rights?

By Khadija Khan After France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Austria and the German state of Bavaria, Denmark has become the latest European country to ban full veil in public places. The veil, or niqab, is the attire mostly worn by ultra-conservative Muslim women. The ban has been criticised for being an infringement on Muslims women’s right to practice their religion. The Danish government, however, claimed that it is neither religiously motivated nor an infringement on Muslim women’s rights. Nevertheless, the law has once again stirred up debate about the western…

Pakistan and the new East India Company

Pakistan and the new East India Company

By Saima Baig   “In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state,” said Charles de Montesquieu. This is certainly true for Pakistan where one particular institution, or at least its successive doyens, have played nine pins with every chief the country has had after the first decade of its existence. In the early days the army controlled the country blatantly through martial law, of which we have had plenty. It started to look as though that we had…

Making children fast in Ramadan demonstrates intolerant practices have made space in Muslim societies

Making children fast in Ramadan demonstrates intolerant practices have made space in Muslim societies

By Khadija Khan   It’s a sorry state of affairs that a large number of Muslims (both in the west and east) have become so consumed with extremist propaganda that they choose to blindly follow the craziest interpretations of religion. Women and children, however, become the greatest victim of this kind of extremism as they are required to obey the toughest conditions, even if that means physical or psychological harm to them. Inhumane activities such as the oppression of women, forced conformity with the fanatic rituals by adults and children,…

Iran: the Girls of Revolution Street

Iran: the Girls of Revolution Street

By Atoosa   This year, March 20th marked the first day of the solar calendar, the first day of spring. In Iran and across communities in Central Asia and the Middle East, as has been done for over 3,000 years, people of all races and religions celebrated the New Year with rituals and symbols of spring, family and food.  Reflecting on the past year, there has been a mass confrontation between the citizens and government, from across Iranian society and particularly from women, who have demonstrated a re-invigoration in the…

Resolution, Revolution

Resolution, Revolution

By Jimmy Bangash As I sit here in London On the cusp of the New Year; My heart  walks the streets of Iran.     For women have woken As a girl waves her hijab; Casting out the sound of Adhan. You cannot control them, No clergy can own them; This marks the death of Imams. Their bodies were plundered Wrapped up and covered; All in the name of Quran. Replace chador and virginity, With lipstick and liberty; Even though you think it’s Haram. Their voice is your death knell…

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…