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…

My People Want Me Dead

My People Want Me Dead

  By Jimmy Bangash   My people want me dead Because I love another man And as I reach out for his hand I must remember it’s Shaytan And that this lifestyle is Haraam My people prize their honour Above sister, mother, brother Above any illicit lover Fake sham marriages instead. My people want me dead Or they want me celibate As they discuss my cock in mosque And muse upon my use of tool Which orifice, with whom? So I internalise this shame Because my people prize their honour…

Concerns over the inquiry into Sharia councils must not be dismissed

Concerns over the inquiry into Sharia councils must not be dismissed

By Maryam Namazie   Over 200 women’s rights campaigners and organisations recently signed a public letter to Theresa May criticising the government inquiry into Sharia councils chaired by Mona Siddiqui. Whilst a review into Sharia bodies and their impact on gender equality and justice is long overdue, we are concerned that the review is focusing on “best practice” when the issue is not “moderate” versus “extreme” Sharia law but women’s rights. Siddiqui’s inquiry erroneously begins with the premise that Sharia “courts” have a role to play in governing private and…

Qandeel Baloch: A Trailblazing Non-Conforming Woman

Qandeel Baloch: A Trailblazing Non-Conforming Woman

By Arshia Malik There are many women who are non-conformists and Qandeel Baloch, aka Fouzia Azeem, was one of them. Sticking two fingers to a deeply misogynistic, patriarchal society, she lived life the way she wanted.  It is not an easy life to live — carefree and not bothered about the judgement and constant berating, ridicule and putting down from other compatriots, especially women. There has to be a strong sense of injustice to go against the very grain of your own family, peer group, tribe or a ”collective conscience”. Her marriage…

The Dating Difficulties of an Ex Muslim

The Dating Difficulties of an Ex Muslim

By Aliyah Saleem Like millions of people around the world, I use online dating.   As a Pakistani woman with a Muslim name and a banging nose ring, I attract attention from some Muslim men.  Dating is hard in the best of circumstances but if you are an ex-Muslim, it’s downright depressing. A lot of us try and stay in the closet because of the taboo for as long as possible. It’s okay when you are single but the prospect of a serious relationships and having children puts ex-Muslims in…

Women like Qandeel Baloch must not die in vain

Women like Qandeel Baloch must not die in vain

By Iram Ramzan   Yet another woman’s life has prematurely been taken in an ‘honour killing’. Pakistani internet sensation Qandeel Baloch was strangled by her brother on Friday night while at her family home in Multan, Punjab. After going on the run, her brother Waseem was later arrested. In his confession video, he expressed no regret. “I am proud of what I did. I drugged her first, then I killed her,” said Waseem.”She was bringing dishonor to our family.” Qandeel’s posts were considered to be controversial in Pakistan. She rose to fame…

Hunting Season

Hunting Season

By Jalebi There’s a time in every Muslim’s life where your parents think you’re old enough to go into the concrete jungle and find yourself a mate. But like any true ‘coming of age’ story, every young hunter will face his or her obstacles. I feel slightly Neanderthal-ish when people say I need to make more effort in dating. I imagine myself dragging my knuckles, grunting something resembling a mating call with a spear in my hand. And like those simple cave man days, as soon as I see him I aim…

Nothing to do with Islam?

Nothing to do with Islam?

By Shazia Hobbs   Islam is never out of the news. Never have I experienced a time when Islam and Muslims have been discussed daily in the news, social media sites, the water cooler and even the hairdressers. There are atrocities being committed in the name of Islam right across the world, pretty much every single day, and probably as I write these very words. Some say it has “nothing to do with Islam”; some cannily hedge their bets and say it has “something to do with Islam” and some say…

Everything is Double Standards: On Brexit, Sharia and Hypocrisy

Everything is Double Standards: On Brexit, Sharia and Hypocrisy

By Mo Dawah     I totally condemn the death threats that were received by Sedaa magazine which were traced back to my e-mail address following my debut article for them, after they refused to allow me to publish another contribution of mine. Death threats can never be justified except when they can. And I totally condemn the person who traced them back to my e-mail address for faking them against herself. This provoked more death threats which coincidentally only ended after they agreed to let me take them hostage…

Only secularism can guarantee religious freedom

Only secularism can guarantee religious freedom

By Ammar Anwer   A secular system is one where people occupy more importance than any centuries-old scripture and where their fundamental human rights are guaranteed. In a secular state there is no discrimination amongst citizens on the basis of their faith. All citizens are treated equally in the eyes of law. As much as it may hurt most conservative Muslims I don’t have one iota of doubt that without secular values a state can never progress. Why can’t a nation progress without secularism? Well, it is not quite difficult…