The burqa represents an ideology that looks down on women

The burqa represents an ideology that looks down on women

By Khadija Khan   The ban on full face coverings came into effect in Denmark on August 1. Hardly anyone is focusing on the significance of this decision in the age of terrorist attacks. Instead, a large chunk of people seem to have bought into the fundamentalists’ claims that this move was aimed solely to bar Muslim women from veiling their faces. Non-Muslim protesters even wore burqas in ‘solidarity’ with Muslim women, standing on the wrong side of history by indirectly opposing the Muslim women who are defying the idea…

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…

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,…

The Reality Behind the ECJ’s So-Called “Headscarf Ban”

The Reality Behind the ECJ’s So-Called “Headscarf Ban”

By Tehmina Kazi   The debate on Tuesday’s European Court of Justice ruling on the “visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign” is riddled with misinformation. With headlines that scream, “headscarf bans,” and the fact that the law in this area is incredibly complex, is it any wonder that many observers are left scratching their heads? Let’s look at the facts. This ruling focuses on two different cases in different countries: Belgium and France. The Belgian woman had been working as a receptionist for G4S Secure Solutions and…

British ‘subjects’ did not deserve legal equality with their colonial masters: Interview with Marieme Helie Lucas on Sharia Courts in Britain

British ‘subjects’ did not deserve legal equality with their colonial masters: Interview with Marieme Helie Lucas on Sharia Courts in Britain

British MPs on the Commons home affairs committee have launched an inquiry into the operation of ‘Sharia courts’ in the UK to ensure their principles are compatible with British law. The announcement follows the establishment of a similar investigation by the Home Office last month. However, over 200 women’s rights campaigners and organisations recently signed a public letter to Prime Minister Theresa May criticising the government inquiry into Sharia councils. Whilst a review into Sharia bodies and their impact on gender equality and justice is long overdue, the letter outlined…

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…

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 our…

Is Charlie Hebdo ‘Islamophobic’ for echoing liberal Muslim voices?

Is Charlie Hebdo ‘Islamophobic’ for echoing liberal Muslim voices?

By Kunwar Khuldune Shahid   For a publication that has published barely 10 editions satirising Islam in the past decade, Charlie Hebdo has earned its ‘Islamophobic’ label rather effortlessly. ‘Islamophobia’ even in its most liberal definition would at least imply prejudice against Islam, Muslims or any variation thereof. Accusing a magazine that has mocked Christianity thrice as many times in the same duration, and religion in general twice as much, of bias against Islam betrays – at the very least – bias against the publication. Maybe it’s because there weren’t…

Brussels attacks: The responsibility to counter jihadism lies with us Muslims

Brussels attacks: The responsibility to counter jihadism lies with us Muslims

By Shamila Ghyas   This is a cross-post from The Nation   Another day, another blast. More innocent deaths.   At least 34 people were killed after explosions ripped through Brussels airport and metro station. With over a 100 injured, many critically; the toll number is expected to rise. Eyewitnesses say that after hearing the loud boom, they were literally blown back by its force. There was a lot of blood in the elevators as ceilings started to collapse in the affected areas. Just imagine you are at the airport…

Inopportune defensiveness about Islam

Inopportune defensiveness about Islam

By Kunwar Khuldune Shahid   This is a cross-post from The Nation   Two very significant recent events have evoked identically counter-productive, nay self-defeating, reactions from Pakistani and global Muslims respectively. The Jamaat-e-Islaami led religious parties’ meeting in Mansoora unanimously condemned the Women Protection Act as ‘un-Islamic’ last week, while the Brussels attacks on Tuesday killed 34 people and injured over 200. Both events exhibit the ugliest shades of Islamism, and both were met with defensiveness about Islam from various sections. As has become the norm, every global act of jihadist terrorism…