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…

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…

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…

The War for Secularism

The War for Secularism

By Arshia Malik   It is not easy to promote democracy, secular and liberal values in a population that insists on being regressive, mostly by men with patriarchal agendas and their conditioned female counterparts. Often those very “empowered better halves” trumpet their liberation by announcing the acceptance of regressive practices just because they want inclusion and acceptance in the frat boys club. One cannot ignore the fact that it is a battle between the progressive West (which by the way has Muslim-dominated countries too) and the regressive East (which includes…

Let’s take Islam back from the extremists and fundamentalists

Let’s take Islam back from the extremists and fundamentalists

By Hassan Radwan   Islam – my religion – is facing the most serious crisis of its 1400 year history. Extremists like ISIS only serve to bring this crisis to a head, but it has been growing over the last 200 years. Yet despite this, we refuse to accept there is need for reform or even to engage in a conversation about it. The past 200 years have seen some of the greatest changes in human history. Changes in relationships, gender roles, law and order, morality and ethics. Changes in the…

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…