Don’t ban the burqa – challenge the modesty doctrines instead

Don’t ban the burqa – challenge the modesty doctrines instead

By Tehmina Kazi Unlike other articles on Muslim women’s sartorial trends, this one will not start with a terrible “thinly-veiled” pun, or a picture of a woman with her face covered in black  cloth. Shazia Hobbs managed to avoid both these traps in her “Ban the burqa” article, which correctly identified religious fundamentalism as a bigger problem in the current generation of British Muslims, than in previous generations.  The proliferation of face-veils is simply one manifestation of this; other manifestations include gender segregation on university campuses, and the ex-communication (or takfir) of…

Transgender people in Pakistan: Demonisation of the ‘other’

Transgender people in Pakistan: Demonisation of the ‘other’

By Saima Baig   Transgender people have long been a part of the history of South Asia. Their stories are told in the Kama Sutra and they have existed in the Indian sub-continent for centuries. They were part of the courts of both Muslim and Hindu emperors and performed various spiritual and gender-liminal roles. Subsequently, while they were not openly ostracised by society, they tended to live on its edge, making their living by performing at functions, begging and as sex workers — but never as full members of the population with rights equal…

Naz Shah proves that anti-Semitism is still a problem

Naz Shah proves that anti-Semitism is still a problem

By Rasool Bibi     Karma is a bitch, isn’t it Naz Shah? This week, anti-Semitic posts made by Naz Shah nine months before she won her seat in Bradford West have been exposed. As an activist against extremism, if I hadn’t already lost all my faith in her, this would have come as a surprise. We were inspired by her story of overcoming a forced marriage and domestic abuse to become a rising politician and cheered her on. We loudly expressed disgust when George Galloway and many in Naz’s Muslim community led a poisonous…

Suicide bombings in Turkey have changed our lives

Suicide bombings in Turkey have changed our lives

By Sofia Demirturk   “Whatever would be the age of the murderers, 17 or 27, I know that they were born babies once. Without questioning the darkness that created murderers from those babies, there’s nothing to do, my brothers and sisters.” Rakel Dink at the funeral of her husband Hrant Dink – a Turkish-Armenian editor, journalist and columnist assassinated by a Turkish nationalist.     Living in Turkey, where suicide bombers were once something we associated with other countries in the Middle East, we are trying to recover from the…

After Asad Shah’s murder solidarity must extend to reformist Muslims

After Asad Shah’s murder solidarity must extend to reformist Muslims

By Rasool Bibi The brutal murder of Asad Shah of Shawlands, Glasgow, on Good Friday has shocked us all.  All those who knew him or even encountered him in his shop talk of a peaceful, loving man.  Even those who did not know him, having read the tributes, feel deep sorrow and a loss. Hours before the terrifying attack that led to his death, Mr Shah had gone on Facebook to wish his “beloved Christian nation” a “Happy Easter”. Mr Shah had been repeatedly stabbed and stamped on, an indicator…

Terror attacks in Lahore

Terror attacks in Lahore

By Iram Ramzan   There is a phrase in Punjabi, which roughly translates as, “The one who has not yet seen Lahore, has not been born.” I certainly felt alive whenever I visited this vibrant capital city of the Punjab in Pakistan. In the past, I have visited my grandparents’ village in Kashmir several times. There was nothing to do, nothing to see, no one with whom I could speak . I felt suffocated, itching for the chance to get out of there as soon as I could. That feeling of misery and boredom would…

Welcome to Sedaa

Welcome to Sedaa

Sedaa – which means voice – is a platform which will feature writers of Muslim heritage. We use the term “of Muslim heritage” because we seek to bring together both those who identify as Muslims, and those who have left the religion. We have set up this website to critique religious extremism, reactionary cultural attitudes, and problems caused by moral relativism in our society. We believe that Islamists and their fellow travellers and apologists must be challenged and opposed. At the same time, as people with Islamic heritage, with Muslim…