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…

The Prevent Strategy: Fact vs Fiction

The Prevent Strategy: Fact vs Fiction

  Why is the Prevent strategy deemed controversial? Prevent is one of the four Ps that make up the UK government’s post 9/11 counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest: Prepare for attacks, Protect the public, Pursue the attackers and Prevent their radicalisation in the first place. Much has been said about the strategy and not a week goes by without an article in the news and it is difficult to separate the facts from fiction. Critics claim it stifles free speech or disproportionately targets Muslims, which has led to some calls…

Normalising the hijab

Normalising the hijab

By Arshia Malik There was recently a news report about Nike unveiling modest sportswear range – the Nike Pro Hijab . I recalled when we first got a male professional coach for basketball in 1988 and the all girls’ school team was being put together. Being the athlete that I was, I of course signed up and started looking for the usual: shorts; skirts; trainers and T-shirts — a requirement on the court. Gradually, the realisation that this was Srinagar and not New Delhi dawned as the first impediments to a normal,…

Why Aren’t Women Taking Control of Their Lives?

Why Aren’t Women Taking Control of Their Lives?

By Faiza Yousaf The way I started living life changed a lot post-divorce. Ironically, I gained freedom in more ways than one. Other than the most obvious — freedom from a bad marriage — I also started living life in a way I should have a long time ago. The pivotal moment came for me when I decided I wanted to travel more and secondly undertake some aid work. Like most people, I fancied a partner in crime so waited around to see who would be free to join me….

Muslim Man’s Marriage Manual

Muslim Man’s Marriage Manual

  By Jimmy Bangash   Crush her spirit Break her soul Teach this woman her new role   Curb her speech Teach her her worth Cooking cleaning birth and birth   Birth and birth and birth and birth Cooking cleaning birth and birth   Claim her children Quote 4:34 Keep her gaze upon the floor   Keep her fearing of Talaq This is how you make your mark   Keep her locked Within your home And all your antics are unknown   If she cries Call her a whore Sow…

No CAGE, it’s precisely because Hope Not Hate challenge hate that you were included in their report

No CAGE, it’s precisely because Hope Not Hate challenge hate that you were included in their report

 By Sara Khan This is a cross-post There’s no question we live in an era of fake news, propaganda and so-called “alternative facts.”  But the reality is, is that some organisations have spent the last few years turning this into a fine art before these terms were even fashionable.  Take CAGE for example. To put it mildly, they were rather upset that the highly reputable and long standing anti-extremism group, Hope Not Hate (HnH) (who have done excellent work exposing the networks and influence of Al-Muhajiroon,) highlighted the activism and statements…

We must punish those guilty of Female Genital Mutilation

We must punish those guilty of Female Genital Mutilation

By Shazia Hobbs   If you are unaware of what Female Genital Mutilation is, I envy you. Ignorance is bliss after all and I wish I lived in a word where FGM didn’t exist. Unfortunately The World Health Organisation website states:   More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated’ and More than 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk from FGM, annually.   UNICEF’s website states that out of…

It’s Not Ok

It’s Not Ok

By Shazia Hobbs   Writer Shazia Hobbs was invited to Cleveland Police HQ, in Middlesborough, to speak at a conference titled ‘It’s Not OK’. The event was about breaking the silence on sexual violence and how to better protect victims. Shazia was representing the Halo Project Charity, an organisation that supports victims of honour-based violence, forced marriages and FGM  Here’s what she had to say on the subject.   – – –   I had known for a few months that I was going to be speaking at the ‘It’s Not OK’ event…

The Mystery Woman

The Mystery Woman

By Jimmy Bangash   There was this time when I was younger and lived at home. I think I was 12 or 13 or 14, or thereabouts. Dad brought this woman home. She came to live with us for a while. She was from Pakistan, about my mum’s age, and spoke the same language. I didn’t understand why she came to live with us so I asked dad and he said she was there to help mum with the house work and he would be paying her. We were a…

Imams Online Conference: Excellent Initiatives but Thread of Gender Inequality Marred Progression

Imams Online Conference: Excellent Initiatives but Thread of Gender Inequality Marred Progression

By Amina Lone   On January 11, Faith Associates and Imams Online hosted a ‘Digital Summit’ at Google UK’s London Event Space which was attended by over 150 attendees. This event’s aim was to bring together a diverse cross-section of Muslims which included senior religious leaders, male and female scholars, community activists, civil society actors, heads of charities, technologists, students and educationalists. Amina Lone went along on the day and shared her thoughts for Sedaa.      I attended a conference. Not extraordinary in itself but this one was held at Google…