State of Neglect: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

State of Neglect: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

By Ammara Mustafa  This is a cross-post from Daily Times   Why does the State not take it upon itself to pursue cases of sexual assault? Does the fault lie in the judicial system or is it a deeper malaise? A child is full of curiosity, wonder and excitement when he or she opens their eyes into this new and alien world. A child who learns to walk by holding their parents’ hands and then later takes their first steps towards formal learning in educational institutions is a vulnerable being…

How to beat your wife

How to beat your wife

By Saima Baig   A few days ago, a video surfaced on the internet. In it, two hijab-clad women  in Australia were discussing the verse Surah Nisa in the Quran (4:34). The translation of the verse in question is as follows:   “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend for [maintenance] from their wealth. So, righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom…

Extremism-o-phobia is a crocodile that feeds upon extremism

Extremism-o-phobia is a crocodile that feeds upon extremism

By Mo Dawah   Since my last interruption in the debate on things the world has erupted into more and more violence and hatred against those who question why we must define terrorism as motivated by hate or whether it is actually violence at all. For when we focus on the violence perpetrated by perpetrators of violence it makes us lose empathy for them. And as we know, a lack of empathy for those who we force into killing us is the major cause of them killing us. We will…

Women smearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali are ‘carrying water’ for Islamists

Women smearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali are ‘carrying water’ for Islamists

By Arshia Malik   For us women in India, carrying water signifies courage, fortitude and surviving amidst insurmountable odds, considering the country still has parts where drinking water is not available and women have to walk miles to get two potable vessels of water for the cooking of the day. Compared to the slur of “carrying water” which the dictionary defines as “performing menial tasks for or to serve; to assist; to be forced by politics or pragmatism to endorse or promote a belief”, this act has become symbolic of…

Blasphemy-o-phobia is the Leading Scourge of our Time

Blasphemy-o-phobia is the Leading Scourge of our Time

By Mo Dawah   As the premier spokesman for self-appointed community leaders in the media, and one of the leading campaigners for religious freedom in Britain — where religious freedom is defined in its classical sense as freedom to obey and do as I say —  I am very passionate about the issue of how to enrich society by making it scared. Recently, the BBC Asian Network asked, ‘What is the right punishment for blasphemy’? This is a very important question, and the response to it unleashed a tsunami of…

Where is the Solidarity With ex Muslims?

Where is the Solidarity With ex Muslims?

By Yasmine   If you prick us, do we not bleed? In the Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare wrote those words for a Jew to say, but today, those words will come from the mouth of an ex-Muslim. I normally try to stay positive and veer far away from the victimhood narrative, as I was raised to think of myself as a victim when I was a Muslim. I was taught that the big, bad non-believers all hated us and wanted us dead and don’t care about us and that we…

The Ex-Muslim Community is Growing and Our Voices are Being Heard

The Ex-Muslim Community is Growing and Our Voices are Being Heard

By Shazia Hobbs   I had never heard of the term ‘ex-Muslim’ until a few years ago and it was thanks to social media I discovered there were many others who thought like me, who no longer identified as Muslim. Many of these ex-Muslims were anonymous on social media, hiding their true identities for fear of being disowned by their families and the wider community.  For many more there is the fear of being beaten and even death for leaving Islam and proudly shouting that they no longer believe. Yes,…

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,…