Unblemished Virginity

Unblemished Virginity

By Serena   Virginity. What this word means to you is subjective: you might consider it no issue at all; you might be eager to lose it; or if you’re religious and traditionalist, you will wait until you’re married. Islam is famous for its promises of 72 virgins in heaven, for its strict religious rulings such as veiling, segregation, FGM and punishments of hellfire and lashes for a person if they have pre-marital sex. Virginity is neither precious or honourable. It is a social and religious construct. Virginity applies to…

They Called me Shameless

They Called me Shameless

By Scheherazade They called me shameless A disgrace For falling in love For wanting control over my own life The heart wants what it wants What could I have done? When I came home that night Trying to creep into my bed There they were Waiting for me instead. Rage on their faces. Slut Whore Beghairat, they said. All I wanted was to be free Soar with these wings Fly, wherever the wind would take me But I carried their honour Like a noose around my neck Which became tight Until…

Islamophobia is a convenient word to shut down a debate

Islamophobia is a convenient word to shut down a debate

By Arshia Malik   Islamophobia is a term branded around very casually these days on anything and anybody who stands up to the regressive practices in Muslim culture and denounces their oppressive characteristics. The first to scream Islamophobia are the practicing Muslims themselves at ex-Muslims, or agnostic Muslims, or liberal Muslims who feel they should speak out against the various shortcomings in their culture, their religion, their text and their fellow Muslims. A disclaimer first – I am aware that many cases of discrimination and abuse against Muslims are on…

Murdered By My Father: A Review

Murdered By My Father: A Review

By Iram Ramzan   “Someone’s always watching. Trust me.”   These are the words uttered by college student Salma in the BBC 3 drama Murdered By My Father, as she warns her boyfriend to stay away before someone finds out that they are dating. We have all been there, have we not ladies? Most of us, from South Asian or Middle Eastern backgrounds, where the notions of honour and shame are so important, have always been — and always will be — on our guards whenever we leave the house. Because no matter…