Freedom from the Forbidden

All things gender and Islam. No bigotry is allowed in this feminist territory. #DeathToPatriarchy

forbidden things

A Response to Yasmin Mogahed’s Article Against Female-Led Prayer

Since the article by Yasmin Mogahed where she argues against female-led prayer (google it) has been making rounds again and it has some misleading and false statements, here’s a response to it, point by point. Collectively written by me, Zahra K., and someone else. Yasmin Mogahed’s points are in red, and our responses follow. Please note that this post is only a response to Mogahed’s claims and not entirely on […]

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the Qur’an does not prohibit women’s marriage to people of the book – and other facts about interfaith marriage in Islam

Pre-post: This is for those who believe that Muslim men are allowed to marry People of the Book while women are prohibited; because that means that the whole “shirk” of the People of the Book becomes relevant only when we’re talking about women but not when we’re talking about men (I address this below). If you believe it’s prohibited for BOTH genders, this isn’t for you.  According to most (Sunni) […]

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re the myth that male sex drive is uncontrollable and stronger than female sex drive

This may get a little … vulgar? uncomfortable? immodest? etc. And very long.  But here’s the idea: 1) there’s a popular myth going around that male sexuality is uncontrollable, and that’s why they get to do the things they wanna do (i.e., “nature” is exploited just to validate male  irresponsibility), 2) this myth has powerful and destructive consequences for women and society at large, 3) this myth is linked to […]

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how not to respond when women point out an #allmale panel

 Muslim male “celebrity shaikhs” are exhausting to deal with. And a huge fail, too. They always complain that we don’t express our concerns “the right way” (about which, please see below), but then they block you and delete your comments and accuse you of “abusing” them or the comments section when you speak up. The latest case of blatant patriarchy (that I know of) in the Muslim American community is […]

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Call for Contributors: Women-Identified Sexualities and Islam

Anyone who works on or studies gender-/sexuality-related topics with a focus on Islam might be interested in contributing to the following edited volume. Please consider sending submissions and/or share with friends. Deadline for abstracts: March 15, 2016 Deadline for complete papers (7500+ words): May 1st 2016 Tentative Title: Women-Identified (lesbian and trans) Sexualities and Islam Editor: Huma Ahmed-Ghosh (ghosh@mail.sdsu.edu – please contact Dr. Ahmed-Ghosh with questions) The following call is […]

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Islamic feminism and the fear of inciting Islamophobia

This conversation needs to take place more widely, especially in feminist Muslim circles as well as in those fighting racism, Islamophobia, and other bigotry in the West: We need a way–a platform–to discuss problems internal to Muslims and Muslim/Islamic history that are rooted in patriarchy and that support and maintain patriarchy in way that would not be interpreted as perpetuating and/or endorsing Islamophobia. I, as a Muslim woman very critical […]

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a response to both Nomani/Arafa and their detractors

I’m writing the following while waiting for my flight, so expect typos, incoherence, etc. I’m happy to clarify things later on if necessary. In what follows, I want to discuss some of the problems with Asra Nomani and Hala Arafa’s recent article as well as some problematic reactions and responses to it. Most basically, both Nomani/Arafa and their detractors are displaying and perpetuating a whole bunch of patriarchy in their […]

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On Pashto Names, “Ruining proper Islamic” Names, and Self-Hatred

On refusing to give your kids names in your language and instead giving them Arabic ones (nothing against this – I’ve a point; read on, please) because of the way your language is structured and your “pagan/haram/backward” language turns “proper, beautiful Islamic” (read: Arabic) names into wrong ones. Because ignorance and self-hatred and politics and minority statuses and so on. There’s a complicated history of the status of Pashto (and […]

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What It’s Like Being a Pashtun Woman on Social Media – Story 5: inappropriate messages from “respected” figures

Continuing our series on Pashtun women’s experiences with social media / what it’s like being a Pashtun woman on good ol’ internet. (The other stories are linked at the bottom of this post. Please be sure to read the Introduction to the series! I’m afraid someone brilliant is going to rise up and say, “But it’s not just Pashtun women who face these problems! Why are you targeting Pashtun men […]

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