Freedom from the Forbidden

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

Just stop

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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a song for Afghan refugees in Pakistan: Pekhawara Afghanan che khapa na krre by Naghma

With Pakistan evicting some 600,000 Afghan refugees by the end of this year alone, this song, sung by Naghma in 2011 (I think?), is so real and relevant it’s heartbreaking. Song is at the bottom of the lyrics. The Pashto is in Green (one of my favorite colors, yay!). Immense thanks to T. A. S. for helping with translation of a couple of lines/words I was struggling with.

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Menstruation, Ramadhan, and the Muslim Woman: beyond the whole “it’s a break from prayer/fasting!”

This post was inspired in part by a vibrant discussion on Facebook at this FITNA group. (FITNA = Feminist Islamic Troublemakers of North America). Both the  discussion and the group are public intentionally, and we invite readers and participants in the group from all over the world. If it were mere exemption, if it were a mercy, if it were a break, you would still have that option to OPT OUT of the exemption if […]

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How Not to Talk about Haruka Weiser

EDIT: Since this piece has received an unexpected level of attention, perhaps a disclaimer is appropriate. (Note that this is a personal blog run by one individual absolutely not okay with any sort of bigotry, especially against minorities.) With the emails, messages, comments, and tweets I’ve received, a lot of white people are offended by my use of what are apparently “absolutes.” The irony! (Because you know, orientalism, colonialism, and […]

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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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On Al-Jazeera’s “Muslim women breaking stereotypes”: the obsession with the Muslim woman’s body as a site of resistance

Can we end these discussions that claim to “prove” that “Muslim women” are challenging “stereotypes”? (Apologies to reader for the constant quotation use – I clearly have a lot of problems with this sort of discussion.) It’s the same reason I find the idea of viewing the Muslim woman’s body as a constant site of resistance unaccrptable. That is, this profound idea goes, Muslim women constantly seem to be resisting […]

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The Babarra Massacre of August 12, 1948: Translation and Background of Pashto Song “Margiya Ma Raza Darzama”

The short version of what follows On August 12, 1948, two days before Pakistan was to celebrate the first anniversary of its creation (August 14, 1947), the Pakistani government  attacked and killed over 600 Pashtuns during a peaceful demonstration against the unjust imprisonment of several Pashtun leaders demanding justice for Pashtuns. This took place in a town called Babarra in Charasadda, Pakhtunkhwa. Hardly anyone knows about this massacre and Pakistan […]

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What It’s Like Being a Pashtun Woman on Social Media – Story 4: when men send you porn to try to silence you

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 read the Introduction to the series so you understand why I choose to focus on Pashtuns and not on other people. No, harassment and intimidation have no race, I know that.) Note that one of the […]

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What It’s Like Being a Pashtun Woman on Social Media – Story 3: on public identity, marriage proposals, unwanted requests

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 read the Introduction to the series so you understand why I choose to focus on Pashtuns and not on other people. No, harassment and intimidation have no race, I know that.)

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