Freedom from the Forbidden

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

let’s talk privilege

Book Review: Olfa Youssef’s The Perplexity of a Muslim Woman: Over Inheritance, Marriage, and Homosexuality

The Perplexity of a Muslim Woman: Over Inheritance, Marriage, and Homosexuality Olfa Youssef Translated from the Arabic by Lamia Benyoussef Lexington Books, 2017. 156 pages. $80 A shorter version of this review is published in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences Olfa Youssef’s The Perplexity of a Muslim Woman: Over Inheritance, Marriage, and Homosexuality—translated by Lamia Benyoussef from the Arabic Ḥayratu Muslima—addresses some of the practical and conceptual inconsistences in […]

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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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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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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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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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On the Orlando Mass Shooting – and a note to Muslims who condemn homosexuality

Like everyone else, I’m thinking about the mass shooting at the Orlando club, and I can’t put any words together. There’s hurt, there’s anger, there’s confusion – I will never understand, and I hope I never understand, why and how anyone can take another person’s life, let alone the lives of over 50 people. May God grant them all eternal Peace, may God be their Companion, aameen. For their families […]

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The Patriarchy of Not Taking Women’s (Menstrual) Pain Seriously

“Woman is a pain that never goes away.” – Menander Ramadhan mubarak, everyone! ❤ I wish everyone a beautiful month that inspires compassion, love, and gratitude in all of us. I’ll be writing more Ramadhan-related posts this month – or I’ll try anyway, inshaAllah – but this particular topic has been bothering me for some time now and it’s been long over-due – and it keeps coming up in conversations […]

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