July, 2009

Abuse, asylum and America

A new policy by the Obama Administration has provided an opportunity for abused women, including those under threat of death from karo kari, to claim asylum in the United States. Concerns about notions of Western patriarchy should be seen in the context of the lack of options that hundreds of thousands of women, from Mexico to Pakistan, currently have.

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It’s Barbie’s world

While dolls like Fulla and Razanne do offer an alternative to Barbie in Muslim societies, the dolls remain inherently consumerist and construct their own discourse of femininity. The Western concept of beauty, first introduced though Barbie, remains unchanged in these ethnic dolls. In the end, it’s about Barbie done differently to sell more stuff.

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Part 3: The misinterpretation of “idribu” in 4:34 of the Qur’an

Wrongly interpreting idribu to mean “beat” instead of “go away” has turned at least two realities that the Qur’an has given women into myths. The reality is that a husband who wants to divorce his wife cannot hold her back by injuring her, and this protects a wife who wants to be set free. The Qur’an gives her this right to not be injured.

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The romance in Muslim R&B

As practicing Muslims, we’re so used to a traditional separation of genders – during prayer, during conferences, and so on. In looking for mainstream art and music to mimic, hip-hop in particular is an easy one to copy, as in its nature, it can be used to express anything. So what about a genre that could arguably be seen as predominantly expressing love for women?

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Part 1: The misinterpretation of “idribu” in 4:34 of the Qur’an

Jurists have created a contradiction that is not in the Qur’an by encouraging divorce and discouraging marriage. In other words, a Muslim woman who wants a divorce must be set free without using force against her, but a Muslim woman who wants to remain married does so under the threat of being beaten. What woman would want to stay married under such circumstances?

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Who wears the trousers in Sudan?

By flogging women for wearing trousers, the Sudanese government has shown its fear of challenges to the status quo. As with all self-declared Islamic governments, what a woman wears becomes no longer an issue of religious modesty but one of audacity and defiance to a regime’s raison d’etre and authority.

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