On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman accosted a bus carrying 15 year-old Malala Yousafzai and her schoolmates, and coldly shot them at close range. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan not only claimed responsibility for the blatant assassination attempt of the teenage education activist, but as it emerged that Malala would survive the attack, the movement also reiterated its desire to kill her.Read More
When Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen simply because she wanted to gain an education it sent shockwaves around the world.
Straight away the Western media took up the issue. Western politicians spoke out and soon she found herself in the UK. The way in which the West reacted did make me question the reasons and motives behind why Malala’s case was taken up and not so many others.
Muslims complain the West portrays Islam as violent, misogynistic and unforgiving. As a Muslim woman myself, I confirm ‘Muslim’ brutality is best portrayed only by ourselves.
This week in Multan, Pakistan, 36-year-old Farzana Bibi was allegedly dismembered by her husband for refusing to wear a niqab. Waiting until their three children had gone to school, he allegedly took a knife used for slaughtering an animal in the halal fashion to dismember her into ten pieces.
Malala Yousafzai gave a stirring speech at the U.N. last Friday, her first major appearance since being shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban in October for her efforts to promote girls’ education in the country.
Yousafzai was celebrated July 12, her 16th birthday, which the U.N. proclaimed Malala Day. “By targeting Malala, extremists showed what they feared the most: a girl with a book, ” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a speech marking the event.
With Malala Yousafzai’s recent turn addressing the UN, some have expressed concern, bordering on disdain, for Western media outlets and politicians who are vociferously amplifying Malala’s celebrity. For example, Assed Baig recently wrote for the UK edition of the Huffington Post an article titled, “Malala Yousafzai and the White Savior Complex.” Baig, giving voice to the feelings of many, remarked, “… Malala has been used as a tool by the West…Read More
In 1856 when Mount Everest was definitively identified as the world’s highest mountain what began was a series of early Everest expeditions, mostly led by the British, which, in 1933, included efforts to deploy the British Union Flag on top of the mountain by flying a formation of aircraft over the peak (an expedition funded by a British millionairess, Lady Houston).Read More
In retrospect, it wasn’t that unusual of an event but would be one that finally broke the silence surrounding violence against women in the world’s second largest country.
On December 16, a 23-year-old medical student travelling with a male companion on a bus in New Delhi was beaten and gang raped by a group of 6 men for over an hour as the bus traveled across the city. When they were done, they threw her from the bus onto the road leaving her in critical condition.
Shabana Khan* speaks from behind a screen put up to protect her identity at a recent women’s assembly. I cannot see her. I do not know what her age is. I have no way of observing her non-verbal communication. But what I do know is that this is a person in pain. Intense pain has resulted in eloquence as well as a defiant, almost rebellious fearlessness. She is a young woman from the Shia Hazara community and lives in Quetta. This is an excerpt of the story she tells of herself and her community.Read More
As someone who writes and lectures about women and gender in Islam, I am often asked if women had any role in the making of the Islamic tradition. Happily, the answer is always yes. There were in fact many prominent women in the early history of Islam.
At the top of the list would have to be Aisha, the widow of the Prophet Muhammad who was renowned for her learning and wit.The Prophet in fact is said to have counselled his followers to “take half of your religion” from Aisha – in recognition of her learning.
Whether or not it turns out (as I expect it will) that Middle-Eastern Muslim mobs were duped by jihadist radicals — provoked by an old, fringe video to provide cover for their own planned attacks on Muslim-friendly American forces in Egypt, Libya and Yemen — those mobs are a worse insult to Muhammad and Islam that anything an ignorant non-Muslim could ever do.Read More