Politics

Naomi Wolf takes on the hijab

Until the Western world stops obsessing about the clothing choices of Muslim women, we need to continue explaining the social and religious reasons for the hijab. The fact that a noted American feminist like Naomi Wolf wrote an article on the issue is highly encouraging. Now let us hope that many more will follow in her footsteps, and include the nuances of these issues so that the arguments can be truly persuasive to a highly skeptical Western audience.

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Rifqa Bary and the Xenos cult

Although we should consider all parties innocent until proven guilty, the most likely culprit in the case of Rifqa Bary, the 17 year-old who ran away from her Ohio home in fear of her father, is the Xenos cult, a group that specifically emphasizes Biblical verses where Jesus tells the disciples to leave their family, disown their loved ones. Xenos tears families apart.

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Seeking solidarity without reductionism

Non-Muslim women who desire to build a sense of solidarity with Muslim women need to know that it is absolutely possible to speak out against gross human rights violations within global Muslim communities, and yet avoid the multiple traps of cultural reductionism that we are so bombarded with in the mainstream media. Judy Bachrach’s article, Twice Branded: Western Women in Muslim Lands abounds with examples of what not to do when striving for an authentic sense of sisterhood.

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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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