Happy Friday everyone! This roundup is shockingly devoid of hijabs. It’s been a pretty hilarious week with some social media fallouts, people being mean and people being awesome. So grab your favourite cookie and tea and enjoy.
If you have any articles you think should be included, link them up in the comments — or flip them to me and I’ll include them in future roundups.
1) [cue dramatic music] There is a shocking modern development threatening to destroy a centuries old tradition. Prosperity, access to education and rapid development are steering young girls off the imam path to new careers away from the mosque. Wait. What? Female imams?! Yes.
Born out of the necessity to pass down Islam to future generations by having both men and women work together. What a novel idea — bring this up the next time a brother sends you to the back to pray, or someone asks you to keep your kids (and therefore yourself) at home, or someone complains that our youth and converts in North America are completely divorced from the Islamic community.
Kathleen McLaughlin has a simply gorgeous article and video detailing the history, religious need and culture around Hui female imams in China’s Henan province. She interviews Guo Dongping, a female imam in the town Sangpo — where there are more mosques run by women than men!
…the older women who taught Guo speak about the need for separate spaces for women in the practice of religion. They joke about how women better understand than men the need be flexible about prayer times during the day, because women have more to do…
Scholars say this unique approach to women in Islam has helped the Hui tradition thrive and led to stronger family ties. Women are not isolated or left home to pray on their own, or relegated to separate rooms inside the male mosque.
Imagine that. I can just barely.
2) So Newsweek came out with a pretty garbage cover as a part of their stupendous analysis of some Moroccan, Egyptian and Yemeni Muslims protesting the “film” Innocence of Muslims and general hatred of America. Part of the magazine’s social media outreach was to
incite trolling ask for people’s opinions with the ridiculous hashtag #MuslimRage.
Natch, Muslims and others hijacked (snort) the hashtag and flooded Newsweek with some stellar tweets and pictures of Muslims being sarcastic.
Check out New York magazine for the entire scoop on how the entire thing backfired.
- Author Michael Muhammad Night has a privilege-checking masterpiece over at Vice on The Innocence of White People.
- Dan Murphy explains in the Christian Science Monitor why no, the Islamopocalypse is not really upon us (now put down your copy of Newsweek).
- Writing for Al-Jazeera, anthropologist Sarah Kendzior brilliantly explains the fallacy of the phrase “The Muslim World.” It’s divisive, encourages stereotypes, and is the biggest generalisation. Ever. As if we have our own planet.
- And the HuffPo has author Melody Moezzi writing that the Most Islamic Approach to Islamophobia is for people to ignore these offensive one-offs. The more we react, the more fodder we give to the world to pay attention.
3) It looks like some New Yorkers will have hate-filled advertisements added to their morning commute starting Monday. Chief Blue Meanie Pamela Geller won a court order to post offensive ads that, according to opponents, imply that Muslims are savages. Keep an eye out for:
In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.
But if you support beauty and love, why not read this soul-stirring piece before your morning rush hour. Hussein Rashid gets emotional in his Qawwalis, Found Sounds, and Benghazi: Locating the Sacred in a New York Church:
Then the qawwals came on stage and they started singing “Allah Hu,” a fast-paced qawwaliand sure crowd-pleaser. They stopped after a minute. It was a sound check. But a good one. The phrase means “God is.” You, as the listener, fill in whatever you want after the verb. The lacuna is powerful. Those in the audience who were familiar with the tradition were clearly energized.
Lovely. And love is all you need.
4) Finally, there is nothing more amazing than selflessness set to poppy-bluegrass-rock. Check out how Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi spent his 22nd birthday performing 22 random acts of kindness.