The kids are in bed, the Hubby is away on travel and I have a bowl full of popcorn and a bag of chocolate at my fingertips. Yes, you read that right — an entire BAG of chocolate. This can only mean one thing: it’s time for a Muslim roundup!
It’s a super badass muslimah version of the roundup this week. We’ve got real superheroes, rockin’ muslimahs, some motherhood badassery, and of course, hijab.
Ilwad and Iman Elman, inside the Elman Peace Centre. Photo credit: Michelle Shephard, Toronto Star.
1) Real life superheroes live among us.
With hijab fatigues blazing, Canadians Ilwad and Iman Elwad are helping rebuild Mogadishu, Somalia by taking on gender violence and the militant group Al-Shabab. No small feat for these two amazing sisters!
According to the Toronto Star, about three years ago, Ilwad and her sister left Canada to join their mother in promoting women’s rights and to help run the Elman Peace Centre, a rape crisis shelter.
Iman joined the military and is now Commander for a battalion of 90 men. And while the capital is no longer a war zone, she continues to fight and lead security operations outside the city. Remarking on this success, she humbly explains:
“Being raised in Canada, I was taught you’re no different from any guy, you’re equal, you’re the same,” she says. “When I went into the military they said, ‘You can’t do that, it’s not your job.’ I wanted to break some of the stereotypes here.”
These two sisters are so beyond badass that someone better help me come up with a word that means more badass than badass.
It also seems that superhero powers run in the family. Before his tragic murder, their father was a well-known peace activist, cared for orphans and ran community programs. And their fabulous mother, Fartuun Adan, recently received an International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. Department of State for her humanitarian work.
They’re already saving the world, so the only thing I can say is that I’m keeping you ladies in my dua’as. Well done and keep up the good fight.
Random Stars rockin’ out.
2) No bad veil puns. No subtle allusions to women unchaining the shackles of oppression. Just five women from the United Arab Emirates rockin’ out to Deep Purple. The FIRST band of fantastically fierce Emirati women to belt out heavy metal chords on their electric guitars.
All thanks to Ms Small.
Brought together by their English teacher, these students from the Higher Colleges of Technology at Al Ain, had little to no experience with drums, bass or guitars — but now according to The National, they “perform at a variety of college events such as graduation ceremonies and National Day celebrations.”
Lead guitarist Hamda Al Ghaithi played piano and guitar for two years before hearing about the band:
“I met Ms Small and she told me about how the girls wanted to play and make a band. At first I didn’t like rock because I was studying classical guitar, but I prefer rock guitar now. I hope after I finish studying here that I will study music and play classical piano.”
Smoke on the water baby. Just wait until you all really get into Classic Rock. Ladies, you got to get yourselves on YouTube!
3) A word to the wise, don’t mess with mothers defending their right to motherhood:
PressTV covered a recent protest by civil rights groups and families calling for the religious freedom of Muslim women and their civil liberty to pick up their children from school.
Mothers in headscarves are facing new discrimination at some schools who now object to seeing headscarves in the playground before and after school — claiming that the hijab’s “outward sign of religious practice go against the French law of religious neutrality in state-run institutions.”
I don’t really need to get into how ridiculous this is, do I?
Try this: stand in-between a mother bear and her cub. Tell the mother bear that she can’t have her child until she looks more human. Pick up a pair of shears. Attempt to shave the bear and liberate her from her fur. Watch what happens.
4) Every little girl named Faiza just had her mind blown.
This is going viral right now just about everywhere, but if you haven’t heard the fantabulous news, Faiza Hussain, British Pakistani doctor by day, Excalibur by night has just been dubbed, Captain Britain.
A little backstory, Brian Baddock (the current Captain Britain) is teaming up with Captain Marvel (Avengers) on a kind of suicide mission against the evil Ultron (in “The Age of Ultron” storyline). Before leaving, he needs Faiza to keep MI-13 running. He needs “Captain Britain” to survive. For hope. For humanity.
A mainstream comic, Muslim, hijabi superhero people! What’s not to love?
This awe inspiring character wields the Arthurian sword Excalibur and can disassemble and reassemble people at the subatomic level. She’s also a healer by nature and a massive superhero fan girl – so you know she’ll keep to her roots.
OMG MARVEL! DISNEY! DO AN AVENGERS CROSS-OVER MOVIE! I know you’re planning a Captain Marvel movie sometime in the future. Maybe we can hope for an on-screen Muslim woman superhero before 2025.
5) Finally, what DOES it mean to be a modern Muslim woman?
Well, according to the Daily Beast’s great piece on The Rise of Hijab Fashion Bloggers, the modern Muslim woman is “eclectic” and “creative” — bending the visuality of hijab with a blend of “vintage finds, lavish jewellery, Japanese-inspired silhouettes, high-end British sophistication and urban edge.”
The media may portray Muslim females as shrouded in black head-to-toe robes, feeding the stereotypical idea that modernism—not to mention fashion—and Islam cannot mix. But, as this crop of popular fashion blogs shows, wearing a hijab can mean a great number of things to a variety of women.
Well, yes. But point of information: Not all modern Muslim women wear hijab. And some modern Muslim women are shrouded in black head-to-toe robes. And they all have the potential to be eclectic, fashionable and creative.
Oh, but I do love watching hijab tutorials. Honestly, they’re awesome. From make-up to hijab pins — YouTube stars branching off into their own fashion lines and doing what inspires them. Kick-ass.
Here’s my current favourite style. Just in time for summer: