It’s a solemn Friday, and it’s time for a truly hardcore, awesome muslimah edition of the roundup. We’ve got rockstar academics, shocking scholars, Darth Vader in niqab, an online conference on Islamic Feminism, kick-ass signing-word artists and Chuck Norris.


1) Can one person represent an entire religion? In her piece, ‘Not like other Muslims’: The Problem of Exceptionalism, the brilliant and gorgeous scholar, Sajida Jalalzai, takes on Eboo Patel on the topic of interfaith work and the problems of representation. She writes:

Representational questions have very real consequences for those involved in interfaith projects. It must be hard work for participants to “embody” an entire tradition, in all its diversity and complexity. The question of representation also raises the dangerous potential to create or support norms, erase differences, reify categories, and uphold distinctions between “good” religion and “bad” religion.

See… Brilliance. She’s also a lead singer of the New York band, A Bit Cagey. You can hear some of their stuff here and here.

Sajida can represent Islam for me any day.

2) The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is producing a 40-volume work on Muslim women scholars and prayer leaders, and includes known and previously unknown women who taught the Qur’an, transmitted Prophetic sayings, and made Islamic law while practicing as jurists. The work includes scholars like al-Darda, a prominent jurist in 7th century Damascus who used to pray shoulder-to-shoulder with men, issued a fatwa (still cited my modern scholars) that allowed women to pray in the same position as men, lectured in the men’s section, and taught the caliph herself.

3) From swimmers to protesters; b-ballers to sword wielders; hipsters to fashion divas; from Houria Bouteldja to Fatemeh Fakhraie, there’s a new tumblog dedicated to showcasing and giving recognition to badass muslimahs. I give you, BADASS Muslimahs.

4) Just in case you missed the newsflash: Chuck Norris accidentally went back in time and not wanting to cross his own timeline, spent years studying Islamic theology and Shari’a law, effectively hiding himself from “Past Chuck,” who in turn spent years acting and practicing martial arts. Islamic knowledge in hand, “Future Chuck” returned to 2011 and has blessed us all with these words of wisdom: Holy Week, Holy Shariah?

Yes, Mr. Norris, the Islamic scholar, is writing a three-part series for World Net Daily, adding his voice to the growing anti-shari’a fear-mongering that’s creeping over the United States. Naturally, he claims not to be an Islamophobe (is that even a word?) and gets mad props for referencing Ontario.

Of course, many Americans watch on video a Middle Eastern woman allegedly caught in adultery, buried in the ground up to her head and being stoned to death, and think, “That could never happen in America.” But they fail to see how Shariah law has already been enabled and subtly invoked in our country, and that any such induction like it is brought about by understated lukewarm changes, like a frog boiled in a kettle by a slow simmer.

He also owns a DeLorean with a bumper sticker that says, My other time machine is a TARDIS.

5) Take a moment to join the discussion on Metis’ Online Conference on Islamic Feminism. There are some truly awesome authors participating, and I cant wait to check everyone out!

6) PULSE media has an amazingly comprehensive look at the niqab ban. Of Niqabs, Monsters, and Decolonial Feminisms by Huma Dar takes on niqab and: Civilities and Dignities; Fines and Fine Guidelines; Desecrated Graves and Decolonial Feminisms ; “Establishment Muslims” and Global Media; Niqabitch; and Belphegor, Darth Vader, and The Thriller. It’s a must read!

7) Finally, I’ll hand things over to Deaffinity, with some seriously badass BSL: