Hello everyone! In honour of my trip alone to New York City, it’s the Muslimahz Gone Wilde edition of the roundup. We’ve got fake muslimahs, brave muslimahs, supreme-awesome-historical muslimahs, and seriously fierce muslimahs.
I’ll be away for a bit visiting the brilliant Rawiya, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, grabbing a slice from Grimaldi’s, and overdosing on the last six seasons of Doctor Who.
1) Move over Simon Cowell — the next, best reality television programming is coming to a mosque near you. “Solehah,” Arabic for “pious female,” is a new Malaysian reality talent contest searching to find the best women preachers.
Clerics will judge the contestants on their religious knowledge, charisma and oratory skills — in the hopes that, “if American Idol can help contestants develop as singers, our show aims to help Muslim women develop as Islamic preachers.”
I’d so love to see the elimination round.
2) Muslimah Media Watch has a supremely excellent analysis of the “Amina Abdullah” hoax — where Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old Edinburgh University masters student, launched a popular writing career by presenting himself as a Syrian lesbian political blogger. His ruse was discovered after exposing that his character was fictitiously “abducted,” ultimately causing massive outrage and reeking of “book deal.”
Tom has graciously left a comment on the piece — managing to sound magnanimous and particularly supercilious as he dares to descend from such lofty heights to converse with the common people he so recently represented. Go on, read it. It’s so worth it. I’ll wait.
3) What’s just as good as a Glee / Rent / Handel’s Messiah Flashmob? Why a Hijab Flashmob of course!
A group of around ten women in Muslim headscarves crashed the RightOnline conference for about ten minutes Saturday, protesting what they said was an incident targeting Muslim women Thursday night.
4) Kamran Pasha, a Hollywood filmmaker, has a new piece up on the HuffPo — essentially giving a rundown on some pretty amazing, powerful Muslim women.
5) The urban graffiti artist, “Princess Hijab” who covertly hijabizes commercial adverts in the Parisian Metro has given a rare interview, saying:
I apprehend advertising in order to transform it. The image of women in publicity is a feature, a fetishist representation of the moment.
My work is nothing to do with the veil ban in France. I’ve repeatedly stated: “No that is not my message, neither in the form, nor in the content of my stuff”. I started working in 2005 [before the ban was imposed] on top of that.
The content of my art is more directly related to our archetypes, to the collective unconsciousness, our intimate reactions, to the closed space of the Metro and the street.
What matters me most is my self-determination and the creation of my own universe, but also being in contact with people that have different sensibilities… the images I work on refer to another field of conscience, something more dreamlike, darker and more frightening.
5) Finally, have you met Ibtihaj Muhammad?
Ibtihaj is currently ranked 11th in the world in women’s fencing-saber. This weekend she’ll be competing at a World Cup fencing event — aiming to gain points toward qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. If she makes the Olympic team, she will be the first hijabi to represent the U.S. at the Games.
And if that happens, there sure won’t be any news of a hijab ban.
“I’d love for other minority women and religious minorities [in the U.S.] to believe they can excel in something outside the norm—not just sports, anything where they’re breaking the barrier,” she said, “and not be deterred by what the image is just because they fall outside that box.”