Happy weekend everyone! There are plenty of links in this inclusive, funky, informative and ranty edition of the roundup. So let’s get to it.
1) Are Progressive Muslims succeeding at supporting LGBT issues, women’s rights, gender equity, hippy drum circles, and everything else being stamped out by the fitnah patrol? Are they an oddity, a footnote in modern history? Or are they really the sign of the future of North American Islam?
Jaweed Kaleem addresses this and more in his HuffPo piece, Progressive Muslims Launch Gay-Friendly, Women-Led Mosques In Attempt To Reform American Islam.
Today, as America’s Muslim leaders debate controversial topics like political radicalism inside mosques and states’ attempts to ban Shariah law, this growing network of alternative mosques and Islamic groups is quietly forging a new spiritual movement.
They’re taking bold steps, reinterpreting Islamic norms and re-examining taboos. While far from accepted by mainstream clerics, these worshipers feel that the future of the religion lies not solely with tradition but with them. Women are leading congregations in prayer, gay imams are performing Islamic marriages, and men and women are praying side by side
Haters gonna hate — just check out some of the tweets in response to this article.
But if people have a safe, inclusive and inviting place to pray, what’s the big deal? Here’s some food for thought: I bet you one million dollars, the FBI isn’t using mosque outreach programs to spy on Muslims who attend progressive mosques.
Here’s some EXCELLENT perspective on How NOT to Study Gender in the Middle East:
Six: Avoid tokenism and broad generalizations. Sometimes a hijab is just a hijab, and sometimes it is not.
Eight: I know this is hard to believe, but Islam may not be the most important factor, or even a particularly important factor, when studying gender in Muslim majority countries or communities… Islam is not the only religion in the region, although it often seems to be in mainstream media coverage. When an action such as the hitting of women by men for not conforming to “proper” gender roles in ultra orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem or in conservative neighborhoods of Riyadh is scripted in radically different terms the reader should pause. At these moments you are not reading about Islam, you are reading within a discourse about Islam.
Please read the whole thing. It’s gorgeous. Artful. Dripping with sage advice.
3) Rapid fire:
- “If my parents force me to get married, I will compensate for the sorrows of Afghan women and beat my husband so badly.” Elaha on her experience growing up disguised as a boy in Northern Afghanistan.
- An oldie but a goodie: Muslim Male Privilege Checklist. A MUST READ!
- Stephanie Sinclair won first prize in the Contemporary Issues/Stories category from World Press Photo for her hauntingly beautiful photos of child brides in Yemen, Afghanistan, India, and Ethiopia.
- Check out this great write-up of the “Hijabi Monologues” – steeped in hip-hop, campus feminism and the American love of self-expression, this inverse Vagina Monologues lifts Muslim Voices.
4) What do you get when you put Michael Coren and Tarek Fatah together in a room to do a “media analysis” of Little Mosque on the Prairie? A whole bunch of racist slurs, anti-Muslim sentiments and gross stretches of the imagination.
On saying good-bye to the end of the show, headlined with “Little Mosque Propaganda” the men deliciously laughed:
Coren: Little Mosque on the Prairie has come to an end. But great news, the DVD/Blu-Ray box set will have a special feature section, including the missing episode where they hang the local gay guy, they forcibly circumcise a little girl, and also murder the teenage daughter because she won’t wear the hijab. It’s bad enough [the show] isn’t funny, but it’s just the propaganda that I find so offensive.
Fatah: I found most white people would laugh at it because they were scared that if they didn’t laugh, they’d be called a racist. So they were locked up in their living room! They only time it was funny was when it had Italian as a language [dubbed] over the episode!
Man, shut the finah up! Coren often invites and supports Muslim activists to his show — so his incredibly incendiary assumptions about normative Muslims is just to get conservative ratings. Nice. Fatah does nothing more than categorize non-Muslim Canadians as unthinking automatons who are so socially terrified of Muslims, that they cower in their own homes at the mere thought of halal Boston Pizza.
I also find it funny that Tarek Fatah seems to know what goes on in the lives of MOST white people (you know, like me). You really don’t want me to tell you what I really think of most Tarek Fatahs.
The video segment continues with them spuriously accusing the CBC of hiring Muslim Brotherhood Activists as “content consultants” (because THAT’S believable) and making the leap to the current Sun Media obsession over the book, “How to Beat Your Wife the Islamic Way.” (And no, this book is not the Muslim equivalent of the Hunger Games in popularity. So do your research before harassing a book keeper who probably only had one copy in his store before it “sold out.”)
Sorry boys. Way to villainize the entire Muslim community.
5) Whew! After that rant I need a break. How about a little “Take Five” by the Pakistani Sachal Studio’s tabla ensemble: