Happy Friday everyone! Wax your surfboard and grab a drink, in this edition of the roundup we’re riding the wave of Islamophobia. The water’s full of anti-shari’a fail and unrealised potential with bans on kick-ass hijabis. But we’ve got an entire beachfront full of pious sexy athletic wear and an initiative aiming to turn the tide.
1) Worried that the mosque down the street might be a hotbed of religious extremism? Is it becoming increasingly difficult for you to figure out the “good Muslims” from the “bad Muslims?” Have no fear, Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques is here!
100 mosques were observed in order to give you this handy-dandy guide to determining if your mosque is a place where “violent jihad may take root.” Co-authored by the man behind much of the anti-shari’a legislation in the States, the survey determined that mosques which promoted “violence-positive” material through speeches or publications appeared to also have greater adherence to shari’a — which for the purpose of the survey means:
- women in “proper” hijab — not this Spanish-wrap, dupatta, piratey hijab nonsense
- men in hats — preferably ethnic ones from scary Muslim nations
- imams with beards according to the “sunna” — no monkey tail beards
- maintaining straight prayer lines — bring out your tape measure
- non-Western garb — no cultural diversity for you!
- imams wearing watches on their right wrist — sorry lefties!
*cough* Do I really have to say anything? It’s so nice having someone else define my Islam for me.
2) Do you ever wonder if what you’re eating is really halal? Hundreds of parents in Toronto, Ottawa and surrounding suburbs, were shocked to discover that the halal, kosher and organic catering at their children’s Montessori and child care centres were, in fact, none of these things.
3) Sports Hijab. Be Yourself. Unveil Your Performance.
Iranian-born French-Canadian (go Habs!) designer Elham Javad came up with the idea to create sleek and secure sports hijabs when five Muslim girls were banned from competing in tae kwon do tournaments in Montreal. The ban was set in place after officials determined that the hijabs were a health and safety risk. So Javad decided to make things easier for women to participate in sports.
She was even pegged to design the hijab tops for the Iranian Women’s Olympic Football team — until FIFA decided to ban headscarves earlier this week.
The Iranian Women’s team had their athletic dreams destroyed when FIFA disqualified them from an important qualifying match with Jordan — citing that the hijabs were a safety concern and did not conform to the uniform rules: “Players and officials shall not display political, religious, commercial or personal messages or slogans in any language or form on their playing or team kits.”
But you know, male footballers sure as hell can do whatever they want with their hair. Yeah. Nothing personal.
4) And in another case of men deciding what women can or cannot wear, CAIR, a Muslim civil rights advocacy group, is calling on the United States Olympic Committee to intervene in the case of an AMAZING Muslim weightlifter.
Kulsoom Abdullah of Atlanta is being banned from tournaments because she wishes to compete wearing hijab.
Honestly, why would you want to mess with her? This kick-ass hijabi can pick you up and throw you into next week.
According to the report, “Abdullah, who competes in the 48kg and 53kg weight class in the women’s senior division, reported to CAIR that USA Weightlifting prevented her from participating in the American Open in December 2010 due to her desire to wear modest Islamic attire covering her hair and body with the exception of her face, hands and feet.”
(hat-tip to the inspiring Asiah @ DreaminArabic)
5) Finally, are all of these anti-Muslim stories getting you down? Are you worried that people think you may represent the less than 1% of Muslim who are extremists because of what you wear or how you practice your Islam? Have no fear, My Fellow American is here!
An amazing online film and social media project by the non-profit organization, Unity Productions Foundation, My Fellow American “seeks to change the narrative of Muslims as other,” by asking people to share real life stories about the Muslim friends, neighbours, or colleagues they admire. What I love about this initiative is how raw, open and honest these voices are. It’s a wonderful platform for people to come together to help support the American Muslim community.
I get teary every time I see this trailer. And I think it’s because I know that Eryn is growing up in a world that may fear and hate her. Which is why initiatives like this are so important.