Happy weekend everyone!

It’s been forever since I last updated. The Hubby went overseas for work and I (very quickly) got my licence so I could drive the girls to and from Eryn’s school. It’s been busy, but I’ll be updating regularly from here on in — and will insha’Allah have a special announcement sometime next week.

This roundup is full of some pretty serious things and just a touch of snark — Enjoy!

1) It comes as no surprise that the Canadian Hindu Advocacy group who opposed holding Friday prayers in public schools wants to screen the offensive, anti-Islam “film,” Innocence of Muslims in TorontoYou know, the laughably amateurish, poorly acted, and hate-dubbed “film” that’s gone viral on YouTube and sparked outrage across the Muslim world? You know, the sickening flame that ignited a powder keg that resulted in innocent people dying? Yeah. That one.

According to The Toronto Star, spokesperson Ron Banerjee believes that showing the film alongside of snippets from other movies that are offensive to Christians and Hindus is, “a way of fighting intolerance.”

Since I cannot possibly shake the blank stare off my face to comment appropriately, here’s a brilliant reaction from the Star’s comment section:

For their next act they will fight sexism by showing porn that degrade women and then they will fight racism by showing movies with demeaning racial stereotypes. Wouldn’t it be better if they showed films and documentaries of real ordinary Muslim, Christians and Hindus so that we become more familiar with our neighbours and their beliefs?

Well said caroline1706. Well said.

2) In the wake of multiple protest adendas spurred on by said “film,” and the confusing details surrounding the producer’s identity and the involvement of mislead actors, a little clarity and action is needed. Thankfully the prolific Omid Safi has written 12 Essential points about the Prophet Muhammad, and the subsequent reactions in Libya & Egypt.

Which include:

  • Al-Qaeda, not Libyans, is behind the murder of the US ambassador.
  • The Libyan people have demonstrated against the assassination of the ambassador.
  • The producer—whoever he is—has the right to produce his propaganda, even if it is hateful speech.
  • American Muslim organizations have uniformly condemned the assassination of the American Ambassador.

But don’t just skim this list. Go read the article itself for a larger picture.

Noah Feldman also has an excellent write-up on how to contextualize the protests, noting that:

Most people, most of the time, are not motivated to protest even so offensive a film. Plenty of deeply believing Muslims think that the proper response to such a provocation is to ignore it.

[…] The struggle for the hearts and minds of young Muslims is being played out here and elsewhere in the post-Arab Spring world. The protests must be understood as part of that process.

Or you could check out this new tumblr — What Would Prophet Muhammad Do?  Which according to the author is an “effort to reclaim the legacy of Muhammad, and to celebrate his universal messages of mercy, morality, humanity, and peace” — collecting photos and stories submissions reacting to the film and the violent protests.

sana abaya-63) Unbeknownst to the scientists on a fossil-hunting expedition down a dark tributary of the mist-shrouded Amazon, a prehistoric creature slowly emerges from the water… oh no, wait. It’s not the Creature from the Black Lagoon… it’s a woman in niqab taking a dip off the cost of Dubai.

The image on the right, by cultural opportunist photographer Sebastian Farmborough, is titled ‘An Emerging Mystery’. And while it is a lovely photo, I just can’t get past the photographers motivation for creating the piece:

The image is based on one of my very first experiences in Saudi Arabia. With the naked beaches of Barcelona a not too distant memory, I headed down to the Arabian Gulf for a dip. There, I became mystified by something black and obscure out at sea. It looked like a huge jellyfish. Then, as it approached closer, I realised that it was in fact a woman.

I’m really glad he figured that out before she stung him and he had to run around the beach begging Saudis to pee on him. You can read all about the photographer’s appreciation of niqabis, his love for their amazing personalities, and how he searched for a year to “find the right lady” to model and recreate his intense experience of a veiled Muslim woman swimming in the sea — you know, just so he could “capture the image for himself.”

Way to sexualize the niqab, objectify women and justify your sick jellyfish fantasies. Ew.

4) “Hijab won’t protect you” rapid-fire:

  • Writing for Jezebel, the fantastic Sara Yasin explains why World Hijab Day Has Got It All Wrong when cutsie-pie-happy-to-be-a-hijabi poems make it seem like “hijab stops creepers from creepin’.”
  • With some scary statistics and difficult to read passages, Altaf Saadi takes on hijab-protects-from-rape and flimsy-clothing-incites-rape Muslim community axioms in her altMuslimah piece, Inviting Rape?

5) Finally, since that was a pretty heavy roundup, here’s something to insha’Allah inspire hope, peace and blessings. The Sifr is a collaborative music video showcasing the talents of 12 vocal and visual artists from around the world. Turn on the closed captioning to see the translations.

Cross-posted at Womanist Musings.

NOT my idea when I think of a woman in niqab. But this is the "Sexy Middle Eastern Arab Girl Burka Halloween Costume." They could have at least added "Mohammadean South Asian snake charmer Harem girl."

Two princesses, a killer clown, Avatar, a scary magician, three zombie cheerleaders and a baby bumblebee later, Eryn finally stopped fearfully burrowing into my cloak and finally got into the Halloween spirit. This year because of a rotten cold we’re all generously sharing, the family decided to stay home to hand out candy. Eryn was a pumpkin with a purple witch’s hat — and for my costume, I just wore hijab.

This week for Halloween the HuffPo ran an article discussing why hijab is a terrible idea for anyone planning to dress up as a Muslim. It argues that in this anti-Muslim climate of hijab-bans and anti-shari’a legislation, it’s wrong to appropriate a religious symbol that’s also often used an excuse to incite hatred against Muslims. It’s an interesting article (though I have to disagree with the author’s statement that hijab is only a religious requirement. We wear it for cultural, personal and political reasons too – and those who don’t wear it are just as pious as those who do), but I totally agree with the article’s intent – that like any negative appropriation of religious or ethnic culture, it’s just wrong to commodify a religious symbol.

But that got me thinking of all the times I incorporate my hijab into my Halloween costume. Whether I’m Princess Leia, a Ringwraith, witch, sorcerer or vampire, it’s hard for me not to use my own clothes for Halloween because they lend themselves so nicely to some pretty awesome costumes. An abaya makes an excellent black cloak. And I’m going to be covering my hair and dressing modestly regardless, so why not use what’s on hand?