Posts tagged with "muslims"


this is brill

Really? I don’t like this at all. Muslim followers, how do you feel about this? To note: I was raised Muslim but I’m not religious.

Not everyone that is Muslim is so pious that they won’t step into a bar and accompany their friends. Not respecting it would be badgering them to go to the bar, or to drink.

A polite invitation, taking note of their preferences, seems best to me? I have plenty of hijabi friends and or spiritually religious (my term for actually believing in God versus blindly following religious doctrine) that have been to the bar and ordered juice. Hell, I do this all the time. A friend will have a beer, and I’ll order a poutine, if there’s the option. Ain’t nobody going to burst into flames for setting foot in an establishment that doesn’t correspond with your ethical principles. Or, er, not every Muslim believes that. If you do, um, that’s cool. It’s also perfectly okay to avoid environments you’re not comfortable with. I just want to be clear because I’m not saying pious Muslims should go around galavanting in bars.

I just am not sure how I feel about this weird stereotyping, though I do appreciate the idea of being respectful to other people’s cultures and religions. However, perpetuating ignorance in the process is a step backwards. Or alienating people from social events…

Muslims aren’t a monolithic people, for serious.

Sure, my grandma might be offended. Or maybe not, she doesn’t get invited out much, maybe she’d be happy. I’ll call her and ask.

I’ve worked with newcomers who have trouble adjusting to “western” lifestyles, they do have trouble making friends with co-workers who routinely visit the bar. (Addendum, drinking is also part of many cultures, then, and now. These newcomers do not represent all newcomers, either.) Yes, they do not want to go. Whether or not they should is an entirely different conversation. My point is that yes, in certain contexts, the statement above is relevant.

I just ask that people be cognizant and more so, mindful. Not everyone is the same, honestly.

It’s like when people whisper the word racism, or “Black.”

By trying so hard to be too PC, you’re actually being racist. No, it’s not a “I can never win with you PoC” type thing. It’s an awareness, treat us like human beings thing. Microaggressions, people.

Maybe I am misunderstanding this post…

Also, there is more to life than bars, people. Go to the park. Go for a walk. If it’s cold, go to a reference library that caters to group work.

(Source: makuta-tobi, via blackinamerica)


"Muslim women of color just can’t win. If we talk about misogyny in our societies and how Muslim men don’t really want to change it we’re afraid it will be co-opted by racist white ‘progressives’ and ‘feminists’ as something inherent to our skin and culture and will use it as an excuse to push for nationalist agendas ignorant of our complex histories. So us Muslim women of color learn to talk in bursts, snippets or to stay silent and internalize it. But never at length. It’s not easy being a woman of color who finds her own defined solace in her religion but not in most men of her religion and it’s not easy being a woman of color who wants to practice her religion without having a White Savior hover over her body and life.”
— Ilana Alazzeh


an evening of reading the most awful misogynistic articles on dumb islamic websites has lead me to this:

i’ve always kind of wanted to do a webcomic starring a badass muslim superhero who defends women against the kind of stupid idiocy we have to put up with every day whilst shutting up all the white feminists who try to co-opt the struggle.

i actually sincerely want to develop this because do you REALIZE the potential behind a hijabi/niqabi superhero like her outfit comes with a ready-made abaya-cape and a mask so i’m really into it but yeah this is sort of a quick brain storming comic for the entire concept lemme know if you like it.

(via themindislimitless)

World’s first Muslim model agency opens in New York (via World’s first Muslim model agency opens in New York - The National)

Me, The Muslim Next Door – What Muslim Reality Shows Should Be

I very much recommend watching these videos, regardless of your religious…or nonreligious affiliation.


One of the main criticisms of TLC’s All American Muslim was that the show’s characters were representative of only a small part of the American Muslim community.  If you felt that way, then a great antidote is Me, the Muslim Next Door, a web documentary produced for Radio Canada International.  Filmed in Montreal and Toronto in both English and French, Me the Muslim Next Door is over two hours of audio, video, and still photography, broken up into 4-6 minute segments, with each of the show’s participants having several segments.  These segments took place in the participants’ personal landscapes – at home, on the street, with their families.


Me, the Muslim Next Door is cast like a cross between the United Nations and a Benetton ad. I love it.  We have:

  • Eduardo, a Brazilian convert who, by his own admission, used to hate Muslims;
  • Dania, whose father is Eritrean and whose mother is a convert from  Quebec;
  • Mehdi, a Moroccan married to Laila from Afghanistan; they met on Facebook;
  • Suad, whose mother is Syrian and whose father is part Palestinian, part Bosnian and, to add some fun to the mix, her husband Karim is part Finnish, part Egyptian;
  • Rizwan, of South Asian background, who lives in Toronto and takes us to his neighbourhood masjid.

One of my recurring problems with Muslims in the media is that we are often portrayed answering the same questions in the same ways. Every show has something about polygamy or hijab or “fitting in.” We either go on tape with platitudes (“oh but you can only be polygamous if you afford it, isn’t it great that widows can be taken care of”), with statements designed to shock the middle classes (“jihad is ok for the kuffar!”), or with instant fatwas about how our religion says things in black and white (“Islam says music is BAD”).

These topics show up in Me the Muslim Next Door, but the  “personal landscape” format of the videos allows a fresh, personal light without bringing down the level of the discourse.

Mehdi and Laila, a mixed Sunni-Shia couple, explain that for them, the most important part of Islam is at the level of the shahada. If you say the shahada, you’re ok, and sectarian or other differences don’t matter.  That spoke to me. Jamila, part of a large family, explains why she stays close to her parents – because they made sacrifices for her when she was a child, so she will make sacrifices for them as an adult. Suad and Karim had a marriage semi-arranged by their MSA, “but” played the piano at their wedding. And Dania’s 23rd birthday party was alcohol-free. She mentions alcohol – that she has never had it, but doesn’t see what it could bring to an already good time. These are people and situations I can relate to and the type of Muslims I want people to see when they ask me about my religion. The show’s participants leave out “Islam says this” and instead talk about these topics in the terms of personal choices they have made in their private lives.

As a francophone Louisianian who lived and studied in Canada, I absolutely LOVED seeing normal Muslim people I could relate to in their living rooms talking about their families, hopes, jobs and dreams. I found my place more in this show than I did in All-American Muslim. The difference is that the goal of Me, the Muslim Next Door isn’t sensational. It nails the fine line between “educating the mass market” and giving Muslim viewers characters who are different enough to be interesting yet similar enough for all of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, to find common ground.

(via espritfollet)

My Take: ‘All-American Muslim’ doesn’t speak for this Muslim


Anytime I hear about a TV  how coming out that features Muslims, my initial reaction is almost always “Oh man, please don’t suck. Please don’t suck.”

Unfortunately with TLC’s new reality show, it does.

“All-American Muslim” is the network’s new series about a group of Muslim families living in the Arab-rich city of Dearborn, Michigan.

 Brilliant! What better way to show the mainstream public an insight into how multicultural and intellectually diverse Islam’s followers are… with a show focusing on just Arabs (20 percent of the world’s Muslim population) who follow the Shia sect of Islam (about 10 percent of the world’s Muslim population).

The show, which premiered over the weekend, presents itself as a glimpse into the American Muslim community but ignores an overwhelming majority of the cultures that comprise it. South Asians like my parents, who came from India, make up one of the largest group of Muslim immigrants in the United States.

That doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that the show makes no reference to African-American Muslims, another huge American Muslim group. Many of the black slaves that built the foundation of this country with blood, sweat and tears were Muslim.

And Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Dave Chappelle and Lupe Fiasco are all American Muslims, too. Hell, Detroit is right next to Dearborn. All the producers had to do was turn around and they’d find one of the most active African-American Muslim communities in the country.

The first episode said Dearborn has the largest population of Arabs in the United States – a statistic I’ve heard echoed time and time again. But I just checked the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and learned that the Arab population in New York City is more than twice that of Dearborn. Seems like TLC can’t even stereotype correctly.

A bigger issue I have is with the show’s characters.

One woman is a boozing, tattoo-laden rebel child who wants to marry an Irish Catholic. Another is a scantily-clad and confrontational business shark who dreams about opening her own nightclub.

While I appreciate that the show is implying that Muslim women are more than just devout, headscarf-wearing housewives locked in the kitchen all day, why do the “liberal” characters represent an opposite extreme? Most Muslim women in this country don’t fit neatly into the ultra-conservative or ultra-liberal categories. They’re in the gray area.

The men on the show, meanwhile, are just plain boring. There’s a Muslim cop who insecurely reiterates his patriotism every 10 seconds. I’m surprised he doesn’t sleep in American flag pajamas and that his cell phone ringtone isn’t a Toby Keith song.

My favorite part of the show’s first episode is the spotlight it throws on the predominantly Muslim football team at Dearborn Fordson High School. “All-American Muslim” spends significant time on the team but leaves out that they’re 6-5 this season and scoreless in the first game losing by more than 40 points.

While its great that faith means so much to these players, it would be nice if scoring touchdowns meant just as much to them, too.

I recently co-created a project with called 30 Mosques in 30 Days, in which my friend Bassam Tariq and I drove over 25,000 miles to each of the 50 states to tell unfiltered stories about Muslim Americans. “All-American Muslim” doesn’t speak for them, nor does it speak for me.

These stories bear little resemblance to the narratives of my own or the ones I’ve stumbled across in my community.

You want to do an authentic story about an American Muslim? Do a story about a scrawny 20-something guy who awkwardly spends months mustering up the courage to tell a girl he likes her. Or girls that blabber about another girl they see talking to a guy for more than 11 seconds.

Best yet, passive aggressive parents that try to segue anything that comes out of your mouth into a lecture about why you should have been a doctor or why you’re going to die alone if you don’t get married by age 23.

That’s Muslim America. They’re stories of people no different than any one else in this country.

TLC has disappointed me. But maybe that’s not saying much, considering the network airs two shows exploiting the lives of little people and one called “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.”

My Take: ‘All-American Muslim’ doesn’t speak for this Muslim – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs

So I guess I agree with this guy, minus the part about liking religion. Mainly the part I italicized. That part I can relate to, and I’m sure a large of the Muslim population can. 

Did anyone watch this? Thoughts?

(via espritfollet)