The Genocide Pakistan Committed against Bangladesh (Mar.-Dec. 1971)

In commemoration of the Bangladeshi genocide that began (sort of) on March 25, 1971.

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Posted in Death to patriarchy, genocides, human rights, Pakistan, social justice, violence in this world | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

re the myth that male sex drive is uncontrollable and stronger than female sex drive

This may get a little … vulgar? uncomfortable? immodest? etc. And very long.  But here’s the idea: 1) there’s a popular myth going around that male sexuality is uncontrollable, and that’s why they get to do the things they wanna do (i.e., “nature” is exploited just to validate male  irresponsibility), 2) this myth has powerful and destructive consequences for women and society at large, 3) this myth is linked to the way we study science, humans, nature, etc., and – and this is very important – 4) if a woman doesn’t wanna have sex with you, it’s most likely because you’re not doing it right (because discomfort doesn’t just come out of nowhere) – but, yes, yes it might also be because she isn’t ready to or interested in having sex with anyone right now. Or ever.

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Posted in being human, Death to patriarchy, feminism, forbidden things, gender, human rights, I can't believe this needs to be said out loud, let's talk privilege, society, why we need feminism, your face is haraam | Tagged | 13 Comments

on being deprived of women’s recitations of the Qur’an

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Your face is ‘awrah. Iiii mean it.

I’ve been listening to a lot of female recitations of the Qur’an lately. They bring me so, so much joy and peace that it angers me that we’ve been deprived of their voice – literally of their voice – for so long. What a tragedy, what a horror, what a loss, what a fucking violence to God’s word that our male scholars decided our voice is awrah (literally genitals, y’all!) and based on that premise alone denied the entire universe of the miracle that is women’s recitation of God’s word.

This is why I trust no one, I trust no scholar (for anything, not just for gender-related interpretations of the Qur’an/sunnah) – and I forgive no one – who ever, ever has uttered, at any point in time, that a woman cannot recite the Qur’an publicly. Perverted ideas translating into law. I can’t believe anyone ever took you seriously. I hope you’re burning in hell, all of you. #deathto #allmalepanels #allmaleijmaa’ #manels #youdon’tspeakformyCreator

When I get up there, I’m going to tell on all these men. I’m going to tell my Creator about all the ways in which they manipulated God’s word to justify their own perverted ideas about women. Some of them tell us women have no sexual urges, that men’s sexual urges are higher than women’s, while others contradict those guys and tell us that women’s sexual urges are much stronger than men’s and that’s why women are “naturally” shy, modest, etc.

I can’t even. People ask me why I’m so “angry” all the time. Really? How are you NOT angry? I can’t trust people who’re not angry. I can’t trust people who see no reason to be angry about all the ways women have been violated. dismissed. ignored. deprived.

Resist. Defy tradition when it hurts.

In my classes, I have made it a point to always, always show my students a recitation by a woman whenever we’re talking about Qur’anic verses. I’ll show a male recitation only when I can’t find a woman’s one (which was often until I learned that Maria Ulfa’s complete recitation of the Qur’an is available online!). And since looking for specific verses of women’s recitations is a lot of work – but looking up men’s recitations of those same verses and surahs is no work at all, just a youtube click away – I physically hurt and I apologize to my students that I’m showing them a verse that’s paradoxically about women and a woman’s concern being addressed by God in the Qur’an and we can’t hear that through a woman’s voice. Something feels so profoundly wrong and unacceptable and obviously very ironic about that.

Anyway, here are some recitations by women. Please. Listen to them. Resist the patriarchal nonsense than women’s voice is for their husbands and immediate male family members only while men’s voice is just the default, natural public thing, undesirable, etc. Really? Anyone who thinks men’s voice isn’t attractive clearly hasn’t yet heard Mishary al-Afasi. That guy is ultimate #MaleAwrah.

Maria Ulfa’s compelte recitation of the Qur’an
Faridah Mat Saman
Sharifa Khasif
Sumayya Eddeeb
Mazna Awang
Awa Diop
Maghfirah Hussain
Not sure who this one is, but it’s gorgeous too
Tahera Ahmed‘s recitation at ISNA (first public female recitation at ISNA!)
Hajar Boosuq
Aicha Diallo
Nor Azra Ayub
Farihah Zulkifili
Not sure about her name, but here’s another one

Posted in Death to patriarchy | 6 Comments

Thoughts on the Muslim Women Leaders Program

From January 23-25, I was at a Muslim Women Leaders Program at the Union Theological Seminary with 20 other empowering Muslim women. The program was hosted by the Islam, Social Justice and Interreligious Engagement (ISJIE) program, directed by Dr. Jerusha Lamtey, Assistant Professor of Islam and Ministry at the Union Theological Seminary.

The program was, for me, an unforgettable experience, and the friendships that were formed, I hope to maintain for lifetimes to come. Needless to say, in everything that follows, I speak only for myself and on my own behalf, not on anyone else’s.

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Posted in Death to patriarchy | 1 Comment

Kashmala is ready to give up the fight against patriarchy.

Okay, so the other day, a thing happened on my Facebook with a male academic scholar of Islam (a bunch of thanks and love to all my friends, women and men, academics and non-academics, who responded brilliantly in support of my original statement and in opposition to the way the person had responded! You folks keep me going

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Love notes to women – and to myself

The past several months, I have been experiencing so much patriarchy and it has been so draining to deal with it all, to fight it all, that I have even lost my courage to write for pleasure. I decided today that I’ll write amidst a bunch of deadlines because I need to regain my spirit, my energy, my passion, my love for everything that gives meaning to my existence. I was reading Warshan Shire, a brilliant feminist poet whose each word makes my heart ache in the most beautiful ways possible. (She has this incredible book of poetry called Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth. Read it.) I want to hug her every word. She writes so powerfully. And it is her poetry that gave me the strength, that reignited my passion, to write again. They say that when you lose interest in the things you love and have always loved—not because you’ve found new interests (which is all valid) but because you lose the love for everything you’ve ever loved doing—it’s not a good sign about your health. I’ve been fighting this urge to lose interest in all things I love for so many months, and I regained it all only yesterday. I want to cry loving all this beauty that’s been breathed back into me, that’s finally returned home to me. May you, too, always have the strength and the energy to keep loving everything that brings you peace and power.

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Posted in Death to patriarchy | 7 Comments

what’s wrong with fetishizing the “Chai Wala”

I know, I know – us feminists can’t even be happy with simple, plain eye candy and have to find flaws in everything. You’re welcome ❤

I just don’t see why that image went viral and why everyone was so shocked to see that a Pakistani tea-seller could be so attractive – other than that he was being fetishized. Where in the world do people live that they lack good-looking men so much they go cray when they come to know of one? I think there are several reasons why this photo went viral and why especially Pakistani non-Pashtuns went cray-cray over it. Read on, fellers.

And, by the way, if you shared this picture on your social media, have been told why your choice to exotify it is wrong, and you’re still defending your choice because “but I shared it only because he’s so attractive and yet so simple! What’s wrong with that?” … yeah, you actually just answered your own question without realizing it, but let me break it down bit by bit because there are many layers to this problem. Continue reading

Posted in Death to patriarchy | 18 Comments

a song for Afghan refugees in Pakistan: Pekhawara Afghanan che khapa na krre by Naghma

With Pakistan evicting some 600,000 Afghan refugees by the end of this year alone, this song, sung by Naghma in 2011 (I think?), is so real and relevant it’s heartbreaking. Song is at the bottom of the lyrics. The Pashto is in Green (one of my favorite colors, yay!). Immense thanks to T. A. S. for helping with translation of a couple of lines/words I was struggling with.
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Posted in Afghans, beauty, being human, Death to patriarchy, human rights, I can't believe this needs to be said out loud, Just stop, let's talk privilege, migration, Pakistan, Pashto, Pashtuns, Poetry, violence in this world | 4 Comments

when people say it’s harder to raise girls

This is for every daughter in the history of daughterhood. And for every woman who’s ever been told “I’m so sorry!” when she has given birth to a daughter. I’m sending you comforting thoughts and vibes ❤

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Posted in Death to patriarchy | 1 Comment

how not to respond when women point out an #allmale panel

 jb-nonsense6Muslim male “celebrity shaikhs” are exhausting to deal with. And a huge fail, too. They always complain that we don’t express our concerns “the right way” (about which, please see below), but then they block you and delete your comments and accuse you of “abusing” them or the comments section when you speak up.

The latest case of blatant patriarchy (that I know of) in the Muslim American community is this image to the right. Accessible also through this link.

Apparently, over 30 “Muslim American scholars” gathered at some “impromptu” event, and the person who shared this picture, someone taken a little more seriously than he should be in my very professional and humble opinion, with immense pride, so pleased with himself like he was doing us all a favor or something.

And they met to talk about “major issues.” I’m so curious to know what these “major issues” must have been that could be discussed only by men – and I’m curious to know what their definition of “major issues” even is. Obviously, all-male panels aren’t among them. Even though, as documented here, all-male Muslim panels are a disturbingly common reality.

If you were a Muslim woman and didn’t have any faith in your own community, you’d think this was all intentional or something. But we can all just go back to our back seats of invisibility and, at best, marginality and relax and calm down and chill and all because it turns out, this was “just an impromptu” event. #sighofrelief.

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Posted in Death to patriarchy, forbidden things, I can't believe this needs to be said out loud, Islamic feminism, let's talk privilege, Muslim feminists, Muslim things, social justice, why we need feminism, your face is haraam | 16 Comments