the homophobic activism of (muslim/other) academics need to end asap.

It’s always ironic when homophobic academic-activists think their homophobic interpretations of Islam are so important for everyone to know that they worry that those with a more egalitarian interpretation of Islam might not be exposing their students to the “true Islamic” (in their opinion) view on homosexuality – i.e., homophobic views.

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Can Muslim Women Marry Non-Muslims?: A Qur’anic Response

Pre-post: This is for those who believe that Muslim men are allowed to marry People of the Book while women are prohibited; because that means that the whole “shirk” of the People of the Book becomes relevant only when we’re talking about women but not when we’re talking about men (I address this below). If you believe it’s prohibited for BOTH genders, this isn’t for you. 

According to most (Sunni) Muslims, and to the historical Islamic tradition, Muslim men are allowed to marry Christians and Jews, and according to all Muslim sects and schools, Muslim women are prohibited from marrying any non-Muslim. The Qur’an has a few verses that prohibit marriage to the mushrikeen (polytheists, generally), and since there’s little disagreement on this and since this prohibition applies to both genders, I’m not concerned with it. I’m interested in the claim that it’s “haram” for women to marry Christians and Jews.

Muslims popularly believe—and Muslim scholars/teachers of Islam falsely promote the claim—that the Qur’an explicitly prohibits women’s marriage to People of the Book. So I’ve been doing some research on this, and it turns out that the Qur’an actually does not prohibit women’s marriage to People of the Book at all.  It merely allows men explicitly to marry them. So here’s some interesting stuff that I think people should know, especially Muslim women who are shamed and guilted for marrying People of the Book.

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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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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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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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Why are women so picky when it comes to marriage/relationships?

This is disturbing, so don’t read further if you will be triggered.

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On the Orlando Mass Shooting – and a note to Muslims who condemn homosexuality

Like everyone else, I’m thinking about the mass shooting at the Orlando club, and I can’t put any words together. There’s hurt, there’s anger, there’s confusion – I will never understand, and I hope I never understand, why and how anyone can take another person’s life, let alone the lives of over 50 people. May God grant them all eternal Peace, may God be their Companion, aameen. For their families and friends and other loved ones, I can’t … I can’t think of what consoling words to share with them. I’m heartbroken that they have lost people they loved. I wish them strength and peace as they cope with these unbearable losses. God be with them, too, aameen.

There are several major issues that are deeply connected to this massacre. I wish I had the time to go into a lot of detail about each one, but I want to at least introduce them here. Maybe I’ll discuss them each in more detail another time, inshaAllah.

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The Patriarchy of Not Taking Women’s (Menstrual) Pain Seriously

“Woman is a pain that never goes away.” – Menander

Ramadhan mubarak, everyone! ❤ I wish everyone a beautiful month that inspires compassion, love, and gratitude in all of us. I’ll be writing more Ramadhan-related posts this month – or I’ll try anyway, inshaAllah – but this particular topic has been bothering me for some time now and it’s been long over-due – and it keeps coming up in conversations with my women friends – so here it goes.

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How Not to Talk about Haruka Weiser

EDIT: Since this piece has received an unexpected level of attention, perhaps a disclaimer is appropriate. (Note that this is a personal blog run by one individual absolutely not okay with any sort of bigotry, especially against minorities.) With the emails, messages, comments, and tweets I’ve received, a lot of white people are offended by my use of what are apparently “absolutes.” The irony! (Because you know, orientalism, colonialism, and other such realities POC still have to live with – and orientalist and empty representations of especially Muslims and Middle Easterners and Africans in western understandings of the peoples of these regions.) I’m obviously not claiming that all white people are evil to all people of color (I mean, what?). This blog turns the tables and privileges people of color, their voices, their concerns, their experiences. So if you’re a white individual offended by anything I’ve written below, I’m actually not sorry at all because the only reason you’d be offended is that you expected I’m talking about all white people, and since you’re not a bigot, I should take that into consideration. Well, except, no. You don’t get a pat on the back for not being a bigot.

Understand that it is your white privilege speaking when you expect me to reiterate my point so that it doesn’t “generalize” all white people (?). It is your privilege speaking when you expect me to explain myself (or any person of color) over and over and over so you can understand it. When you expect people of color to serve your ego.  This blog is not the place for apologies to white people. If you take issues with that, there are plenty of other spaces where white people’s egos are served.

So if you’re a white person offended by what I’ve written below, here are some suggestions: 1) Look up the hashtag #StopWhitePeople2016, and 2) go be friends with at least 30 people of color. 30 might not be enough, either, but it’s a good start. This way, you won’t be able to say, “But my one black friend is okay with my use of the N word!” Or “My Asian friend says Asian people are like X.”

Why can’t white people just, just shut up for once and listen? (Again, #notallwhitepeople! We know!)

But nonetheless, just to clarify: The whole point of the piece below is to discuss white hypocrisy and limit it specifically to the demonization of all black people when the suspected criminal is a black man (and this holds true for the race/religion/etc. of other POC criminals, too – like attacking Islam or Muslims for the crimes of individual Muslims, or highlighting the individual’s religion and race in the discussion of the crime when the person is not white. And for literally jusifying the crimes when the person is white because he had mental health issues at the time of the crime. And I point out the status of the mental health of the black suspect in custody for Haruka’s crime, and you are not okay with that? And you act like I care that you’re not okay with that?)

And to say that the murder of Haruka Weiser (may she rest in peace) is not permission for you to be racist or say, “See, see, this is why black people shouldn’t be living” or “this is why Black Lives Matter has no purpose.”

If you read any of what’s below to mean that I don’t care about Haruka Weiser or that her murder was justified in any way at all (God forgive me for saying this – as we say in Arabic, astaghfirullah for this suggestion alone), you didn’t read the thing at all; and if that’s what you choose to believe, you’ll believe it even if there’s evidence to the contrary. Fine, you stay that way.

Funny that People of Color have shared this piece many, many times, and I’ve received a lot of support from them for it. My own white friends also appreciate it. (See?) But many other white people are coming to tell me this is an inappropriate piece. If only I cared about your ego.

Bye now.
This is really painful to write and talk about. But, given the response to the murder, I feel compelled to write it in criticism of the racism and other bigotry that so many people are displaying while attempting to express their anger and grief over the murder of an innocent young white (actually mixed) woman killed allegedly by a young black homeless teen diagnosed with autism, depression, and schizophrenia.
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On names, respect, and making an effort to pronounce people’s names correctly

This topic has been coming up a lot these last some weeks.

“Oooh, that’s a beautiful name. Can I call you [a shorter version of my name]? Do you have a nickname?” – a very common response to my name from white Americans. My name’s beautiful, but you won’t make the effort to pronounce it correctly?



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