Ms. Marvel and Muslim Representation

This critique is also not intended to be a chastisement of Kamala’s personal religiosity, nor of those who may resonate with her relationship (or lack thereof) with Islam. This is a call upon the western Muslim to think critically about what our goals are when it comes to this venue we are applauding. We need to evaluate whether inherently problematic arenas where power players with problematic agendas control the narrative are worth jumping into. Continue reading Ms. Marvel and Muslim Representation

On Being a Muslim Minority: Introducing Chinese Muslim Intellectual Jīn Tiānzhù

This article presents the introduction section of a book called 清真釈疑 Qīngzhēn shìyí (Eliminating Doubts Against Islam), written by Jīn Tiānzhù (金天柱). This is arguably the first book written about how minority Muslims living in East Asia have confronted misconceptions about Islam. Continue reading On Being a Muslim Minority: Introducing Chinese Muslim Intellectual Jīn Tiānzhù

Reflections and Advice From a Female Scholar

In 2011, I graduated as a female scholar (Alimah) alongside my 12 classmates. After completing the six year program at a traditional Dar-ul-Uloom (school for higher Islamic sciences), we returned to our hometowns, each pursuing our own unique path: some of us began to teach in the communities right away, some furthered their academic studies while others got married and started families, etc.  Continue reading Reflections and Advice From a Female Scholar

Ramadan Traditions in Constantine

We should take note of Constantinian heritage not only because it is worth basking in its splendor, but because it serves a sentimental purpose. With Christmas being completely commodified, many of us may feel pressured to compete by curating a Ramadan ambiance through the same capitalist means. One cannot stress enough the importance of aesthetics in Islam, but we should not forget that we can create beauty out of time spent cooking traditional foods with our families, listening to melodies in praise of God and His beloved Messenger, and giving charity. Continue reading Ramadan Traditions in Constantine

Macauley ke Bache: On Our Relationship to Urdu

The list of dead, white British men who lorded over the Subcontinent is long, but Thomas Macauley holds a special place among them. The archetypal British colonial administrator, Macauley was best known for his instrumental role in entrenching English into the cultural and epistemic life of the Subcontinent. In decreeing the supremacy of English as the language of power, and the displacement of traditional sciences and knowledges, Macaulay famously said: “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, — a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”  Continue reading Macauley ke Bache: On Our Relationship to Urdu

Islamicate Literature — a Tool to Tackle Islamophobia

 Islamophobia is a long standing, deeply entrenched, global issue. Growing bodies of research point to the proliferation of Islamophobia cases across the globe in recent years. It disrupts civil society at many levels, from anti-Muslim policies to heightened tensions and hate crimes, including the increased bullying of Muslim children. One of the core causes of Islamophobia is ignorance, which is often fueled by stereotyped and negative portrayals of Muslims in media and popular culture.   Continue reading Islamicate Literature — a Tool to Tackle Islamophobia

‘Trojan Horse’ or a British Tradition?

Birmingham, Britain, 2014 — a scandal hit the headlines. A letter was leaked to the press which had been sent to the City Council detailing “Operation Trojan Horse,” a plot by a cabal of Muslim teachers and governors to take over and Islamicize state schools in Birmingham. A national outcry followed, and the government swept into action: the former head of Counter Terrorism Command led an investigation, and several people were banned from teaching. Continue reading ‘Trojan Horse’ or a British Tradition?