It's Not About the Burqa

Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race

It's Not About the Burqa

When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter? Shortlisted for Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year. 'Engrossing . . . fascinating . . . courageous' – Observer. In 2016, Mariam Khan read that David Cameron had linked the radicalization of Muslim men to the ‘traditional submissiveness’ of Muslim women. Mariam felt pretty sure she didn’t know a single Muslim woman who would describe herself that way. Why was she hearing about Muslim women from people who were neither Muslim, nor female? Years later the state of the national discourse has deteriorated even further, and Muslim women’s voices are still pushed to the fringes – the figures leading the discussion are white and male. Taking one of the most politicized and misused words associated with Muslim women and Islamophobia, It’s Not About the Burqa is poised to change all that. Here are voices you won’t see represented in the national news headlines: seventeen Muslim women speaking frankly about the hijab and wavering faith, about love and divorce, about feminism, queer identity, sex, and the twin threats of a disapproving community and a racist country. With a mix of British and international women writers, from activist Mona Eltahawy's definition of a revolution to journalist and broadcaster Saima Mir telling the story of her experience of arranged marriage, from author Sufiya Ahmed on her Islamic feminist icon to playwright Afshan D'souza-Lodhi's moving piece about her relationship with her hijab, these essays are funny, warm, sometimes sad, and often angry, and each of them is a passionate declaration calling time on the oppression, the lazy stereotyping, the misogyny and the Islamophobia. What does it mean, exactly, to be a Muslim woman in the West today? According to the media, it’s all about the burqa. Here’s what it’s really about.

Talking About Race

Alleviating the Fear

Talking About Race

What is it that gives many of us White people a visceral fear about discussing race? Do you realize that being able to not think about or talk about it is a uniquely White experience? Do you warn your children about how people might react to them; find store staff following or watching you; get stopped by the police for no reason? The students of color in your classroom experience discrimination every day, in small and large ways. They don’t often see themselves represented in their textbooks, and encounter hostility in school, and outside. For them race is a constant reality, and an issue they need, and want, to discuss. Failure to do so can inhibit their academic performance. Failure to discuss race prevents White students from getting a real, critical and deep understanding of our society and their place in it. It is essential for the well-being of all students that they learn to have constructive conversations about the history of race in this country, the impact of racism on different ethnic communities, and how those communities and cultures contribute to society. The need to model for our students how to talk openly and comfortably about race is critical in America today, but it is still an issue that is difficult to tackle. To overcome the common fear of discussing race, of saying “something wrong”, this book brings together over thirty contributions by teachers and students of different ethnicities and races who offer their experiences, ideas, and advice. With passion and sensitivity they: cover such topics as the development of racial consciousness and identity in children; admit their failures and continuing struggles; write about creating safe spaces and the climate that promotes thoughtful discussion; model self-reflection; demonstrate the importance of giving voice to students; recount how they responded to racial incidents and used current affairs to discuss oppression; describe courses and strategies they have developed; explain the “n” word; present exercises; and pose questions. For any teacher grappling with addressing race in the classroom, and for pre-service teachers confronting their anxieties about race, this book offers a rich resource of insights, approaches and guidance that will allay fears, and provide the reflective practitioner with the confidence to initiate and respond to discussion of race, from the pre-school and elementary classroom through high school.

What Is Veiling?

What Is Veiling?

Ranging from simple head scarf to full-body burqa, the veil is worn by vast numbers of Muslim women around the world. What Is Veiling? explains one of the most visible, controversial, and least understood emblems of Islam. Sahar Amer's evenhanded approach is anchored in sharp cultural insight and rich historical context. Addressing the significance of veiling in the religious, cultural, political, and social lives of Muslims, past and present, she examines the complex roles the practice has played in history, religion, conservative and progressive perspectives, politics and regionalism, society and economics, feminism, fashion, and art. By highlighting the multiple meanings of veiling, the book decisively shows that the realities of the practice cannot be homogenized or oversimplified and extend well beyond the religious and political accounts that are overwhelmingly proclaimed both inside and outside Muslim-majority societies. Neither defending nor criticizing the practice, What Is Veiling? clarifies the voices of Muslim women who struggle to be heard and who, veiled or not, demand the right to live spiritual, personal, and public lives in dignity.

The Objectification Spectrum

Understanding and Transcending Our Diminishment and Dehumanization of Others

The Objectification Spectrum

What lies at the heart of humanity's capacity for evil? Any tenable answer to this age-old question must include an explanation of our penchant for objectifying and dehumanizing our fellow human beings. The Objectification Spectrum: Understanding and Transcending Our Diminishment and Dehumanization of Others draws upon timeless wisdom to propose a new model of objectification. Rather than offering a narrow definition of the term, the author explores objectification as a spectrum of misapprehension running from its mildest form, casual indifference, to its most extreme manifestation, dehumanization. Using vivid examples to clearly demarcate three primary levels of objectification, the author engages in a thoughtful exploration of various dispositional and situational factors contributing to this uniquely human phenomenon. These include narcissism, the ego, death denial, toxic situations, and our perceived boundaries of self, among others. Rector then gives us reason to hope by orienting his model of objectification into a broader continuum of human capability--one that includes a countervailing enlightenment spectrum. Gleaning insights from classic philosophy, the world's five most prominent religious traditions, and current social science research, he examines the best antidotes humankind has devised thus far to move us from casual concern for our fellow human beings toward interconnectedness and, ultimately, unity consciousness. Broad in scope and deeply penetrating, The Objectification Spectrum advances the conversation about the nature of human evil into personally relevant, potentially transformative territory.

The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies

The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies

The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies innovatively combines the ways in which scholars from fields as diverse as philosophy, psychology, religious studies, literary studies, history, sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics have integrated the study of Sikhism within a wide range of critical and postcolonial perspectives on the nature of religion, violence, gender, ethno-nationalism, and revisionist historiography. A number of essays within this collection also provide a more practical dimension, written by artists and practitioners of the tradition. The Handbook is divided into eight thematic sections that explore different 'expressions' of Sikhism. Historical, literary, ideological, institutional, and artistic expressions are considered in turn, followed by discussion of Sikhs in the Diaspora, and of caste and gender in the Panth. Each section begins with an essay by a prominent scholar in the field, providing an overview of the topic. Further essays provide detail and further treat the fluid, multivocal nature of both the Sikh past and the present. The Handbook concludes with a section considering future directions in Sikh Studies.

A Burqa and a Hard Place

A Burqa and a Hard Place

Burqas, car bombs, and Bombay Sapphire - welcome to life in post-Taliban Kabul from the viewpoint of Sally Cooper, an Australian journalist and aid worker who took a job training journalists for a United Nations humanitarian news agency. When she arrived in Afghanistan, Sally knew next to nothing about the country. Once in Kabul, she moved into the Karwan Sara guesthouse - and quickly met a cast of characters that drew her into the strange realities of life in "the Ghan". Some of the many questions posed include: What do you do when you discover your male hotel cleaner wearing your clothes? How do you blend into the background at a Friday night dog fight when you're the only woman there - and you're a blonde Westerner? Under what circumstances do you decide that wearing a burqa is for your own protection? How do you live and work in a place where the car next to yours at the traffic lights could be driven by a suicide bomber? Irreverent, action-packed, witty and at times wildly surreal, A Burqa and a Hard Place will tell you more about daily life in Afghanistan than anything you've ever seen on the nightly news.

Afghanistan

The Mirage of Peace

Afghanistan

This title looks at US and international involvement in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban.

The Best Women's Travel Writing 2010

True Stories from Around the World

The Best Women's Travel Writing 2010

Since publishing the original edition of A Woman’s World in 1995, Travelers’ Tales has been the recognized leader in women’s travel literature. The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010 is the sixth book in an annual series that presents stimulating, inspiring, and uplifting adventures from women who have traveled to the ends of the earth to discover new places, peoples, and facets of themselves. The common threads connecting these stories are a woman’s perspective and fresh, compelling storytelling to make the reader laugh, weep, wish she were there, or be glad she wasn’t. In The Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 readers will discover the hidden magic of Flamenco in Spain, walk the night and its terrors in Benin, have an excellent last day in Costa Rica, poke their way into the psyche of a security agent in Kabul, learn something new about death and Mexico in San Miguel de Allende, travel the darker side of the Hawaiian fantasy, draw a map of Argentinian tango, meet the best people in the world in Zimbabwe...and much more.

Beneath the Pale Blue Burqa

One Woman's Journey Through Taliban Strongholds

Beneath the Pale Blue Burqa

This powerful story will have you enthralled as you travel with Kay through Taliban strongholds and the remote wastelands of Al Qaeda terrorists. Her story provides a rare glimpse of places we may never visit and the courageous Afghan people determined to persevere against overwhelming odds.

Women's Rights as Multicultural Claims

Women's Rights as Multicultural Claims

This book attempts to reconfigure feminism in a way that responds to cultural diversity. The author contends that a discourse of rights can be formulated and that this task is crucial to negotiating a balance between women's interests and multicultural cl