Moderator’s note: This marvelous FAR site has been running for 10 years and has had more than 3,600 posts in that time. There are so many treasures that have been posted in this decade. They tend to get lost in… Read More ›
It is tempting to read these recurring images of milk twins in Arab-Jewish literature as no more than a symbol, albeit a powerful one, of the profoundly intimate “brother- (and sister-)hood” of Jews and Muslims in the pre-partition culture of the Middle East and North Africa.
But the image of “milk twins” is much more than a metaphor or a symbol: it represents a reality. For it seems that many Jewish and Muslim women, living side by side as they did, had in fact regularly nursed one another’s children.
The first time I came across the phrase, I thought I must be making a mistake. “Que Dieu l’enveloppe dans sa matrice,” the passage read in French, “May God’s womb enfold her.” or possibly, “May God enfold her in His womb.” His womb?
I feel deeply fortunate to be able to travel regularly to southern Morocco. In Taroudant in the Souss Valley, and further south in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, my groups of students have the chance to discover women’s cultural traditions including music… Read More ›
Vanessa Rivera de La Fuente is Muslim, feminist, and a human rights activist Photo: Personal archive Background: Journal O ‘Globo, one of the most important newspapers in Brazil, belonging to the transnational media group of the same name, published this… Read More ›
When World Hiyab Day (WHD) was held for the first time in 2013, I was an enthusiastic supporter. Even my friend Maria de los Angeles from Venezuela, wore a headscarf for a day in sisterhood. She went to her job… Read More ›
In the book, Women v. Religion: The Case Against Faith and for Freedom, editor Karen L. Garst puts together the voices of women from a variety of backgrounds in an effort to present a case against faith. While the introduction… Read More ›
What does it mean to be an Arab-Jew in the twenty-first century? For me, it means recognizing and honoring Arab culture: the music, food, language, and customs my parents brought with them when they emigrated from Cairo in 1952; it means feeling a strong bond with other Egyptians, North Africans, and Middle Easterners, refusing efforts in the U.S. and elsewhere to demonize and “other” any of us. It means respecting the claims of displaced Palestinians and protesting Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. It also means not seeking to equate our displacement with Palestinian displacement, as some Jews from Arab countries have sought to do, in a transparent effort to discredit Palestinian suffering.
Interfaith, a wonderful term that brings only happiness to my mind. So many days spent sitting and planning out events at the local coffee shop (shout out to The Lost Bean in Tustin, CA. which was one of the first… Read More ›
One of the topics that has captured my deep interest during the last year is Epistemic Justice – and its absence, epistemic injustice – a concept which I reflect on often, since it has become a backbone idea in the approach… Read More ›
My grandmother is a gangster… a spiritual gangster I recently attended a funeral for a relative-in-law. The grassy patch at the cemetery was filled with many familiar faces as well as unfamiliar. My side of the family was asked to… Read More ›
Before coming to the U.S., I felt disconnected from feminist theory. I thought this framework labels women as haters of men and seekers of obscure rights. I was not sure who could identify with it or belong to it. For… Read More ›
In my last post, I addressed the deeply personal accounts of Haroon Moghul’s self- and religious exploration in his memoir How to be a Muslim: An American Story. This post will broaden that reading to consider an October 2017 interview… Read More ›
After the horrific events of September 11, 2001, Haroon Moghul, the undergraduate leader at New York University’s Islamic Center, was called upon to be a representative voice for Muslims in America even as he negotiated his own relationship with Islam…. Read More ›
Last summer I began a deep inquiry of Gaudiya/Bengali Vaishnava culture. That inquiry had its origins in a dream I had two years prior where Radha and Krishna appeared in the form of miniature clay figurines. Krishna went missing and… Read More ›
Who does Islamic(s) feminism(s) belong to? The answer to this question seems obvious: Islamic feminism belongs to all Muslim women who wish to adhere to it, and feminism is for everybody, as bell hooks said. In reality however, it is not… Read More ›
In my current trajectory linked to community development — via both activism and my professional field — I’ve learned that popular education is a very useful practice and methodology to decentralize all types of knowledge. Since I embraced Islam, part… Read More ›
During my last months in Cape Town I have been facilitating a series of workshops on Rape, Gender Justice and Culture of Consent. I am blissful for the opportunity to teach and learn with a group of people with whom… Read More ›
I had few expectations before my visit in the winter of 1999 to Cairo’s Rav Moshe Synagogue, also called the “Rambam.” I only knew it to be an obscure synagogue and yeshiva associated with the renowned twelfth-century theologian, sage, and physician,… Read More ›
The recent killing of 17 year old Nabra Hassanen is on my mind. Not only was she killed—brutally beaten with a baseball bat—but it is thought that she was raped, too. Twice. During Ramadan. By an undocumented Latino from El… Read More ›
On June 10th anti-Muslim demonstrations were held in 28 cities across the United States, including one a few miles down the road from me at the North Carolina Capitol grounds in Raleigh. Organized by ACT for America, identified by the… Read More ›
I will never forget the day Nasr Abu Zaid (1943-2010), an Islamic Studies scholar and teacher extraordinaire, told me, “Shariah is not a law.” In spite of his assertion, many people—both Muslims and non-Muslims—are convinced that Shariah is synonymous with… Read More ›
PART II of II – see PART I here. Last year, the leader of the (un)Free World was elected by ‘right choice’, much to the collective dismay of liberal leftists, a huge proportion of people of colour, progressive educationists, environmental… Read More ›
There have been so many times I have seen a man wanting to weep but instead, Beat his heart until it was unconscious. — ‘Masculine’, Nayyirah Waheed PART I of II There have been many times when I have… Read More ›
There is some very helpful guidance in the Qur’an for how we should and should not treat the earth. In my exploration of Qur’anic verses on the environment, I have found a great deal of Earth-love that I want to… Read More ›
The myth says that Malinche, an Aztec princess, betrayed her people, her culture and faith, for the love and the desire to be loved and accepted by the foreign Spanish conquer, colonialist and exploiter. Her name, said with contempt, is… Read More ›