Category Archives: hijab

Buzzfeed Finally Does a Hijab List



28 Struggles Only Hijabis Will Understand

“Do you shower in it?” SERIOUSLY?

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Stylish Hijabis

stylish hijabis

Impressed with their attitude.


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Palestine’s Female Olympic Athletes


Woroud Sawalha

Palestine has two female athletes in the 2012 games. Swimmer Sabine Hazboun and runner Woroud Sawalha. I’d love to see their events.

Sabine Hazboun

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Clinton Erased from Newspaper Photo

While lots of voices are screaming and shriking about sharia law in the US, a Jewish newspaper published in Brooklyn has erased Hilary Clinton and Audrey Thomason from a now-famous photos. Women! Gazing upon their likenesses might be lead a man to have a sexual thought. Apparently.

Story at Talking Points Memo here.

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Cartoon: Those People Dress Funny

I get a kick out of Americans’ attitude that we’re all special snowflakes who dress exactly the way we want to because we embody the American ideal of freedom of expression, as if we don’t just witlessly wear whatever the stores are full of. I mean come on, pants? Sarongs would be much more comfortable.

Drew this on MS Paint with one hand; my cat was sleeping on my left hand. Poor little thing got a couple stitches today.


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Another Quote From Devil’s Game

I’m still slowly making my way through Devil’s Game, How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, by Robert Dreyfuss. Some sections kind of drag, and it’s so chock full of information that you get overloaded.

This jumped out at me, though, given the various arguments I’ve heard made against Muslims in the last few years. Somehow the throwing of acid in girls’ faces always gets brought up. I don’t know which anti-Islam screecher pushes the acid-in-the-face angle, but I keep hearing it.

[US National Security Advisor 1977-1981] Brzezinski, and then [Director of Central Intelligence 1981-1987] Casey, embraced the Pakistan-Saudi axis. But both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had their favored clients in Afghanistan.

For Pakistan, it was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the militant Islamist whose group was called the Islamic Party (Hizb-i Islami). Hekmatyar had a well-earned reputation for being a brutal fanatic:

Gulbuddin was the darling of Zia and the Pakistan intelligence service. Like other mujahideen leaders, he had been working with the ISI [Pakistan intel service] since the early 1970s, when Pakistan had begun secretly backing fundamentalist students at the University of Kabul who were rebelling against Soviet influence in the Afghan government. Back then Gulbuddin was very much a part of the emerging global wave of Islamic radicalism. By all accounts, he was responsible for the practice of throwing acid in the faces of Afghan women who failed to cover themselves properly.

Hekmatyar’s specialty was skinning prisoners alive. Sigbhatullah Mujaddidi, an Islamist of somewhat less radical stripes, called Hekmatyar a “true monster.” But Representative Charles Wilson, a Texas Republican who was the leading congressional advocate for the Afghan jihad, approvingly noted that Zia was “totally committed to Hekmatyar, because Zia saw the world as a conflict between Muslims and Hindus, and he thought he could count on Hekmatyar to work for a pan-Islamic entity that could stand up to India.”

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Funny Pictures

This appeared in my inbox the other day:

المهم ان الحجاب في مكانه

Translation of the Arabic: The important thing is that the hijab’s in place.


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Guess the Benighted Wasteland

State number one sports a former president on trial for war crimes. He claims he is innocent of all charges and that his acts of genocide were merely self-defense. He says his cause was “just and holy.” He says they were only defending themselves from perceived Muslim aggression.

No, it’s not the United States, despite the parallels. Ha ha! No American politician is going to go on trial for war crimes. No, it’s former Serb president Radovan Karadzic.

Former leader Radovan Karadzic has said the Serb cause in the Bosnian war was “just and holy” as he began his defence at his genocide trial at The Hague.

Mr Karadzic, who led the Bosnian Serbs during the war in the 1990s, said there was a core group of Muslims in Bosnia – then and now – who wanted 100% power.

Mr Karadzic faces two charges of genocide – including the killing in Srebrenica of more than 7,000 men and boys – as well as nine other counts including murder, extermination, persecution and forced deportation.

Prosecutors say he orchestrated a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against Muslims and Croats in eastern Bosnia to create an ethnically pure Serbian state.

In his opening statement last October, prosecutor Alan Tieger said Mr Karadzic “harnessed the forces of nationalism, hatred and fear to pursue his vision of an ethnically segregated Bosnia”.

Legislators in State number two have introduced a bill that would criminalize miscarriage of a pregnancy.

Says one lawmaker, “If he’s insinuating because I ran this bill, because I’m pro-life and anti abortion and I’m doing everything in my power to restrict abortions [here], then he’s absolutely correct.”

Perhaps the most troubling part of the bill is a standard that could make women legally responsible for miscarriages caused by so-called “reckless” behavior. Under the “reckless behavior” standard, an attorney only needs to show that the woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she did not intend to lose the pregnancy. Under this law, if a woman drinks too much and has a miscarriage, she could face prosecution.

Many states have fetal homicide laws, most of which apply only in the third trimester. [This] bill, however, would apply through the entire duration of a woman’s pregnancy. Even common first trimester miscarriages could trigger a murder trial.

The bill does exempt from prosecution fetal deaths due to failure to follow medical advice, accept treatment, or refuse a cesarean section.

What could possibly go wrong?

Miscarriage occurs in about 15-20% of all recognized pregnancies, and usually occurs before the 13th week of pregnancy. The actual percentage of miscarriages is estimated to be as high as 50% of all pregnancies, since many miscarriages occur without the woman ever having known she was pregnant.

So what backwards, misogynist, woman-hating, gynophobic, phallocentric culture are we talking about? If you guessed Utah, you’re right.

rare photo of Utah women

Utahns compel their women to wear concealing garments, because their stern god commands them to. They wear flowing garments that cover them from neck to toes and fingers, leaving only the head exposed.


Filed under church and state, domestic terrorism, hijab

Arabs in the Winter Olympics

Lebanon is fielding a team of three.

When Olympic skier Chirine Njeim tells people she’s from Lebanon, they often laugh in disbelief.

Now at the Vancouver Winter Games, and competing alongside two other athletes from her home country, Njeim still has to convince people she’s telling the truth.

“A coach from another country asked me in the elevator the other day where I was from. I said, ‘Lebanon’ and he just started laughing,” said Njeim, who is competing in the Ladies Giant Slalom Wednesday.

Little did that coach know, there has long been downhill skiing in Lebanon — and world-class ski resorts to boot.

“Skiing in Lebanon is very popular,” explained Ezzad Kraytem, Secretary General of Lebanon’s Olympic Committee. “The slopes are only 20 minutes away from the coast, so you can go to the beach and ski in the same day.”

That means there’s a clear view of the Mediterranean Sea from the slopes of Mount Lebanon on most days, according to Kraytem.

Lebanon currently boasts six resorts: The Cedars at Mount Makmel is the largest, while Farya Mzaar is the favored destination of the jet-set (it’s also where Njeim got her start aged three).

“The quality of the snow is one of the main reasons professional skiers love our slopes. Powdery on the surface and hard underneath,” explained Joanne Zarife, a manager at the five-star Intercontinental hotel at Mzaar.
Even though the slopes face north, preserving the snow, the region’s sunshine makes the air mild, even warm, she said.

And today it’s not just downhill skiing that draws the crowds. From just ten snowboarders in 1991, today anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of visitors are riders, according to Ski Lebanon. Lebanon’s high, sunny plateaus also make it ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, they say.

Hey wait a minute, was that article about the Lebanese Olympics team or about tourism in Lebanon? I’ve been had.

Achi Ghassan and Jacky Chamoun are the other two Lebanese olympians in Vancouver.

Samir Azzimani is an alpine skier from Morocco. He’s even helping underprivileged youths learn to ski.

The only athlete representing Morocco in Canada, the France-born Alpine skier is coming with eight secondary school children from Woippy, a depressed suburb of eastern French town Metz that made headlines for riots last month.

Azzimani, who grew up in a rough area of Colombes, outside Paris, simply wanted to share his dream with youngsters from a similar background.

“I’m organising everything myself,” the 32-year-old told Reuters in a telephone interview before flying to Canada for the Games starting on Saturday.

“The idea is to allow them to see the Games from the inside,” he added. “Finding the money and getting all the authorisations was hard but the toughest part was to convince the school.”

“There will be a guy from Ghana and also one from Senegal,” he said. “If I beat them, I’ll be the champion of Africa.”

Khelifi Meidhi-Selim is representing Algeria.

Those are all the athletes I found from Arab countries, but there are probably more representing other countries. And though she’s not an Arab, I want to mention Iranian skier Marjan Kalhor.

WHISTLER — From a few yards away near the slalom finish line, Marjan Kalhor looks like just another Olympic skier. She has the powerful quadriceps and hamstrings, the strong shoulders, the skin-tight uniform.

Get closer and you’ll see what makes her different, how she made history at the Vancouver Olympics this week. Inside her helmet is a purple veil, a mandatory head garment for Islamic women in Iran. On her license-plate sized ID badge is a mug shot of her in a burka covering everything but her face.

Kalhor, 21, is the first woman from Iran to compete in the Winter Olympics. She finished last in the slalom Friday, as you’d expect from someone who once trained by skiing down grass fields. She also finished last in the giant slalom Thursday.

“The only thing I want to get from the Olympics is to compete against the best skiers in the world and get more experience,” she said in passable English.

Iranian women have competed in the Olympics before, just not the Winter Games. Lita Fariman competed in shooting in the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. Since then, Iranian women have competed in rowing, archery and taekwondo.

And there’s my excuse to post this old picture I love, of Iranian athlete Nassim Hassanpour, who had to give up gymnastics and take up shooting in order to be allowed to participate.

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Debbie Almontaser Suing to Get Her Job Back

I did a bunch of posts last year about the Khalil Gibran academy and the ridiculous bigoted smear campaign against it and its original principal, Debbie Almontaser.
The New York Times online has a long article about the whole ordeal.

Debbie Almontaser dreamed of starting a public school like no other in New York City. Children of Arab descent would join students of other ethnicities, learning Arabic together. By graduation, they would be fluent in the language and groomed for the country’s elite colleges. They would be ready, in Ms. Almontaser’s words, to become “ambassadors of peace and hope.”

I don’t how widely it is understood by the public how very badly we need more people who know Arabic. A program like this would be extremely valuable. Arabic is not a language that you can pick up quickly or easily.

Ms. Almontaser, a teacher by training and an activist who had carefully built ties with Christians and Jews, said she was forced to resign by the mayor’s office following a campaign that pitted her against a chorus of critics who claimed she had a militant Islamic agenda.

In newspaper articles and Internet postings, on television and talk radio, Ms. Almontaser was branded a “radical,” a “jihadist” and a “9/11 denier.” She stood accused of harboring unpatriotic leanings and of secretly planning to proselytize her students. Despite Ms. Almontaser’s longstanding reputation as a Muslim moderate, her critics quickly succeeded in recasting her image.

“Recasting her image.” In that book Jews and Christians like to quote when it’s convenient, that’s known as “bearing false witness.”

Muslim leaders, academics and others see the drive against the school as the latest in a series of discriminatory attacks intended to distort the truth and play on Americans’ fear of terrorism. They say the campaign is also part of a wider effort to silence critics of Washington’s policy on Israel and the Middle East.

Cool, I’m in the New York Times. See where it says “and others”? I’m one of them.

After 9/11, Education Department officials had enlisted Ms. Almontaser to hold workshops on cultural sensitivity for schoolchildren. She spread the message that Islam was a peaceful religion. She told of how her own son had served as a National Guardsman in the clearing effort at ground zero. She was soon attending interfaith seminars, befriending rabbis and priests. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg honored her publicly. She became a ready commentator for the media, prompting some Muslims to joke that she was the city’s “talking hijabi.”

In February 2007, the Department of Education announced that the school had been approved. It would eventually encompass grades 6 through 12, teach half of its classes in Arabic and be among 67 schools in the city that offer programs in both English and another language, like Russian, Spanish and Chinese. Ms. Almontaser designed a recruitment brochure to attract the school’s first class of sixth graders.

Bolding mine.

Then a lot of bad stuff happened and a bunch of loud fearmongers had their way, as so often happens. And Ms Almontaser, an American through and through, is suing.

On Oct. 16, Ms. Almontaser announced that she was suing the Education Department and the mayor. She claimed that her First Amendment rights had been violated because she was forced to resign after she was quoted as saying something controversial.

She requested that the city be prevented from hiring a permanent principal until her case was resolved. A judge rejected the request, and Ms. Almontaser appealed. In March, a federal appeals court upheld the ruling, but the judges were sharply critical of the city’s handling of Ms. Almontaser’s case.

“This was a situation where she was subject to sanction not for anything she said, not for anything she did, but because a newspaper reporter twisted what she said and the result of it was negative press for the city and the Board of Ed,” Judge Jon O. Newman told a city lawyer at a hearing in February.

Ms. Almontaser’s case will proceed in the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

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