From Islam & Muslims

LGBTQ Muslims Are Our Brothers and Sisters

Note: The following is a guest post by WoodTurtle, who blogs here.

A gay Muslim’s acceptance by the community or family is dependent upon many factors outside of religion. On the one hand, it may be easier to come out in North America, Europe or Australia, where there is a larger gay support network as well as a secular culture pushing for gay acceptance. While in many Muslim countries, the practice of sex segregation has given rise to a kind of “homo-culture” — where one’s first sexual experience is with a person of the same sex, simply because the opposite is unreachable.
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Non-Sexual, Non-Threatening Hugs

Note: This is a reflection by Mrs. HijabMan on part 1 of “How I Met My Wife (And Daughter)”

Ask me a couple of years ago for a hug and if you were a guy I’d have said sorry, I don’t hug guys. I’m Muslim. I don’t touch persons of the opposite gender (heck, I really shouldn’t even be looking at you). It breaks your wudu (ablutions). And hugging… HUGGING?!! That would be one step down the slippery slidey slope to zina (fornication). I mean, how can I hug a guy without feelings of lust arising in me (and him), driving us to distraction (and more). (!!!!!)

Oh, the awkward situations that have played out when I tried to get out of a hug-in-progress… There was the time when my big professor heard I was getting married (the 1st time) and promptly came at me with arms wide open. I didn’t want to offend him so stayed rigid as a tree while he gave me a congratulatory squeeze. I have no idea if he realized how uncomfortable I was about that hug. Once I came out of the elevator in my graduate dorm and was greeted by a good friend who I hadn’t seen in a loooong time. As his arms opened wide and he came towards me, I did a kind of un-graceful pirouette under and around his outstretched arms, stumbling over myself to get out of his way. It was so awkward – he didn’t know what was going on, and I apologized profusely, explaining that while I was very happy, really very happy, really I was, to see him, it’s inappropriate for me to hug guys. Then there was my long-time labmate who helped me through Matlab coding issues and presentations and experiments; marriage and baby and divorce and graduation. When I graduated, we just gave each other shrugs and shook hands, though I’d just gone round hugging everyone else in the lab (it just so happened that only the girls were there that day).

Then one day, Hijabman offered me a hug just before he left Singapore for a 24hr trip back to Philly.
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That’s an Arabic Name. Are You The Babysitter?

philly mural

Note: This is a guest post by WoodTurtle, it originally appeared on her blog where she shares experiences in Islamic feminism and modern motherhood.

On Friday my mom took care of Eryn while I took some sorely needed “me” time to run some errands.

When she gets fussy, one of my mom’s tried and tested ways of getting Eryn to calm down is to take rides in the elevator. Up and down they go, pushing buttons, making faces in the mirrored walls, and more importantly, giving smiles and waves to the strangers they meet.

Recently my mom has been trying to befriend Muslims in her neighbourhood as well as mine, specifically so that Eryn can have some Muslim playmates on the days my mom will care for her once I return to work (and generally, because my mom is just friendly). So when a Muslim woman with her 15 month old took a long ride down from the penthouse to ground, my mom naturally stuck up a conversation.

After chatting about ages and the cuteness of babies, the woman asked, “So what’s her name?”

“*Eryn.”

“That’s an Arabic name. Are you the babysitter?”
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The Intellectual Thoroughness of Three-Year-Olds: The Crisis of Critical Inquiry

Note: This Is A Guest Post By Pamela Taylor

You may remember the email I shared with you last week, the one describing the rewards pious women were to receive for such deeds as nursing their infants, or consoling their husbands after a hard day at work, and so on. (If not, you can see the glorious details in the first of this series, The Moral Maturity of Two-Year-Olds.) This document declared in its headline that it bore “Glad tidings of Heaven for pious women in the light of hadith.”
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Sexual Harassment, Egypt, and the Hijab

Two Men Stand On A Bridge Over The Nile River, Cairo, 2006    (Photo: Javed Memon)

Note: This is a guest post by Dr. Susan Carland. She lectures in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University in Australia. She is perhaps best known for her work on Salam Cafe. This was originally published at her blog @ popmuslim.com

This is a really interesting post for a number of reasons, by Jack Shenker in the Guardian:

Women in Egypt get hi-tech aid to beat sexual harassment

A hi-tech weapon has been unveiled in the battle against sexual harassment in Egypt, where almost half the female population face unwanted attention from men every day.

HarassMap, a private venture that is set to launch later this year, allows women to instantly report incidents of sexual harassment by sending a text message to a centralised computer. Victims will immediately receive a reply offering support and practical advice, and the reports will be used to build up a detailed and publicly available map of harassment hotspots.

The project utilises an open-source mapping technology more commonly associated with humanitarian relief operations, and the activists behind it hope to transform social attitudes to the harassment of women and shame authorities into taking greater action to combat the problem.

I think this initiative is awesome.
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Sex And Muslims

Note: This is a guest post by WoodTurtle and was originally published on her blog, where she shares experiences in Islamic feminism and modern motherhood.

Well now that you know what’s been on my mind lately… here’s a little something on Sex in Islam and Sex with Muslims.

You don’t often hear about Muslims and sex. Maybe that’s because we always seem to be having babies — and you all know how much sex a couple with a baby (or two, or three…) is having.

But in the Media, the topic of sex in Islam is second only to niqaab and terrorism. Primarily because hetero sex, sexual expression, sexual freedom, sexual exploitation, and sexual stereotypes at times deals with female liberation VS male dominance, and the Western Media really, really wants to liberate Muslim women. How on earth can a woman who’s covered from head to toe in that black thing be having sex? Good sex? Enjoying sex? Selling sex? Kinky sex? How on earth indeed. How on a bed, in a car, on a train, in a shower, with herself, with more than one partner, with a same sex partner? Muslims? No way.
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