When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter?
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. Funny, warm, sometimes sad, and often angry, each of these essays is a passionate declaration, and each essay is 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.
It’s Not About The Burqa is a series of essays by British Mulslim women, edited by Mariam Khan on a variety of different topics, but primarily aimed at the part of world that has its own entitled opinion towards situations, circumstances and traditions that they have absolutely no idea or even inkling about.
But this book, this collection of essays is not written with the aim of blaming these human beings, but mainly to open their eyes and minds to the myriad of misconceptions the rest of world holds towards Islam as a religions and Islam as a tradition to the female population of this religion; especially the connotation of wearing a Burqa as an individual identity and as a religious identity.
Each and every essay in this collection is an eye – opening, hard hitting and emotional writings that does its job well – hold up a mirror to the truth that none of us, no matter what religion or traditions we follow, can deny – that the females in every society have their own struggles, their own problems and their own war over identity, freedom and traditions.
Despite the focus of this collection of essays being the British Muslim women; it is easy to see that their struggles, their lives and their thoughts and opinions is eerily similar to other sect of females in almost every religion and society in the world.
Therefore, this collection of essays does its job in two fold – it is an open invite for the entitled and privileged section of the world and it does it in a way to be more relatable to other females whose struggles mirror their own, just the religious identities might change.
This book is one I would urge everyone to read – regardless of what religion or caste or creed or gender you may belong to, because this collection of essays does what every piece of written word does – gives us the chance to learn and to grow as tolerant and non – judgemental human beings.