It was another magnificent year for women, Muslims, minorities, and Muslim women. In 2014, they made headlines, took initiative, founded & ran successful organizations, used creativity to bring awareness to causes that are important to them. 2014 has also been heartbreaking year with so many atrocities that occurred throughout the year and all over the world.
As the year wraps up, we decided to go back, find and share our favorite and most striking links, hashtags, readings, podcasts, and websites of this year.
There are so many great things we want to share.
Websites and Blogs You Must See:
1.MuslimARC– Their vision is “Working to build and collect the tools needed to creatively address and effectively challenge racism in Muslim communities.” If you are to follow one new website, we recommend this one, there are none like this much needed resource! Created by Namira Islam and Marari Hill.
2. Love, Inshallah– The website has “posts from men and women from all ethnic, racial, sectarian, and religious (cultural, secular, orthodox Muslims) – talking about romantic, divine and other relationships – this is one of the most provocative, groundbreaking, and relevant blogs out there.”
3. Side Entrance– pictures from all over the world, “showcasing women’s sacred spaces, in relation to men’s spaces…the beautiful, the adequate and the pathetic.” This blog is created and curated by Hind Makki.
4. Al Jazeera America – Now a year old and was launched on Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, it “offers unbiased, fact-based, in-depth stories of U.S. and international news, including sports, business, lifestyle and investigative journalism.”
5. Split the Moon– A blog created by Rabia Chaudry, was first introduced on Patheos Muslim Channel, AltMuslim. Her introduction, says it all: “With this, bismillah. I plan to write a few times a month, and I can assure you the subject matter will be erratic. I juggle many moons, from national security to immigration, from fluffy cats to faith, from gender relations to food – like the average internet-addicted person, my attention is on way too many unrelated things.”The beginning of this year after Rabia approached Sarah Koenig about her good friend Adnan Syed’s case, Serial a podcast series about the details of the case became a phenomena and soon Rabia’s website became the go-to manual for those who wanted to know more about each episode and even help Adnan raise money for his legal fees.
6. Weneeddiversebooks – After a successful Twitter campaign that brought attention to the lack of diverse protagonists in children’s literature, Weneeddiversebooks created a website. “We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.”
8. Ta’leef Collective– “We serve seekers actively interested in Islam and converts to the faith, assisting them in realizing a sustainable conversion to and practice of Islam. Ta’leef Collective also strives to reengage the growing number of disenfranchised and often marginalized Muslim young adults.”
9. Muslim writers collective – “The Muslim Writers Collective is a bold initiative aimed at reclaiming control over the American Muslim narrative and providing a safe space for current and aspiring writers. Through storytelling, creativity, and culture, we seek to incubate a vibrant literary tradition among youth in our community.”
10. Muslim protagonist. – “The Muslim Protagonist is an annual symposium of Muslim and minority writers, artists, and thinkers at Columbia University, hosted by the Columbia Muslim Students Association (MSA) and opened to people of all backgrounds, ages, faiths, and cultures as a means of facilitating dialogue, networking, and tools for pursuing “literature as an agent of social, intellectual, and spiritual change.” The event is NOT an event exclusively for Muslims, “minorities,” or Columbia students/faculty — everyone is welcome.”
11. Take On Hate- “The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE inspires a positive perception of Arab and Muslim Americans (including Arab and Muslim refugees), creates systematic policy changes at the national and local levels and builds greater capacity for this community as a whole.” Linda Sarsour helped create this initiative.
12. Muslimah Next Door– Patheos Muslim blog by Dilshad D. Ali “stuff about faith and family, about the difficulties and joys of raising special needs and N/T (what we autism moms call neuro-typical, or “normal”– whatever “normal” means these days) kids, and about American Muslims and Islam (more so Islam in America – since that has been the “beat” I’ve been covering for 10 years).
Books/Comics to Read:
“Written in the Stars” by Aisha Saeed is a Young Adult book about a young woman named Naila and her journey as a Pakistani American.
“Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay“I Speak for Myself” series, co-edited Jennifer Zobair interfaith anthology on feminism and religion that will be part of the by Muslim women scheduled to be released in 2015.
“The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes.” Zaki Hasan contributed to this book of essays. Check out the cover here.
“Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority” by Zareena Grewal Offering rich insights into these questions and more, Grewal follows the journeys of American Muslim youth who travel in global, underground Islamic networks. Devoutly religious and often politically disaffected, these young men and women are in search of a home for themselves and their tradition.
“Ms. Marvel- Kamala Khan” Debuting in February 2014, she will be Marvel Comics’ first Muslim character to headline her own comic book. A creation of Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona, she has all waiting in anticipation.
Who to Follow on Twitter:
Articles/Links that caused a stir:
- The passing of Tayyibah Taylor, founder of Azizah Magazine. Beloved by all, Sister Tayyibah passed away in 2014. She was one of the first to provide a vehicle for the voices of American Muslim women.
- Ausma Malik wins; she is the 1st Muslim woman Trustee for Toronto District School Board! Despite a challenging campaign, Ausma Malik wins Trustee for Toronto District School Board – Ward 10 with 40% of the votes.
- Ambreem Sadiq– Meet the female Muslim boxer ‘bringing shame on her family.
- Rabia Chaudry’s profile on the Baltimore Sun. Learn more about this amazing and dedicated individual.
- Hind Makki on “Happy Muslims”. So much controversy around these “Happy”videos. Read Hind’s perspective.
- Open Letter to Imams to Support the Rohingya by The Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative via Muslim Matters.
- My Friend Wears a Hijab and I Judge Her For It. An article that created quite a stir. Even if you don’t agree, it is a point of view that is quite real.
- 20 questions we should be asking after the Peshawar massacre – so many innocents taken away. Do you agree with this article?
- First female law firm opened in Jeddah– props to them! Celebrating their accomplishments and not creating “tokens.” J
- The Disease of Being Busy– Professor Omid Safi writes about curing the exacerbated, tired, and overwhelmed by having more human interaction and asking each other how the heart is doing.
- Muslim Women Changing the Narrative in Islamic Horizons, the official magazine of the Islamic Society of North America (Pg 36)
- The Case for Social Media and Hashtag Activism– I really, really think people who scoff at Social Media need to read this.
- Twin visions of Islamic Feminism Split Muslim Community– Title is meh but article is better, I promise.
- Honoring Muslim Male Allies For Women’s History Month– yay for Muslim Allies!
- Binder full of Women by Zahra Billoo created to combat the idea that there are no qualified women to speak.
- Gaza under siege: naming the dead– an atrocity we want to forget but can’t, shouldn’t, and won’t.
- The Names They Gave Me by Tasbeeh Herwees, a freelance writer and producer in Los Angeles, CA, writes beautifully about the name given to her by her mother.
- Watch Out, Misogynists! The Muslim Feminists Are a-Coming: A Recap of Muslim Hashtag Activism by Orbala
- Female Companions of the Prophet SAW buried in Cyprus. I didn’t know about this, did you?
- Malala Yousafzai received the Nobel Prize- we celebrate her for being
- Amira and Sam: Give me a Break– Laila Alawa writes about her frustrations with the movie trailer.
- Muslimah Montage is on Radio Islam– why was MM created and how? Find out!
- Dear Kim Jong-un: Thanks for stealing the spotlight. Signed, The Muslims – yes, seriously.
- Reza Aslan on What the New Atheists Get Wrong About Islam. When Reza Aslan speaks/writes, I listen.
- What a Muslim American Learned from Zionists– great read.
- The First Women’s Mosque of America Jumma’a- can we get a “Halleluja” or “Allahu Laillaha”?
- Corbin: I’m feminist, and converted to Islam– So a “feminist” can be “Muslim” and a “Muslim” can be “feminist”? What?
- Wheels in Motion: Meet Afghanistan’s First All-Woman Bicycling Team– so cool, you have to see this.
- Court Sentences Seven Men for Gang Rape in Afghanistan – An Afghan court convicted seven men for the gang rape and robbery of four women in Paghman district near the city of Kabul.
Hashtags to Remember:
#EmpoweredMuslimWomen– Muslimah Montage threw a Twitter Party with the help of Brown Girl Magazine, Aisha Saeed and Laila Alawa. The hashtag was created to celebrate these amazing women and to discuss issues surrounding what it means to be an empowered woman.
#BeingBlackAndMuslim– MuslimARC launched a campaign with Dawud Walid whereTwitter users shared their experiences in an attempt to shed light on the discrimination black Muslims face.
#MuslimahHistory –A hashtag created to Learn about the History of Women in Islam. This HT brings you the history of Muslim women, humanizes the Muslim women, and demonstrates that “strong Muslim woman” is not a new phenomena.
#GazaUnderAttack– Hashtag to follow what really went on during the attacks in Gaza.
#AliceInArabia– A hashtag created after network announced a new TV show that was not only written by a non-Muslim/non-Arab but also repeated and played on stereotypical narratives.
#illridewithyou – A heartwarming hashtag created by Australians to support Muslims after an attack in Australia.
#LetAymanReport – Created after NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin was pulled out of Gaza for reporting on the killing of four Palestinian boys playing soccer on a beach by the Israeli Defense Force.
#WhyIStayed -Hashtag created After surveillance video was released of footballer Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée (now wife) in an elevator. It gave victims a platform to speak.
Podcasts We Loved:
- Diffused Congruence: Monthly podcast highlighting and focusing on unique and interesting personalities from within and without the Muslim community. They featured Jon Stewart this year- omG!
- Serial– It’s Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he’s innocent – though he can’t exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.
- Super Fantastic Nerd HourThe Super Fantastic Nerd Hour is a podcast dedicated to all the things that nerds love. We explore science fiction, fantasy, comic books, TV shows, movies, video games, and sometimes action figures. During the INFINITE CROSSOVER CHAMBER we mashup our favorite characters against each other to see who would win (because that’s what nerds do when they get together). Each episode also includes cool recommendations for stuff you might like. Resident Nerd, Zainab Chaudary was once a guest on this cool show!
Movies to Watch:
- The Tiger Hunter : Lena Khan’s film about “A clever young man comes to 70s America on a quest for success and love in a hilarious story of ambition, failure, and misfit friends.” This might sound familiar to many of us whose parents have drilled into us their stories of struggle.*
- These Birds Walk : A film by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq about Abdus Sattar Edhi, who founded the Bilqis Edhi Foundation. The foundation was named after his wife and devoted to serving the abandoned and abused women and children of Pakistan.*
*yes, both are still on my list!
Videos to Watch:
- Suheir Hammad Not Your Erotic, Not Your Exotic – a meaningful video against the degradation of women (an oldie but still one of my favorites.)
- CAIR responds to Megyn Kelly on FOX NEWS on “Honor Diaries” Screenings– Watch Agnieszka Karoluk kick butt!
- Rooted in Faith: Growing Through Service – Check out CAIR’s annual short film; the film looks at the work your local civil rights organization is doing!
- BNV 2013 – Quarter Finals – Washington DCPoetry from the 2013 Brave New Voices Grand Slam Finals at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago (Another old video; this is from 2013 but I had to share) .
- Alia Sharrief feat. Aminah Bell “Black Heros” (Music Video) Response to Iggy’s black widow. I shared this widely because not only did I love the message, Alia was featured on Muslimah Montage!
- Don’t Freak, I’m Sikh’ Video Is Out To Change How People See Turbans – Not about Muslims but “People associate Sikhs with terrorists because of the turban and beards.” And Muslims know how it feels to be labeled just because of we look.
- “Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative.” Webseries Teaser “Anti-racism work matters. Let’s stand together… #IAmMuslimARC”
- Women of Spirit and Faith: Ayesha Mattu– “Ayesha Mattu, writer and co-editor of “Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, explores universal questions of love, intimacy and spiritual co-leadership with her husband, Randy…”
- An Indian wedding you want to watch. – In a culture that is known for having little value for divorced/widowed women, this video warms the heart.
- Amira & Sam Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Paul Wesley (watch for laughs, see Laila Alawa’s article above for reference).
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