It's Not About the Burqa

It's Not About the Burqa : Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race

4.33 (1,443 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter?

Shortlisted for Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year

'Engrossing . . . fascinating . . . courageous' - Observer

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. With a mix of British and international women writers, from activist Mona Eltahawy's definition of a revolution to journalist and broadcaster Saima Mir telling the story of her experience of arranged marriage, from author Sufiya Ahmed on her Islamic feminist icon to playwright Afshan D'souza-Lodhi's moving piece about her relationship with her hijab, these essays are funny, warm, sometimes sad, and often angry, and each of them is a passionate declaration 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 144 x 224 x 31mm | 390g
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1509886400
  • 9781509886401
  • 67,559

Table of contents

Introduction - i: Introduction by Mariam Khan Chapter - 1: 'Too Loud, Swears Too Much and Goes Too Far' by Mona Eltahawy Chapter - 2: 'Immodesty is the Best Policy' by Coco Khan Chapter - 3: 'The First Feminist' by Sufiya Ahmed Chapter - 4: 'On the Representation of Muslims: Terms and Conditions Apply' by Nafisa Bakkar Chapter - 5: 'The Clothes of My Faith' by Afia Ahmed Chaudhry Chapter - 6: 'Life was Easier Before I was Woke' by Yassmin Midhat Abdel-Magied Chapter - 7: 'There's No Such Thing as a Depressed Muslim: Discussing Mental Health in the Muslim Community' by Jamilla Hekmoun Chapter - 8: 'Feminism Needs to Die' by Mariam Khan Chapter - 9: 'Hijabi (R)evolution' by Afshan D'souza-Lodhi Chapter - 10: 'Eight Notifications' by Salma Haidrani Chapter - 11: 'Shame, Shame, It Knows Your Name' by Amna Saleem Chapter - 12: 'A Woman of Substance' by Saima Mir Chapter - 13: 'A Gender Denied: Islam, Sex and the Struggle to Get Some' by Salma El-Wardany Chapter - 14: 'How Not to Get Married (or why an unregistered nikah is no protection for a woman)' by Aina Khan OBE Chapter - 15: 'Not Just a Black Muslim Woman' by Raifa Rafiq Chapter - 16: 'Between Submission and Threat: The British State's Contradictory Relationship with Muslim Women' by Malia Bouattia Chapter - 17: 'Daughter of Stories' by Nadine Aisha Jassat
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Review quote

Forget the ravings of politicians and pundits, hear from voices who have real, lived experiences across religion, feminism, sex, love and identity, and turn to this nuanced and wide-ranging collection * Emerald Street * The result is It's Not About the Burqa, 17 brilliantly wide-ranging essays covering everything from the rise of the sexualised Islamic influencer, to the Quran's take on bisexuality - and of course insidious, ugly Islamophobia * i News * Refreshing, insightful and occasionally raw, It's Not About the Burqa is a phenomenal collection of essays by a very diverse range of Muslim women. An absolute must read for anyone wanting to better understand the lives and experiences of Muslim Women in the West. -- Akeela Ahmed It's about pushing past the stereotype placed on Muslim women and hearing the individuals themselves; it's required reading * Stylist * An intelligent and much needed book * Red Magazine * Essential reading for our times. These essays are funny, angry, hopeful, sorrowful and inspired - and will leave you feeling much the same -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink and Stars A landmark anthology . . . frank and engaging essays on sex and religion, mental health in the Muslim community and queer identity from an impressive selection of writers and activists * Cosmopolitan * Wide-ranging . . . engrossing . . . fascinating . . . these essays take a courageous and panoramic view of Muslims * Observer * An incredibly important collection of essays that explores the pressures of being a Muslim woman today. These essays are passionate, angry, self-effacing, nuanced and utterly compelling in every single way -- Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant
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About Mariam Khan

Mariam Khan (born 1993) is a British writer and activist. She is the editor of It's Not About the Burqa, an anthology of essays by Muslim women. She lives in Birmingham.
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Rating details

1,443 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
5 47% (683)
4 41% (594)
3 10% (143)
2 1% (13)
1 1% (10)
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