L’affaire hijab in France is weighed down with almost 30 years of rhetoric, polemique and infamy and yet, 30 years on, it still won’t quit. The French obsession and stubbornness regarding the Islamic headscarf made headlines again recently with not one but three separate incidents (none involving actual Muslim women) which are both embarrassing … More Affaire Rossignol: Does Hating the Hijab Mean You’re an Islamophobe?
It is not uncommon for political enemies to end up becoming allies. Middle Eastern politics are at a historic juncture right now, with long-standing alliances being shaken up and new deals being brokered between fervent enemies. UN Security Council Resolution 2231 incorporates the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, informally known as the Iran nuclear deal, into international law, finally opening up … More Iran, Turkey and Trying to Make Friends with “Terrorists”
First of all, a very happy Ramadan (Ramadan Kareem) to the Muslim ummah! Ramadan is a very special time, one of contemplation, community, charity, celebration and, most of all, faith. It’s a time of sacrifice and solidarity, peace and perseverance; a time to ask forgiveness for one’s sins. In honor of the start of Ramadan, … More Ramadan Kareem! A look at Mosques Around the World
This is the third year in a row that I’ve written my sarcastic predictions/resolutions for the Middle East. Either these nations’ governments are not listening to me or making resolutions is not a regional tradition because I seem to be repeating myself! 2014 was no better than 2013 on issues of peace, and with the emergence … More 2015 Predictions for the Middle East
A recent spate of acid attacks against women in Isfahan, Tehran has left the international media abuzz. Many reports cite that the attacks, which have left victims severely burned and even blinded, were due to “bad hijab,” in which the women in question-who were driving their cars when men on a motorbike drove up and … More Young Iranians Are Showing their Faces
Pharrell Williams’ song ‘Happy,’ which I love, is everywhere. The phenomenon of groups of people (often by city) filming themselves dancing to the song has spread around the world, and the world’s Muslims and Middle Easterners are not to be left out. Of course, much like that now-infamous ‘Mipsterz in America’ video that featured trendy … More ‘Happy’ Videos Take over the Middle East
2013 proved to be yet another turbulent and dramatic year for the nations of the Middle East. Protesters have continued to keep the area volatile; the Syrian Civil War has continued to shed blood and uproot its citizens and it appears, reflecting back on my past years’ resolutions for the Middle East, that none of … More Predictions and Resolutions for the Middle East: 2014
Society cannot get enough of telling women how to display their bodies. Whether we are being told to cover up or to strip down, to go out with naked faces or to rougez les levres, women are rarely free to choose their own style of dress. Women are often prevented, legally, from dressing as they … More The Female Body is a Scary Thing: Human Rights
The situation in Syria is growing worse and worse, excellent case of foreign policy run amok, at least on behalf of the United States of America. Here, a look at the situation in an international affairs context. The “Right to Protect,” or R2P, is a concept in international diplomacy that details that one country can … More R2P in Syria leads to….WW3?
The controversy over the bikini segment of the 2013 Miss World pageant, taking place this September in Indonesia, made me question: do beauty pageants exist in the Muslim world? The idea of a beauty pageant seems to contrast 100% with the as-interpreted-through-social-custom Islam that is the norm in most Middle Eastern countries (heck, it even … More Middle Eastern Beauty Pageants Part One: National