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…Apparently, health workers are going to war against mothers, sisters, mother-in-laws and village elders to protect infants from cultural beliefs against breastfeeding. It’s science versus religion, and literally, “breastfeeding versus old wives tales.” This ritual works against the WHO recommendation, and is nothing more than a dangerous superstition in need of correction. Unfortunately, no statistics are offered to support just how many families administer the ritual or to illustrate how many infants have actually been harmed because of it.

In fact, the report contradicts itself by including an interview with a woman whose family administered the ritual to her son – and now at one-month old, he’s thriving on breast milk. This is later juxtaposed with the story of an ailing infant who, at five months, is still at its birth weight. In this case, the mother turned to “store-bought milk products,” believing she didn’t have enough breast milk to feed her infant.

There is along history of aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes, correlating alarmingly with rising infant mortality rates in developing countries. So I find it strange that IRIN presents an Islamic-inspired tradition as “seriously harming infants,” when the more likely source of a change in cultural attitudes toward breastfeeding is the aggressive marketing of formula.

A point that is subtly buried near the end of the report:

“[UNICEF] says the decline is probably due to three factors: aggressive marketing of milk products has some women adding them to their babies’ diet; the 2008 study might have overstated the rate of exclusive breastfeeding; and socio-political instability in Guinea has hit community nutrition education activities.”

So there you have it. There is no conclusive evidence that mothers and families who participate in this religious ritual are actually harming their infants. But cultural imperialism and mother-blaming sure makes for a great story and headline.


Sara Yasin, you are officially my hero. Dear. God.

The shooting at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee exemplifies America’s deadly mix of race, guns and madness.


Diners are a Ramadan tradition for American Muslims. Can someone pass the ketchup?

From Khtija K at Los Angeles, CA

This brings back great memories of me & my best friend - before dawn, at our sketchy local IHOP. *sniffles*


Terrorism has no religion


When America takes 1 million lives in Iraq for oil:

Not Terrorism.

When Serbs rape Muslim women in Kosovo/Bosnia:

Not Terrorism.

When Russians kill 200,000 Chechens in bombings:

Not Terrorism.

When Jews kick out Palestinians and take their land:

Not Terrorism.

When American drones kill entire family in Afghanistan/Pakistan:

Not Terrorism.

When Israel kills 10,000 Lebanese civilians due to 2 missing soldiers:

Not Terrorism.

When Muslims retaliate and show you how you treat us:


It seems like the word “Terrorism” is only reserved for Muslims.

Spread this message and let the world know…

Muslims are not terrorists! Terrorism has no religion!

(via maghrabiyya)


Garden Grove, CA: The custom lamp posts at the Masjid al-Rahman

From Salman


White privilege is echoing oppressive dichotomies about Islam that lead to the discrimination and death of Middle Eastern people, and then instantly becoming the victim when you get death threats because of it.

Are there men who demand that their women wear a hijab? I am sure there are; just as there are men that demand their wife or girlfriend parade at their side in high heels and a sexy dress. The power play between genders is not exclusive to one religion or culture; it happens on an individual level.

Inge Rombaut in an IPS News interview about the Muslim headscarf.

(via abudai)

(via lipstick-feminists)

Complete with your standard extreme close-up of a hijab-clad woman confusingly looking at the voyeuristic lens before her, the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” section recently featured a piece by writer Nadiya Takolia, entitled: “The Hijab has Liberated Me From Society’s Expectations of Women.”

Probably like many readers of this blog, my initial reaction consisted something of a suppressed cough-caught-in-a-groan. A cough because this topic and argument are so overdone and done in the same exact way everywhere and every single time; a groan because I knew CiF trolls would come out dressed to the nines in bigotry.


Muslims today are young, sexually and politically frustrated. This isn’t the strapline of a new reality show, but the conclusions of stereotype-laden analysis from the Daily Beast.

Note: Please do not place pocket mahram in a haraam location, especially when batteries are in the device. This is to avoid forbidden sensations.

2001: Driver’s Education on a warm spring day. Despite years of riding in cars, I felt the tremors of Western decadence between my legs once I sat behind the wheel. My hijab felt a little looser, and I was overwhelmed with so many haraam thoughts that I could not hear a word that my driving instructor was saying.  My brush with life behind the wheel showed me a darker element to driving. Professor Kamal Al-Subhi recently warned against lifting the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, as women driving directly correlates with the moral decline of society. I would have to agree with him; the moment that the key to the car rested in my own hand, I did not think of errands or going to school, but of unlocking a world of nightclubs, sin, in a station wagon that was most certainly steered by the devil.  It made me want to wear “a pair of pants so tight that [my] innermost organs were discernible.”** But thanks to Al-Subhi, I resolve to never drive again.

** This part? Not making it up.  It’s a direct quote from Al-Subhi himself.


Intersections International, a New York-based nonprofit that “works at the intersection of communities in conflict” to “promote peace through dialogue using direct service programs, advocacy, educational and informational outreach,” recently published a report called the “Muslim LGBT Inclusion Project.” The report is a narrative summary of the research done by the project, which started in May 2010 to identify “how, and under what circumstances, the voices of queer Muslims can be better understood and articulated.”


Hardline Muslim groups often portray the Ottoman empire as a magic template for a global caliphate. This is then used as a springboard for grandiose arguments that paint a caliphate as viable, and deem it as the only credible model of governance for the future. These arguments are based on a belief that the empire adhered to a single interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) for over 600 years, and – crucially – that its success was contingent on this.

But a paper by Ishtiaq Hussain, published by Faith Matters on Saturday displays a very different picture. Ottoman sultans, or caliphs, in the 18th and 19th centuries launched secular schools and promoted the education of women. The period of reformation known as the Tanzimat saw customary and religious laws being replaced in favour of secular European ones. More surprisingly, homosexuality was decriminalised in 1858 (long before many western states took their cue, and over a century before the American Psychiatric Association declassified it as a mental illness in 1973). Contrary to the claims of hardline groups, religious authorities approved many of these measures.