Not Our Men

This habit of displacing patriarchy to the ‘Muslim’, has generated wealth and fame for many in South Asia, so much so that any and all attempts to remind people of the Orientalist lineages of the term, and the racial nature of its application, are often met with disdain and mockery. But the fact remains that there is a massive industry – from NGOs, to artists to writers, pandering to the Orientalist and racist categorisation of crimes against women by Muslim men as ‘honour killings’, while remaining quiet or dismissive of attaching the same label to other regions of the globe where close-relative based violence against women remains large and growing. It is an industry facilitated by easy media narratives, and by easy framing of Arabs and Muslims are uniquely misogynist – something one sees in the discourse and discussions of so many expatriate and ‘recently arrived’ college academic / researchers who within days are confident about ‘explaining’ the looks, cat-calls and flirting of Arab men as cultural deviance and violent misogyny. For as long as they are the Arab men they are not interested in meeting of course.

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‘Going Muslim’ At Fort Hood Or How Rabid Simplicities Masquerading As Insight Just Sell More Magazines

It did not take long for overtly racist explanations to be offered. Before facts come fantasy, and before truth comes tabloid opinions masquerading as insight. And it arrived not in some radical, fringe magazine but in the pages of the international magazine Forbes by one of their regular contributors. (I of course ignore the determined Islamophobia of outlets like Fox News.) Details »

The Limits of Photojournalism

It is perhaps the most interesting, creative and compelling book of photography I have ever read. I have looked and read it over a dozen times in the last 8 years.  Edward Said & Jean Mohr’s ‘After The Last Sky: Palestinian Lives’ is perhaps the only example that I know of of a brilliant writer and a sensitive photographer collaborating to produce something remarkably insightful, intelligent and provocative at the same time.

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