When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter?
It’s Not About the Burqa started life when Mariam Khan read about the conversation in which David Cameron 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 demonstrably neither Muslim nor female?
Taking one of the most politicized and misused words associated with Muslim women and Islamophobia, It’s Not About the Burqa has something to say: twenty Muslim women speaking up for themselves. Here are essays about the hijab and wavering faith, about love and divorce, about queer identity, about sex, about the twin threats of a disapproving community and a racist country, and about how Islam and feminism go hand in hand. Funny, warm, sometimes sad, and often angry, each of these essays is a passionate declaration, and each essay is calling time on the oppression, the lazy stereotyping, the misogyny and the Islamophobia.
It’s Not About the Burqa doesn’t claim to speak for a faith or a group of people, because it’s time the world realized that Muslim women are not a monolith. It’s time the world listened to them.