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It's Not About the Burqa

Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race

Mariam Khan



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03 February 2020
Literary essays; Islamic life & practice; Society & Social Sciences; Gender studies: women; Islamic studies
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.
By:   Mariam Khan
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   182g
ISBN:   9781509886425
ISBN 10:   1509886427
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   03 February 2020
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
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: 'Tearing Off the Label' by Amena Khan Chapter - 5: 'On the Representation of Muslims: Terms and Conditions Apply' by Nafisa Bakkar Chapter - 6: 'The Clothes of My Faith' by Afia Ahmed Chapter - 7: 'Life was Easier Before I was Woke' by Yassmin Midhat Abdel-Magied Chapter - 8: 'There's No Such Thing as a Depressed Muslim' by Jamilla Hekmoun Chapter - 9: 'Feminism Needs to Die' by Mariam Khan Chapter - 10: 'Hijabi (R)evolution' by Afshan D'souza-Lodhi Chapter - 11: 'Eight Notifications' by Salma Haidrani Chapter - 12: 'Shame, Shame, It Knows Your Name' by Amna Saleem Chapter - 13: 'A Woman of Substance' by Saima Mir Chapter - 14: 'A Gender Denied: Islam, Sex and the Struggle to Get Some' by Salma El-Wardany Chapter - 15: 'How Not to Get Married (or why an unregistered nikah is no protection for a woman)' by Aina Khan OBE Chapter - 16: 'Not Just a Black Muslim Woman' by Raifa Rafiq Chapter - 17: 'Between Submission and Threat - the British State's Contradictory Relationship with Muslim Women' by Malia Bouattia Chapter - 18: 'Daughter of Stories' by Nadine Aisha Jassat

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.

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

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 <i>The Girl of Ink and Stars</i> 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 <i>The Good Immigrant</i>

  • Short-listed for Foyles Non-fiction Book of the Year 2019 (UK)

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