Introducing Literary Ladies, a monthly article highlighting the best literary works about women and feminism, by women. Starting with a recent yet iconic piece – It’s Not About the Burqa edited by Marian Khan.
Marian Khan has produced an intelligent and enlightening collection of essays written by seventeen Muslim Women – the essays focus on a number of topics from faith and feminism to sexuality and marriage, with an overall aim of realigning people’s views on Muslim women and allowing them to dominate the conversations they are subject of.
The choice of a collection of essays can be accredited towards accepting a variety of stories, opinions and backgrounds and provides as well of a rounded view as possible. From short stories to factual articles, this book delivers critical analysis on the current social climate, outlining where improvement is necessary and refocusing inclusivity in any form to all Muslim women of any race, nationality, or even choice of attire. As the title suggests, the book broadens feminist thought by stressing that the constant conversation over the choice to wear a hijab (in which Muslim women are often absent from) fails to concentrate on the genuine change Muslim women truly seek.
It’s Not About the Burqa is an inspiring and educational must-read for anyone, but especially for those looking to deepen their understanding of Muslim women. Find below just a few bold quotes, essays and where to buy your own copy.
“No one woman can speak for all Muslim Women – for that rich and varied tapestry of experiences, practice, belief and ways of being” – Nadine Aisha Jassat
“Revolutions are by nature uncomfortable. They are meant to discombobulate. How else would the status quo be overthrown?” – Mona Eltahaway
Essays worth highlighting
Too Loud, Swears Too Much and Goes Too Far – Mona Eltahawy
The First Feminist – Sufiya Ahmed
On the Representation of Muslims, Terms and Conditions Apply – Nafisa Bakkar
Life Was Easier Before I Was Woke – Yassmin Midhat Abdel-Magied
Feminism Needs to Die – Mariam Khan
A Woman of Substance – Saima Mir
How Not To Get Married (or why an unregistered nikah is no protection for a woman) – Aina Khan OBE
Not Just a Black Muslim Woman – Raifa Rafiq
Buy It’s Not About the Burqa here.