Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War Faith and Sexuality


Muslim Women on War, Faith, and Sexuality

Voices of Resistance is a diverse collection of personal narratives and prose by Muslim women whose experiences and observations are particularly poignant in today’s politically and religiously charged environment. The women collected in this anthology hail from Yemen, Iran, Palestine, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Canada, and the United States.

Editor Sarah Husain conceptualized this collection as a means of redefining the stereotypical depictions of Muslim women that inundate current western discourse on the Islamic “other.” She seeks to dispel the image of the veil as the age-old symbol of Muslim women’s repression and move beyond sterile representations and narrow debates about the contemporary realities of Muslim women. The contributors engage in discourses concerning their bodies and their communities and share compelling stories: a woman mourns the death of a cousin killed in a suicide bombing; a transsexual remembers with fondness the donning of the veil he no longer wears as a Muslim man; a woman confronts sexism and hypocrisy on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia; and the experience of being judged on the basis of skin color and political and religious affiliation that is far more blatant and ubiquitous since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

From the Introduction:

In her three poems, Zohra Saed re-members her family’s forced multiple migrations from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia to Brooklyn in the late 1980s, sketching a history of Afghanistan when it became the battlefield of an imperial war between the ex-Soviet Republic and the United States. Her calligraphy of memories, “lit with the names of martyrs,” is a rewriting of a palimpsest (hi)story in an effort to trace the “topography of loss” through self, community, and memory caught in decades of violence… Her poems allow us to interrogate the ways in which wars and struggles affect us and inscribe us as we walk into and through (our) neighborhoods in cities across the United States.

Praise for Voices of Resistance:

“A beautifully crafted testament to the courage, reflexivity, and spirit of Muslim women’s resistance to the injustices and violence of wars from Palestine to the U.S.”
—Chandra Talpade Mohanty, professor of Women’s Studies, Syracuse University, and author of Feminism without Borders

“I loved Voices of Resistance. It was fun, it was funny, it was profound, it was deep, it was
frightening, it was awesome, it was an opening. I could not put it down.”
—Dr. Amina Wadud, professor of Islamic Studies and author of Inside the Gender Jihad

“Voices of Resistance is a noisy, proud collection of Muslim women writing with boundless energy and enormous creativity. Sometimes it’s angry. Other times it’s introspective. Mostly it’s about faith, faith that a world free from racism and sexism and defined by justice is not just possible but absolutely necessary.”
Moustafa Byoumi
professor of English, City University of New York,
and author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America

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