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Posts Tagged ‘Express Tribune

Women Can Have the Niqab OR Equality, not Both

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Reason Niqab

Niqab:  My take at on the niqab:  “…The notion that niqab offers women freedom or power should be excoriated for the delusion that it is…” more here. One thing I didn’t address, though, is the overlap between covering and polygamy, but the two are connected, as the posts below show.

Nine Things Saudi Women Still Can’t Do – Express Tribune
The Saudis Pathetic Step Forward for Women – Qanta A. Ahmed
As a Muslim I Think Canada Should Ban the Niqab and Burka in Public – Raheel Raza
Banning the Burka and Niqab – Jerry Coyne w/Maryam Namazie

And heartbreaking words from Niqab wearers:
My Husband Married in Secret – “How do I survive this?” One story from Polygamy 911 (A blog by Fiona for women who suffer from polygamy)

Niqab AND Polygamy Promote Inequality – My Niqab Is My Beauty – “I’ve decided I’m going to take another wife!”


These are the words that sent my world into a tailspin. I never thought I would feel the way I do if I heard my husband say those words. For nearly 4 months now, I’ve been unable to get past the pain and betrayal those words have caused in me. A man I loved with everything inside of me, now appears like an enemy to me. At times, I can rationalize with myself and know that the feelings of resentment, abandonment, and betrayal are unjustified, but most of the time, I am swallowed by grief. Most of the time I cry, and get lost inside my own head, and overthink every word and action of his. To make matters worse, I’m almost 5 months pregnant and I can’t help but think how my stress and grief are affecting my baby, but that just makes me more angry with my husband for putting me in this situation at such an emotional time. I love my husband and nothing can take away from the fact that he’s a good husband and father, but I feel he’s no longer mine and it kills me.

On the other hand, this whole situation has brought me closer to my Lord. I have cried and cried and begged Allah to help me bear this. I listen to Qur’an, trying to push the anger and sadness away. I don’t even know how many times I’ve had to say ” I complain of my grief and sorrow only to Allah” to comfort myself. I don’t know what else to do but turn to my Lord and place things in His Hands.

I don’t say all this to bash my husband because at the end of the day, it is his right. But it being his right doesn’t make it any less painful. –


And:  Dear Angelina Jolie – “Hello from Karachi…One of the fights we are still fighting is the right to dress as we choose…”


Written by Caleb Powell

December 20, 2015 at 7:41 am

Honor: A Murder in the United Arab Emirates

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“Al Ain Appeal Court upheld the execution sentence of the Jordanian man after it found him guilty of killing Palestinian Eman Ibrahim Kagila…” from 7Days in Dubai

Over four years ago a friend and former student of mine from when I taught in the UAE, Ceza (a pseudonym), told me her friend, Eman, had been murdered. This became a catalyst for my work-in-progress about Islam, from the fatwa against Salman Rushdie to now, and the role Muslim women play in the future of the world; as well, this led me to write for the Karachi based Express Tribune. Excerpts of my work-in-progress are forthcoming or in these print literary journals: Harpur Palate, New Madrid, Pleiades, and Whiskey Island Magazine. And online, The Doctor T.J. Eckleberg Review recently published “Honor,” an essay introducing Ceza:


Sharaf – الشرف

“It is what is called a crime of honor, Jamirat el Sharaf,
and for the men of my region it is not considered a crime.” – Souad…more

Written by Caleb Powell

January 26, 2015 at 9:43 am

Posted in Islam

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Ferguson: The Result

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Express Tribunes Blog Ferguson

My take at The Express Tribune, “Ferguson:  Was it only about being black?

“The world has rallied around Ferguson after a grand jury refused to indict an officer for killing Michael Brown. Add the deaths of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, revisit past cases of police brutality such as Abner Louima (1997) and Amadou Diallo (1999), and what’s the result?…more

“Today is the worst day of my life.” – 13 yr. old Jaden Ramos

Jaden Ramos mourns his father 12/21/2014

RIP:  NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos

More:  Washington Post Wins Pulitzer for Reporting on Police Violence
David Brooks – NY Times – “Less aggressive policing means more crime. After the release of the horrific Laquan McDonald video — which showed a Chicago cop killing him in cold blood — there was a 69 percent drop in the nonfatal shooting arrest rate and a 48 percent drop in the homicide arrest rate. In the meantime, according to an analysis by Rob Arthur and Jeff Asher of FiveThirtyEight, nonfatal shootings rose by 73 percent and homicides rose by 48 percent.”

End Police Brutality

Written by Caleb Powell

December 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Judging Aasia Bibi, Judging Islam

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State Sanctioned Murder:  The Pakistani courts, after a lengthy trial, verdict, sentencing, and appeals regarding Aasia (Asia) Bibi’s alleged blasphemy, ruled in support of “Judicial Murder.” The accused will not be the only one to receive judgment. My take at the Express Tribune:

“Aasia Bibi, mother of five, sits in prison hoping one last appeal will save her from death row. If she is executed, as with the lynching of Shahzad and Shama Masih and the assassination of Salman Taseer, Islam will be judged…” Will Islam be judged if Aasia Bibi is executed?

Further Thoughts:  The injustice with blasphemy cases are two fold. First, they often are flimsy, the guilt of the accused is dubious, and the accusers often are settling scores. Second, even if the accused is guilty, the accused should not face capital punishment, not to mention that any penalty can seem absurd from the outside. More later.

Related:  Pakistan’s blasphemy laws legitimize intolerance – The Economist

Pakistani Woman Facing Death – The Guardian

Blasphemy Law Highlights Pakistan’s Hypocrisy – The Daily Beast

Written by Caleb Powell

December 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Express Tribune: Interfaith Gestures

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My first post at Pakistan’s Express Tribune, “Interfaith Gestures:  Moral Placebos or Progress?

On November 14, 2014, Muslims prayed at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. South Africa’s US Ambassador, Ebrahim Rasool, gave a sermon and declared that, “never again must there be intolerance towards Christians or any other faith,” and media observers heralded this breakthrough in interfaith relations, though not all cheered. The prayers were interrupted by a heckler screaming that America was “founded on Christian principles”…more

Written by Caleb Powell

November 24, 2014 at 9:31 am