Burka’s and Books

hijabi books

Lately I’ve been contemplating the direction of this blog. I’ve never really wanted to  impose my personal or political views upon you guys and have largely remained reticent about who I am. But recently two things happened which have made me rethink my position. 1) I had a conversation with a stranger which went something like this:

Them: “you’re reading a book!”

Me: “yes”.

Them: “wow, no offence, (staring at my scarf) but you don’t look like the type of person who reads books”

Me: silently searching their face for five long minutes wondering wtf a ‘reader’ is supposed to look like. death stare

2) I was spat at whilst walking down the street.

You see, I am a Muslim, a Muslim woman in fact and *shock horror* one who chooses to cover my head. I haven’t really revealed that fact as I genuinely believed it would put people off my blog, but now I think eff it. People often ask me ‘why Post Colonial literature?’ and the reason is largely because it often gives a voice to the voiceless or overlooked and offers an opportunity to redress pervading stereotypes and prejudices. But what is the point of reading it, reviewing it, loving it if I feel too self conscious to address those issues, engage on a personal level and defend myself? I, like most people, take exception when we repeatedly hear of black women being reduced to ‘sassy’ or ‘diva’. I shudder when people describe ‘almond eyes’ and ‘exotic clothing’, persistently pigeonholing minorities into boxes which they do not necessarily fit by default. So why do I stand for someone whitesplaining  telling me what is and is not expected of me as a brown, Muslim woman? Why should I be spat at and expect to silently get on with my day? I don’t know the answer to all of these questions, but I do know that from now on you’re going to hear me talk about it a lot more often because Burka’s (technically I don’t wear one of these, but I like the alliteration!) and books are not mutually exclusive. muslim women

12 comments

  1. Great post! Sorry those things happened to you. I look forward to more Burka & Books posts from you! Its a form of activism and I’m sure other readers (Christians and Muslims alike) would greatly appreciate the posts. If people are turned away, let them go. I’ll def stay and read/learn something new 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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