Thursday 3 June 2021

#Blogtour Cut From the Same Cloth? Muslim Women on Life in Britain edited by Sabeena Akhtar


It's my turn on the Blogtour Cut From the Same Cloth? Muslim Women on Life in Britain edited by Sabeena Akhtar

About the Authors

Sabeena is a writer, editor and the Festival Coordinator of Bare Lit, the UK’s principal festival celebrating remarkable writers in the diaspora. She is also the co-founder of the Primadonna Festival which spotlights the work of women writers, and of Bare Lit Kids. She will be available for events around publication, and can be found tweeting at @pocobookreader

Essays by:

Dirty Melanin, Precious Melanin: Bilal was Black by Negla Abdalla, Arabic Speaking: Liberal Racism and Translating by Fatima Ahdash, Smile and Introduction by Sabeena Akhtar, Youth in the Time of Madrassahs by Mariam Ansar, Grenfell by Shaista Aziz in conversation with Zahra Adams, A Cartography of Motherhood by Suma Din, Covid 19 and Recalibrating my Ramadhan Reality by Khadijah Elshayyal, The Quest for Modesty in the Digital Age by Ruqaiya Haris, So Can I Talk  to Guys Now? by Fatha Hassan, Ticking the Intelligence Box by Raisa Hassan; Riot, Write, Rest: On Writing as a Muslimah by Sumaya Kassim, Growing into Hajib by Rumana Lasker Dawood, I am Not an Answer I am the Question by Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Hidden by Asha Mohamed, The Gift of Second-Sight by Sofia Rehman, The Global Revolution of Hijab by Yvonne Ridley,  4,091 Miles away from Home by Aisha Rimi, Racial Perceptions by Khadijah Rotimi, On Therapy by Sophie Williams and Waiting to Exhale by Hodan Ysuf.

About the book

Do you wear that at home? Where are you really from? Does he make you wear that? Do you support acts of terror? Do you believe in ‘British values’? Can I see your hair? Do you have equality? Are you hot in that? Can you be a feminist? Why don’t you just take it off? Do you wear that in the shower? Are you oppressed?

Whether it’s awkward questions, radical commentators sensationalising their existence, non-Muslims and non-hijabis making assumptions, men speaking on their behalf, or tired stereotypes being perpetuated by the same old faces: hijabis are tired. Cut from the Same Cloth? seeks to tip the balance back in their favour, with the space to offer honest insight into the issues that really affect their lives.

Here, twenty-one middle and working class contributors of all ages and races look beyond the tired tropes, exploring the breadth of their experiences and spirituality. It’s time we, as a society, stopped the hijab-splaining and listened to the people who know.


Wow. Where to start? First of all this book and other books that give voice to underrepresented demographics in the book world and in general, should be mandatory reading in an educational setting. 

Not just for girls, because the assumption will be of course that these women speak to be heard by other women or girls, but also boys and men. The boys and men, due to their preordained path in white colonial patriarchal societies, which will be one that teaches misogyny, oppression and systemic racism as the norm. The girls and women also because of the aforementioned, but also for their chance to read words that aren't cemented in the cynicism of Western feminism, gender oppressive regimes and patronising systems that hold them back instead of catapulting them forward.

And I say that fully aware of my white privilege and that the above words can be spoken, written and debated freely at any time, due to said privilege. Also knowing - let there be no misunderstanding about the following - that the contributors do not need my approval, my acknowledgement of their powerful words or indeed need me to tell the world how eye-opening their essays are.

Indeed my biggest problem with this book is that each essay is deserving of its own review and similarly each author deserving of equal accolades.

It's a book that has many passages I highlighted, so many quotes I would gladly use and refer back to. In an ideal world the opportunity to hear these women speak in person, talk to each other and to their readers would be an extremely fascinating learning experience.

We are cut from the same cloth, however depending on our skin colour and circumstances that cloth is not treated with the same care when washed, not styled with the same equality or opportunity, and not perceived, embraced or acknowledged in the same way. That's a fact the majority still doesn't comprehend or the privilege that comes with the same lack of comprehension.

These essays and this book are a sharp sword of intellect, wielded by women who shouldn't have to work ten times as hard to be heard. Your words do not fall on deaf ears.

Buy Cut From the Same Cloth? Muslim Women on Life in Britain at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Unbound pub date 27 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

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