When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter? It's Not About the Burqa started life when Mariam Khan read about the conversation in which David Cameron linked the radicalization of Muslim men to the 'traditional submissiveness' of Muslim women. Mariam felt pretty sure she didn't know a single Muslim woman who would describe herself that way. Why was she hearing about Muslim women from people who were demonstrably neither Muslim nor female? Taking one of the most politicized and misused words associated with Muslim women and Islamophobia, It's Not About the Burqa has something to say: twenty Muslim women speaking up for themselves. Here are essays about the hijab and wavering faith, about love and divorce, about queer identity, about sex, about the twin threats of a disapproving community and a racist country, and about how Islam and feminism go hand in hand. Funny, warm, sometimes sad, and often angry, each of these essays is a passionate declaration, and each essay is calling time on the oppression, the lazy stereotyping, the misogyny and the Islamophobia. It's Not About the Burqa doesn't claim to speak for a faith or a group of people, because it's time the world realized that Muslim women are not a monolith. It's time the world listened to them.
Born in Britain, Saira Shah was inspired by her father's dazzling stories to rediscover the now lost life their forebears knew for 900 years within sight of orchards, snow-topped mountains, and the minarets of Kabul. This is Saira, part sophisticated and sensitive Western liberal, part fearless (even fierce) life-gulping Afghan, falling in love with her ancestral myth, chasing Afghanistan. Saira, at 21, becoming a correspondent at the front during the war between the Soviets and the Afghan resistance. Then Saira, self-imprisoned in a burqa, risking her life to film "Beneath the Veil", her acclaimed record of the devastation of women's lives by the Taliban. Saira discovering her extended family, discovering a world of gorgeous family ritual, of community, of male primacy, of arranged marriages, finding at last the (now war-ravaged) family seat, discovering at last what she wants and what she rejects of her compelling heritage. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Saira Shah. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/harp/001083/bk_harp_001083_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.