A New Book on Islam, Women, and Counter-Terrorism

  Twenty years of research on women, Islam and terrorism is captured in a new book and written as a collection of stories. I traveled to numerous cities and countries in the Muslim world, including Western countries, to answer this oft-repeated question: If Islam is a loving and peaceful religion, why do some Muslim women kill? What are the reasons why some women and girls join violent … [Read more...]

Why Girls Join Violent Groups: An Update On My New Book

  The threat is real. We live in an unsafe world, haunted by criminals, gangs, serial killers, murderers, rapists, and religious extremists. The latter is relatively new and has troubled me for nearly 20 years. As an American Muslim woman, I've been asked over and over again "why" and "how" ordinary-looking Muslims join violent groups. The truth is that the majority of Muslims are kind, … [Read more...]

The Story of Mughli, A Mother Who Died Searching For Her Son

An enlarged black-and-white photo hangs in my home office. When I see her, I am reminded of why I write about women inc conflict. Many years ago, I had written a post about Mughli, a woman in Indian-held Kashmir who never stopped looking for her son. I write about women in war because women like Mughli deserve to be known. When a mother like Mughli loses a child, she no longer wants to live.Women … [Read more...]

The Women of War

Women lose a family member every day. A husband, son, brother, father, cousin, or uncle disappears. The women who are left behind as a result of  "disappearances" are tormented and traumatized. Kashmiri journalist Afsana Rashid captures the voices of these women in her heart-wrenching book, Widows & Half-Widows. Based in Indian-administered Kashmir, Rashid has devoted her life to uncovering … [Read more...]

Paradise Beneath Her Feet

Isobel Coleman's book is an easy-to-read collection of stories of women across the Islamic world. Inspiring and insightful, the book features mostly women who dare to speak against injustice committed against them and to stand for equal rights for women. In September 2011, Coleman sent me her book draft--a rare and treasured gift for an aspiring writer like myself. Many things captured my … [Read more...]

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