A Must Read Book By A Young Girl From Pakistan Who Gives Voice To Honor Killings

I Should Have Honor is a must read book by a young girl, Khalida Brohi, from rural Pakistan who gives voice to honor killings. So often, honor killings in Pakistan and in other Islamic countries take place in the name of male pride and/or religious fervor. It's wrong. It's wicked. And it's still widely practiced.  See her short video clip for a powerful message - We should all have honor, says … [Read more...]

So Much To Be Thankful For As An American Muslim Woman: 5 Observations from Women in Conflict

There's so much to be thankful for as an American Muslim woman. Over the past few days, I spent some time thinking about the hundreds of women who have shaped me, especially women in conflict and war.  In earlier posts, I have written about women in protracted war; women in violent extremism featured in my new book; and the strong women in my life. When I look back at my research for the past 15 … [Read more...]

A New Film on Rape in Burma Highlights Crimes Committed Against Women

A new film on rape and sexual violence in Burma highlights crimes committed against women. The film, "Mother, Daugher, Sister" is a gripping and hauntingly real documentary of stories of women who have witnessed rape or have been raped by the Burmese military and authorities. Director Jeanne Hallacy, who is a compassionate and strong-willed woman, presents the film to audiences around the country, … [Read more...]

Why Women Choose Violent Action

Women choose violent action for a plethora of reasons, including religion, respect from their community or peers, revenge, retribution from past or current sins, and the right to change prolonged (armed) conflict. This not only applies to radical / violent Muslim women and girls, but to women everywhere.  In numerous studies and books, including the release of my latest book Invisible Martyrs: … [Read more...]

The Meaning of War Narratives and The Roles Men and Women Play in War

Every week, in my Gender Conflict & Security class at The George Washington University, I introduce new concepts and themes on war narratives and the different roles men and women play in war. It's a seemingly complex subject because war--and prolonged conflict--is always changing, which means that the women inside them are forced to adapt to new realities.  The reality of losing a missing … [Read more...]

Stories With Heroic Imagination and The Meaning of Memoir

I spent an entire afternoon at the library and discovered the humanity and warmth of stories written as a memoir with heroic imagination. This kind of narrative--the use of a hero or heroine--is one of the oldest and most compelling methods of holding someone's attention: everyone wants to be told a story in narrative form.  For years, I focused on the stories of people living in conflict and … [Read more...]

On Masked Men, Hijackings, And Nightmares

It was the same dream for years: sitting with a travel magazine on an international flight when masked men take over the plane in a hijacking that seemed oh-so-1980s. The nightmare had consumed me throughout my days in the U.S. government.   In my dreams, men with dark eyes wore black masks and wielded sharp weapons. They spoke a language I vaguely understood and made plans to strike a … [Read more...]

A Conversation With Farhana Qazi and Wajahat Ali, One of CNN’s Most Influential Muslims, At Bus Boys & Poets Bookstore

  Award-winning journalist and playwright Wajahat Ali, and one of CNN's Most Influential Muslims, will join me at the Bus Boys & Poets Bookstore to discuss perceptions of Muslims in America, Islam, conflicts in the Muslim world, Islamophobia and much more. On October 1st, at 6:30 pm, Ali will openly discuss the most pressing issues of our time: perceptions and misperceptions of Islam, … [Read more...]

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