Art is the proper task of life

{May 17, 2008}   The Wrong Kind of Muslim on TV

A recent piece by Huma Quershi in Guardian reminded me how with the Muslim and the non-Muslim community there is an assumption that Muslim women are supposed to look and behave in a certain manner or rather in only one way and any deviation from that is unauthentic. Here is the relevant excerpt.

So I met the production team and one of the women (not Muslim, by the way) pulled out a little camera and filmed me saying, among other things, how irritating it is that non-Muslims act surprised that I’m Muslim just because I choose not to cover my head.

It went well, I thought, and so they said. But – and this was quite a big but – they were a bit concerned about my appearance.

‘Your dress is quite Western,’ they said ruefully. I was wearing jeans and a short-sleeved top (yes, I really do remember what I was wearing that day. How could I not? I thought I was going to be famous and on TV), but I was hardly scantily clad. So much for the empowered, modern, young, cool Muslim woman; turns out what the BBC really wanted was a authentic, well-covered one instead.

You see, burkas make good TV. I don’t. I’ve just taken a look at the show. What we get is the presenter donning an abaya and going to Yemen to show us all the fun things us Muslim women do, like wear long, black cloaks, party in the women’s quarters and put sparkly eyeshadow on. ‘Waxing’s a big deal among Muslim women,’ she says, causing an cringe from me. ‘Having any hair is a complete social faux pas. The “Hollywood” that all the celebs are doing started in the Middle East’


karthik says:

Ur theme is very different..My eyes are paining to read ur POST.Anyhow ur posts are different but not interesting.

karthik says:

PRETTY GOOD JOB…Except the theme.

misspecs says:

Good post. Its true how we’re supposed to fit in a black box labeled Muslim. I think it makes people of other beliefs uncomfortable to think we can be Muslim and yet so amalgamated in their society; wear the same clothing, have the same tastes, run into the same problems, etc. Its more surprising to me because i always thought these thoughts stemmed from ignorance and backwardness. For nations where education is common and they have access to Newspapers and Computers, this prejudice is really surprising.

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Ashley says:

I actually think I caught this on the BBC, before. Thanks for sharing, always wonderful to read!

(By the way, I found this on your page ( and thought it was adorable.)


– Ashley

you have a very good Blog about Muslim culture

preeto says:

if he asks to me what is your sorrow,
then what is my sorrow if he asks to me

Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

I invite you to visit my italian writing blog I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to

Good life and I hope to soon

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