Saturday, April 29, 2006


The root of the word harem is in the Arabic harim, "something forbidden", and haram, sanctuary. Harem would be a fitting title for the Journal of Swedish Muslim Culture, for the first issue after its high-profile re-launch contains not one word written by a woman. Perhaps equally fittingly, its actual title is the phallic -- and proselytising -- Minaret.

Minaret is a perfectly good contemporary literary journal. Its editor and contributors rank among the most liberal muslims in the world. And yet, the gender segregation isn't mentioned with one word from either the editor or the editorialist in issue 2006:1. The atmosphere is the fraternal camaraderie of the mosque after Friday prayer.

There are plenty of female muslim writers in Sweden. Either they don't much like Minaret, or they haven't been asked to contribute. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on the state of modernity in Swedish Islam. Let's hope for a lady or seven in the next issue.

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Blogger Molle said...

Kanske därför Minaret inte har kunnat svara på min mejlfråga om en accessoar som muslimska kvinnor brukar använda till sin slöja...

29 April, 2006 13:00  
Blogger Martin said...

You may have more luck at the local Kindergarten. There's often at least one Muslim woman either on the staff or among the parents.

29 April, 2006 13:09  

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