Beyond the Hijab features stories of real Muslim women living in Singapore.
We welcome submissions from members of the Muslim community in Singapore of all ethnicities, orientations, and hijab preferences to submit written pieces – poems, monologues, songs or even raps! Write about the issues you care about, the challenges you face spiritually or in your daily lives, and what your religion means to you. From issues on women’s rights to generational clashes and love and relationships. Use this blog to let your personality and uniqueness shine ladies! Beyond the Hijab is a place to celebrate the trials, triumphs and even sometimes cringe-worthy awkwardness of being Muslim women. You can submit under a pseudonym if you want to maintain anonymity and submissions will not be reproduced in any way except with permission of the author.
This Month’s Theme: Religious Spaces
In 2013, Hind Makki started a global conversation with her project “side entrance,” a blog cataloging women’s prayer spaces in mosques all over the world. The pictures ranged from the beautiful to the disappointing. Many women also shared stories of experiencing hostility from men for simply wanting to be in the mosque.
In our discussion of religious spaces, “space” is not simply physical, but also to be understood in its more conceptual forms. Is there space for Muslim women in dominant understandings of Islamic culture? What about in interpretations of religious texts? Is there space for her in positions of authority? Or in specific social spaces? What is the space she is allowed in the family? Is there space for her in history?
There is also the fact of the society we live in where certain individuals are given more space than others — if you’re a religious minority (other sects), a racial minority (e.g. Indian-Muslim), or an LGBTQ individual, to claim space can even feel outright hostile.
The restrictions, pressures, and lack of encouragement women face often means that they have to work harder simply to access the same spaces. They might sadly even feel that such spaces are not open as open to them, which limits their participation. Many Muslims would attest to the religion’s emphasis on treating all people with equality and dignity. But does it happen in practice amongst Muslims themselves?
What is your experience on the concept of religious spaces? Have you personally struggled with this issue? Have you been made to feel that certain spaces were not as open to you (as a woman, but perhaps also as a religious minority, racial minority, or LGBTQ individual)? How did you respond? Did you carve out or claim your own space? Do you have positive experiences of feeling included in spaces & what can we learn from such an experience? What can the community do to ensure that religious spaces are as accessible, safe, & democratic as possible?
A reminder that we allow writers to write under a pseudonym to protect their identity.
We would love to hear your important stories. Feel free to drop an email for queries.
You have until 31st August to submit.
Looking forward to hearing your stories
- All pieces must be original and submitted in the English language, unless you can provide a translation.
- Submissions must be between 600 – 2000 words.
- Authors must Singaporean or PR and be members of the Muslim community in Singapore.
- If selected, your piece may go through an editing process. We may request some changes or edits, but only because we want the strength of your piece to be fully realised!
- We provide an honorarium for selected pieces.
- Submit below or email your submission as a word document to firstname.lastname@example.org