The Qarawiyyin Newsletter #8: July Round Up

Reviving Islamic Discourse among Muslim Women

قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ فَسِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَٱنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلْمُكَذِّبِينَ

Similar situations [as yours] have passed on before you, so proceed throughout the earth and observe how was the end of those who denied.

3:137


Welcome to The Qarawiyyin Newsletter!

A belated Eid Mubarak from TQP team, we pray all our readers had a blessed time with their loved ones. May Allah ﷻ accept Hajj from all those who were given the opportunity this year, and may He ﷻ accept our ibadah from the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.

July marked the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre, in which more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed over 11 days in a designated UN safe zone, while Dutch peacekeepers looked on. In 2021, mass graves and remains of the victims of the Bosnian genocide are still being uncovered, and justice is still being fought for. May Allah ﷻ bring His justice down upon those oppressing the Ummah. We have put together a book list below for those who wish to learn more about this tragedy.

Following our Eid celebrations, our podcast this month took a more lighthearted approach and tackled the wonderful world of storytelling in both cinema and literature. We hope you enjoy listening to this episodes as much as we did recording it!

And finally, last month we sent out a special email with an exciting opportunity for an internship with us at the Qarawiyyin Project. Alhamdulillah, we have had an amazing response so far, and for anyone who may have missed it, the deadline is tonight. If you think you have the skills required to fill the role of a writer, social media officer or a graphic designer, fill out our application form. May the odds be ever in your favour!

Does representation lead to empowerment?

The topic of representation, or lackof, arises in every domain, from politics to media - seeing ourselves in these settings and situations is often characterised as empowering, but if it comes at the expense of sacrificing our Islamic values, is our desire for inclusion misplaced?

Podcast Ep. 17: Wizards, Weebs, Wakanda

It was a dark and stormy night, and TQP team had gathered to discuss all things storytelling: books, film, drama, romance, wizardry, tropes, representation (and whether we need it). It began on a good-humored note, with the sisters cordially chatting about their favorite genres — but it soon took a turn. The commentary got dicier and the opinions less popular. Casualties included Ertugrul and The Kite Runner. Several staunch defenses were launched in favor of anime. Contemporary Muslim fiction could scarcely get back up before getting beaten down again. Perhaps most alarmingly, an eerie koreaboo undercurrent was ever-present throughout. It remains unclear whether the hosts were participating in a challenge to see who could say “degeneracy” the most times. 

How will it end? Listen to Episode 17 below, or find your favorite platform — including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more — here on Anchor.

Podcast Ep. 9: Days of Yore

Adding on to our new episode on Storytelling, Episode 9 discusses the importance of Islamic history, how narratives are shaped, especially in the Islamic sphere - and how we can use these narratives to carve out our own culture in media.

Book List: The Bosnian Genocide

With the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre, we have put together a list of books on Bosnian history and the genocide of the 1990s, aimed at introducing English readers to this history.

As well as periodically updating our resource bank, here we share some other insightful contributions from prominent Muslim figures and organisations.

PODCAST: Spirituality and Politics with Dr. Walaa Quisay - Jouissance Vampires
The Jouissance Vampires podcast recently invited Dr. Walaa Quisay to discuss her research on Islamism, Neo-traditionalism, and the Arab Spring. She traces different political trends in contemporary religious discourse and how young Muslims are navigating them.
ARTICLE: Are we educating Muslims or cowards? Alija Izetbegović 
This short essay, written by the Muslim thinker and first President of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegović talks about the many persisting problems in Islamic education. This essay is a wake-up call to Muslim parents, teachers, and all those who wish to see Muslims liberating themselves from the yoke of oppression. 
VIDEO: Interview with Bollywood actress Zaira Wasim on her journey to Islam
Zaira Wasim, an ex-bollywood actress talks about her spiritual journey to Islam, the disillusionment of the media industry  and the perils of fame and publicity. May Allah keep her firm on her path.
VIDEO: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe | Diana Darke
In this video, Diana Darke, author of the award-winning book, Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe, takes you on a quick architectural journey to see how architectural styles and ideas passed from vibrant Middle Eastern centers, such as Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo, and entered Europe via gateways including Muslim Spain, Sicily, and Venice through the movement of pilgrims, bishops, merchants, and medieval Crusaders. It’s a rich tale of cultural exchange that will help you see some of Europe’s – and even America’s – iconic landmarks with new eyes.

If you have any questions, feedback or would like to feature in our next newsletter, let us know. Email us at contact@qarawiyyinproject.co or visit our website to find out more about our article submission process.

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Until next time, Assalaamu Alaykum.