Yesterday morning, model Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid fell victim to an unprovoked and racially motivated attack at Regents park Tube station. She described the ordeal via Twitter, recalling how on entering a lift, she was repeatedly pushed by a white, stocky middled aged man. When she turned to face him, he continued to push her in full view of 15 or so bystanders who, taking the nomenclature too literally, chose to simply stand by.
Mahaneela and her assailant left the lift and carrying on the abuse, he proceeded to kick her as she attempted to exit through the barriers. She asked him what his problem was, to which he replied, “You’re my problem” and when she told him he was acting like a child, he told her she was a “fucking nigger”.
The two had passed commuters, ticket inspectors and even a pair of soldiers- all of whom did nothing to prevent the offence or diffuse the situation.
by Rubab Zaidi
Recently hashtags related to domestic violence were trending on Twitter, #WhyILeft and #WhyIStayed, asking women to come forward with their stories about why they chose to leave or stay in an abusive relationship. I thought it was incredibly brave of people to tell their stories like that – something I have not been able to do, until now. I’ve had a lot to say to the few people who have asked, but I think it’s time to share my story even with those who haven’t asked, especially those women who have gone through, or may still be going through, similar experiences. I know I had no one to help me or guide me, or even to just listen to what I had to say; I had my family of course, but I never got “proper” guidance or support because I just didn’t know it was there.
To give you a bit of background, I am a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent; I was married to a British Pakistani man and lived with him and his parents for a grand total of sixteen weeks, which seemed to me like sixteen years because of the mental state I was in. As naive and idealistic as I was back then, I went along with my husband’s decision to have a baby ASAP, and lo and behold, three weeks after getting married I was pregnant with my first and only child.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, “jihad” is defined as “a holy war fought by Muslims against unbelievers.” And this is the view commonly held in Western cultures. In Islam, however, the word has an entirely different meaning, taught to Muslims from childhood.
I first heard about this meaning of jihad as a kid on a radio show on the way to school. The radio show host was explaining how helping the needy and going to school are forms of jihad. I scoffed at him. “Really?” I said mockingly.
My dad turned to me. “Yes,” he said.
“So if I die now, do I go to heaven?”
“Yep. You would be a martyr.”
So what was the radio show host talking about? Where does this meaning of jihad as he was using it come from?
Being a black man over the past couple of weeks has been interesting, as it always is. I’ve stood in solidarity with the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri – both virtually and in a march at Notting Hill Carnival. There is a long history of black women leading movements for change and the most inspiring occurrence to come out of the recent protests has been the support black men have received from black women. However with that, it revealed a harsh reality, we aren’t always there for black women.
Earlier this year, NFL and former Baltimore Ravens running back (fired yesterday) Ray Rice was indicted for assaulting his then fiancée Janay Palmer. On Sunday, TMZ leaked a video recording (without consent) of the assault taking place in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. The recording shows Palmer and Rice having an altercation, which leads to the latter knocking his fiancée unconscious. The most startling image during all of this was Rice’s demeanour as he dragged her body out of the elevator. It suggested that this wasn’t the first time that an incident like this had occurred between them. This leads me onto the point I wanted to raise.
Unlike the women who stood by us during the riots in Ferguson, who took rubber bullets, pepper spray and physical abuse for us, some men have done the opposite
Browse the biographies of the nominees
In September 2013 we were sent this article: 8 African-American Women Who Changed the World with the question “Which 8 women of colour do you think have changed the UK?” We posed the question to our social media followers and the #EightWomen awards were born.Thw awards are one of those rare chances to celebrate women of colour in the UK and to spread awareness of the work they do..
The #EightWomen with the most votes from the public will be revealed at the “Complicit No More” panel event, highlighting themes and challenges of black feminism and intersectionality on the 15th September at the Khalili Lecture Theatre (lower ground floor) School of Oriental and African Studies.
Click here for further information and to book your ticket, limited spaces available
To read about 2013’s nominees and winners click here
Your vote counts!
by Ella Achola
“No, I meant where are you really from?” is a micro-aggression I am all too familiar with when my simple answer of “Berlin” is perceived as insufficient to a query that blatantly illustrates how my brown self is read as out of reach of possible German citizenship. It is usually asked with a slight sense of exasperation, perhaps a hint of irritation, at the fact that I had oh-so-obviously not caught on to what I was really being asked. That I may not want to answer such a question within the first three minutes of a conversation with someone I have never met before does not come to mind.
In 1986, May Ayim and Katharina Oguntoye engaged in a conversation that was long overdue. They opened up the debate about being black and German, two characteristics, which were and still are often read as inherently oppositional. Be it a question about our fluency in the German language or someone yelling “N****rs out!” micro-aggressions and racism are still very much reality for the 500,000 black Germans today. One example involves a pub in the Berlin borough of Kreuzberg where the owner recently banned all black people from his premises in a supposed effort to curb the dealing of drugs.