Tuesday, April 20, 2010

AQSAzine Retreat May 30th

AQSAzine Retreat Converse, Create, Conspire with us

Sunday May 30th 11:00am - 7:00 pm

Writing, Art, Radio, Silk Screening, Poetry Workshops
Shared Learning
Recreational sports (soccer?!)
Good Eats

Free event with TTC, lunch, dinner included
Child care available on request (contact us at least two days in advance)

The retreat will be a relaxed, creative, confidential, safer space that we can leave our fears at the door and chill with one another. It willl be a place for us to explore our voices, get to know one another and create. We will conspire, plan, and dream about collaborations i.e. actions, blog, zine, radio show, film screenings, art etc.

Register at aqsazine at gmail.com

AQSAzine Retreat is open to 16-35 year old women and trans people who self identify as Muslim. Please invite friends and family.

AQSAzine collective strives to create spaces where self-identified Muslim women and trans people regardless of race, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, sect, mode of dress, religiosity, gender identity, class can feel comfortable.

Funding for the retreat is provided by ArtReach Toronto

Friday, April 9, 2010

NO to Quebec Provincial Bill 94

NO to Quebec Provincial Bill 94
Statement by No Bill 94 Coalition

Quebec Premier Jean Charest has proposed legislation which, if approved by the National Assembly of Quebec, would deny essential government services, public employment, educational opportunities, and health care to people who wear facial coverings. Bill 94 specifically targets Muslim women who wear the niqab (face veil). The bill is an exaggerated response to a manufactured crisis that will allow the government to deny women services to which they are entitled. A truly democratic society is one in which all individuals have the freedom of religious expression and a right to access public services.

Although touted as a step toward gender equality, Bill 94, if approved, will perpetuate gender inequality by legislating control over women’s bodies and sanctioning discrimination against Muslim women who wear the niqab. Instead of singling out a minuscule percentage of the population, government resources would be better spent implementing poverty reduction and education programs to address real gender inequality in meaningful ways. Barring any woman from social services, employment, health, and education, as well as creating a climate of shame and fear around her is not an effective means to her empowerment. If Premier Charest’s government is truly committed to gender equality it should foster a safe and inclusive society that respects a woman’s right to make decisions for herself. Standing up for women’s rights is admirable. “Rescuing” women is paternalistic and insulting. Further marginalizing Muslim women who wear niqab and denying them access to social services, economic opportunities and civic participation is unacceptable.

Forcing a woman to reveal part of her body is no different from forcing her to be covered. Both the federal Conservative and Liberal parties have expressed support for Bill 94, which raises the very real possibility that similar legislation will be proposed across Canada. We demand that Bill 94 be withdrawn immediately, as it has no place in a democratic state that values autonomy, liberty and justice.
No Bill 94 Coalition is made up of concerned individuals, organizations and grassroots movements that are demanding that the proposed Quebec legislation, Bill 94, be withdrawn immediately.

We invite all individuals and groups of conscience inside and outside of Quebec to publicly or privately endorse this statement by emailing their name(s), location (city, state/province, and country), and contact information to nonbill94@gmail.com. For more information please http://nonbill94.wordpress.com or join the facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115876751763202&ref=ts

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Are We Equal? Muslim girls and boys in conversation

In 2008, Riverdale Immigrant Womens Centre (RIWC) in Toronto embarked on an exciting Healthy, Equal Relationship project for Muslim youth funded by the Ontario Womens Directorate for the 2008/09 school year. This initiative aimed to provide youth with the tools and opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of inequality, and to reduce inequality across genders among middle-school students.

The project resulted in a larger documentary called "Are we equal?: Muslim girls and boys in Conversation", which explores the relationships between Muslim boys and girls as well as issues such as racism, family, peer pressure, etc. that impact this gender dynamics.

This short film clip was directed by Sidrah Laldin

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AQSAZINE is a grassroots zine open to 16-35 year old people who self-identify as Muslim. It is a creative avenue for us to express ourselves, share our experiences, and connect with others. In Arabic, "aqsa" implies the furthermost, as in reaching out to the furthest possible point. AQSAZINE aims to motivate the utmost resistance to violence in all its forms. 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez, who was murdered on December 10th, 2007, also inspires this zine. It is to honour her and other Muslims who experience and resist violence. We strive to work from a feminist, anti-oppressive framework.