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Summary

When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter? 

Shortlisted for Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year

In 2016, Mariam Khan read that David Cameron had linked the radicalisation of Muslim men to the ‘traditional submissiveness’ of Muslim women. Mariam felt pretty sure she didn’t know a single Muslim woman who would describe herself that way. Why was she hearing about Muslim women from people who were neither Muslim nor female?

Years later the state of the national discourse has deteriorated even further, and Muslim women’s voices are still pushed to the fringes - the figures leading the discussion are white and male.

Taking one of the most politicised and misused words associated with Muslim women and Islamophobia, It’s Not About the Burqa is poised to change all that. Here are voices you won’t see represented in the national news headlines: 18 Muslim women speaking frankly about the hijab and wavering faith, about love and divorce, about feminism, queer identity, sex and the twin threats of a disapproving community and a racist country. Funny, warm, sometimes sad and often angry, each of these essays is a passionate declaration, and each essay is calling time on the oppression, the lazy stereotyping, the misogyny and the Islamophobia.

What does it mean, exactly, to be a Muslim woman in the West today? According to the media, it’s all about the burqa.

Here’s what it’s really about.

©2019 Mariam Khan (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic reviews

"Engrossing...fascinating...courageous." (Observer

What listeners say about It's Not About the Burqa

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A wonderful selection of personal & vital response

I couldn't stop listening, and finished the book in a sitting.I wish I could gift this book to so many other women, Muslim and non-Muslim. A truly relevant rendition of women's experiences in the Uk today.What an amazing and courageous group of Intelligent, erudite, eloquent women giving voice to the oft misunderstood .

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A must listen for everyone

I believe this book gave me a glimpse into the lives of a few muslin women.
It was enlightening to hear them speak of the oppression they feel from different communities, white women, U.K. government, Muslim families & men.
However none of this correlates to their faith. Something I don’t think I’d understood before.
As I was listening to this audiobook the Taliban had taken Kabul & families were taking to their homes in fear. Women forced into a style of dress not seen for 20 years. While this is obviously an oppressive regime & not the teachings in the Koran (I assume)
It would have been incredible to have some stories from uneducated Muslim women, women in countries where they cannot drive or leave their home without a man. This book gives only a narrow sliver of muslin women & their faith & I think it’s a pity.
Another book maybe?

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Amazing!!

This book was AMAZING view of different woman’s perspectives on religion, faith, racism, feminism, marriage and a plethora of other subjects that were brought up in the essays that were created by each author. While listening to the book it felt like a drink that I did not want to put down! As I could identify a lot with what was being discussed and shared.

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Fantastic book which is a must read!!

Great book if you want to learn more about the experiences of Muslim women in the uk. There is a lot of topics mentioned such as marriage and how Muslim women are seen. I love the audio so much I had to buy the book.

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An honour to listen to

I loved the fierce passion, courage, humour and love for their faith ,in all its machinations, of these wonderful women

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Highly Recommended

Found this to be a very informative and thought provoking collection of essays. Very glad I saw it and decided to listen and I will be looking for other works by the authors. 

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A masterful , eye-opening and essential anthology!

I don't even know where to start with this as I am still in awe of everything I have heard. I have learnt so much about how Western society's gross misunderstanding of Islam and willful ignorance about Islam and the cultures of all the diverse people who identify as Muslim women has led to the demonisation of these women. Through listening to this audiobook I encoumtered some of the fiercest and bravest women I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I am not Muslim but as a black women of West African heritage there was so much I could identify with. There was also so much I was ignorant of which I am thankful I have learnt. Whether you are Black, Brown, White, Muslim, Christian, non-religious, a woman, a man, non-binary or identify as anything else you need to listen to this book because my gosh there is so much to learn from these powerful stories

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Should be read by all

This is a fantastic collection of essays and it truly helps everyone understand the intricacies of being a muslim woman and the role that the following factors play:sexuality, gender, culture and religion. If we want to learn about one another we need to listen to one another stories and this does just that. Everyone of different genders and backgrounds should listen to this

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Brilliant & educational

All stories are heartfelt, genuine, unique, brilliantly written. Truly learnt so much about Islam and feminism, but most of all, that the two are not incompatible.

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A must read!

Fantastic book, such an insightful collection of different muslim women from such a broad spectrum of backgrounds, including engineering and STEM work.

Really informative and helped me to understand the lives of Muslim women and particularly British Muslim women more. Feel much more clued up about Islamnin general and how to tackle social issues in the muslim community

A must read for any femenist or anyone interested in learning about the muslim community, especially from a womens perspective

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  • Fawziya
  • 16-06-19

Stories well told

Real and relatable stories, loved how each was told in its own different ‘voice’.

Worth it.

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  • coulentianos, marianna
  • 21-01-21

I learned so much

as a French white woman, I desperately needed to hear these perspectives and this education to be able to start un-learning the rampant islamophobia present in France. this was a very nuanced read, tackling so many issues related to intersectionality, feminism, queerness and their relation to islam.