Welcome to Spirit21


  • They say that there is a glass ceiling for me because (as Michael Moore would put it) I am not a stupid white man. Another they says I should temper my passions and desires, my dreams and ambitions because I am not a brown be-turbaned man. Some Theys say that I should fight my oppression, that I should rout it and defy it. Some say I face no oppression, that I should be happy that I am blessed and should accept my fortunate and happy lot. If you are not with us, they say, you are with the others, and they are wrong.

    Spirit21 is a space to bring colour to this monochromatic world. I don’t believe that black or white are the only options. Why not pinks, blues, yellows or browns? I am not us, nor am I Other.

    I am me

11 Comments

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  • Anonymous

    October 6, 2006

    When I lived in Pakistan, my wife was expected to wear a hijab even though this was not part of our culture. As a culturally sensitive person who did not wish to cause any offense she followed the cultural norms of that country.

    However, covering the face in public is not traditionally part of UK culture and causes offense to some British people. Could someone please explain why it is so threatening to some Muslim women to be asked to follow the cultural norms of this country? Why are they not more culturally sensitive as we were when we lived in a Muslim country?

  • Rezia

    April 14, 2007

    Hey Shelina Salaams!!! Sorry I am a bit tooo late to find you here- mmhhh what can i do i’ve always been in love with my loom :) … however it gives m egreat pleasure to say that i am very happy to see you sharing your lovely spirit with us!!! Love, Rezia Xxxx

  • Anonymous

    November 18, 2007

    Anonymous:

    There is a big flaw in your argument. You assumed all the Muslim women living in the UK are foreigners. This is a very offensive thinking from a culturally sensitive person.

    ————————–
    Anonymous said…
    When I lived in Pakistan, my wife was expected to wear a hijab even though this was not part of our culture. As a culturally sensitive person who did not wish to cause any offense she followed the cultural norms of that country.

    However, covering the face in public is not traditionally part of UK culture and causes offense to some British people. Could someone please explain why it is so threatening to some Muslim women to be asked to follow the cultural norms of this country? Why are they not more culturally sensitive as we were when we lived in a Muslim country?

  • Anonymous

    November 29, 2007

    I love this blog. For me it shows that the majority of muslims are similar to the majority of christians. We seek to live our lives in the love of our fellow human beings, not in hatred.
    Please tell me how I can become a member of this blog.

    Steve

  • Shelina Zahra Janmohamed

    November 29, 2007

    Hi Steve,
    Welcome! If you’d like to receive the articles as i post them up, then either put your email into the box in the right hand column, or add to your RSS feed. Alternatively, you can use the old fashioned way and check in regularly!
    Here’s hoping you’ll become part of the family and post your comments regularly!
    Best wishes
    Shelina

  • Cameron

    December 3, 2007

    Congratulations on an excellent blog website. I am not usually a fan of blog sites, sinces they are usually full of rubbish, and when I first linked to this site from the BBC News website I was initially disappointed to see that it was a blog site, however, after reading through some of the articles, I am very impressed. You are clearly a wise and interesting person with some refreshing opinions. I find myself agreeing with much of what you have said in your articles. I will probably now become a regular reader, although maybe not frequent since I will need to fit it into my busy life when I can.

  • Shelina Zahra Janmohamed

    December 3, 2007

    Very kind words, Cameron, I’m honoured. Please come by as regularly as you can, you are most welcome. If I may be so bold, please don’t forget to show your appreciation by voting for my nomination at the brass crescent awards.
    And please do share your comments liberally…

  • Anonymous

    February 17, 2009

    Salaam Shelina,

    If i’m honest I had never heard of you before I attended your city circle book launch on friday. I came to support your achievement as a muslim sister. I loved the extracts you read out and have since finished the book cover to cover.

    My many congratulations on a very well written book that had me hooked. I love the humour and think the cover is fab. I am sure the book will touch the hearts of all of those who struggle with faith culture and identity.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading your blog now.

    Yasmeen

  • Sajida Zahra

    April 5, 2009

    Hello!

    I’ve been reading some of your articles here on the blog and the guardian…I’m just a little curious,by sharing your opinions in a blog, do you wish to share these ideas or to inspire thought and change? and is this one of the aims of your books ‘Love in a headscarf’.

    Do you wish to change people’s attitudes or similarly present another a way for the more open-minded?

    Good luck with the good work!

  • amal

    August 18, 2009

    Salam Shelina,
    Just finished reading your book Love in a Headscarf and didn't waste a second to google you. I am glad I have found this space where I can read all your articles. Best wishes for your writing success.
    Amal.

  • Shelina Zahra Janmohamed

    August 19, 2009

    Amal, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! And welcome to the blog…