Raziqueh Hussain
Filed on January 9, 2009

RAZIQUEH HUSSAIN tracks down nine women bloggers, proud to be Muslim, 
and proud to be digital communicators

Cyberspace is a liberating territory of oneís own,Ē wrote Fereshteh Nouraie-Simone, editor of On Shifting Ground: Muslim Women in the Global Era. Blogging is transforming the lives of many Muslim women, and their true-to-life perspectives are exploding Western stereotypes about them. These women are blogging from all corners of the world, and are unafraid to express what they feel ó and observe around them. Here is what some of them have to say about their blogs, how relevant they are, and how theyíve transformed lives ó and perceptions.


Kelly Izdihar aka Izzy Mo

Iím in my twenties, an African-American convert to Islam, currently living and working in Dubai as an HR manager. Iím also an aspiring artist and published writer.

I started my blog a few months after I converted to Islam in 2004. At first, it was a way to help me chart my development as a Muslim but it has evolved into so much more. I feel pretty free to write what I want. There are some subjects that are controversial such as Islamophobia, Americaís ďWar on TerrorĒ and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But most Muslim American bloggers, including myself, feel free to speak our minds.

Currently, my biggest problem is finding time to blog. I hope the next American President can bring about a positive change.

Sk00n (blogname)

Iím a 16-year-old student from Dubai. There are two reasons why I started blogging. One, in school the topics that were given to us were very limited and BORING! I preferred writing in a more informal way and I couldnít do that in school! Another reason was because I was tired of people misinterpreting whatever I said so I needed a place where I could express myself in any way I wanted to. Some of my friends and family follow my blog regularly. I feel pressurised not to say something that might offend them.

It would be cool if people from all countries hang out together without fighting, no?


Nzinghaís Soapbox (blogname)

Iím an American, living in Saudi Arabia for the past eight years, married to an Arab born and raised in Jeddah. I have five children ó my youngest is 7-months-old, and the oldest is 10 years old. And Iím forever 16 although my legal documents list my age as 38.

I started my blog on the advice of a friend in order for us to keep in contact. But today, it has become a way for me to voice my opinion, be it in regard to my life in Saudi or just life in general as a mom and wife. I should point out that living in Saudi Arabia has allowed me to be more free to share my family with the world. Since I have an extreme sense of safety within Saudi, I tend to offer more information about my family that I wouldnít if I was living in America. In America I would fear for the safety of my children and wouldnít put so much information out there like I do.

Being a mother of five my problem is finding the time and energy to blog.


Faiza Alaraji

I am an Iraqi civil engineer and a mother of three boys. We were living in Baghdad during the invasion. It was a sad moment for us when the war on Iraq began. I decided to write down my experiences in my diary because I thought we were going to witness historical moments and events. Later, my son Raed helped me create my own blog, where I put up all my diary entries from my notebook. My three boys are bloggers as well!

I feel frustrated as a citizen of the Middle East because thereís no one to listen to our woes. Everything is so controlled. But my blog has opened my eyes, and has given me an opportunity to network with different people from the world. They can hear my voice... Yes, it has enriched my life. As long as my country is under crisis, I will keep blogging. As long as my fellow Iraqis are suffering, it is my responsibility to talk on their behalf, and exert pressure on the world to push out the troops from Iraq.

One day, Inshallah, we will be able to kick out the forces and take our country back to rebuild it with our own hands. Ameen.



Iím an engineer, who is married and believes that development of science and technology is the only solution to problems faced in most of the world. As a Muslim girl living in an Islamic society, where we believe in tradition as well as development, it can be stressful sometimes. I wish I could change stereotypes that people have about Iran. Nobody talks about how the status of women is high in Iran. We have female scientists as well as women who have achieved great heights. We have art and architecture. Our history is famous. I just want to bring all that out.



I am 23, Australian and still living in Australia. I am a teacher. I converted to Islam in April 2007 and married an Egyptian. I opened my blog after I started wearing hijab for the first time here in Australia and found that there were hardly any shops catering for Muslim girls and also there was no Australian references to turn to about hijab and hijabi fashion.

Being Australian, it is in our culture to speak honestly and not to be afraid about speaking our minds. Sometimes I have said some things on my blog and I received many disagreeing comments and arguments about it.

But I always speak my mind.

I donít really have problems as such. I am free to blog on what I want ó the only thing would be that if I am supporting my opinion with Islamic Proof (through the Quran and Hadith) is to make sure I get it right.

The Middle East is fantastic! My husband is from Egypt and I have visited a few Middle Eastern countries previously ó loved them all!


McPagal (blogname)

Iím 21, a Scottish Muslim and a dental student. I started blogging at high school because my best friend had a blog and it looked like fun... it was peer pressure! Yep, I can have rants about anything I like! Recently though, more of my family and friends have started reading my blog, which is slightly flattering, but hugely embarrassing. So obviously I canít badmouth anyone I know, or reveal dark family secrets! Coming from Western Europe, Iím pretty attached to it ó itís home for me. I think every country faces misconceptions about what itís really like ó itís so easy for people to make generalisations from outside. Every society has its good and bad aspects; as a Muslim you just pick the good and leave the bad.



I am a convert to Islam living in Colorado, United States. Iím in my 30ís, Iíve been Muslim for 14 years, and I work as a public high school math teacher in hijab. I started this blog in 2004 thinking it probably wouldnít last, that I would lose interest. But here I am in 2009 still doing it.

Most bloggers do not completely conceal their identity, and I donít either ó for example, many people I know in person post comments on my blog, and being the only Muslim in my city makes me fairly easy to identify even though I use my blogís name as my blog identity.

At times, I encounter trolling: it happens when someone comes across your blog and has an agenda ó usually in my case an agenda would be an anti-Muslim one. So the person will start posting rude comments. I have the ability to edit or delete comments, but it is annoying. Fortunately, this doesnít happen very often.

I am concerned about trends in Western Europe towards restricting women who wear hijab from public schools etc. I think these types of issues popping up there relate to immigration issues. It has even been brought up in Canada on a smaller scale.

As a Muslim, I enjoy a high level of religious freedom in this country ó that is one reason why hijab is not quite as big an issue here as it is in Europe. I feel a kinship with people all over the world, and I have met people from all over the world that have visited my blog. I worry about the people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, even in Lebanon, really all over the world. I am also concerned about Chinaís crackdowns against Uighur Muslims.

Iím a 36-year-old Muslim American woman of Pakistani descent living in San Francisco working as a human rights consultant.

I first started writing in 2005, which was a very difficult year for me health-wise. I have a rare auto-immune condition called Devicís Disease, which is related to multiple sclerosis. I live with the possibility of spinal or optic nerve inflammation causing paralysis or blindness. Blogging became the medium through which to connect with other people and to form a community.

I was born and brought up in the US and have a great deal of affection for my country. I hope that with our historic election things will take a better course than we have seen over the past eight years.

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