The national discourse on Muslim women so rarely features voices from actual Muslim women, often pushing their perspectives to the fringes. To combat this, It’s Not About the Burqa, a new anthology of essays by Muslim women about the contemporary Muslim female experience, centres voices you won’t see represented in the national news headlines.

Contributors Saima Mir and Raifa Rafiq discuss their contributions to the volume in a conversation chaired by editor Mariam Khan. The experience of today’s Muslim women goes far beyond the burqa and, as this panel will attest to, it’s time for those women to gain control of the narratives surrounding their lives.

About The Host

Mariam Khan

Mariam Khan is a writer and activist. She is a contributor to Nikesh Shukla’s forthcoming anthology Rife: Twenty Stories from Britain’s Youth, writing on the policing and politicisation of Muslim women’s bodies. Mariam has written on feminism, Islam, publishing and identity for the Stylist and Metro.co.uk.

About The Speakers

Saima Mir

SAIMA MIR is a British Pakistani journalist who grew up in Bradford, where she started her career as a local reporter. She has written for The Times, Guardian and Independent. Her essay for It’s Not About the Burqa (Picador) appeared in the Guardian and received over250,000 hits online in two days. She has also contributed to the anthology The Best, MostAwful Job: Twenty Mothers Talk Honestly About Motherhood. THE KHAN is her debut novel. Saima lives in London.

Raifa Rafiq

Raifa Rafiq is a trainee solicitor, a writer and the co-host of the multi award winning podcast Mostly Lit. Raifa has appeared at Cheltenham Literature Festival amongst others, and interviewed authors for BBC Sunday Morning Live and Waterstones. She has written for The Guardian, iNews, Stylist Magazine and Amaliah.