Stories written by Mariya Salim
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When Love is Called as a Conspiracy: The ‘Love Jihad’ Bogey Targeting Interfaith Couples in India

When Ali (name changed) proposed to his best friend, little did he know that her parents would take six years to agree to their alliance because he was born into a Muslim family, and they were Hindus.

When Branded as a Born Criminal: The Plight of India’s De-Notified Tribes

Branded as being born ‘criminal’ 150 years ago under British colonial rule, De-Notified Tribes (DNTs) continue to bear the brunt of the various laws that stigmatised them since 1871.

Dalit and Muslim Indian Women Leading Change in South Sudan

Two Indian women, one Muslim and the other Dalit (former untouchables), separated by culture and geography, have found common ground in leading change in conflict-torn South Sudan.

Indian Muslim Minority Targeted During COVID-19 Pandemic

A Muslim call centre operator at a COVID-19 ‘war room’, who once saw himself a COVID-warrior, is now unemployed after being falsely branded by a top politician as a key member of a bed-for-bribe scam. He is a victim of the rise in Islamophobia in India as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic – with scant evidence of condemnation from the authorities, say activists.

Dr Aqsa Sheikh: Transgender Doctor Injecting Hope During COVID Pandemic

When Dr Aqsa Sheikh Tweeted and asked if she was the only transgender person to head a vaccination centre, it seemed extraordinary that in a country with 1.3 billion people, that this could be true.

How Marginalised Women in India Bore an Extra Burden of COVID-19 ‘Shadow Pandemic’

Women living in rural India and those belonging to marginalised communities faced an enormous burden during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, including domestic violence, loss of financial assistance and income, says Rehana Adeeb, a grassroots Muslim woman leader and activist.

The Struggle to End Female Genital Mutilation: A Dark Secret No More

Survivors of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), are determined to share their stories to end this practice – even though they face ostracisation by their communities. Masooma Ranalvi, an FGM/C survivor and founder of ‘WeSpeakOut’, an organisation committed to eliminating FGM/C or khafd/khafz/khatna explains that FGM/C is practised by various communities in India but is prominently practised among the Dawoodi Bohras.

The Struggle to End Female Genital Mutilation: A Dark Secret No More

Survivors of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), are determined to share their stories to end this practice – even though they face ostracisation by their communities. Masooma Ranalvi, an FGM/C survivor and founder of ‘WeSpeakOut’, an organisation committed to eliminating FGM/C or khafd/khafz/khatna explains that FGM/C is practised by various communities in India but is prominently practised among the Dawoodi Bohras.

Islamic Feminists Speak on Fight to Reclaim Rights

The court victory to allow women into the inner sanctum of a Sufi shrine in Mumbai was a significant victory for a secular rights-based movement led by Muslim women. However, there is a fear the political climate in India regarding Muslims, could put the women’s rights agenda on the back foot.

From Political Prisoner to Champion of Human Rights – The Wai Wai Nu Story

Instead of being cowed by her seven-year imprisonment, Wai Wai Nu, emerged stronger and more determined to fight for the rights of all people, including the Rohingya in her native Myanmar.

Rising above the Hate Online – Indian Muslim Women Speak Out

When a minority woman with an opinion doesn’t comply with stereotypes, she is targeted with online hate, says award-winning journalist and senior editor at The Wire, Arfa Khanum Sherwani in an exclusive interview with Inter Press Service.