Ahalya Satkunaratnam | September 21, 2014

Ahalya Satkunaratnam reflects on how the stories of elders in the website, assist in complicating identity in Sri Lanka and how this site provides a discussion of national history and personal belonging that circumvents hostility that often accompanies web-based discussions of identity, the nation and the war.

Noor Hasan | September 21, 2014


On the morning of my sixth or seventh Eid,
My mother dressed me in white Pakistani robes,

Holding my hand gently
As we walked through the bright wooden gates
Of the Islamic Community Center by our house.
I had not yet learned how to pray.

But my mother taught me how to bow in sajda,
The devotion of pressing one’s forehead
To the ground to feel smaller than God
has made you,
to feel as grounded
as feet.

As I lifted my forehead
from the carpeted floor of the mosque,

Shireen Hamza | April 16, 2015

You are not meeting my eyes. They are beneath the cloth I wear on my head, actually.

No, I am from America.

Yes, it is called a hijab.

No, this cloth is not hijab.

Hijab is not a covering, a hiding-away, a flinching-back. It is a coming-out, a blazing-through.

Hijab is not here for you to fetishize taking it off with your fingers/armies/democracy.

Hijab is suffering for democracy.

Recent Articles

How can an event be at once ordinary and extraordinary, simultaneously decisive and indecisive?  The victory of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Indian parliamentary elections of 2014 is indeed a watershed moment; for the first time in the history of independent India, it will be ruled exclusively by a Hindu supremacist party. And yet, a careful look at the way the Modi/BJP campaign produced this victory yields a picture that can only be characterized as simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary, decisive and indecisive.

In 2006 and 2007, I spent several months in Ahmedabad while on a fellowship from my university in the US. During my time in Ahmedabad, I interacted with the mostly-Hindu NGO staff where I was based, residents of the largely Hindu shantytown where the NGO was working, and professors at Gujarat University. Less than five years had passed since the city had gone through its nightmare: vicious riots involving saffron-clad men entering urban neighborhoods and brutalizing, gang-raping, and burning other human beings. Some 1,500 Muslims were killed.

This issue on Policing Sex explores the wider context of the criminalization of homosexuality in India, as well as visions put forth to challenge heterosexism, the police state, and misogyny. 

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's poems evoke borders of bodies and nation.


Sabelo Narasimhan reflects on this year's Gay Pride parade in Bombay, India. In the wake of the recent judgement criminalizing homosexuality, the images in this photoessay reveal the unbounded spirit of rebellion and resistance of the community.

Radio Samar

Tracks Back Home
Naazneen Diwan, Taz Ahmed

Live reading of poem developed for the South Asians for Justice event "Gujarat Genocide and US Solidarity" in Los Angeles, April 2012

History of Communalism in India
Yasmin Qureshi

History and context of how communalism grew in India (part of SAJ-LA's Gujarat Genocide event)

Zohra Saed | Oct 23, 2013

This fragmented, musical novel breaks the prettiness of memory, brings irreverent humor where it should, shows the crisscross of ethnic neighborhoods in New York City, and celebrates love in the midst of violence. 


Khalil Bendib

Visit Our Friends

Asia Pacific Forum (APF) is the progressive pan-Asian radio show broadcast every Monday night from WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City and live on the web.

Ghadar is a forum for Left debate and dialogue through reports on political activism on the ground in South Asia and the diaspora.

Out Against Abuse Out Against Abuse strives to create a forum for South Asians to discuss and learn about key policies and issues regarding domestic violence in our community.

Random Five from the Archive

Biju Mathew | Issue 16: South Asians and the Politics of Health (12/16/2003)

Experience versus Solidarity in Movement Dynamics

Jan 28, 2011
Aisha Ghani

I have just characterized the killing of our lifetime’s Public Enemy Number 1, as an act of violence. The association is disconcerting. It does not readily compute. But what else does one call an act that requires the raiding of a home, and the shooting of an unarmed man, and others, until they are dead?

May 30, 2011
Ali Mir | Issue 19: Relief in a Time of Crisis (1/24/2005)

The good mutants work in spaces servicing the global economy. The bad ones want to destroy freedom, democracy, free markets. New mutations are arising in the politics of fear and the War on Terror.

Jan 28, 2011
Omer Shah | Issue 35: States of Disaster (3/1/2010)

My Name is Khan...and I am not a terrorist is the already ubiquitous chorus from the most recent Bollywood blockbuster to cross over to western audiences. The film seeks to engage American anxieties around nationalism and race and at the same time reveals similar commentaries about India. Omer Shah reviews the film and asks: are we ever able to construct Muslim identities without the notion of terrorist?

Jan 28, 2011