The Signs in Ourselves: Exploring Queer Muslim Courage
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Cover Image of “The Signs in Ourselves: Exploring Queer Muslim Courage”, written and compiled by Liy Yusof, with art and design by Dhiyanah Hassan. Cover image shows a rainbow with clouds on either end, with …

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Connections, Possibilities and Joy: Reflections from the Healing Circles (2020)
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“Collective healing spaces are hard for me to do on my own. Sometimes you need collective motivation. This really helps me work on my well being” – Saleha. [A quote from the Healing Circles, hosted by CSBR & RESURJ in 2020, illustrated by Sonaksha Iyengar (www.sonaksha.com)]

From October – December 2020, CSBR and RESURJ collaborated to host the Healing Circles, a 5-part workshop series to deepen solidarity, connection and care. As networks, we hoped to create a space for feminists that centred the politics of pleasure, wellbeing and resilience, while collaboratively addressing the deep impacts of personal, systemic and intergenerational traumas that as activists we face daily in our movement building. It felt especially timely to hold these gentle spaces, as we passed the first half-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eighteen of us participated in the virtual spaces, connecting from all across the globe. We joined together from Brazil, Chile, Canada, Egypt, France, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and the UK. Throughout the Healing Circles, we explored varied body-based, spiritual and communication practices. This supported us to articulate what healing meant to each of us, within the context of our daily lives, our mother tongues, our gendered experiences, and the socio-political landscapes we found ourselves within. We journeyed together through a mix of casual conversation, creative expression, practices of non-violent communication. We were led through experiences of somatic exploration, authentic dance, and shamanic journeying by healers & activists embedded within feminist movements.

Our shared experiences and reflections affirmed the ways healing and transformation emerge from an attention to our bodies & spirits. They also affirmed the expansive pathways that arise from decolonizing the mainstream, capitalist & individual takes on self-care & wellness which increasingly dominate public discourse. We left with a consensus on the strength & necessity of work that supports collective care and resiliency as an integral part of movement-building.

The Healing Circles were co-facilitated by Marisa Viana and Rima Athar, along with Aizat Shakieva, Hilal Demir, Niza Solari Oyarzo. We’re glad to share records of the conversation highlights here, documented by Jamila Abbas and illustrated by Sonaksha Iyengar (www.sonaksha.com). Email us with thoughts, and please share widely with attribution. We hope it inspires similar spaces wherever you are.

Opening Circle: Connections, Possibilities & Joy

“Connections, Possibilities & Joy”: a graphic record by Sonaksha Iyengar of the opening of the Healing Circles, co-hosted by CSBR & RESURJ. Click the image above to view in full detail.
“I am the soft of my upper arms, and the firm rounded curves of my strong tan shoulders. I used to think I am the things I carry, and now I want to be the person holding myself, me and my shadows all in one embrace” – Syar. [A quote from the Healing Circles, hosted by CSBR & RESURJ in 2020, illustrated by Sonaksha Iyengar]
“I see communication as a tool for human connection. The goal is to hear ourselves from the heart. We are different not only culturally, but personally too. But if there is pain in the heart, will it come through? Our emotions and needs are the universal language that we all know, and we can hear each other’s heart through it” – Hilal Demir. [A quote from the Healing Circles, hosted by CSBR & RESURJ in 2020, illustrated by Sonaksha Iyengar]
“Is it possible for us to begin to hold space to feel comfortable in our bodies? It is interesting to be able to do this virtually, giving us the chance to share as much or as little of ourselves as we want” – Marisa. [A quote from the Healing Circles, hosted by CSBR & RESURJ in 2020, illustrated by Sonaksha Iyengar]
“Being older than all of you, I can say this: Take time for you. Do things nobody else can do for you because you have to do it. Play instruments or listen to music that moves your soul. Touch yourself, make love to yourself. Take your time, it’s very important. Don’t go for peace, peace is an invention. Go for revolution, revolution is life. The capitalism systems want us to be sad and angry. Resist it. Resist it by being joyful.” – Niza Solari Oyarzo. [A quote from the Healing Circles, hosted by CSBR & RESURJ in 2020, illustrated by Sonaksha Iyengar]

Closing Circle: Connecting Mind, Body & Voice

“Connecting Mind, Body & Voice”, a graphic record by Sonaksha Iyengar of the closing of the Healing Circles, co-hosted by CSBR & RESURJ. Click the image above to view in full detail.

CSBR Statement of Solidarity for Freedom of Assembly & Association, and the Rights of LGBTIQ+ Peoples in Turkey
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CSBR Statement of Solidarity for Freedom of Assembly & Association, and the Rights of LGBTIQ+ Peoples in Turkey

Read the full statement below, and download the PDF to share here:

CSBR_SolidarityStatement_FreedomofAssembyLGBTIQTurkey2021Download

4 February 2021

The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) expresses our solidarity with the people of Turkey who are …

Apply by 3 February: Life Cycles & Ritual Leadership
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Apply by 3 February: Life Cycles & Ritual Leadership

We are excited to open the call for the latest in CSBR’s series of community spaces for Queer Muslims, this time on Life Cycles & Ritual Leadership!

Over eight weeks we’ll explore basic Muslim rituals, distinctively …

The Signs in Ourselves: Exploring Queer Muslim Courage
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The Signs in Ourselves: Exploring Queer Muslim Courage

Cover Image of “The Signs in Ourselves: Exploring Queer Muslim Courage”, written and compiled by Liy Yusof, with art and design by Dhiyanah Hassan. Cover image shows a rainbow with clouds on either end, with …

Together We Must Protect and Support WHRDs in Middle East and North Africa: Urgent Call to Action
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Together We Must Protect and Support WHRDs in Middle East and North Africa: Urgent Call to Action

To mark international Human Rights Day, and the close of the 16 Days Of Activism 2020, we share this urgent call to action, for the protection and support of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in …

Inclusive Bangladesh joins CSBR!
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Inclusive Bangladesh joins CSBR!

“At Inclusive Bangladesh, we envision to create an inclusive Bangladeshi society where every citizen will be a resource for safe-guarding each-other’s human rights and peaceful living. Our work and effort circulate in promoting gender equality, …

#SupportWHRDs for #16Days 2020
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#SupportWHRDs for #16Days 2020

Government crackdown against women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has consistently intensified during 2020. Governments have systematically restricted civic space & shut down organizations, and they’re increasingly …

Plastic Etude #OneDayOneStruggle
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Watch this improvised contemporary performance exploring authentic body movement and self expression. How does it speak to you?

This video was created by feminist activists across Central Asia who are exploring embodiment as part of …

#OneDayOneStruggle ~ Cyber Hygiene is a Priority!
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#OneDayOneStruggle ~ Cyber Hygiene is a Priority!

Cyber Hygiene (or digital hygiene) is a term that can be defined as a set of good simple daily routine practices, which individuals undertake to ensure the correct use of any devices that are connected …

#OneDayOneStruggle 2020: Exploring touch, collective security, community fundraising, intersex rights, poetry as resistance, love in a pandemic, and solidarity beyond borders!
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#OneDayOneStruggle 2020: Exploring touch, collective security, community fundraising, intersex rights, poetry as resistance, love in a pandemic, and solidarity beyond borders!

Every 9 November communities around the world come together in celebration of sexual and bodily rights as human rights, as part of the One Day One Struggle! campaign, coordinated by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily …

Open letter to WHO: Including LGBTIQ Communities in World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Response
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Open letter to WHO: Including LGBTIQ Communities in World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Response

“Rest assured that we have heard your important message, and as we update our guidance and approach to COVID-19, we will ensure that the specific challenges of LGBTQI communities will be recognized and addressed“. – …

Befriending the Quran Community Course – Surah Maryam
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Befriending the Quran Community Course – Surah Maryam

CSBR has opened the call for application for the third in our series of “Befriending the Quran” community courses for queer Muslims, this time on Surah Maryam

Apply by 16 October here: http://bit.ly/QQ3_SurahMaryam

𝐀𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 …

Istanbul Convention Is Ours!
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In solidarity with the women’s movement in Turkey, and feminist efforts all over to prevent, address and end violence against women and girls.

Watch this animated video from Women for Women’s Human Rights — New …

Gender, Sexuality, Islam & Science
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Gender, Sexuality, Islam & Science

CSBR is pleased to offer a new discussion-based course on “Gender, Sexuality, Islam & Science”, for those keen to bridge philosophical, academic and personal perspectives on these themes to advance a holistic understanding of faith …

Creating CARE and Sustaining Well-Being: Reflections from Queer Organizing across South & Southeast Asia
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Creating CARE and Sustaining Well-Being: Reflections from Queer Organizing across South & Southeast Asia

We are so excited to share with you Creating CARE and Sustaining Well-Being: Reflections from Queer Organizing across South and Southeast Asia!

A collaborative endeavor by Rima Athar, Liy Yusof and Sonaksha Iyengar–this publication illustrates …

Resource: Hadith & Queer and Trans Identities
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Resource: Hadith & Queer and Trans Identities

In 2019, Meem Muslim Initiative and Bedaaya collaborated on a project on Islam and queer identities. We share some of the fact sheets and resources they produced below in Arabic and English, which explore the …

CSBR Rights & Resilience Seed Grants: Apply now!
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CSBR Rights & Resilience Seed Grants: Apply now!

The CSBR Rights and Resilience seed grants aim to support small scale projects that experiment with alternative ways to organize and advance rights amidst the impacts of COVID-19. We are inviting proposals for projects to …

Dana Hibah Hak-hak dan Ketahanan CSBR: Daftar sekarang!
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Dana Hibah Hak-hak dan Ketahanan CSBR: Daftar sekarang!

Melalui dana hibah Hak dan Ketahanan (Rights and Resilience), CSBR bermaksud untuk mendukung proyek-proyek berskala kecil yang didesain dengan cara-cara alternatif untuk memperkuat hak-hak individu di tengah dampak COVID-19. Kami mengundang anda untuk mengajukan proposal …

Müslüman Toplumlarda Cinsel ve Bedensel Haklar Koalisyonu (CSBR) Haklar ve Dayanıklılık Çekirdek Hibeleri
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Müslüman Toplumlarda Cinsel ve Bedensel Haklar Koalisyonu (CSBR) Haklar ve Dayanıklılık Çekirdek Hibeleri

CSBR Haklar ve Dayanıklılık çekirdek hibeleri, COVID-19 pandemisinin yarattığı etkiler bağlamında örgütlenme ve hak geliştirmenin alternatif yollarını bulmaya çalışan küçük ölçekli projeleri desteklemeyi hedefliyor.

Neden böyle bir mekanizmaya ihtiyaç duyduk?

Komünite temelli uluslararası bir dayanışma ağı olarak …