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(RNS) — You probably wouldn’t expect the words “TSA” or “airstrike” to be on your Valentine’s Day cards.
But that’s what you get when you order Los Angeles activist and artist Taz Ahmed’s subversive “Muslim VDay” cards.
Ahmed - Cards - Paper - Flowers - Lace
Ahmed doesn’t decorate her cards with paper flowers or lace decals. Instead, her cards are laced with snarky, political puns that aim to evoke discomfort or wry humor.
“I’d Never Muslim Ban You From My Heart,” one card reads. “Cupid Dropped an Airstrike on My Heart,” another says, pointing the arrow at Islamophobic rhetoric and policy. They may seem dark, Ahmed explains, but she sees them as a tool to create humor in a “tense and traumatic time” for U.S. Muslims.
Cards - Bit - Joke - Ahmed - RNS
The cards originally came about as a bit of an online joke, Ahmed told RNS. But there was an element of frustration behind them. Six years ago, when she began posting the puns on Twitter, she had just finished her essay for the now-iconic book “Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women.” As she was publicizing the book, she kept seeing people asking questions like “Can Muslim women fall in love?” and “Is love allowed in Islam?”
That’s what spurred her joking Valentines. “It was so absurd to me that we were still asking these questions, as though Muslim women aren’t human,” she said. “So I kind of wanted to push back on the narrative that Muslim women don’t fall in love.”
Friends - Homemade - Cards - Sets - Etsy
When friends began asking to buy her homemade cards, she started selling sets of six on a small Etsy shop every February. But the discussion of Muslims...
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