Weblogs, or “blogging,” are public online diaries that are providing free space for discussion among Muslim women who are restricted in their own societies, reports Utne magazine (January/February).
The magazine reports that a small but growing number of “blogs” (already in the thousands) are maintained by and for women in the Muslim world — for example: Muslimah Ya-Ya (http://muslimahya-ya.blogsport. com/) and MuslimPundit (http://muslimpundit.blogspot.com/).
These sites, which are relatively simple to update, provide safe places for women “from Morocco to Malaysia to talk candidly about sex roles, the subjugation of women, and the political implications of Islamic teachings. One Iranian blogger says she has heard from men who say that her blog helped change their view of women in Iran.
Writer Eve Tushnet writes that this kind of open dialogue can be illegal in some Muslim societies, but these blogs may help create “a core of people who have some of the habits of freedom, including experiences with free expression” if democracy is to spread.