On the 8th of October Fettes College hosted author Mariam Khan for her first ever school visit, where she gave a talk and hosted two workshops.
Mariam is an author, freelance journalist, activist and editor of the book “It’s not all about the Burqa”. Having been in high demand on literary panels, book festivals and even talking to parliament she was excited about the chance of talking to the next generation.
Prompted by David Cameron’s comments about Muslim women as ‘traditionally submissive’ Mariam set about editing a book of essays by 17 Muslim female authors, herself included, on topics ranging from sex, mental health, religious freedom and politics. Her talk which was based on this book, was provocatively titled “Feminism needs to die”. It took a challenging look at privilege, intersectional feminism, the portrayal, agency and arguable oppression of Muslim women in Britain.
The workshops were held with our Sixth form whom are studying French, as they go on to discuss the ‘Burqa ban’ in France as part of their studies. These pupils were treated to a lively session where provocations were put before them and guilt free dialogue could take place, questioning not only their beliefs but how they formulated those beliefs in the first place.
Mariam Khan said “I think it’s important we all have conversations that make us uncomfortable and challenge our privileges. I’m encouraged by how the students at Fettes engaged with the conversation and believe this is in part due to the culture at the school."
A huge thanks to Mariam for coming along to Fettes.