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#MuslimVDay cards are back for Valentine's Day — this time, with a direct response to the current political environment.
Created in 2011 by artist and activist Tanzila Ahmed, #MuslimVDay cards are a series of satirical "Muslim-themed" Valentine's Day cards with new messages each year that joked about news of the day. Ahmed said she had retired the cards in 2015, but decided this year to bring them back in response to the rhetoric of the new Trump administration.
“It was my way of disrupting the narrative of what it meant to be Muslim and American and a woman,” Ahmed, who also co-hosts the podcast #GoodMuslimBadMuslim, told NBC News. “I liked that the cards poked at people in a way that made them laugh and uncomfortable. But by the time 2015 rolled around, I thought the project had come to a natural end. I had run out of jokes, and it just became too difficult to come up with puns, they had all been said. But when the 2016 elections happened, and Muslims became the number one villain in political rhetoric, there was just so much material to work with.”
The new 2017 cards feature seven postcard-sized prints of original paintings of acrylic and ink on canvas.
Ahmed writes on her Etsy site that this personal counterculture art project has “taken the internet like drones dropping bombs.”
“People have been loving the cards. I haven't had any complaints from anyone,” said Ahmed. “In fact, a lot of people told me they are buying the cards to give to their boyfriends. So even though I don't have anyone to give it to, at least I can live vicariously through others.”