It’s that time of year again. And if cheeky cards that are both a pointed sendup of Islamophobia and a tribute to the cheesiest greeting card holiday of the year are your thing, Taz Ahmed’s got you covered.
What started in 2012 as a casual art project has become an annual tradition for the Los Angeles-based artist and writer. Four years in, her series has also turned into an inadvertent chronicle of the past year in anti-Muslim hysteria. From TSA scanning to NSA wiretapping, drones to entrapment, Ahmed’s touched on them all with punny one-liners and sharp political perspective.
That doesn’t mean everyone’s a fan. “I think there are Muslims that find these cards distasteful,” Ahmed tells Colorlines. She urges folks to, “take a step back and look at these cards as satirical political statements.”
“The sad thing is, in the four years of making the cards, Muslims are no less in the news than they were in the post 9/11 era,” Ahmed says.
As for whether her Valentine’s Day cards have helped lovers come together, Ahmed hasn’t heard about any success stories yet, but she does send her own cards to loved ones and friends. “I do think one of the cards I sent to someone may have been the catalyst to their breakup with their girlfriend,” Ahmed said. “Sorry about that.”