Monday, November 04, 2013

Discovering Muslim Women in 6 Words

I'm surprised and delighted by the mention of my submission to the International Museum of Women's "Muslima Voices" exhibition in this article on the HuffingtonPost:

Discovering Muslim Women in 6 Words

"I Am The
Salafi Feminist."
-- Zainab Bint Younus


Not just a Muslim feminist but a Salafi feminist! How can a woman who covers head to toe be a feminist?

And here's why it's crucial that the women have all been allowed to speak for themselves.
In Zainab's own words, she refuses to believe that "women are either pretty covered-up lollipops or trashed unwrapped candies being bombarded with flies."

She goes on to explain:

"I am a happy wife and mother, and I loathe those people who try to tell me that I should only be happy in my role as a wife and mother. I believe in pursuing knowledge, Islamic and otherwise (and in fields other than gynecology or teaching kindergarten), and would really like to flip the bird at those twits still debating 'women's education in Islam.' ... I believe that men and women both have control over their actions and desires, and that a woman looking at a male speaker is not going to send her into a frenzy of lust, or that any man is incapable of keeping it in his pants when he sees a woman whose body is not covered from head to toe in black."

How's that for feminist thinking?

Suffice to say, her five words (she didn't even use the maximum allowed!) along with this backstory to explain them, widened my eyes. I came away believing that she is, in fact, a Salafi feminist.

In telling you this, I guess I've inadvertently exposed what my own six words could potentially be:

Muslims Can Also
Stereotype Other Muslims

So it's not just the West that needs to broaden its ideas of what a Muslim woman truly is but also the Muslim communities themselves.

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