Fayrouz Saad could be America’s first Muslim woman in Congress

headshot-1Fayrouz Saad had just started university when two planes struck the World Trade Centre on 11 September, 2001.

The child of immigrants and a practising Muslim, Ms Saad grew up in the heavily Arab-American city of Dearborn, Michigan. Up to that point, she said, she hadn’t personally experienced much harassment or discrimination. But her parents, who had immigrated from Lebanon some 40 years earlier, were concerned.

“That day, my parents came and picked me up and they took me home, because they were worried about anti-Arab and anti-Muslim backlash happening on campus,” Ms Saad told The Independent.

Her parents kept her out of school for days. When she returned to the University of Michigan, she had no idea what to expect. And she certainly did not predict what she found waiting for her: a line of friends and neighbours outside her dorm room, waiting to welcome her back.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE INDEPENDENT (UK)

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Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

_97814350_gettyimages-504960454Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims.

A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the freedom to choose one’s spouse”.

Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof.

Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s rights.

The new law comes after President Essebsi pushed for the lifting of the marriage restriction decree that was put in place in 1973.

He said in a speech last month, during celebrations of the National Women’s day, that the marriage law was “an obstacle to the freedom of choice of the spouse”.

The restriction was also seen as violating Tunisia’s constitution which was adopted in 2014 in the wake of the Arab Spring revolution.

Human rights groups in Tunisia had also campaigned for the law’s abolition.

The order comes into force immediately and couples are free to register their marriages at government offices.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE BBC 

In many ways, Muslim men and women see life in America differently

FT_17.08.03_muslim_men_women_MP_featured.jpgWhile many Muslims express wariness and anxiety about aspects of their lives in theFT_17.08.03_muslim_men_women United States, Muslim women tend to be more pessimistic about their place in U.S. society than Muslim men.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, more Muslim women than men say it has become more difficult to be Muslim in the U.S. in recent years (57% vs. 43%).

And Muslim women are more divided on their acceptance by society at large than are men. Half (52%) of Muslim women say they have a lot in common with most Americans and 44% view the American people as friendly toward Muslim Americans, compared with two-thirds of Muslim men who say each of these things.

FULL ARTICLE FROM PEW RESEARCH

Panel shares view on role of women in major religions

women

Women representing different religions came together Sunday to explore the important roles their gender played in the founding and development of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The panel discussion at the Turkish Cultural Center of Long Island in Ronkonkoma was part of “Abraham’s Table,” an interfaith series designed to share traditions and perspectives.

Rabbi Sheila Goloboy, Sister Vicki Toale and Middle Eastern studies lecturer Zuleyha Colak highlighted the women who, religious texts say, interacted directly with God or angels and guided the early leaders of the three major monotheistic religions.

Goloboy said the matriarchs of Judaism — including Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Hagar and Keturah — had “large roles” and “strong voices.”

“They’re socially subordinate to their husbands but not inferior,” said Goloboy, who is a social worker at Heart and Soul Community Counseling Center in West Babylon. “These were powerful women.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM NEWSDAY.COM

Vogue Celebrates Muslims In Special Feature On American Women

58b9c56e1900003300bd6a42Vogue is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year with a dazzling feature on the diverse lives and stories of American women around the country. Among the subjects featured is a community of Muslim women in Maryland, whose stories serve to remind viewers of the faith community’s crucial place in the American fabric.

The anniversary special, entitled “American Women,” encompasses 15 portfolios of video and portraiture shot by an array of photographers.  Photojournalist Lynsey Addarrio shot the feature on “Islam in America,” which zoomed in on four Muslim women living in Maryland.

Addarrio has been photographing Muslim men and women for over a decade, often shooting in regions of the world that have been ravaged by war and strife. But with Islamophobia on the rise, the photographer said it’s a critical time to be doing this work in the U.S.

“Since President Trump took office, he has issued executive orders directly and unjustly targeting Muslims,” Addario told The Huffington Post. “In my opinion, it’s important for mainstream media to show that Muslims are Americans-and many Americans are Muslims, and I hope stories like this can dispel misconceptions.”

Among the women Addario featured is Zainab Chaudhary, the Maryland outreach manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a major Muslim advocacy group. In her work and personal life, Chaudry also often finds herself fighting back against stereotypes about Islam and Muslim women.

These Muslim Teens Just Went To Their First Women’s March. They Could Have Led it.

muslim-womenWASHINGTON ― Early Saturday, Ekram Seid hopped on a city bus with her sister, Yasmin, and made the trek across town for the Women’s March on Washington. Neither had been to a political march before, but they felt a responsibility to go to this one.

“I’m the oldest of three girls,” Ekram told The Huffington Post, standing in a sea of people chanting and waving signs advocating social justice issues and opposing President Donald Trump. “So I just came here because I have to lead by example for them that it’s important that we speak on the issues that matter to us. And sometimes we have to take action.”

Ekram and Yasmin stood out in the crowd. Both are under 5 feet tall. Both wore hijabs. And both are teenagers. Ekram, 18, is even shorter than her younger sister and has braces.

Yasmin, 13, stood quietly by her big sister. But once they spoke, they were far beyond their years. Both described what is at stake for Muslim women and other minorities if they don’t engage in politics and stand up for their rights.

“Donald Trump doesn’t scare me,” Ekram said. “It’s that it’s 2017, and there are people with this very provisional mindset, that kind of scares me and worries me. But I’m not scared for me. I’m scared for my sisters. I feel like I can handle anything.”

Yasmin, who is in eighth grade, said she wanted to be at the march because “I wanted to hear what people had to say and I’m a feminist, so it means a lot to me.”

Asked what it means to be a feminist, Yasmin replied, “Women’s empowerment and the belief that women can do anything men can do. And can do it better.”

Ekram, who starts college on Monday and wants to be an art therapist, chimed in, “I think everyone should be a feminist because women give life. If you’re not a feminist, you’re not supporting your mother. You’re not supporting yourself.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST 

[VIDEO] Muslim Women on What Comes Next in Trump’s America

The 45th president of the United States was sworn into office today (January 20), leaving many of the people who he railed against during his candidacy worried about how he and his cabinet will shape national policy. From Black Americans to members of the LGTBQ community to immigrants to Muslims to reproductive justice advocates to the parents of students of color, many are left wondering: What comes next?

In a video posted Wednesday (January 18), MuslimGirl.com asks young Muslim women how they feel in the face of this new Administration taking over (spoiler: anxious), and how they plan to move forward (answer: together). Watch it below.

muslimgirl-video-about-inauguration-1-20-17

FULL ARTICLE AND VIDEO ON COLORLINES