If there was ever a year that needed Muslim women to show the world just how great America already is, 2016 was it.
Muslim Americans continue to face rising intolerance and Islamophobia as a result, in part, of aggressive attacks on their community by politicians and conservative media. They were assaulted, ridiculed and at times even murdered for their religious identification ― and hijab-wearing Muslim women often bore the brunt of this bigotry.
But they didn’t remain silent. If anything, Muslim women lead the charge in advocating for the rights of minority groups and taking America to task for its ongoing failure to uphold its founding values of “life, liberty and justice for all.”
Below are 17 of the Muslim American women who made 2016 a kinder, more just and beautiful year. We salute these women and the thousands of others who make this country great.
CORRECTION: This article previously stated that Ibtihaj Muhammad didn’t win a medal. She won a bronze in the team sabre competition.
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