Faced with an increasingly hostile climate of Islamophobia, Muslim women have remained strong, fierce, and unapologetically themselves ― and it’s about damn time we had a day to honor their resilience.
MuslimGirl, a website made for and by Muslim women, is partnering with dozens of media organizations to designate March 27 as Muslim Women’s Day. Coming at the end of Women’s History Month, the campaign seeks to center the voices and experiences of Muslim women.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, MuslimGirl’s Editor-in-Chief, sees the day as a chance for allies to “pass the mic” to Muslim women.
“There are so many conversations unfolding around us right now about the women’s movement and the Muslim ban, and Muslim women are rarely given the space to be heard above the noise. This also comes at a time when Muslim women have become the most visible targets of anti-Muslim bigotry,” Al-Khatahtbeh told The Huffington Post. “I hope that #MuslimWomensDay is a launching pad for greater and more inclusive representation for Muslim women in the media.”
Muslim women who are active online are often targeted with Islamophobic rhetoric and hate speech. The threats and cyber abuse from trolls make it harder for women seeking to create safe spaces for themselves online.
A recent survey from The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found that Muslim women were more likely than Muslim men to report discrimination in the last year (68 percent vs. 55 percent). They were also more likely than Muslim men to say that they feared for their safety from white supremacist groups (47 percent vs. 31 percent).
Nevertheless, Muslim women have remained incredibly resilient. They were no more likely than men to change their appearance to be less identifiably Muslim (with roughly 15 percent of both men and women saying they did so). And they report increasing their donations Muslim organizations.
“It’s time to hear from a community that’s often talked about but rarely given the chance to speak,” Al-Khatahtbeh wrote in a post about the campaign.
“Contrary to what people might think, Muslim women talk back. And on Muslim Women’s Day, the world will be listening.”