Historically, mainstream media has never fostered a home or haven for Muslim women. Our relationship with the entire media industry-from pop culture to breaking news-began as a one-way street of observance: A chance for Muslim women to glimpse into a spanning world where we thought we belonged, yet a world we learned did not bother with our belonging, nor did it want to.
The eventual feature of Muslims in the media, especially Muslim women, arrived as a crashing sense of otherization and alienation; an opportunity for us to realize our inclusion was represented largely by an obsession with lumping us together, making incorrect assumptions about us that wanted to no corrections, rescuing us from our assumed oppression, and overall, silencing us.
Any sense of plurality, individualization, or unique narrative spiraled into a warped and wicked sculpture chiseled by stereotypes, assumptions, and fabrications.
Magazines, papers, shows-the reinforcement of our narratives by everyone and anyone but those who actually lived and breathed our stories-that's the media I knew.
That's why Muslim Girl is more than a company, a website, or a publication; it's even more than a dynamic union of girls who seek to reflect, write, and reason with the world.
MuslimGirl is a movement - one that shatters glass ceilings and glass walls, telescopes and distorted mirror, misconceptions and fabrications.
For several years, this site has published the words of women who strive to break glass ceilings. Such endless dedication and unparalleled efforts have precipitated into concrete change that spearheads the revolution to garner the most critical aspect Muslim women need: Respect.
Respect for our voices, respect for our individual plurality, respect for our opinions, respect for our narratives, respect for our stories of disrespect.
Now again, Muslim Girl has embarked on changing the conversation as we know it.
Muslim Girl collaborated with Teen Vogue on a video series, welcoming the opportunity to feature our work on a media outlet that reaches an audience who has often yet to hear the unshattered versions of who we are.
We are blessed to coalesce with a project whose objective was truth and experience. This venture is not a leap for every individual Muslim woman everywhere-such a meaning would undermine this message of personal autonomy we so firmly stand by-but it is certainly a step for Muslim women collectively.
It is a beginning, and we know the next steps are soon and close for any and all of us everywhere.
No longer will shattered visions of who we are be cast down on us in an angry glass shard storm; no longer will we look up to see a glass ceiling. When the ceiling comes down, it's because we tore it down; we smashed it down.
We are all a team, an army, a family. We are MuslimGirl.
Check out the Teen Vogue feature here: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/muslim-girl-videos-islamophobia-america
//originally published on MuslimGirl.com here.