The Muslim Feminist - I speak for myself by Hebah Ahmed
As many of us are aware, there is much out there about Muslim women. We seem to hear about how Muslim women are oppressed, beaten, tortured, manipulated, brainwashed, and mere pawns of men. Wars are fought in order to liberate us and laws are passed to protect us from our own choices. Well, it is high time Muslim women are given the opportunity to speak for themselves. “I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim” (www.ispeakformyself.com) is just the kind of anthology to help understand the diversity among Muslim women as well as to counter their misconceptions. The book is a compilation of 40 essays written by 40 different Muslim American women, of which I am included. The essayists represent a large spectrum of Islamic thought ranging from mainstream, to the varying sects, to those only exposed to cultural Islam. I encourage those who choose to read this book to do so from a non-judgmental perspective, extracting lessons rather than condemnation. The book is a valuable read to those who want to make dawah and work with the youth. It shows the struggles that Muslim American women go through in balancing their parents’ culture, their view of religion, and the societal norms and pressures surrounding them. It also highlights the importance of organizations such as campus MSAs and youth groups. I wanted to share with you the following essay I wrote for the book, which describes my own personal struggles, my complex relationship with my father, and how I came to finally submit myself to Islam.
I really want to get this book now.