Tuesday, March 27th, marks the second annual Muslim Women’s Day, a holiday meant to celebrate and amplify the voices of Muslim women.
Not sure what that is, or how to celebrate it? Here’s what’s up:
— Her Campus (@HerCampus) March 27, 2018
Why Muslim Women’s Day?
This past year was undoubtedly the year of the woman. We celebrated International Women’s Day, we took a stand against sexual harassment with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, we watched incredible young women like Emma Gonzalez take a stand against gun violence. However, if there’s one area that the feminist movement can improve upon, it’s intersectionality (which is a term, coined by black feminist Kimberlé Crenshaw, for the idea that different forms of oppression are interrelated). The feminist movement tends to elevate the voices of privileged white women over those of women of color. This form of “white feminism” isn’t really feminism, it’s just white privilege picking and choosing parts of feminist idealogy. In order to ensure that our feminism is actually feminism, we have to ensure that it’s intersectional.
So last year, in March 2017, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh decided to create a Muslim Women’s Day at the end of Women’s History Month. Al-Khatahtbeh told Bustle, “It seemed natural and necessary to create an occasion like Muslim Women’s Day for this Women’s History Month … We’re on the heels of widespread conversations surrounding the Muslim Ban and even the women’s movement, and it comes at a time when Muslim women are being increasingly targeted for their practice. Muslim Women’s Day is a positive response to this critical moment by celebrating a marginalized community that needs the public support right now.”
How did it get started?
The creator of Muslim Women’s Day is Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the 25-year-old founder of MuslimGirl.com who is the absolute definition of a #GirlBoss.
Al-Khatahtbeh grew up in New Jersey and was less than ten years old when 9/11 occurred, as CNN notes. The post-9/11 climate was particularly difficult for Al-Khatahtbeh and her family, and she found herself hiding her Muslim background from her friends to avoid judgment. When she was thirteen years old, the violence against Muslim communities in the United States became such a large threat that Al-Khatahtbeh and her family moved to Jordan, her father’s home country.
— Fiza Pirani (@fizapirani) March 27, 2018
In Jordan, Al-Khatahtbeh developed a newfound pride for her religion, so much so that when she returned to New Jersey a few years later, she decided to wear a hijab as a protest against Islamophobia. At age seventeen, Al-Khatahtbeh started her blog, MuslimGirl.com, which now gets over a million visitors each year.
Last March, Al-Khatahtbeh launched Muslim Women’s Day for the first time, in order to ensure that Muslim women’s voices are recognized and represented in the media.
As she stated on her website, “This day is all about centering Muslim women’s stories and voices. We call upon our allies to pass the mic to Muslim women by elevating their narratives online for the day … We think it’s important to elevate Muslim women’s voices, especially in this moment … it’s time to hear from a community that’s often talked about but rarely given the chance to speak. In the age of social media and the internet, we’re only one click away from changing that.”
What is this year’s theme?
This year, the theme of Muslim Women’s Day is “Muslim Women Talk Back To Violence.” This goes hand-in-hand with the pervasive conversations on sexual violence and gun violence in our culture. This past year was the modern peak in assaults against Muslim people, and it easily surpassed even the number of assaults in 2001, when Islamophobia was particularly rampant after 9/11.
Are you ready for #MuslimWomensDay on March 27th? ❤️ This year’s theme: Muslim Women Talk Back to Violence!
With conversations on #GunViolence, #MeToo, and #TimesUp, Muslim women will get real about the experiences that have shaped their lives. pic.twitter.com/L6AO09iuDB
— Muslim Girl (@muslimgirl) March 21, 2018
Muslim Women’s Day’s response to this violence is amplifying the positive voices within the community. As it says on the MuslimGirl.com website, “We’re teaming up with our friends at some of your favorite online destinations to pass the mic to Muslim women. We’re centering Muslim women’s voices in the conversation, from those impacted by gun violence, to sexual assault in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, and much more. With the dialogue unfolding around us, it’s so important to center the narratives we don’t always get to hear.”
How can I get involved?
Everyone can embrace the opportunity to celebrate Muslim Women’s Day, and amplify the voices of the incredible Muslim women in our communities.
— Muslim Girl (@muslimgirl) March 27, 2018
Make sure to retweet and share the voices of Muslim women on your social media, support non-profits and businesses run by awesome muslim women and post a message of solidarity using the #MuslimWomensDay hashtag.