Understanding the ‘Feminist Aspect of Islam’

(Photo via The Amplifyer)

An intern at the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY) in Brooklyn explains how the experience led to “understanding the feminist aspect of Islam.” The story appeared in the The Amplifyer, which is published by the AAANY.

Before beginning my internship at the (AAANY) I was nervous because I was unsure what to expect. Would I be judged as a “bad Muslim”? Would I be labeled as useless because of my inability to speak the Arabic language? Would I even have a meaningful experience?

But then, I thought of my first encounter with AAANY. In the Sadie Nash Leadership Conference, I had the privilege of meeting a female leader from AAANY, Linda Sarsour. Not only did she successfully represent Brooklyn, but her outspoken beliefs also shined through. I immediately fell in love with everything she stood for, finally understanding the feminist aspect of Islam. In a single day, she made me aware of the personal discrimination Muslims have faced post 9/11, the struggles of immigrant families, and that being a faithful Muslim, while holding onto liberal views is possible.

The unnamed intern said that going into AAANY “with a feminist lens” was an empowering experience. She described being surrounded by “loud and passionate” women advocates examining such topics as the “NYPD’s stop and frisk and racial profiling, the Palestine-Israel Conflict, the Syrian Government.”

These topics have led to a profound conversation in the very first BrooklynAt meeting. I joined a group of young women and did icebreakers, but ultimately we dove deeper into these issues. I was surprised at how independent the girls were; completely not brainwashed from Western media. Everything they expressed resided in me after our meeting because it was so real. I was ignorant to some of the details about these issues, but I have learned a lot from one meeting. That is what I call a meaningful experience.


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