Ethos – the fundamental spirit that guides my faith– is more important to me than edicts, or strict dogma, and so when religious questions arise, I defer to big-picture themes. One of Islam’s major themes is that of equity and justice. The Qur’an details equitable divorce proceedings, fair treatment of orphans and just conduct when it comes to prisoners of war — situations that differ in details and circumstances in our modern times, but which are often fraught with unfairness and injustice. When I read the holy book, the themes of justice and dignity for humanity stand out to me.
Ayesha Mattu, 39, is not afraid to challenge the status quo. Her professional career focuses on creating safe spaces for oftentimes disenfranchised communities. Mattu has now co-edited a book called Love, InshAllah. She shares the stories of American Muslim women falling in love. We got a chance to speak with Ayesha.
There are about 1 million Muslim women in America; 43 percent of them wear headscarves all the time, according to the Pew Research Center. About 48 percent — or half a million women — don't cover their hair, the survey found.
The split between women who've covered and women who've never done so has existed for decades. But now a generation of women is taking off the headscarf, or hijab.
See also: https://www.npr.org/2011/04/21/135413427/lifting-the-veil
The International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee do not track athletes' religion, but if Muhammad makes the Olympic team, she would likely be the first practicing Muslim woman to represent the U.S. at the Games.
When she competes, photographers often zoom in on the name Muhammad on the back of her fencing jacket. Her mother, Denise, recently saw such a photo and said, "I realized: my God, she's representing all of us.
As families come together over the holidays, the victims of domestic abuse are often sequestered in shelters — a situation that's especially difficult for Muslim women, because few facilities meet their cultural and religious needs.
I find it challenging to reconcile between my belief in my faith as one that within limits is both progressive and pragmatic with one that bears no relation to my lived reality. The Islam I believe in respects and encourages women to be full participating members of society. It’s not one, which seeks to restrict women to their houses and limits their opportunities for spiritual growth and development simply due to their gender. That I believe in the equality of the sexes does not detract from an understanding that women and men do have some differences specific to each gender.
This report from the At Home in Europe Project aims to distinguish myths and misrepresentations surrounding women who wear the full-face veil from the actual experiences and testimonies of the women themselves, by reporting on the women’s backgrounds, their decisions to wear the veil, their daily experiences in public, and their views on the legislation.