[Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (Image Source: Shirley Yu/TheLicensingproject.com)]
Mumbai: Muslim women worldover are celebrating the second Muslim Women's Day, sharing wonderful stories of their success backed with beutiful photographs and what's more a lot on non-Muslims too have joined the celebrations even as #MuslimWomensDay is among top trends since last two days.
Muslim Women's Day was launched on March 27, 2017 by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh - who grew up in New Jersey with her American mother and Jordanian father but was fed up of Islam phobia, negative portrayal of Muslims especially the women and rising violence against Muslim communities in the United States.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh had launched MuslimGirl.com when she was just 17 to counter, in her own words, "the way the Middle East -- and particularly Muslim women -- were misrepresented in the news", about eight years ago.
On March 27, 2017, MuslimGirl launched the first official Muslim Women's Day, to celebrate Muslim women and amplify their voices. This year women in different parts of world including United States, France, UK, Nigeria, Pakistan and India are celebrating second Muslim Women's Day. The theme is "Muslim women talk back to violence."
"We wanted to create a day where we just celebrate Muslim women and engineer a new precedent for Muslim women's representation in mainstream media. Muslim Women's Day is a call to action to center Muslim women's voices for the day, to empower us, to flood the Internet with new, diverse, positive stories and Muslim women's voices, and basically just pass the mic", Amani Al-Khatahtbeh explained to CNN the reason behind launching the annual event.
"Our theme for this year is 'Muslim women talk back to violence' so, whether it's gun violence or a #MeToo or #TimesUp movement, these are obviously themes that impact women from all backgrounds, across the board. But this day is specifically to center Muslim women's voices that often get drowned out of the conversation", she added.
"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", she said while talking to Bustle.
Shedding more light on the theme of this years Muslim Women's Day, she said, "The day will focus on highlighting Muslim women's responses to violence against the Muslim community which has, unfortunately, been rampant in recent years. For example, the number of assaults against Muslims in the United States rose substantially between 2015 and 2016, as there were 127 reported victims of aggravated or simple assault in 2016", she said.
"This number is even higher than what the Pew Research Center describes as the modern height of assault against Muslims: when there were 93 reported victims of assault in 2001, the year in which Sept. 11 occurred", she added.
The event is among top trends on Twitter with hashtag #MuslimWomensDay and it has some interesting and inspiring posts, and also memes, from Muslim and non-Muslim women.
"A thought on #MuslimWomensDay: I still see too many pieces about Muslims being assigned to non-Muslims. Our identities have been taken away and stripped from us since 9/11, so whether it's about our pain, our trauma, our cultures, our histories—DO BETTER, assign that work TO US", Fariha Róisín wrote using @fariharoisin Twitter handler.
"Happy #MuslimWomensDay to all the strong and beautiful women who live their day to day lives struggling and overcoming struggles mentally, physically, and emotionally. Muslim women are the most diligent who go through the biggest struggles, I wish all of you peace and prosperity", Maryam wrote @_baeryam.
"It’s hard raising Muslim American daughters in a country that doesn’t always embrace them. But still every day I remind my daughters that they are worthy and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. #MuslimWomensDay", Linda Sarsour posted using her verified Twitter account @lsarsour.
"Happy #MuslimWomensDay to all the amazing Muslim women doing wonderful things. I had the pleasure of being surrounded by the below Muslim women recently and was completely enarmoured by their hard work and their vision for a better world", Rai (@ItsRaifa) reacted on Twitter in these words.
There are also some men folks who chose the day to lend their support to Muslim women.
"I want to give a big shout out on #MuslimWomensDay. Over the years, so many Muslim women (in the US & beyond) have taught me how to better live my life. You have taught me to strive for knowledge, compassion & justice. All I can say is thank you! It has been an honor & pleasure", Dr. Craig Considine using verified Twitter account @CraigCons.
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