Pakistan is where the Taliban has exiled Muslim young girls from going to school, women from public life and the right to travel unaccompanied by a male. It also prevents women from having the knowledge and courage they need to stand up for the causes they believe in. Living in a country where many young girls do not receive an education, Malala grows up viewing school as a special advantage to have over her other peers who are too scared to take the risk. Each day she leaves home and spent in the classroom she values it as a reason to fight for education rights. She sees education as a tool she can use to speak out against the unjust happening in Pakistan and to empower herself and the people in her community. Many Muslim women like Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, Ingrid Mattson and Daisy Khan has contributed tremendously to their community.
American Muslim women today are struggling to address the stereotypes and mistaken belief associated with the role of women in Islam. Muslim women occupy a variety of positions in American life: lawyers, medical doctors, engineers, chemists, journalists, professors, schoolteachers and many more. Muslim women in the United States are strongly engaged in issue on every level to contribute to their community.
The first woman who has contributed to her community is Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, a professor of Law at the University of Richmond. In 2011 Dr. al-Hibri was selected by President Barack Obama as a commissioner to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Al-Hibri is one of many Muslim women in America who is actively involved in leadership roles both within and outside of the Muslim community. Dr. al-Hibri said that “women should speak powerfully so that they should not be seen as weak and vulnerable.” This is exactly what Malala was trying to do, to grow up and speak powerfully for the many women who are unable to speak. She was shot at an early age in an attempt to keep her quiet. The Taliban sees education as a threat, because educated people mainly women will feel empowered will stand against them.
The second Muslim woman who has contributed to their community is Ingrid Mattson, a Canadian-born transform to Islam. Mattson was the first woman to have been appointed and to serve as president of the Islamic Society of North America. She is well-thought-out highly as a scholar of Islam and Muslim. Among many of her accomplishments, Dr. Mattson is the founder of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary, where she is Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. She is also the Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations.
The third Muslim woman is Daisy Khan, an Indian-born American Muslim. Daisy Khan is one of the most outstanding female Muslim leaders in the United States. She is the co-founder Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality and executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. Dr Khan is not also actively involved in other projects that concentrate on interfaith efforts and dialogue on Islam, but she is also known to be advocate for women and social justice. As the Executive Director of the Women’s Islamic Initiative, Khan not only empowers Muslim women around the globe, but also persistently works to help non-Muslims have a better understanding of the true teachings of Islam and to build bridges of acceptance between faiths. She is an experienced lecturer with an inspirational message of peace and tolerance.
Even though Muslims in the United States are not pleased about practices in Pakistan and other Muslim Countries they do believe that can make a difference. They can exercise their freedom of speech to help other without fear or being condemned in America. Although Malala is not is the United States or contributed to the United States community she is one of the many Muslim women who has helped others have a voice on whatever issues they desire. Women like Malala, Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, Ingrid Mattson, Daisy Khan, are just a few of the many Muslim female leaders who are challenging misperceptions about gender equality in Islam.
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