Our collective is still an atheist one. But we are also intersectional feminists and allergic to mansplaining 😉
Every Muslim has a story of shame: “When I was in Middle School and my classmates would ask me if I was Muslim, I was so embarrassed to say that I was. It wasn’t until I visited the Middle East, and I started learning more about Islam, or started actually meeting Muslim people and heard stories in their own voices, that I started feeling overwhelmed with pride that I came from this type of background and culture,” Amani recounts. It’s easy to dismiss someone’s lack of pride and declare it a sign of weakness, or even as a pathetic inability to stand up for oneself, but being demonized–and having that being all you know of your own culture and religion–has been a cornerstone of the Muslim identity that Amani and I know. Gone are the days of fetishized orientalism; now it’s a violent undermining that occurs, with spokespeople like Richard Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens, both of whom have publicly declared that all Muslim women are oppressed, while never asking Muslim women for their input. How many conversations have I encountered when people declare that they “know so much about Islam.” Everyone seems to know about Islam, but nobody seems to have met, or talked, to a Muslim.