Five Moderate Muslim Women Share Their Stories

September 18, 2005

Source: Hartford Courant,0,504086.story

On September 18, 2005 the Hartford Courant ran a feature article by Laila Kain, a writer in West Hartford, who presents the stories of five moderate Muslim women. Kain expresses her motivation for telling these stories: "Perhaps like you, I have, in these post 9/11 times, felt increasingly alarmed by the power of extremists... How does one fight, let alone conquer the extremists?.. For me, the clearest answer came from Riffat Hassan... founder of the International Network for the Rights of Female Victims of Violence in Pakistan, and a professor of religious studies and humanities at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. When it comes to extremists, she said, 'The only way to win is to strengthen the middle. One weakens the edges by strengthening the center.' Think about it. Most of us - whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist or other - live in that center. Yet when was the last time we heard from that center? Or joined to strengthen that center? Urged the media to give moderates a forum? In the five profiles that follow, five Muslim women tell about their lives in the center. They share their experiences as daughters, wives and mothers, at home, in school and in the workplace. Their stories are modest in tone and small in scale, simply offered as bridges for connection and understanding, one reader at a time. More personal than political, their revelations about Islam may surprise you."