Opinion: “The Diverse Feminism of 'Living Islam Out Loud'"

November 23, 2005

Source: AltMuslim.com


On November 23, 2005 AltMuslim.com ran an opinion piece by Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari, a journalist who freelances for The Friday Times, Chowk.com, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Naseeb Vibes. "I’d frankly had enough of hyped up ethnic literature from the immigrant East that embellished the shelves of American bookstores describing the 'other.' The women in them were almost hidden behind the glitter and jeweled glamour of ethnicity and multiculturalism that could neither be swallowed nor spat out... I yearned to land a book that had women who thought clearly and enunciated their life with such insight that even those deaf to feminism could hear it. It came from the most unlikely place: From Muslim women living in America in the book, 'Living Islam Out Loud'... Saleemah Abdul Ghafur, an African American Muslim woman has compiled this anthology of seventeen first-generation American-Muslim women with diverse experiences to talk about their hyphenated identities, thier struggles and triumphs with love and faith without any soapy commercialization. Eighteen Scheherezades, including Saleemah reinvent the art of storytelling as they know it. They captivate an audience that has no sympathy for their voice and inspire empathy for their unique journeys. In the process, they have perhaps saved the first generation of American Muslim women an inevitable death of oblivion in the world’s non-fiction genre."