The ongoing horror over the rhetoric of America’s first Muslim congresswomen has people turning to Muslim reform women. Meet six outspoken and courageous Muslim reformers who also happen to be women. In the last week, each of these Muslim reform women have taken on the Muslim congresswomen, with laser-like focus on Ilhan Omar’s hateful rhetoric.
Raheel is part of Clarion Project’s Preventing Violent Extremism training program and the face of By the Numbers, a stunning narration of Muslim opinion and demographics. Raheel also the president of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, author of Their Jihad – Not My Jihad, an award winning journalist, public speaker, activist for human rights and featured in our award-winning documentary Honor Diaries. She is recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for service to Canada. Raheel bridges the gap between East and West, promoting cultural and religious diversity for which she has appeared in print and on TV and radio numerous times. A fervent advocate for gender equality, Raheel is the first Muslim woman in Canada to lead mixed gender prayers. In her pursuit for human rights, she speaks regularly at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Shireen is the other half of Clarion Project’s Preventing Violent Extremism training program and Clarion Project’s National Correspondent. Shireen often looks at Muslim reform through the lens of faith, identity and belonging. As a former refugee raised across three continents, she has a unique perspective of the issues central to ‘the clash of civilizations’. Shireen has testified before the House Homeland Security Committee Hearing on radical Islam, offering a powerful testimony linking a generational crisis to Islam’s origin story. She is also passionate about child advocacy, refugees, deradicalization, and the transformational power of storytelling. In 2011, Shireen was named one of the top ten North American Muslim Reformers by journalist Christine Williams.
Asra is an author and professor who taught journalism at Georgetown University. She is co-director of the Pearl Project, a faculty-student, investigative-reporting project into the kidnapping and murder of her former colleague, The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Just last week, Asra made headlines by challenging CAIR and Linda Sarsour right outside of Rashida Tlaib’s office. You can watch the video below or read Shireen Qudosi’s coverage of the events.
Soraya is an international activist, lawyer, and lead organizer for Women’s Initiatives at the OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership. She is the founder of the Muslim Women’s Speaker’s Movement. Soraya is also the co-founder of Peacemoms, which promotes Christian and Muslim dialogue. She covers themes of women’s rights, public leadership, and nonviolence.
Anila is an interfaith leader with a focus on community building. Anila believes the community is the first line of defense against radicalization. She founded the American Muslim Women’s Empowerment Council along with other organizations driving community participation geared toward local solutions. Anila is also passionate about educational initiatives that benefit minority communities.
Dr. Ahmed is a physician, non-fiction author and broadcast media commentator. Her first book, In the Land of Invisible Women (Sourcebooks 2008) details her experience of living and working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Ahmed completed a treatise on the Psychological Manipulation of Islam in the Service of Terror, focusing on Islamist suicide bombing. As a result, she traveled to Pakistan’s Swat Valley to meet rehabilitated child jihadists, formerly operatives of the Pakistan Taliban. Along with Asra, Raheel and Shireen, she also offered testimony to U.S. Congress on the issue of radical Islam. She subsequently provided Congressional Briefings at the invitation of Congressional Staff on the issues of Palestinian child radicalization in the Disputed Territories in 2014. Watch Qanta take on Islamist Omar Baddar over the issue of problematic Muslim congresswomen.