Friends, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be published again in a few months! I’m proud to share that I’ve been included in an amazing group of American Muslim women whose essays will appear in an anthology to be published in early summer 2011. This is directly from the press release:
Islam has become one of the hottest of hot button topics in America. Time Magazine featured the rise of Islamophobia on its cover (August 30, 2010) and attacks on Muslims and mosques are taking place regularly across the United States. Pundits and politicians raise the stakes by questioning whether it is possible for an American to be both a good Muslim and a good citizen. Muslim American women are the subject of endless discussions regarding their role in society, their veils as symbols of oppression or of freedom, their identity, their patriotism.
In this polarized climate, a new book challenges stereotypes about being Muslim in America through the stories of forty women. I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim (May 2, 2011, White Cloud Press) brings together a diverse group of women, all born and raised in the United States, telling their stories of faith, family, and country. Some contributors wear traditional head coverings (hijab) while some do not. Some are Sunni, some Shi‘i. The writers’ ethnic backgrounds are Arab, African-American, Pakistani, Indian, Iranian, and Afghan. Each addresses a personal aspect of her life with regards to being a Muslim and being an American.
The book editors are Maria Ebrahimji, executive editorial producer at CNN in Atlanta, and Zahra Suratwala, a writer and editor who owns Zahra Ink, a writing firm in Chicago. The editors wanted to fill a gap in current literature on American Islam by bringing out the stories of American-born Muslim women between the ages of 20 and 40. Ebrahimji notes that “As a member of the mainstream media, I am frequently exposed to the stereotyping of my faith, and this book was created to present the public with more candid, realistic portraits of a diverse group of women who are proud of their faith and their country.”
Readers of I Speak for Myself are presented with a kaleidoscope of deeply personal stories. A common theme linking these intimate self-portraits is the way each woman uniquely defies labeling, simply by defining for herself what it means to be American and Muslim and female. Each story is a contribution to the larger narrative of life stories and life work of a new generation of Muslim women.
The essays featured in I Speak for Yourself are not intended to be reactionary to the current climate of suspicion towards Islam in America, but they certainly address such suspicion in a very personal way. The contributors embody real everyday American women who struggle with their faith while balancing their careers and private life.
You can pre-order a copy of the book and check out all the contributors (including me) at the website here. You can also check us out on Facebook and Twitter!