I’ve long since given up the need to refute common stereotypes about Muslim women. Of course I’ve always known that these stereotypes were nothing short of ridiculous. I’ve said this numerous times, and will say it again, Muslim women can never be stereotyped and categorized into one general whole. Nonetheless, I’ve recently come into contact with Muslim women involved in so many different projects that it reminded me that stereotypes are undoubtedly a sign of stupid thinking. So I thought I’d just share with you some of the projects that Muslim women in my community have recently begun.
My favourite project is the recent development of a Book club, cleverly named “Book Bytes”, this book club ensures that Muslim women (and women from other faiths who would like to join) come together and discuss their favourite reads and encourage each other to read new and different books. I have not previously been exposed to so many women who love reading to the extent that I do and I must say that I am impressed. This proved to me that intellectual thought and intelligence is vivid and thriving amongst Muslim women and contrary to a common stereotype, there are women out there who would prefer to buy books over shoes any day!
Last month some time I was invited to speak at a support group. This group called, H4U (Here for You) has been established by two very ambitious, bold and outgoing Muslim women who have the intention of improving the community in which they live. I left that meeting feeling so impressed and inspired by all that I had heard. It’s always a beautiful thing to witness or hear about the growth in someone else. It reminds me of the vast human potential that we have and how anyone is able to accomplish whatever they want to.
As part of this support group these women are involved in a variety of projects, including drug
counselling and support, and counselling and assistance for many other issues. They’ve also set out to do youth upliftment and a kiddie’s recreational programme. Honestly I know how much time and effort it takes to arrange all these activities and projects and I really admire these women for their selflessness.
Then, just recently I was put in touch with a dynamic group of Muslim sisters, most of whom had converted to Islam fairly recently. I can’t tell you how impressive these women are. Masha Allah! The genuine love and care that they have for one another and the support that they constantly offer each other has left me in awe. I pray that their bonds are strengthened.
These are just a few of my most recent encounters with amazing Muslim women. I have had many others, and I am certain that there will be many more. For this reason, I now have resorted to smiling silently or simply dismissing the relentless stereotypes of Muslim women. If anyone is stupid enough to believe and follow these stereotypes, then all I can say is that there’s a major problem with them and there’s not much else I can do about that.