Voices from the diversity of Muslim women in Canada

voices-from-the-diversity-of-muslim-women-in-canada.jpg

If there’s one thing Canadian Muslim women have in common, it’s — well, not really anything, other than being Canadian Muslim women. There’s a vast diversity, as evident in The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth: Personal Stories by Canadian Muslim Women. This anthology, edited by Saima S. Hussain of Mississauga, includes 21 first-person accounts of experiences as a Muslimah, or Muslim woman. The contributors are variously brown, white and black, born in the Middle East, Indonesia, England, Brazil, East Africa and Canada, wives and singles, mothers and childless, straight and gay, devout and indifferent and conflicted. One of the most delightful chapters is “Muslim Me” by the jeans-and-buzz-cut-wearing Maria Cruz, who is blind and uses a wheelchair. “Sometimes I’m glad people don’t know I’m Muslim,” she writes. “I cuss way too much.”Equally enlightening is “No Suitable Boy,” in which Ashi Munir’s parents parade one potential suitor after another for her approval, each woefully unsuitable. Now in her 30s, she’s still single. “Standing My Ground” is by Muslim convert and feminist Kirstin Sabrina Dane of Toronto, who went from trying to be “the perfect Muslimah” to challenging the mosque’s practice of segregating male and female worshippers. Article Continued BelowIn “For Better or For Worse,” York University student Ghazia Sirtaj tells a wrenching tale of violent abuse from her ex-husband.Several women write about the strength they draw from their faith, despite sectarian divisions. Kenyan-born Azmina Kassam, a Shia Ismaili who doesn’t cover her head, tells of her discomfort working with fully veiled Afghan women.Near the book’s end we finally hear from Zunera Ishaq, the woman who successfully challenged Canada’s niqab ban while taking the citizenship oath. When Ishaq started wearing the face covering in Grade 11 in Pakistan, her large family, appalled, tried to talk her out of it. “As a niqab-wearing woman, I have found more acceptance in Canada than in my country of origin,” she writes. A telling observation indeed.

Be the first to comment on "Voices from the diversity of Muslim women in Canada"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

*