I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim

I Speak for Myself American Women on Being Muslim 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 their womanhood Yet

  • Title: I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim
  • Author: Maria M. Ebrahimji Zahra T Suratwala
  • ISBN: 9781935952008
  • Page: 381
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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, their womanhood Yet the voices and life experiences of Muslim American women themselves are rarely heard in the loud rhetoric surrounding the question of Muslims in America Finally, in I SpeakMuslim 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, their womanhood Yet the voices and life experiences of Muslim American women themselves are rarely heard in the loud rhetoric surrounding the question of Muslims in America Finally, in I Speak for Myself, 40 American women under the age of 40, share their experiences of their lives as Muslim women in America While their commonality is faith and citizenship, their voices and their messages are very different Readers of I Speak for Myself are presented with a kaleidoscope of stories, artfully woven together around the central idea of limitlessness and individuality A common theme linking these intimate self portraits will be the way each woman uniquely defies labeling, simply by defining for herself what it means to be American and Muslim and female Each personal story is a contribution to the larger narrative of life stories and life work of a new generation of Muslim women.There are approximately six million Muslims living in the United States and over one billion around the world While the events of 9 11 certainly engaged Americans with the religion of Islam, many enduring stereotypes continue to belittle the Muslim American experience this often leads to a monolithic interpretation of Islam Such a treatment is especially inappropriate when reflecting on the Muslim American identity, which is by far one of the most culturally, ethnically, and socially diverse of any in the Islamic world Women of the Muslim community in America could be described as both patriots and practitioners of faith Their experiences call for a body of literature that reflects how they celebrate and live Islam in distinctive ways.In the wake of the current rising tide of Islamophobia see Time Magazine, Aug 30, 2010 , I Speak for Myself is a must read for Americans seeking understanding of Islam from young women who were all born in the USA.

    One thought on “I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim”

    1. I feel like this is a really important book, and I am glad that I read it. This is a collection of 40 essays written by American women who are Muslim and under the age of 40. The editors did an excellent job of selecting a wide diversity of women who are inspiring and courageous yet not so far removed from the everyday life of you and me. Many of these women are my contemporaries, and I vacillated between feeling camaraderie and awe and jealousy for the impressive accomplishments that these extr [...]

    2. I loved this book!This is a comprehensive volume which encompasses a wide spectrum of Muslim American women and their lives.Due to terrorism in the name of this religion,Islamophobia has become a major problem and is a legitimate concern all over the world.I never support any Islamist causes like Gaza/Palestine or Kashmir,but stigmatization of 1.6 billion people who follow Islam is atrocious and should be called out!Women bore the maximum brunt of this.Many who claim to 'free' Muslim women from [...]

    3. As a fellow American Muslim woman, I had been wanting to read this book for quite some time. I'm glad I finally did, as I can very easily relate to many of the personal anecdotes given by the numerous contributors. As the title suggests, each woman describes a little bit about what it meant for her to be a Muslim woman raised in the US. Each account is unique and meaningful in its own way, although I could see how it may seem a little redundant to readers who may not be able to personally relate [...]

    4. The first of two books collecting short essays about being Muslim; the second one is about men and I ended up reading that first. As a result, one of the things that stood out to me were the differences in subject and style. The women's essays feel more personal, more focused on the practice of faith and the women's individual relationships with God. The men seemed more concerned with social issues and and the more communal aspects of Islam. That wasn't always the case, of course, but it did see [...]

    5. I appreciate that they included stories from a variety of women but I wish they had included a few less and allowed each woman to write a longer piece. Each piece was around 4 or 5 pages and a lot of them touched on very similar ideas -- such as struggling to make sense of their dual identities. Because of this the book began to feel a bit repetitive. Think I'll have to find a book that goes into more depth about Islam & how people have incorporated their Muslim traditions into American life [...]

    6. This book offers a nice array of voices, from liberal to conservative Muslims. Maybe even some progressives, though at least one author who seemed progressive explicitly disavowed that label (as well as the label "feminist"). I especially liked the few pieces that did discuss feminism, especially one by a woman I would have assumed to be conservative had I met her on the street. The best of the essays were those that don't explicitly tackle identity issues, because that topic got redundant after [...]

    7. I first learned of this book when one of the contributors spoke to the youth Sunday School class I teach. She shared with us what it is like to grow up Muslim in America and answered questions from our teens. After hearing her speak, I wanted to know more and downloaded the book to my Kindle.Forty American women tell their stories in brief essays. Many of them share similar themes: being caught between two cultures, learning to claim their faith as their own, deciding whether or not to express t [...]

    8. If I could do half stars, I'd probably give this 3.5. 3 seems kind of low, but 4 just felt too high. The thing is, overall I liked reading the words of all these amazing, smart, interesting women and learning about all the various paths they've walked as American Muslims. But I really feel like the editors overshot a bit, and that the book as a whole would have greatly benefited from fewer essays of longer length. Most of the pieces are quite short and read more like blog posts, which is fine, b [...]

    9. Enjoyed this book but wanted more depth. The pieces were all so short that it was hard to remember which piece I was reading (who the narrator was, where she was from, etc.). I can imagine using one of these pieces in an educational context (e.g. to teach people about Islam from the perspective of American Muslim women), but otherwise, because of the brevity, there were only a few pieces that really touched me at a heart level.As a side note, the subtitle would be more accurate if it were "Young [...]

    10. Definitely a quick and easy read with quite a few interesting stories about very accomplished Muslim women (seriously, I felt like I needed to find a cure for cancer or something after reading some the introduction blurbs for the various authors). However, some of the stories did seem to focus on the same theme of "identity/culture crisis" and of being caught "between two worlds." I got a little tired of reading about that theme since it seemed to pop up multiple times in a lot of the stories. O [...]

    11. I'm not sure if it's because this is the first time I've come across such a book, but I was very much excited while reading it - the forty American Muslim women each inspired me, as they explained their journeys through Islam and the intersections between being American, Muslim, and in most cases, of a Arab or South Asian background.I'd give this book five stars, if the narratives had been slightly longer. It felt as though each one was abrupt in some way, finishing too soon after it started.I r [...]

    12. This book was alright got a little redundent thoughere were 40 women telling their stories of what it's like to be a Muslim American, but I could boil it down simply: they struggled with their identity, they struggled with whether or not to wear hijab, and they struggeled with their faith. I think it would've been better had it been fewer women and those they had included went into more detail about their lives.

    13. An excellent collection of essays to help one understand what it means to navigate American culture as a Muslim and as a woman, and navigate Muslim culture as an American and a woman, and navigate womanhood as a Muslim and an American. I thoroughly enjoyed this book--certain phrases and storied experiences will stick with me for a long time.

    14. I gave this 4 stars due to it being written by the women themselves.I find the book uneven but the writers were allowed to write about whatever they wanted, some essays are much stronger and coherent than others as a result.All of the essays were interesting and the perspective is one I don't know/hear much about.

    15. This is really a compelling book which I have come to realize about getting real freedom in the freedom and democratic country such as United State is not that too easy for Muslim and Women & Arab, it is really an uphill battle to stand up for the true identity in order to survive. A very thorough collection of the ambassador for Islam in America !

    16. This book was an enjoyable read. These women's stories inspire me to go after my own dreams and pursue my beliefs with all I have. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the Muslim woman's experience.

    17. Basic, introductory level of Muslim American women living normal lives. I found most of the essays to be short, end abruptly, with no point. If there were half the number of essays, and they were longer, I would be more intrigued.

    18. Awesome stories of women telling how they connect and reconnect to their Muslim religion as American citizens. I'm not Muslim, but I checked it out because it was part of a Muslim poetry display at my public library and this title stood out to me.

    19. The book was very interesting because it shows Muslim women doing amazing things in America. However after getting one fourth of the way into it I was getting tired of reading "I'm Muslim, I'm awesome and it was hard for me to integrate." A bit repetitive.

    20. Absolutely wonderful!This collection of narratives is compiled of first-hand account of experiences dealing with personal, cultural and societal issues that Muslim women of America deal with. This book was easy to follow, and difficult to put down as soon as started.

    21. Quite possibly one of the best books I've read yet -- Really opened my mind about the diversity of Muslim women in America. Highly recommended.

    22. The book showed the diversity of Muslim women very well but half way through the book I felt the stories were redundant in theme and a became uninteresting.

    23. Interesting with common themes among our Muslim sisters and with us. It just is a variation on the same themes

    24. Really enjoyed this book, bought it because a friend of mine wrote a story in here Was sad when it was over. Hope a sequel is put out, I would read it

    25. Excellent book, representing an impressive array of perspectives and identities. Very enlightening and challenging, as well as inspiring.

    26. Good concept to have stories told by American Muslim women, but the stories were somewhat repetitive due to a high number of storytellers from the same background. There weren't many from African or South Asian (outside of India) descent and all were heteronormative and young perspectives. While important to give space for these stories to be heard, am interested in hearing those other voices within the Muslim community as well.

    27. Reading this after “Love, Inshallah,” I could not help but notice the greater sincerity in these stories or perhaps a reduction in editorializing. I felt these narratives were more raw and personal and therefore, more powerful.

    28. Maria M. Ebrahimji and Zarah T. Suratwala, I Speak for Myself. (United States of America: White Cloud Press, 2011).Judul : I Speak for MyselfPenulis/Editor : Maria M. Ebrahimji, Zarah T. SuratwalaRingkasan : Buku ini merangkum tentang kisah-kisah para wanita Muslim yang hidup di tengah masyarakat Amerika, memuat empat puluh kisah personal yang mereka alami dalam menjalankan ritual keagamaan atau dalam sekadar menjadi seorang wanita Muslim di masyarakat yang didominasi oleh non-Muslim.Daftar Isi [...]

    29. Bookshelves and airwaves are full of voices that describe Islam as a monolithic religion, and Muslims as a homogenous body. This could not be further from the truth. Muslims are an extremely diverse worldwide religious group, and in the U.S. that diversity is especially pronounced. When we overlook diversity, we render invisible our fellow humans. With the book I Speak for Myself: American women on being Muslim, White Cloud Press highlights and lifts up the voices of individual, diverse Muslim w [...]

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