This programme devised and undertaken by Faith Matters was based on a tour of US Muslim female writers in the UK and to give British Muslim women the opportunity to engage with US counterparts and discuss Muslim communities and issues affecting them in the US and UK. The aim of the programme was therefore to engage with empower British Muslim women and to create a positive role model for dynamic and pro-active Muslim women. The women shared their experiences and focussed on the shifting social environment and role of Muslim women in the US and Europe.
Faith Matters hosted a group of four prominent American Muslim authors of a book entitled ‘Living Islam Out Loud’ which explored their experiences of living, working and growing up in the United States as female Muslims.
The 4 speakers that were brought over by Faith Matters were:
SALEEMAH ABDUL GHAFUR
Saleemah is a writer, activist, and speaker. She works to ensure that Muslim women have space and voice in their communities. Most recently, Saleemah developed and executed programming to advance the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. She is as the founding Executive Director of 100 People of Faith, a body of prominent leaders from the world’s major religions that seeks to unite people from across faith lines through humanitarian service. Over the years, Saleemah has worked with global leaders like Dr. Amina Wadud, Eve Ensler and Dr. Eboo Patel among others. She has been profiled in The New York Times, Newsweek and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
SU’AD ABDUL KHABEER
Su’ad Abdul Khabeer is as an activist-scholar-artist. A doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University, her research interests include youth, race and religion, and popular culture studies. She is also a Senior Project Advisor for the upcoming PBS documentary, New Muslim Cool. A native of Brooklyn, NYC Suad has been writing creatively since her youth. Her poetry series “A Day in the Life,” appeared in the anthology Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak. A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Su’ad has travelled extensively and lectured on campuses in the US and abroad
YOUSRA Y. FAZILI
Yousra Y. Fazili is a Kashmiri-American attorney who will soon be living in the DC area, consulting on US government policy. She recently received her Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she was the recipient of a World Religions Grant. She is also a researcher with Harvard Law School ‘s Islamic Finance Project. Her primary research focuses on inter-gender dynamics and sexuality in Islamic law. A graduate of Brown University, Ms. Fazili travelled to Egypt as a Fulbright Scholar where she studied Arabic and conducted research on modernization in Islamic law. In 2003 she received her JD from American University, Washington College of Law in Washington DC. She has worked for several corporate law firms, the Department of Justice, and the UN. She has published works in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, the Encyclopaedia of Islam in the United States, and Living Islam Out Loud. She is currently editing a monograph on Microfinance and Islamic Law for Harvard Law School.
PRECIOUS RASHEEDA MUHAMMAD
Precious Rasheeda Muhammad — author, lecturer, researcher, poetess and publisher—is not only nationally known for her ability to educate and inspire audiences of diverse faiths and backgrounds about America’s unique Islamic heritage, but also for her ability to empower them with the tools to build community through a deeper understanding of history (www.preciousspeaks.com). Precious holds a B.A. in Religion from The University of Iowa and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She brings more than a decade of experience and commitment to community and interfaith work including working on Capitol Hill, chaplaincy at a 770-bed hospital and in person dialogue with seminarian inmates at Sing Sing prison. Precious currently works as a Program Associate with the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions helping to plan the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions to be held in Melbourne, Australia. The Parliament is the world’s largest interfaith gathering. Precious’s research and writings have been featured at the Smithsonian, on the radio, television, and in print including works published by Oxford University Press, Beacon Press, Rodale Press, Greenwood Press and interviews on NPR. Precious is also founder of Journal of Islam in America Press, an educational publishing company dedicated to publishing a broad range of titles on the growth and development of Islam in America and the Muslim American experience.
All of these women were leaders in their fields, excellent speakers and strong role models. And in order to reach the widest audiences, their engagements consisted of talks to audiences, meetings with individuals and speaking opportunities on both radio and TV.