WASHINGTON D.C (Oct. 10, 2017) – Women from across the nation attended ICNA Sisters’ first ever American Muslim Women’s Conference Saturday in Chantilly, Virginia to talk about “Changing the Narrative” of Muslim women in the United States.
The approximately 400 invited guests included female leaders not only from within ICNA’s own divisions, but also from several other prominent U.S. organizations, distinguished professors, civil rights organizers, doctors and Islamic scholars.
During the welcome address, ICNA Sisters president Sadia Salman said, “The women here represent the diverse Muslim women that make up our society. Which is why with the current situation of our nation, the world and our Ummah, it is more important than ever before for us to stand united as one.”
She added that despite the various organizations and platforms the women at the conference were a part of, it was their “duty to stand up and work together” against the challenges in society.
The conference aimed to unite women leaders from across the nation to hear about, discuss and highlight possible solutions to several pressing issues facing the American Muslim woman, according to Faizah Aslam, secretary general of ICNA Sisters.
Following lunch, the audience had the chance to attend two parallel panel sessions, “Oppression: What, Where, & When” with Alwani, Salma Abugideiri, Nahela Morales and Zahra Billoo and “Through the Filters: Myth vs Reality” with Alia Salem, Hena Zuberi, Marya Bangee and Rowaida AbdelAziz. The first highlighted and answered questions of how Muslim women are oppressed in the U.S. and what are the different forms of oppression, while the other handled questions of the portrayal of Muslim women in media and what can be done to change the perception of women in film and news media.
The conference ended which opinions and feedback collected during the sessions which were read was a way to share with the audience what are possible initiatives and solutions to some of the issues discussed during the event, Aslam said.
“It was more successful than I anticipated,” Abeer Sher, ICNA Sisters vice-president said. “The reason being I didn’t expect to gather that many Muslim women leadership from across the United States under one roof, but Alhamdullilah it happened. My heart is so warm from hearing during the sessions just how ready the Muslim women were to unite on every level.”
Aslam added she hopes this conference will be a step forward in building relationships with other organizations and coming on together on one platform. “We the Muslim women in America can define Muslims through these meetings, that yes we are one single voice and we are the one that can bring that change insha’Allah,” Aslam said.
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