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Why I March - Reflections from the Third Annual Women's March

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Posted on Jan 22, 2019
Dilshad Ali

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Thousands converged in Washington, D.C. and in cities across the United States last weekend for the third annual Women’s March, after a year of controversy plagued the national Women’s March organization and its national co-chairs. But when it came time to march, protestors celebrated the resistance, which included electing an unprecedented number of women to Congress (and the first two Muslim women representatives).

Muslim women showed up again for the March, driving out from Chicago and other places and amassing in D.C., wearing blue hijabs or blue scarves around their neck, chanting for women’s rights, the rights of rape victims, for Rohingya Muslim refugees, immigrants and so many other marginalized groups.

Why did these women march? We wanted to share (with permission) Facebook reflections from two Muslim women organizers.

Women's March

Hena Zuberi - Women's March Muslim Women's Contingent

“Assalam alaykum,

Bismillah

People are asking why are Muslim women marching. #MuslimWomen March

My name is Hena Zuberi and I am on the steering committee of the Women’s March Muslim Women’s Contingent. These are the principles and reasons why WE are marching as the Muslim Women Contingent at the Women's March 2019.

Why Muslim women march at the DC Women’s March 2019:

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves…”

March for racial, economic, and social justice

March for equity

March for our sisters in the inner cities experiencing injustice

March for disability rights

March for the unjustly imprisoned

March for the environment

March for freedom of religion

March for the future generations of American Muslims

March for more representation in political office

March for those being persecuted on the basis of their faith

March for those suffering the consequences of conflict

March for the refugees, especially those seeking shelter at our borders

March for the hundreds and thousands of orphans of war

March for the oppressed around the world

March for peace and justice

March against Islamophobia

March against the Muslim Ban

March against Anti-Muslim bigotry

March against the bullying of our children

March against sexual/gendered violence and exploitation

March against state violence

March against oppression

March against genocide

March against the use of rape as a weapon of war

 - the Muslim Women Contingent

#whyiMarch I am marching for my #Rohingya, #Uyghur, Syrian, inner-city/urban American, Palestinian, Kashmiri, Nigerian, CAR Republic, Yemeni, Afghan, Iraqi sisters, the children affected by war and destructive policies. I am marching for our families.

I am marching against rape and genocide, for the dignity of human life, firm in the belief that Islam is the most powerful agent of Change and Goodness in this world."

Womens March

Suroor Raheemullah - Muslim Women's Alliance

"Bus trip to D.C. began. We started with an exercise to get to know each other and share why we all are marching. Here are some of the highlights:

Latina rights

Muslim rights

Black rights

LGBTQ rights

Rape survivor rights

Rape advocacy rights

Marching for elderly who can’t be here

70-year-old marching who called herself my grandma on this trip and then hugged me - I’ll take it 🙂

Lady telling us she’s marching because she was going to back out because she has a health condition, but then when she got a note yesterday from the bus captains (me and Khadija Husain) from Muslim Women's Alliance; she said she had to go with Muslims and now wants to march with us.

Fear will cripple us people. It almost did me two year ago. But love raises us. Emanate love so you get love and change this vicious cycle.

Two years ago my beloved brother and mentor and an amazing teacher and community leader, Usama Canon, was on this bus ride and trip marching with me in mind and spirit. I saw him the day before I left and he held his fist 👊🏽high and said tawfeeq, which loosely means success or prosperity. And then I had one of my hardest lessons on the bus ride, something he often said to me: Baraka over haraka.

Many of you have heard me quote him. It means have blessing in your movement. Don’t just move for movement sake, meaning just don’t just be an activist because it’s cool or hip - have blessing in your activism and don’t lose sight of God’s blessings and mercy in the process. And, definitely don’t lose sight of the importance of prayer. I may not have seen you before this trip, but I’m 👊🏽👊🏽 you and saying tawfeeq together because you are always with me.

This time I’m marching with my daughter so she knows that we can’t sit back and wait for others. That part of being a good muslim is standing up for what is right and standing with those who fight against oppression.

I march against misogyny in the muslim community that has no place in our faith but is rooted in cultural nuances.

I march because I’m unapologetically muslim, and you can’t kick me out.

#womensmarch #womenswave #muslimwomen"

(Photos courtesy of Suroor Raheemullah and Hena Zuberi)

Did you march last weekend? Share your comments below!


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