Muslim women inhabit a uniquely marginalised space in a world where the existence of rampant Islamophobia both disregards their voices in the wider world and is also used to justify silencing their voices within Muslim communities – by prioritising the issue of anti-Muslim racism over the struggle against patriarchal oppressions.
It’s telling that time and again, the way Muslim men (and women) choose to deal with Islamophobia is by policing the voices of Muslim women within their communities, rather than addressing the colonial structures that uphold anti-Muslim racism, which also includes a legacy of patriarchal violence.
Too often clerics, religious scholars, and men in general are conveniently placed as representatives of the Muslim community. When the voices of men are centred in this way in the Muslim diaspora, this could come at the cost of Muslim women’s voices – particularly Muslim women of colour. If we are to truly address this, we must deliberately seek out, believe, and amplify Muslim women’s voices.