At 17, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh started a blog in her bedroom that would go on to be MuslimGirl.com, a place for young Muslim women to take back their narrative. Based on the success of the blog, which today has tens of thousands of followers, Al-Khatahtbeh established the first official Muslim Women’s Day, to celebrate Muslim women and amplify their voices. This year the theme is “Muslim women talk back to violence.” Al-Khatahtbeh discusses the importance of the day in this CNN interview, and here are some excerpts:
— We wanted to create a day where we just celebrate Muslim women… and engineer a new precedent for Muslim women’s representation in mainstream media. Muslim Women’s Day is a call to action to… center Muslim women’s voices for the day, to empower us, to flood the Internet with new, diverse, positive stories and Muslim women’s voices, and basically just pass the mic.
— My favorite part about Muslim Women’s Day last year was how it really afforded us an opportunity to change the culture around how we talk about Muslim women and how we cover their stories. And this year’s going to be even bigger. We have even more partners involved, more social media networks that are elevating these conversations on their platforms, more organizations that are tapping into this really pertinent conversation.
— Our theme for this year is ‘Muslim women talk back to violence’ so, whether it’s gun violence or a #MeToo or #TimesUp movement, these are obviously themes that impact women from all backgrounds, across the board. But this day is specifically to center Muslim women’s voices that often get drowned out of the conversation.