Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S. – NYTimes.com

Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S. – NYTimes.com.

Good to read a relatively positive portrayal of Muslim women in the US.  They don’t deny that they still experience discrimination and worse at times. But their successes, while staying within the framework of Islam, female, and America, make progress for all women.

These women have achieved a level of success and visibility unmatched elsewhere. They say they are molded by the freedoms of the United States — indeed, many unabashedly sing its praises — and by the intellectual ferment stirred when American-born and immigrant Muslims mix.

“What we’re seeing now in America is what has been sort of a quiet or informal empowerment of women,” said Shireen Zaman, executive director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a nonprofit research institute founded after the 2001 attacks to provide research on American Muslims. “In many of our home countries, socially or politically it would’ve been harder for Muslim women to take a leadership role. It’s actually quite empowering to be Muslim in America.”

A bit later in the article, Knowlton states:

Yet in their quest to break stereotypes, America’s Muslim women have advantages. They are better educated than counterparts in Western Europe, and also than the average American, according to a Gallup survey in March 2009. In contrast to their sisters in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, they are just as likely as their menfolk to attend religious services, which equates to greater influence. And Gallup found that Muslim American women, often entrepreneurial, come closer than women of any other faith to earning what their menfolk do.

Leadership in their religion is the most obvious missing piece in their move toward equality. It will be interesting to check in with these women in a few years.

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