A group of Muslim American women has embarked on a quest they have long considered overdue. Feeling neither heard nor understood, they told their stories in a collection of essays which encapsulates an overarching challenge they face daily – how to find a balance between staying true to their faith and navigating established societal norms in a country partly accepting, yet also partly weary of Islam.
Compiled and co-edited by Maria Ebrahimji and Zahra Suratwala, the book – “I Speak for Myself” - contains first-person narratives by 40 Muslim women born and raised in the United States who, as the editors point out, have been “negotiating a dichotomy of Islamic and Western values since birth.”
Representing many walks of life, the women point out that the book is not intended as a response to existing stereotypes nor as a pontification about a post-9/11 world, but is simply an attempt to provide others an honest and unfettered glimpse into their lives.
VOA Middle East spoke to the book’s editors and some of its contributors.