A real feminist take on Islam means looking at the role Prophet Muhammad's first wife, Khadija, played in enabling his rise to prophethood. The story comes on the back of a new rise in Muslim women officiating weddings.
You wouldn't have even had Islam if it wasn't a woman investor who said something like, "Hey Muhammad, I'm going to invest in your prophethood. I'm going to make this possible for you."
I'm so tired of seeing women accept crumbs of progress in our faith traditions. In the case of Islam, we forget that the entire faith sprung off the financial backing of an incredible business woman who invested in the religion. 1400 years later, women are accepting small handouts and crumbs of progress, when once upon a time we were goddesses, financiers, priestesses, disciples, confidants, and lovers.
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I'm a writer and speaker exploring faith, identity and belonging in an evolving world. My work has been published with The Federalist, The Hill, On Being, Women in the World, The Middle East Forum, and more. A keynote writing includes a two-hour exclusive interview with imam Abu Taubah (audio below), who was linked to Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen. It was a vivid portrait on the complexities of interlocking identities in the war against extremism. In 2016, I testified before the House Homeland Security Committee Hearing on radical Islam, offering a testimony that tied the current crisis to Islam’s origin story and painting Islam as a code that can be reworked. In the years since, I've been working on human rights issues from anti-FGM campaigns to preventing violent extremism across a broad spectrum of ideologies. I'm currently writing my first book, Islam's Origin Story.