Islamic Awareness Week workshop dispels stereotypes of Muslim women

Race and Resistance Studies students engaged with Muslim women about their lives in Islam and misconceptions about Muslim women by the West during a workshop on women in Islam, Tuesday afternoon.

“If you really looked into the history of Islam, you’d find lots of strong women,” guest panelist Maahum Chaudhry said.

As a member of the national organization, Islamic Networks Group, the 21-year-old SF State graduate seeks to educate students about her religion. ING goes into schools and gives presentations to students about Islam by giving accurate information, based on facts and the writings of the Quran.

Most students are introduced to Islam in the 7th grade, but the information is outdated, says Chaudhry.

The first person to become a Muslim, according to Chaudhry, was a woman, Muhammad’s wife Khadija. Muslims believe Muhammad was a prophet that God sent the angel Gabriel down to visit and give the Quran as guidance.

The idea that Khadija accepted and was the first to believe her husband is significant because Muslims are taught to be wary of false witnesses.

There “are a lot of misconceptions about Muslim women,” Chaudhry said.

Chaudhry says there are numerous female leaders in Islamic history that disprove the West’s assumptions of subordination. She believes this is important, considering the recent happenings in Pakistan, where 14-year old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head for speaking out about the right of females to go to school.