Muslim Women: Past and Present

Recommend a Muslim Woman

Throughout the ages, from the earliest days of Islam to contemporary times today, Muslim women have been and continue to be active leaders in their communities and countries across the world. This directory is a growing archive of leading Muslim women scholars, activists, writers, politicians, artists, religious and spiritual leaders, civil society leaders and more. Please contribute to this archive by suggesting Muslim women to be featured through our recommendation form.

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Aishah Schwartz

It's important for people to see us. It's important to vote, stand up and speak...It'll help relieve some of the misperceptions the general public has of us.

Aishah Schwartz stated, in regards to the importance of the launch of the 2003 Muslim-Americans Nationwide Voter Registration Campaign

photo of Aishah Schwartz

Known For: Founder and Director of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA)
Country: United States

About

Aishah Schwartz, an American Muslim revert to Islam since April 2002, is founder and director of the 2006-established Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) and a retired 17-year litigation legal assistant. She is also a published freelance non-fiction writer, journalist and internationally renowned human rights activist with a focus on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of Palestinian people affected by Israeli’s embargo on Gaza. As an activist Ms. Schwartz focuses on civil and human rights issues within the Muslim community at-large, particularly those adversely affecting Muslim women. Ms. Schwartz’s writing, primarily autobiographical, generally focuses on countering misconceptions about Islam and her own life as a Muslim. She eventually became a featured writer for Naseeb Vibes, one of the world’s largest online Muslim magazines and social communities. Ms. Schwartz’s articles are also regularly published in The American Muslim (TAM) magazine. 

Dressed as the Statue of Liberty, Ms. Schwartz addressed French President Jacques Chirac in front of the French embassy in Washington, D.C. as hundreds gathered on January 17, 2004 in protest of an impending law prohibiting Muslim women from wearing the hijab, or head covering. Through MWA her activism received international recognition in 2006 after a successful campaign to avert removal of a prayer space in view of the Kabba designated for women in the courtyard of Makkah’s Grand Mosque. The campaign included a website, online petition, poster declaring “We Have A Right to Pray in This Space!”, and press release that was all directed to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, which was reported on by Egypt’s Al-Ahram Weekly, in which Margot Badran stated “...the most striking example to date of concerted Islamic feminist global protest…”. In September of 2009, Ms. Schwartz’s blog, “Sister Aishah’s Journey” was recognized by The Daily Reviewer, a social blog reader website which establishes the popularity of blogs based upon the number of times a user tags a feed, as one of the top 100 Muslim blogs.

In 2010 through MWA, Ms. Schwartz continued her work to further advance women’s rights in guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia, and to provide educational opportunities to students in Gaza, in which Mike Ghouse from Foundation of Pluralism stated “This includes four of our heroes, whom I know - Aishah Schwartz…”. Recently, Ms. Schwartz established the film production of a sequel to the Bridges Foundation project, “The Fog is Lifting”, entitled: “Jihad Against Terrorism”, also featuring Imam Suhaib Webb.

This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women alphabetically by their first names. Many Muslim names have alternative spellings once rendered into English so if you cannot find the name you are looking for, please try the general search tab where you can enter keywords of your choice.
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This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women chronologically by the Common Era century. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women by their Country. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women leaders by entering the keyword(s) of your choice. If you cannot find a particular woman that you are looking for, please let us know by completing our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.