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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Hebah Ahmed

I want people to know that when I choose to cover this way it’s because I am fighting against a systematic oppression against women in which women’s bodies are being sexualized and objectified.

– Hebah Ahmed, during a debate on CNN’s “In the Arena” 

Known For: Blogger and community activist
Country: United States

About

Hebah Ahmed, blogger and activist, was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Egyptian-American parents and grew up in Tennessee and Texas.  She holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. At MuslimMatters.org, a blog about political, social, and cultural issues relevant to Muslims, she writes on such topics as her experiences as an American Muslim woman, interfaith dialogue, motherhood, and Egypt. 

She is best known for her defense of the niqab. Speaking of the reasons behind her decision to veil, she says, “I want to be tested in that way. The niqab is a constant reminder to do the right thing. It’s God-consciousness in my face.”1  Understanding the challenges that come with the choice to veil, she embraces them as an opportunity to act as an ambassador for her understanding of Islam.  In her interview with The New York Times she explains, “I look at those run-ins with people as an opportunity to explain who I am and maybe shed some light on Islam. If they knew me or more about my faith, I’m sure they would think differently.” 2

She tries to educate others about her faith not only one-on-one, but also through community presentations and appearances in the media.  She has been interviewed by ABCNews and has twice been a guest on CNN’s program “In the Arena” to debate issues relevant to the Muslim community with award-winning columnist Mona Eltahawy.

Hebah is married with two children and lives in New Mexico where, in addition to her activism, she leads Daughterz of Eve, a youth group for Muslim girls in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area.

 

[1] “Behind the Veil,” The New York Times.
[2] ibid.

Videos

CNN debate between Hebah Ahmed and Mona Eltahawy on French burqa ban

 

ABCNews interview with Hebah Ahmed about her choice to veil

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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.