Founder and Executive Director Of Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality and Member of WISE Shura Council
Hijri 1377-Present (AH); Common Era 1958-Present (CE)
Daisy Khan is an award-winning speaker, author, activist, commentator, and the founder of Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), the largest global network of Muslim women committed to peacebuilding, gender equality, and human dignity. Formerly, Khan served as Executive Director of American Society for Muslim Advancement for eighteen years, where she was hailed as a bridge builder for promoting cultural and religious harmony through groundbreaking intra faith programs like Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow and inter-faith arts programs like Same Difference, Cordoba Bread Fest. In her grassroots efforts to combat anti-Muslim bias she created “Today, I am a Muslim Too Rally with 100 Interfaith organizations. When Khan saw an unprecedented rise in violent extremism causing intense scrutiny and distrust of Muslims she published WISE Up: Knowledge ends Extremism in collaboration with 72 authors to develop narratives of peace by creating a counter-momentum to the rise in hateful rhetoric. Khan believes that women’s leadership is essential to solving societal issues. “we need to remove structural barriers to Muslim women’s leadership, to enable them to use their resolve, passion and humility to bring societies into greatness.” She founded the first global Muslim women's Shura (advisory) Council to amplify Muslim women’s scholarship. The Council uses an egalitarian interpretation of scripture to publish position papers against issues such as child marriage, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and many others. Khan lectures in the US and internationally on numerous topics; Muslim women, Islam in America, Islamophobia, and extremism. Her audiences are varied: prestigious think tanks like CFR, universities, congregations and women’s and youth groups. Recognized as a global think tank thought leader, Khan has been featured in powerful periodicals such as Time Magazine, The Guardian, Newsweek, and The New York Times and appears regularly on TV outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC. As advisor, she has appeared in documentaries like PBS’s Three Faiths, One God, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, and National Geographic’s Inside Mecca. Her memoir, Born with Wings (2018) depicts her spiritual journey as a modern Muslim woman and her circuitous path to leadership. She is a recipient of two dozen awards and honors including the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, Edinburgh Peace Award, Interfaith Center’s Award for Promoting Peace. More Magazine described her as “a Link between Moderate Islam and the West,” Women’s E-News named her “21 women of the 21st century” and Glamour Magazine listed her among “7 Women You Must Follow on Twitter.” Listed among Time magazine 100 Most Influential People she was ranked among the “Top Ten Women Faith leaders” by The Huffington Post. Born in Kashmir, she spent twenty-five years as an interior architect for various Fortune 500 companies. In 2005, she dedicated herself to full-time community service and building movements for positive change, both in the United States and around the globe.