Islam and social justice have always been intertwined even if the media doesn’t always highlight it. The religion teaches its followers to fight for those who are oppressed and treat all with respect and kindness. The Quranic term that best fits with this concept is qist, meaning fairness (Yaqeen Institute). A lot of Muslims and leaders in the Islamic community try to incorporate this into their everyday actions and by practicing activism. 

Pictured here is Mona Eltahawy, the originator of #mosquemetoo (Personal Democracy Forum, 2011).

Muslims are involved in the fight for a wide variety of issues ranging from racism to global poverty. One issue that has been especially important lately is sexual violence against women. The newly created Me Too movement gained a lot of momentum and highlighted incidents of rape and assault that women were previously too scared to share. This movement has garnered a lot of support from Muslim women. Specifically, one very vocal Egyptian-American Muslim woman is Mona Eltahawy. She started a hashtag and movement called #Mosquemetoo where she encouraged Muslim women to similarly share their stories of sexual violence. She created a safe space by encouraging solidarity and showing Muslim women that they were not alone. The hashtag was used more than 2,000 times and empowered women to share their stories by giving publicity to an often-taboo issue (Time). Often, women in Islam are viewed as oppressed and voiceless when that is not the case. This one-sided view of Muslim-women by the media erases years of hard work put in by social activists and paints a false image of Islam. The reality is Muslim women fight and make their voices heard when there are wrong doings in society. They advocate for change and justice just as much as everyone else, but headlines of oppression seem to over-power others.