Week 1: On Resistance and Social Responsibility

This digital media collage was created with the idea of social responsibility as a core tenet of being Muslim in mind. This was an idea explored from the beginning of this semester, starting from Professor Asani’s interpretation of Qur’an 2:177, which calls those righteous who give away money to kin and the needy, who free their slaves, amongst other qualities. This verse emphasizes the various elements of the path to righteousness for a Muslim: faith, having a god character and participating in salat and zakat, and taking action to better society. John Renard in his work Seven Doors to Islam discusses this verse and comes to the same conclusion, highlighting the emphasis on social responsibility (pg. 12). The cultural context of any given moment in history may emphasize particular types of social engagement, so I decided to collage the symbolic raised fist of resistance with a focus on some prominent social movements of the present day: marches against the current United States political administration, especially pertaining to banning and limiting of immigration into the United States, the march for women’s rights, and the Black Lives Matter movements. All of these movements had Muslim presences in some way or another, whether it was Linda Sarsour, one of the co-chairs of the Women’s March on Washington, or Munira Ahmed, the face of resistance on posters to show that a Bangladeshi Muslim from Queens, NY is just as American as anyone else. A lot of the present day’s movements of resistance highlight the intersectionality of current social issues, intertwining issues of racism, sexism, Islamophobia and many other issues, thus highlighting the relevance of social engagement and visibility in today’s society, in order to help various marginalized populations.

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