Can you hear us now?’ Muslim women raise their voices in response to Trump
Washington Post
By Mary Hui

Ekram Hussien was on a train recently when a passenger yelled at her. “If it were left up to me, people like you wouldn’t be in this country,” she remembers him saying.

Hussien, 22, managed to respond, “Well, luckily, it’s not up to you.”

She recounted this incident in a piece of spoken-word poetry, which she performed at an event Wednesday evening organized by Karamah, a national organization of female lawyers who promote the rights of Muslim women.

Your proposed immigration policy is nothing more than misguided fear bottled up and designed to provoke violence with not a whisper of decency,” Hussien said, reciting her poem on stage in front of a crowd of about 70, who cheered and snapped their fingers. “All that yelling, and I still can’t hear your voice.”

The event, called “Strong Communities, Strong Voices,” was held at the Busboys and Poets restaurant on 14th Street NW. On stage, beneath a triptych of black-and-white portraits of the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., several women stepped up to the mic to share personal stories of challenges, successes and determination as Muslims.

The women were participants in Karamah’s Law and Leadership Summer Program, which each year brings Muslim women from around the world to learn about Islamic law, leadership and conflict resolution.

The event comes at a time when anti-Muslim rhetoric is taking center stage in the country. The speakers responded directly to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s most recent insinuation about Muslims, when he said of Ghazala Khan, who stood quietly beside her husband at the Democratic National Convention, “Probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”

Khan, whose son was killed in action serving as a U.S. soldier in Iraq, did speak out on television and in print. But to the women at Wednesday’s event, the implication that Muslim women are silenced was a familiar false trope.

“A lot of people are starting to wonder if Muslim women have voices,” said Aisha Rahman, executive director of Karamah.

Rahman sees education, for both the general public and the Muslim community, as the most effective antidote to anti-Muslim attitudes.  Non-Muslims need to know what the religion is truly about, while Muslims “need to feel empowered in their faith.”

“There’s a legacy from 1,400 years ago of Muslim women speaking up with their voices,” Rahman said. But this narrative is not often told — hence the need for events like these, she said.

For Hussien, who lives in Dallas, being a Muslim woman in today’s America means “the epitome of strength.”

Everywhere, she said, there are preconceived notions about Islam directed against her and her fellow Muslims. She constantly has to stand up for herself, and it is exhausting, Hussien said.

But she added, “It’s made me, if anything, stronger in my faith and in who I am. It’s made me stand stronger.”

Covid-19 Protocol

Covid-19 Protocol

Due to the upcoming vaccination/testing requirements, we are re-posting the Busboys and Poets Safety Protocol: “The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented moment in history and has impacted the hospitality industry unlike anything else we have experienced before.  This manual is an introduction to how Busboys and Poets plans to get in front of the situation, … Continued

CrownMural WALL

A Reflective Minute: The Crown Act Mural Unveiling in Anacostia

Busboys and Poets is built, in part, on the premise of being a place where, “arts, politics and culture intentionally collide.” So there is no better place for Candice Taylor’s Crown Act Mural to be displayed than on the side of a wall of Busboys and Poets in Anacostia. The 2019 Crown Act was created … Continued

MIABMORE

Busboys and Poets – Baltimore

You may have noticed the new mural being installed on the windows of the new Busboys and Poets location Charles Village – 3224 St Paul Street Baltimore, MD This mural is titled: The Busboy and the Poet by Mia Duvall The name Busboys and Poets refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a … Continued

Screen Shot 2021 03 15 at 6.02.09 PM

Everest Base Camp #20

FINAL POSTING FOR EVEREST BASE CAMP TRAVEL LOG. Thank you for staying with me and for your beautiful comments. Hope to see at least some of you soon. Why I am here. It is 7:15 am. Our flight out of Lukla is at 8. I savor a yak cheese omelette and my last Himalayan coffee. … Continued

AndyShallal PeaceandStruggle

The Nepal Chronicles #1

March 2, 2021… For the next couple of weeks I will be blogging on Facebook about a trip that I have been planning the day I turned 65, which was about a year ago. I am heading to Everest Base Camp and hoping to celebrate my 66th there. I got the all clear from my … Continued

covid 19 banner2 920x460

Community Resources for COVID-19

Here are some resources that you may be able to take advantage of: Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you Back To School After Lockdown – Tips From An NHS Psychologist One Fair Wage – Emergency Funding for Tipped Employees/Service WorkersRWCF- Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund USBG- COVID-19 Relief Grants for Bartenders Restaurant Opportunities Centers- United … Continued

Rising Artist Frank Ocean did something important

Rising Artist Frank Ocean did something important

“We can thank Frank Ocean, not only for making a public statement that sweeps aside shadows and offers young fans another powerfully vulnerable star to admire and emulate, but for reminding us that while proudly declaring an identity can be a politically crucial gesture, often the human heart is not so sure-footed. The process of becoming and unbecoming, loving and losing, is what often makes for the most meaningful art.” – Ann Powers, NPR

patrick pride

Busboys and Poets Book Review: Anger is a Gift

Mark Oshiro’s contemporary YA fiction is an incredibly moving story about community, about love, and about taking a stand against prejudice and violence, even when it seems completely hopeless, and it is especially difficult to read. Especially for someone like me, caught up in my own privilege and ignorant of the struggles faced by people … Continued

Busboys and Poets Book Interview: Mamta Jain Valderrama

Busboys and Poets Book Interview: Mamta Jain Valderrama

Busboys and Poets Books is excited to have social justice author, Mamta Jain Valderrama coming to Busboys 14th & V to discuss her debut novel, A Girl In Traffick, based on true stories of human organ trafficking. In advance of the upcoming event, bookstore supervisor Kenlynn Nelson interviewed Mamta about her writing and thoughts on … Continued