As Muslim women, inequality isn’t a foreign concept. Whether we actively experience it in our daily lives or hear about it on the news, discrimination is something that our Muslim identity faces on a daily – and it’s exhausting. Here’s the deal though – in order for us to challenge the hateful rhetoric and face the ugly Islamophobia that is so rampant these day, we have to be a “woke” nation. However, simply being aware of problems that only Muslims face is not the definition of being “woke.”
Know What it Means
Woke: an adjective that is used to describe a person who is well-informed about current events and social issues, which includes racism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and all phobias that marginalize groups. (Well, that’s my paraphrase of its definition as I understand it, anyway.)
For me, as well as the rest of my Muslim Girl Clique, one needs to embrace solidarity to be woke. tweet
To be more descriptive for those of you who may have not heard the term in use, “Woke” is one of the many words based in AAVE that has been adopted by mainstream society, becoming most popular with the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
For me, as well as the rest of my Muslim Girl Clique, one needs to embrace solidarity to be woke.
While Muslim women definitely know about the injustices we face, in order to be woke, we must be aware of the injustices plaguing other members of our society. Being a woke Muslim woman means not just standing behind movements for religious acceptance, like #noban, but movements that push for racial equality and LGBT rights, among other things. In essence, one needs to embrace solidarity to be truly “woke.”
Trying to stay woke may seem daunting at times, especially with various media outlets spreading their own message and version of events, but have faith in yourself to distinguish between right and wrong. Also remember to look to movement leaders, who usually have fairly accurate information about occurrences related to their work.
And in the case that you get called out for saying something insensitive or incorrect, don’t be embarrassed; be apologetic and learn from your mistake. tweet
Nevertheless, take everything with a grain of salt. Being woke means being able to think critically. And in the case that you get called out for saying something insensitive or incorrect, don’t be embarrassed; be apologetic and learn from your mistake.
There is no formula to staying woke. Just continue to inform yourself, use your voice, and amplify the voices of others who, like you, are striving towards creating a more equal tomorrow, with equity for all. Remember, groups don’t have to accept us, but they do need to respect us.