The (20)14 Articles that Made MuslimGirl’s Year

We believe that MuslimGirl is truly a reflection of the women that are behind it. Just like it was in our personal lives and the journey of our identities as Muslim women, 2014 was truly a year of growth, development, and esteem-building for MuslimGirl. We spent the year exploring topics and issues that define our lived experiences, learning a thing or two about ourselves and unshackling some deep-seated preconceptions along the way. We expanded and connected with a sisterhood that has become our backbone, our strength, and our inspiration. And, together with you, we have truly started to grow into who we really are. All we can say is thank you.

As we begin moving forward into the new year, we would like to honor some of the moments and people and that brought us to where we are. Please join us in reflecting on this past year and the incredible discussions we shared together in some of our favorite highlights below. Here’s to taking on 2015 by storm — together.

If you’d like to be a part of this list for 2015, send us your story pitch to

1. Muslim Feminists Respond: The Hypocrisy of the Male-Centric Narrative

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A brilliant piece, written by 5 wonderful Muslim activists, as a response to MuslimMatter’s The Hypocrisy of Feminist Outrage.

“The demands of equality aren’t only about dress; they are about asking for a radical transformation of power as distributed by gender. They are about restructuring society to reflect equality across gender — and, when applying intersectionality, across all identities and their expressions. The demands for equality are about asking for an end to the global devaluation and dehumanization of women, which begins the moment the fetus is designated female and lasts throughout a woman’s lifetime.”


2. An Open Letter to Wall Street Journal from a Palestinian Woman

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Editor-In-Chief of MuslimGirl, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, passionately wrote this open letter to Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens, arguing his ridiculous assertion that Palestinian mothers raise their children to become martyrs. Stephens asks, “Where are the Palestinian Mothers?” and Amani elegantly replies:

“If you want to know where the Palestinian mothers are, they are living under a military occupation, among an unarmed civilian population, quietly reciting their boys’ names in their hearts as American columnists try to write them away.”


3. Rasmea Odeh and the Vilification of Brown Women’s Bodies

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Hadiya wrote a breathtaking article on Rasmea Odeh’s lessons of justice, the reclamation of womanhood, liberation, individualism and spirituality in her trial.

“Rasmea taught us that the resistance movement is a never-ending one; she has taught us to liberate our minds, our love for one another, our spirits, our bodies, and eventually, to liberate lands. Our rising is a reclamation of justice that was not served to her. This trial exposed to us exactly where Palestinian activism stands. Brutally alone. But passionately free, fervently truthful, and, most of all, vehemently ours.”


4. Read This Before You Share that Sexual Harassment Video

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Marwa illustrated exactly why Karim Metwaly’s Hijabi Harassment Comparison video isn’t the correct portrayal of the hijab. She cites the Quran and the Prophet PBUH to prove that the hijab is not a protection against sexual harassment.

“Hijab is not worn for men; to keep their illicit desires in check, that is their own responsibility…”


5. Dear President Erdogan: You’re the One Who Doesn’t Get It

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Salma Elkhaodi wrote an open letter to President Tayyip Erdogan on what it truly means to truly respect a woman and her aspirations, in response to his anti-feminist speech, defining feminism in clear terms:

“Feminism is equating the importance of motherhood to the importance of fatherhood. Feminism is allowing our children, regardless of gender, to dream of fitting into the mold of any position in society… It’s to create a society in which men can be generals and presidents and doctors and judges in the same way that women can be any and all of those things — with the same opportunity and with the same respect. That is feminism.”


6. Hijab as a Tool of Victim Blaming: A Personal Response to MuslimMatters

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“Let’s get something straight; I cover from men, but not for men. When I wear my hijab, I don’t do it to control the thoughts of men who see me. I do it for myself.”

Zeena responds to Muslim Matter’s The Hypocrisy of Feminist Outrage with articulate explanation. Men shouldn’t be redefining the purpose of the hijab to serve as a foundation for victim blaming. Rape and assault are entirely the faults of the aggressor.


7. #MGBurritoLife: How to Look Cute Wearing a Blanket in Public

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Sania taught us how to rock a blanket in public, getting the best of three worlds: warmth + fashion + modesty.


8. Exam Day: Duaa toPerfect Your Memory and Increase Your Knowledge

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Marwa helped us ease the stress and get closer to God with 7 useful duaas, from seeking knowledge to suppressing anxiety and fear.

“With a combination of hard work, patience, dedication, and Allah’s mercy upon you, there’s no way you won’t ace whatever upcoming text you might have.”


9. Exclusive: Interview with Islamic Development Bank President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali

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2014 marked Muslim Girl’s exclusive interview, led by Editor-In-Chief Amani, with the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali. IDB has been paving the way for finances, scholarly awards, and monetary support in the Islamic world. To quote Dr. Ali:

“Another wording for Islamic banking is ethical banking. Ethics are an essential part of IDB financing. So, we always observe this and we expect all IDB collaborations to be done accordingly. We think that this will have some influence on the actions of all member countries — we are confident of that, God willing.”


10. Hijab, Criticism, and the Burden of Public Expectations

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Huda Alawa steps into the zone of the societal response to hijabis and non-hijabis. She writes:

“Hijab is much more than just a way of dress; symbolically, it is the idea of modesty, of autonomy over oneself. Never was it meant to just be enforced on women.”


11. “I Want to be the First Hijabi to…”: The Dangers of Becoming the Token Hijabi

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Laila wrote a moving article on why striving to be the pioneer Muslim woman in any front, detracts from the true essence of hard work, and what it means to be a successful person, hijab or not.

“Claiming your identity as being the impetus for your success instead of you handwork means that if you fail in the endeavor, it’s so easy to accuse the world of failing you…”


12. “Marriage is a Mosque”: A Poem on Domestic Violence

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Guest Blogger, Ameerah Arjanee, wrote a hauntingly beautiful poem on the domestic violence in a Muslim community.

“Marriage is a mosque- pray in it, have patience in it…”


13. #LifeofAMuslimFeminist and the Legitimacy of “Muslim Feminists”

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Neda Kit redefines feminism with respect to Islam in this response to Muslim backlash on what it means to be a Muslim feminist, writing:

“Feminism, like Islam, is more than incorporating women in our historical narratives and granting them privileges — because these are basic human rights that everyone should be entitled to regardless.”


14. Hijab Doesn’t Protect Against Eating Disorders

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Bisma breaks another stereotype often paired with Muslim women: immunity to self-image issues. Yes, Muslim women suffer these issues, too.

“It’s perceived that Muslim women are immune to the media-driven ideas of beauty and attractiveness because they wear modest clothes and cover their heads. Muslim women also have to deal with low self-esteem and body image issues, just like other women.”