On Saturday, Jan. 21, millions marched in solidarity across the globe in support of the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Among the marchers were members of the #MuslimGirlArmy, who were happy to explain why they march.
Naaz Modan, 20 – Washington, D.C.
“I march for all of us who have been told that we are not enough, that we are weak and that our bodies are a commodity. I march for our daughters who will one day read history books and learn to fight for themselves. I march for my fellow minorities — Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and immigrants. I stand for the revival of a democracy and because I have the power to say: Do you see me now?”
Hira Ismail, 24 – Pheonix, AZ
“I marched because I felt the need to align myself with my community. The symbolic coming together of so many people is powerful, it speaks volumes. Marches are a kicking off point for all the work we have to do, all the action we have to take. I marched to stand in solidarity with people and to take comfort in others standing in solidarity with me. It is encouraging to see the willingness of people to leave their homes and make a statement.”
Iman Abid, 24 – Upstate, NY
“I march because I don’t want others speaking up for me. I march because this journey ahead isn’t just an expedition that will test only our democracy, but it’s a journey that will test our character. As a Muslim American, in Islam, we are shown stories in the Qur’an that teach us not only what we must do in the name of Allah (SWT), but what we can do for the sake of all humankind, and what our character is like in the face of adversity. I march because Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean water; the Black Lives Matter movement started over a year ago and people of color are still fighting for their respect; women’s reproductive rights have been challenged since Roe v. Wade; Muslims have witnessed the highest spike in hate crimes since late 2015, and the list goes on. And still, we have yet to understand why others don’t quite seem to get it when we ask them to suppress no voices and help minorities rise up. That’s why I march.”
Tahira Ayub, 22 – Washington, D.C.
“I march because I prefer to speak for myself, thank you very much. I march for my mother and my sisters — sisters through biology, faith, and friendship. I believe in the power of the people — by the people and for the people. I believe that when we come together in the face of bigotry and hatred, we as Americans are the opposing majority. Together, we can protect one another. We can come together and fight for the rights of Muslims, Black people, Hispanic people, the disabled, immigrants and more. This land is our land. We will take the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We will take them and protect them from anything that comes in the next four years. I march for the millions of unheard voices that are consistently spoken for and not spoken to. I march so I can pass the microphone to those unheard voices.”
Zarina Iman, 16 – New York, NY
“There’s not one concrete reason why I marched. Part of me did it because I was fed up with being afraid, told not to walk around at night, to be careful what I say in airports, to restrict myself because not everyone is ready for a loud, brown Muslim girl. Another part of me marched because I knew my grandparents didn’t survive British colonialism, a civil war, and the Civil Rights Movement just so I could deal with the same oppression they faced day in and day out for at least 50 years. But my main reason for marching is really to honor girls: Young girls who started working to support their families; transgender girls who are shunned by their families; dark girls who are told that their worth is equivalent to the shade of their skin; hijabi girls who are expected to apologize for things they have no part in; the undocumented girls with big dreams, and all other girls who continue to live each day in a society that refuses to appreciate their worth. Because until they all get the equality the need and deserve, we, as women, won’t be able to truly say that we’ve attained equality.”
Safaa Khan, 20 – Washington, D.C.
“I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say, ‘Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.’ [Muslim]
I march because I see an evil, and I’m going to do everything in my power to change it. I march for every minority who has been affected by the way our “leaders” have
so easily disregarded and discredited our experiences and stories to elevate themselves. I march because our voices deserve to be heard. I march for resistance. I march because all feminism should be intersectional. I march because I’m unapologetically Muslim; because the first Muslim woman shattered the glass ceiling for me over a thousand years ago and I’m following in her footsteps. I march for equality, diversity, real intersectional feminism, sisterhood, and unity. And after a very long and tiring election, the march gave me back my hope.”