The New York Times selected Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age for review in yesterday’s print Sunday edition, and, needless to say, it was lit! (Pun intended.)
Written by renowned Pakistani journalist and author Rafia Zakaria, the review, originally made available on NYTimes.com on November 7, describes Muslim Girl as “an account that should both enlighten and shame Americans who read it.”
Rafia writes that Muslim Girl is more that just America’s “sins” against Muslims in America, “it is instead an exposition of how two realities, a besieged and defensive Muslim American community and an endlessly suspicious America that constantly demands proof of the community’s patriotism, come together to create the constrictions that she and many million young Muslim Americans must push against.”
This same week, we received news that the #MuslimGirlBook has been selected as an Editors’ Choice pick in next week’s edition of the New York Times Bestsellers List. As the nation moves forward (or backwards, depending on how you are looking at it) with a president-elect who has made no secret regarding his feelings towards Muslims, the visibility of this recognition is nothing short of a breakthrough.
In a 2012, an article by the Poynter Institute stated that 88% of books reviewed by the New York Times have been written by White writers. While the number of people of color whose books have been reviewed has increased, the number of Muslim women is less than a handful.
Having said that, this makes the review of Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age even more so a major accomplishment and major step forward as Muslim women talk back, reclaiming our own narratives and telling our own stories.
If you haven’t read Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age, make sure you pick up your copy today. As we enter a new era of Muslims navigating Islamophobia in the West, it’s now a more pertinent read than ever.
You can grab a copy of Muslim Girl here.