Within religion and theology, men have dominated the power of voice, to the detriment of women and others. Social media has created a space where women can contribute to the discussion by removing obstacles such as situational and geographical boundaries.
For Muslim women, in particular, these spaces allow for response to their double silencing by Muslim patriarchal traditions and ‘white savior’ feminism. Muslim women have used these public avenues to engage critically with issues of identity, representation, and political discourses. They also use these spaces to build community and support forums to talk about issues relevant to their lives.
However, their presence on social media is often hyper-focused on the hijab and religion which leads to stereotypical and monolithic representations and occludes the lived complexity of their lives. At the same time, although these spaces are avenues of empowerment, they are also points of vulnerability for women, who disproportionately face criticism and online abuse.
This roundtable, led by Public Scholar Arwa Hussain, addresses these issues by bringing into conversation a diverse group of Muslim women, in order to foreground the knowledge of those with first-hand experiences.
How can you participate? Join us in person or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.
Jafri is the Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women and has held leadership positions in public, private, and non-profit sectors including directing diversity initiatives at two of Canada's largest banks. She has developed numerous anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and anti-oppression workshops for a variety of audiences.
Dr. Krista Melanie Riley
Dr. Riley (she/her/hers) is a pedagogical advisor at a college in Montreal, Quebec. She holds a PhD in Communication Studies from Concordia University, where her research focused on discussions about gender, bodies, and sexuality on Muslim feminist blogs. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Muslimah Media Watch.
Naqvi-Mohamed is a journalist, blogger, and influencer who has made history as the first woman to wear the hijab on Quebec television in her role as a video journalist for City News Montreal. She is also a regular columnist with the Montreal Gazette and has her own blog CanadianMomEh which is an online lifestyle magazine celebrating Canadian diversity.
Issa is an activist, writer, and legal student at McGill university and is heavily involved in media work relating to Muslim women in Canada as well as the founder of Femmes Musulmanes Contre le Racism (FEMCOR) and co-founder of party Mouvement Montreal. She appears regularly on media outlets such as CBC & CTV to advocate for the rights of marginalized and oppressed groups, with a focus on the intersectional experiences of Muslim women of color.