Three and a half years after 9/11, a Black American feminist scholar of Islam called Dr. Amina Wadud became the first woman imam to lead a mixed-gender Friday congregational prayer--100 of us--50 women and 50 men. #20thanniversary911
It was one of the most moving moments of my life. The prayer was co-sponsored by the (now defunct) Progressive Muslim Union of North America (PMUNA), of which I was a board member. #20thanniversary911 A hall with rows of people prostrated in Muslim prayer
The PMUNA had come to be in the aftermath of 9/11, as part of the vigorous internal Muslim arguments and debates those awful attacks had shaken into being. Remember: al-Qaeda has killed more Muslims than non-Muslims. #20thanniversary911…
No mosque would host our female-led mixed-gender prayer. An art gallery that had agreed backed out after a threat. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine kindly offered us a lay building on its premises for our prayer.
A jihadist Website urged Osama bin Laden to issue a fatwa calling for our deaths, while the now late Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi complained at the time to an Arab League summit meeting that our prayer would create a million bin Ladens.
A woman leading one hundred people in prayer would inspire people to extremist violence, rather than than oppression, torture and corruption of regimes such as those led by Qaddafi and his fellow dictators at that Arab League summit.
A BBC documentary filmmaker told me that during his interview soon after our prayer with Iraqi cleric Muqtader al-Sadr - usually described as “hardline” and “fiery” in western media - he asked Sadr what was the worst thing the US had done.
Remember our prayer in NYC in 2005 was 2yrs after the US invaded al-Sadr’s country Iraq, in its war of revenge--along with the war on Afghanistan-- for 9/11, leading directly or indirectly to the deaths of almost half a million Iraqis. Sadr replied “Allow a woman to lead prayer.”
Read, like, share my new essay.…
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More from @monaeltahawy

11 Sep
Cristiano Ronaldo starting with my #MUFC boys again.

I've always liked Ronaldo but I have significantly wheeled back my admiration for his footballing talent after sexual assault accusations against him.
The abusive behaviour of superstars, including our former captain Ryan lGiggs, must be directly connected to the behaviour of abusers in the stands and in the pubs who watch them.…
I love football. I have supported #MUFC since 1976 when I was nine years old.

I will always condemn and target patriarchy and the ways it enables and protects abuse of any kind, including by football superstars.

Read 7 tweets
10 Sep
On the anniversary of #September11, I usually remember those killed in the attacks and the many more killed in the wars of revenge in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I quote from June Jordan's Some of Us Did Not Die…
“I realized that regardless of the tragedy, regardless of the grief, regardless of the monstrous challenge, Some of Us Have Not Died. Some of us did NOT die…And what shall we do, we who did not die?” June Jordan asked in a keynote presentation at Barnard College on Nov 9, 2001.
Days after 9/11, a man tried to set my local mosque on fire and to shoot 2 Muslim men who tried to stop him in Seattle, where I lived at the time. He was too drunk to succeed.

Twelve years later, another man succeeded in setting my brother's local mosque on fire in the Midwest.
Read 10 tweets
9 Sep
I've been reading essays I wrote for the 10th anniversary of #September11 as I prepare to write an essay for the 20th anniversary.

Coming soon to FEMINIST GIANT.
For most of my life, the US was never anything more than vacation memories. My family visited in 1982 for a vacation that marked the end of our years of living in the UK and which came just before we moved to Saudi Arabia.
But then I fell in love with an American and I flew to NYC to meet him for the millennium celebrations and even though we fought and I gave him back his engagement ring, I agreed to marry him and I did what I vowed I'd never do: I left my job and my home for a man.
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
My paternal grandmother had 8 children. My maternal grandmother had 11 children (she was pregnant 14 times). My mother is the eldest of those children and she has 3 children of her own. I am the eldest of those children and I am glad to have none of my own
Most books/essays I've seen about being childfree by choice are written by white cis women. We need to hear from more women of colour & women from different cultural & faith backgrounds as well as trans men and non-binary people who choose to be childfree. My own book is in works
It is the first anniversary of my newsletter FEMINIST GIANT. I launched it a year ago so that I could write essays like this.

You can hear the audio essay I record to accompany my essays here…
Read 7 tweets
8 Sep
And in between
📷 @rerutled Six small pictures of Mona's head showing her hair colour as
I shaved all my hair off to shed what I once had needed, thankful that my crown of fire brought me here. I have turned my body - including my hair - into a canvas upon which I paint my own hieroglyphics because if I don’t, patriarchy will. It always has.…
Read 4 tweets
7 Sep
I could not say, for the longest time, that I desired men and women. I could not say, for the longest time, that being monogamous was suffocating me.
What does desire look like liberated from the pressure of heteronormativity & enforced monogamy? What desire is a cis woman who is child free by choice “allowed” to have at 54rs of age? What does desire look like liberated from pressure to have children?…
And perhaps hardest of all: during this past year, I could not say that I feared I had lost that ability to desire. I feared that I had lost a life force I had fought so hard for.
Read 6 tweets

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