Muslim American Women Heroes of 2016

The broad consensus is the 2016 has been a tornado of dumpster fires ripping through a kitten orphanage kind of year.

That said, in the baddest of times comes the most wonderful of moments. That is the summation of what we can deduce from a recently circulated list of Muslim American women heroes that came forth in 2016. In a year ripe with bigotry toward Muslims, and women…and everyone else, this list is a gentle reminder that people can be disappointing, but persons can be outstanding.

There is the fierce fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad who was the first woman to wear a hijab in the Olympics. While she didn’t get a medal, her heart is made of gold.

Then there is the trailblazer Ilhan Omar, the first Somali American Muslim Woman to be elected to office. Representing Minnesotans, Ilhan proves glass ceilings can be crushed into dust.

Then there is the strong Ghazala Khan, the Muslim woman standing next to her husband as he described their son’s service in the military during the Democratic National Convention. She stood tall in the face of Trump’s bullying; her son would be proud.

There is the defiant Rana Abdelhamid, the founder of the Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment. She leads self-defense classes and empowerment classes for Muslim women. Said Rana, “There’s something to it when [Muslim women] are leading our own empowerment movement.” Simply Awesome.

And let’s not forget Noor Tagouri, the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman featured in Playboy. Despite the medium Noor presented a strong case for modesty.

There are 17 women featured in all. These wonderful women found the strength to kick in the door or shatter the ceiling this year. Let’s honor them by applauding them.

2017, here we come!

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