By, Muslim Womxn at Ryerson
Muslim Womxn at Ryerson is a student group that was created out of a need for space on campus that engages Muslims in critical thought and action. We root ourselves in principles of anti-oppression, and seek to work from a feminist, anti-racist, and 2SLBGTQ+ affirming lens.
For us, this past year has been exciting, difficult, and transformative all at once. The day that we were ratified by the Ryerson Students’ Union was special, since it was March 27th, 2018 – Muslim Women’s Day. Getting our group up off the ground was a challenge, as we faced backlash from those whose views do not align with ours. The backlash, though, has been outweighed by all the support we’ve received from Ryerson students, faculty, and community members, as well as non-Ryerson community organizations.
Our work is informed by our personal experiences as well as our collective experiences. This means centering those who have historically been marginalized and disenfranchised in our Muslim communities (ie. working class people, women, queer people, trans people, Black people, racialized people). This also means that we believe in the rich history of Islam and all of its sects, not just Sunni Islam.
Here are some of the things we have done since our ratification:
- Became community partners at the 2018 Peace Iftar, an annual community celebration in Ramadan.
- Co-hosted Queer Eid + Muzzie Pride: an Eid celebration for all LGBTQ+ Muslims
- Collaborated with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women to launch their national project on Muslim women’s family law in Canada
- Creative writing workshop in collaboration with The Poetry Passport, founded by Ryerson Master’s student, Dana Seif
- Muslim Women’s Collective: our discussion & support space for Muslim women
- Black, Muslim, Resilient: A creative writing workshop for Black Muslim women
- A film screening and discussion of Naz and Maalik, a movie about two young queer Black Muslim youth living in Brooklyn
- Queer and Trans Muslim Collective: our discussion & support space for Queer and Trans Muslims
Because we are a fairly new group, we don’t have nearly as many resources as other groups on campus do. This, however, has never deterred us away from our work, because we make do with what we have; and we find our strength in our community and in each other as student leaders.
Many times, as a group, we paused to look inward and ask ourselves what more we could be doing to engage in meaningful work. Through this ongoing process of self-evaluation, we are creating space(s) on campus that go beyond the narratives we’ve become accustomed to.
Activism is never easy or smooth sailing, but it is rewarding.
Muslim Womxn at Ryerson provides a community for students on campus to engage with their intersectional identities without having to compromise one or the other. You don’t have to apologize for taking up space. March is Women’s History Month and we are going to be holding events throughout the month so stay in touch with us through our Facebook Muslim Womxn at Ryerson and Instagram @Rye Muslim Womxn
Muslim Womxn at Ryerson: Aima Warriach (she/her), Bilqees Mohamed (she/her), Arooj Yaqub (she/they), Kawal Karda (she/her), Saadia Khan (they/them)