5 Muslim activists that are standing up for your rights

Amidst the gruelling Syrian conflict, the torturing nature of the Egyptian government and the painful servitude of the existence of a migration crisis would leave the 3.6 billion of us in a heck of a struggle. But what allows us to breathe without fear, eat without hunger, and care without being forced to is the existence of people who stand up for our rights and freedom. Call them the Avengers, here are the top 5 Muslim activists that are standing up for your rights, and well, saving the day.

Linda Sarsour

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Linda Sarsour is an American Muslim civil rights activist and a heavy campaigner against Islamophobia. A social worker and mother of three, Linda Sarsour speaks heavily for the views of both her local community as well as Muslims across the globe. She never fails to motivate young people to become activists of tomorrow encouraging them to highlight issues in their environment and work towards solving them. Sarsour is heavily known for voicing the view of equality and eradication of Islamophobia in modern day America. What really makes Sarsour a paragon of modern day activism is her ambition of a future for individuals to speak up for themselves and their community as well as sharing the light to motivate global change on the representation of Islam and civil rights beyond the needs and problems of the West.

Mehdi Hasan

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Graduate from Oxford, Mehdi does not allow his educational credentials to take a back seat in what was a growing community of individuals against the views of Islam. Hassan works as a British political journalist voicing views on Islamophobia, modern day issues on the misconceptions of Islam and issues to do with its representation in modern day journalism. As an articulate debater and broadcaster, Mehdhi acts as an ambassador of Islam in groups of heavily intellectual academics putting through what it really means to be a Muslim and dismissing those views of patriarchy and violence surprisingly portrayed by individuals that claim that they represent the Western society.

Tawakkol Karman

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The Mother of the Revolution, The Winner of the Noble Peace Prize, Tawakkol Karman perseveres against violence by standing as a Yemeni journalist known for her significant role in representing both politically and humanitarian issues. She is heavily recognised for her work in a nonviolent struggle for the safety and for the voice for women in both peacebuilding work and in society. Her voice is common for many youth that have been heavily inspired by her efforts to address human right abuses whatever they may be.

“We want to show the world that women can do everything.” Tawakkol Karman

Manal Al-Sharif

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For the West, Saudi Arabia is considered to be the ‘home’ of modern day Islamic traditionalism and laws that inhibit women from driving have been largely condemned as they’re seen as a method to overpower women in a city that represents a religion that undoubtedly empowers them. It’s Manal Al-Sharif who is hoping to change that misconception. Having represented Saudi Women as a speaker in many TEDTalks, she describes herself as a heavily articulate speaker. A video of her driving has stroked the beginning of the ‘Women2Drive’ campaign seeking to provide women with the right to drive freely in the city. This reform has a potential to change mentalities as well as misconceptions of Saudi Women, and the role of Islamic traditionalism as a whole.

Kainat Ahmed

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A close friend of Noble Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousef, Kainat Ahmed joined Malala next to the bus and equally stood up for the education and rights of Women facing the Taliban. Having been deeply injured and seeking protection here in the UK, Kainat stands alongside to fight against educational inequality and rights of Women not only in Pakistan but across the less developed regions of the world under the movement Malala Fund and stands as a voice for the 60 million girls deprived of education worldwide.

Each and every one of these activists stood by identifying a problem in society, focussing on a group, starting a movement and making a change. Individuals like Kainat, Mehdi, Linda and Manal are just some of the growing number of activists that stand up for the problems that the Muslim Community is facing against and within themselves. It’s unquestionable that a lot of change has emerged from the work of such inspiring people and it’s the growing number that allows this change to be established. There isn’t one activist, nor one leader. Our own community issue their own problems and need someone to address them. As the generation of change, we also have a responsibility to stand up for the right not only of ourselves but also of the community.

‘We are the new generation struggling for our freedom. We know that this is a new world and the future is ours. ‘ 

-Tawwakol Karman

Written by Maariyaah Shaheen

Maariyaah Shaheen

Maariyaah Shaheen is an academic and islamic studies student. She is the Founder of SisterHoodUK and runs Youth activities in her spare time. Aspiring to make a change, she's currently looking out for ways of improving her chocolate cake recipe and aiding the Ummah but not simultaneously. A dedicated #STEMinist (like a feminist but cooler).