We look back on this year as the start of a great journey. Starting April 15th, the day we launched Mvslim, many awesome things have happened. We shared our vision with the world and the world responded with supportive tweets, enthusiastic mails and loving messages that will never leave our archives. Of course they weren’t all so positive, but as the great Taylor Swift once said: Haters gonna hate.
The most important thing is that we had a chance to share our side of the story. Whether it was on BBC World Service or Flanders Today, we spread the news and made sure people from around the globe would know what our goals were: to inspire others, bridge the gap between different communities and to create a voice for young Muslims everywhere. And we’re proud to say that’s exactly what we did.
We put new role models in the spotlight, such as Aziz Sancar, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry and Azza Faiad, who invented a million-dollar biofuel which will benefit our environment.
We made fun of stereotypes and then we broke them everywhere, by showing everyone how diverse the Muslim community really is. We shared stories about fashion designer Iman Aldebe, who’s the daughter of an imam, and Gisele Marie, the heavy metal guitarist who wears a niqab. We showed that there are inspiring Muslim women, with hijab or without, who are achieving greatness. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is fighting for her rights as a hijabi basketball player and Kadra Mohamed became the first hijabi police woman in Minnesota.
We shared innovative and creative projects and ideas. We told the stories of Sam Spiegel, who gave a new sense to the word “jihad” with an amazing music video and Layla Shakily who gathered all her Mipster friends.
We are looking forward, but we didn’t forget about the past. Islamic figures that have contributed to life as we know it today deserve to be recognized for their discoveries and scientific works. From Fatima Al Fihri, who founded the first university ever, to Al-Khwarizmi’s mathematical heritage, Ibn Khaldun’s historical views and the flying Abbas Ibn Fernas.
We supported people and initiatives that bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims, to build inclusive societies. For example Craig Considine, a Christian scholar who researches Islam and connects communities, even though it comes with a price. And I’m sure you’ve read about the Jews, Christians and Muslims who are working to build a House of One, where everyone can pray.
We broke taboos and welcomed strong opinions about everyday struggles and societal issues such as climate change, the portraying of minorities in the media, racism and of course, the ongoing discussion about terrorism.
We changed the conversation by joining it. And so did you, by liking our posts, sharing our articles, commenting with your views and supporting our vision.
We want to thank the entire Mvslim team for their hard work, creative outbursts and positive attitudes. May 2016 be more inspiring, more uniting and more Mvslim than ever.
Taha Riani & Hanan Challouki
Co-founders of Mvslim