Muslim Women You Should Be Following On Twitter, Because We Need Their Voices Now More Than Ever
There's been a widespread sense of chaos and exasperation since President Trump signed an executive order on Friday to instill "a temporary ban on most refugees," which includes a suspension of visas for seven different Muslim-majority countries. Thousands of people who have lived in and positively contributed to American society haven't been and won't be allowed back into the country, including university students who are attending school on a legal visa, government workers who were overseas translating for the American military, and parents whose entire family are living in the U.S.
Although there is an undeniable panic pulsing throughout the entire country, Muslim communities are the ones feeling the the most fear right now. They're having their rights stripped away without any say in the matter, which is why the airport protests have been so important. As crucial as it is for us to protest for and protect our fellow Muslim Americans, this is also the time to give them the stage and listen more carefully to what they have to say, because they are the ones who are most affected by these shocking policies.
There are thousands upon thousands of Muslim voices that need to be listened to more often, and although this list is by no means exhaustive, it's a good start. Follow these women on social media, read their words, and support them and their communities in whatever way you can. Here are 10 Muslim women you should be following on Twitter.
Yasmin Yonis (@YasminYonis)
My family & I are refugees from Somalia. I've resettled refugees. I worked on refugee rights for Human Rights Watch. This ban means death.— Yasmin Yonis (@YasminYonis) January 28, 2017
Yonis and her family are refugees who came to the U.S. from Somalia, and she has since become a human rights advocate for refugees and asylum seekers. She's an important voice on Twitter who doesn't hesitate to speak out against the injustices that are happening in the government, the media, and all around the country.
A former Human Rights Watch associate, she encourages all her followers to donate to the organizations (especially grassroots ones) that are dedicated to fighting for the rights of undocumented individuals. She constantly sheds light on U.S. domestic and foreign policy, especially concerning Africa and the black communities in America. Follow her Twitter account and you'll see up-to-date, relevant information about what's happening within Muslim American communities during this time of unrest.
Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour)
"We can disagree & still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression & denial of my humanity and right to exist."— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) November 11, 2016
Sarsour is one of the leading Muslim American voices in our society. The executive director of the Arab American Association in New York, she was also an organizer for the Women's March on Washington. At the Washington Square Park protest against the refugee ban, she declared, "If you're not following a woman of color, you're in the wrong movement." We should all listen, and take the time to hear what she has to say.
She has years of experience organizing rallies and bringing together marginalized communities in New York, and she keeps her Twitter followers updated on all the work she does. You can learn a lot from her when it comes to dealing with bigoted trolls as well, because she's had to put up with a lot of crap over the last few months.
Farrah Khan (@farrah_khan)
What are you favourite #mosquememories? Mine is children climbing on their father's back and the father continuing to pray. It's so sweet.— Farrah Khan (@farrah_khan) January 30, 2017
To give Muslims everywhere the chance to celebrate their choices and beliefs while there is so much hate swirling around, Khan started the hashtag #mosquememories, encouraging Muslims to share their most heartfelt recollections. She retweets the responses for all her followers. On her Twitter account, you'll quickly see that Khan has devoted much of her life's work to helping young Muslim women live safely in the world. She's a Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator at Ryerson University in Canada, and two years ago, she created and hosted self-defense workshops in Toronto specifically for Muslim women.
Farah Pandith (@Farah_Pandith)
In 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed Pandith as the first ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the United States Department of State. She worked with Secretary John Kerry to engage and unite Muslims across the globe in a way that would effect positive change in America.
Pandith was born in India and immigrated to Massachusetts with her mother in 1969, so she understands the immigrant narrative firsthand. She tweets regularly about how important it is for America to remain a diverse country that welcomes all individuals, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. On her Twitter account, you'll also be able to watch her interviews on news outlets such as CNN.
Farzana Versey (@farzana_versey)
Some people need reform because the majority following the same faith/ideology do not commit crimes. https://t.co/O0mIabYorP— Farzana Versey (@farzana_versey) January 30, 2017
She's a writer based in Mumbai, India, but Versey's tweets are just as pertinent to us as any on American soil. You'll see her regularly engaging with people she disagrees with, as well as with people who obviously need a crash course on what it actually means to be Muslim, and what it actually means to have basic human rights (because unfortunately some people still need to be taught those lessons).
Blair Imani (@BlairImani)
Imani is a Press Officer for Planned Parenthood, and the founder and executive director of Equality for Her, a nonprofit organization that's dedicated to raising awareness about issues that affect the global femme community. She's a black Muslim American who's constantly shedding light on the most recent news and tweeting about the protests against Trump's refugee ban, reminding that she and many other Muslims are "already home."
Sarah Amy Harvard (@amyharvard_)
I wonder if Trump wants to build a wall on the US - Canadian border now that Trudeau is willing to accept refugees from the #MuslimBan?— sarah amy harvard (@amyharvard_) January 30, 2017
A staff writer for Mic who focuses on topics like race and religion, Harvard is a multicultural journalist who has traveled around the world and interviewed numerous political figures. She's also the founder of the Muslim American Journalism Association (MAJA). You can always count on her to give you real talk on what's happening politically, especially when it comes to the Trump administration's already-terrifying effects.
Hind Makki (@HindMakki)
Those kids are US citizens. The mom had a legal right to be here and join her husband in Minnesota. https://t.co/hV6CFvtbpZ— Hind Makki (@HindMakki) January 30, 2017
Makki has made it her life's work to participate in and foster interfaith dialogue. She founded Side Entrance, the project that showcases photos from real mosques all over the world. She's been tweeting left and right about the refugee ban, so keep up with her if you want to hear the latest news from the perspective of a Muslim living in America.
Noor Tagouri (@NTagouri)
What msg are you giving others when you profile Muslim women on airplanes? You give ppl around a reason to be suspicious/fear. 2/3— Noor Tagouri (@NTagouri) January 27, 2017
You may remember her as the first hijabi woman to be featured in Playboy, where both her beautiful face and her incredible work as an activist were praised, but there's a lot more to Tagouri than that. She's a first-generation Libyan American with a strong following on several different social media platforms. Thousands of people are interested in watching her work as a journalist and public speaker unfold, since she's a strong, passionate advocate for refugees and Muslims everywhere.
Ayesha A. Siddiqi (@AyeshaASiddiqi)
white people a few months ago: you're so dramatic for thinking Trump will win calm down sweetie :)— Ayesha A. Siddiqi (@AyeshaASiddiqi) January 25, 2017
white people now https://t.co/tU8Dxz4A16
Siddiqi is a writer in New York and a Pakistani-American immigrant who is on the editorial board of the New Inquiry, where she was previously Editor-in- Chief. In an interview with The Guardian in 2014, she said, "My framework for the way we treat each other is deeply informed by my identity as a Muslim. That is where I first encountered justice and feminism. It’s called adab, which is the etiquette and style of how you treat others."
She tweets about pretty much everything that matters today — the latest news, anti-Islamic rhetoric, pop culture — and she does it all with a sharp sense of humor. She's especially good at reminding everyone just how harmful it is to dehumanize Muslims, no matter where they're from, and how it should never be tolerated.