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I Speak for Myself Dialogue Guide

I Speak for Myself Dialogue Guide

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Published by GroundswellMovement
A companion discussion guide to the book I Speak for Myself by Maria Ebrahimji.
A companion discussion guide to the book I Speak for Myself by Maria Ebrahimji.

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Published by: GroundswellMovement on Sep 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/19/2013

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1
 
DIALOGUE GUIDE
 
American Women on Being Muslim
I Speak 
 
for 
Myself 
 
2
Praise for 
 
I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim 
The women in
 I Speak for Myself 
are part of a new generation of peace-builders. By telling their stories they offer us newperspectives that are vital to the peace building process, and through their honesty and courage they are making a lasting contribution to the search for cross-cultural understanding. Maria Ebrahimji and Zahra Suratwala’s book joins the missionfor global tolerance; it is truly a step in the right direction.
 —H
er
M
 ajesty
ueen
n
oor
 A central part of combating intolerance between people is listening to each others’ stories. In
 I Speak for Myself 
, 40 AmericanMuslim women tell us their stories—stories of their faith, their families, their values, and their traditions. They are wonder-fully human and widely diverse, both informative and inspiring. As in all of our faith traditions, the growing role of womenwill be crucial in shaping the future of Islam. This is a very important contribution to the growing interfaith dialogue in thiscountry; I commend it to you.
 —j
iM
W
 allis
, F
ounder
 
 and
Ceo
oF
s
ojourners
 
 and
 
 autHor
 
oF
 
 R
 ediscoveRing 
 alues 
 This book is a window into how Islam is lived in America by some of its most dynamic, creative, and inspiring leaders. The voices here are clear and compelling, compassionate and courageous. This is Big Tent Citizen Islam at its best—a communitywelcoming of its own internal diversity, and making important contributions to the broader society.
 —e
boo
P
 atel
, F
ounder
 
 and
P
resident
i
nterFaitH
y
outH
C
ore
 I Speak for Myself 
showcases a part of our country’s story we seldom hear. The book provides a window into the extraordinary
lives of Muslim American Women--dynamic, diverse, and nally demystied. Ebrahimji and Suratwala inspire the readerand help ll a missing piece in the rich tapestry we call America.
 —d
 alia 
M
ogaHed
, d
ireCtor
, g
 alluP
C
enter
 
For
M
usliM
s
tudies
 As the dialogue on faith and spirituality progresses, women should not be overlooked.
 I Speak for Myself 
demonstrates that American Muslim women have a story and, more importantly, a unique voice in which to tell it. In an era where women’sempowerment is essential, these are women who have the ability, through their stories and their work, to empower women allover the world to truly speak for themselves.
 —M
uHaMMad
y
unus
, n
obel
P
eaCe
P
rize
W
inner
 & F
ounder
, g
raMeen
b
 ank
 I Speak for Myself 
is a must read for anyone curious to understand Islam from a woman’s and an American Muslim’s perspec-tive. This is the work of bridge makers; women who understand that their voices and their truths are one of the most solid,real, and powerful ways to promote understanding and peace between people of various faiths. Ebrahimji and Suratwala doa superb job in bringing these women’s voices out with beauty, intimacy, and integrity.
 I Speak for Myself 
is the story of every woman embodied in voices of today’s American Muslim woman.
 —z
 ainab
s
 albi
, F
ounder
, W
oMen
 
For
W
oMen
i
nternational
Empowering girls through education does not stop in the schoolroom; a book like this can be just as inuential in widening 
a young girl’s view of the world and of her own potential within it. This collection of essays edited by Maria Ebrahimji andZahra Suratwala is empowering and inspiring, and a vital part of any education.
 —g
reg
M
ortenson
, a 
utHor
,
 hRee 
ups 
 
of 
 ea
 
3
Introduction
 I Speak for Myself 
’s primary goal is to become a conversation tool. We want you to discussour stories, challenge your own assumptions about faith and identity, and above all, learnand grow from your reading and your dialogue, no matter how little or much you know
about Islam. In many ways, ISFM is an organic movement of free owing conversation
only propelled by the narratives in this book. The movement’s success will be determined asmore people share their own narratives, get to know a fellow American Muslim, and moreimportantly,
 just ask 
questions about Islam. As I like to say, “the more you know, the more
 you KNOW.” In this guide, you will nd suggestions on building 
curriculum
around
 I Speak for Myself 
, cultivating 
conversation
, and creating 
change
beyond your own circle.Now that you’ve read the book, don’t put it back on the shelf. Help our narratives live onby sharing your own.
 —Maria Ebrahimji, Co-Editor 
What is Islam? 
Islam is the last of the monotheistic religions created in the Abrahamic tradition (precededby Judaism and Christianity, respectively). Followers of Islam are called Muslims. The corebelief of Islam is that there is no God but God (whom Muslims call, “Allah”) and Muham-
mad is his nal prophet. The holy book of Islam is called the Quran (meaning “word of 
God”), which was revealed by God and recited by Muhammad on the Arabian Peninsula
in the seventh century. Islam has ve core pillars (duties) required of its followers: declara
-
tion of faith (there is no God but God and Muhammad is his nal prophet), ritual prayertoward Mecca ve times a day, paying of alms and community service, fasting during the
Holy Month of Ramadan, and completing pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life-time (if you have the means).

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