By Sound Vision Team
"If you look at his wife, she was standing there,” Donald Trump said in an interview. “She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say."
Ghazala Khan was standing with her husband Khizr Khan, Gold Star parents of the late Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed saving the lives of 10 fellow American soldiers in Iraq.
This is a great family - they are first-class Muslims and first-class Americans. They spoke proudly of the US constitution criticizing Trump and spoke truthfully in opposition to the Iraq war that led to the current chaos.
Ghazala Khan’s feelings were understood by most Americans. But of course, not Donald Trump.
Accusing Muslim women of being oppressed and silent is nothing new, and it is just one of the consistent salvos aimed at us since time immemorial. Muslim leaders and activists in the US and around the world saw this and decided to use social media to counter Trump’s lie.
Thus the beginning of #CanYouHearUsNow, a campaign in which 10,000 Muslim women around the world roared via Twitter their less than silent responses to Trump.
As these sisters note, women are an integral part of humanity. God emphasizes in the Qur’an that “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give Zakat and obey God and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise” (Qur’an 9:71).
Throughout history, women have been at the forefront of preserving the foundation of Islam and building the Muslim community. While Khadija, Aisha, Fatima, may Allah be pleased with them all, are repeatedly named and mentioned, countless Muslim women in the centuries that followed have made incredible sacrifices to uphold and stand up for Islam.
While the Twitter campaign may be over, we encourage everyone, Muslim or not, to review and learn more about the status and history of Muslim women. That means not just becoming familiar with the very basics of gender equity in Islam, but also discovering the lesser known women of the Ummah, from the time of Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, to today.
We want to emphasize, though, that this does not negate the struggles that Muslim women can and do face inside and outside of the community. However, to argue that our sisters are silent in the face of these challenges because of Islam is false and ignores the centuries-old reality of Muslim women’s empowerment and activism.
May Allah bless us with understanding, justice, compassion, and a commitment to our nation, as well as to all of humanity.