On January 21, a day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the new U.S. president, some 600,000 women marched on Washington D.C. in a swift rebuke of the bigotry displayed by Trump during his toxic election campaign. This is a man who has bragged about sexual assault, insulted and marginalised minorities, pledged to ban Muslim immigration and roll back women’s access to reproductive healthcare.
“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonised, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear,” read a statement issued by organisers.
Muslim women were at the forefront of this march, which has spawned a global feminist movement and sparked a broader debate regarding race and class privilege in the fight for women’s rights.
“This was an opportunity to take the conversation to the deep places,” said Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American who heads the Arab American Association of New York and was one of four co-chairwomen of the Women’s March. “Sometimes you are going to upset people.”
The protest, which was initially planned for just Washington D.C., spawned 673 ‘sister marches’ across America and the globe – women coming out to demand equality and inclusion. There’s no doubt that the march will be remembered – political observers are calling it the largest day of demonstrations in American history – at least 4.2 million people attended marches in more than 600 U.S. cities, according to data collected.
We put together some highlights of just a few of the amazing Muslim women involved in the march. They illustrate the awesome power of collective action and individual outrage, and show that Islam and feminism are not diametrically opposed concepts.
Racial justice activist Linda Sarsour speaks to the crowd at the Women’s March in the U.S. capital:
Muslim Girl founder Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (L) at the Women’s March in Washington D.C.
Taz Ahmed (L), activist and host of #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast, at a sister march in New York City.
“We cannot be free at each other’s expense, or if any of us remains targeted… Make resistance your lifestyle.” Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), fires up the crowd in Washington D.C.:
Muslim-Americans march in Seattle, Washington.
These cuties showed some solidarity too:
After the march, protestors left their signs and placards outside the White House as a message to the new administration.