Canadian Muslim women, in their quest for greater visibility, have begun to take up the cause of their mothers, and the media is paying attention.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best-known Muslim women in the media.
Aisha Khalid, CNN commentator and former CNN host, on her mother’s plight in Pakistan: “There was an enormous sense of loss.
She was the one who gave me my voice, she was the person who got me into journalism, she is the one that inspired me to become a journalist.
So I’m so grateful for her, and it’s just been really heart wrenching to see what has happened to her, because she is such a pillar of the community.”
Mariela Castro, the former White House communications director, on the Pakistani community: “The Pakistani community is very much a community of family and love.
That is what I grew up in, and I have seen first-hand how that community responds to people who come from different backgrounds, and we should never abandon that community because they’re not all like us.”
Zahra Nadeem, an American Muslim, on why she chose to travel to Pakistan: She was very, very sick with Ebola, and was scared.
So she had no idea where she was going.
And then she heard from a relative in Pakistan, who was saying, ‘You’re not in Pakistan anymore, are you?’
She was like, ‘No, I’m not, I don’t have Ebola, I’ve never been to Pakistan, but I’ve seen this man who is in Pakistan.’
So she just had this kind of relief that she was safe and she could go back to her family.
She has been a really, really, big role model to me.
And it’s really humbling to me that she is an American, because it’s so important for Muslims.
Mariya Bibi, the mother of the U.S. soldier who died in Iraq, on Pakistan: There are no words.
I’m going to be honest with you.
I was terrified and I was very upset.
I thought that was my son’s last day.
But it was the other guy’s fault, because he should have been there when I told him to come home.
Marjorie Cohn, former senior adviser to the U,S.
State Department and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, on how she dealt with her Pakistani Muslim daughter: She told me that it was hard for her to speak up because she didn’t want to become part of the problem.
And so I told her that it is not her fault.
And I told them, you know, if you’re not doing anything, it’s not your fault.
You’re not the one.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim-American writer and activist, on what she learned from her mother: “I just don’t think we can all just accept our own mothers, or our own sisters.
And that’s why I feel so strongly about [the Pakistani-American community], because they really care about the plight of the majority of the population.
They want to see us succeed.
And they care about our safety, and they care that we have the opportunity to succeed.”
Rana Foroohar, the Democratic presidential candidate from Texas, on his Muslim family: “My father was the first Muslim president in U.N. history.
I grew to respect him for that.
And my mother is a Muslim and a woman.
So it’s hard for me to relate to people like them.
And you know what?
I love them.
I really do.
But that’s just not what I’m used to.”
Miriam Carey, the Canadian actress and activist on her Muslim family’s struggles: “It’s really hard to be a Muslim in Canada.
But I’m just so grateful that my mom is my best friend, because I think she’s going to make a difference.”
Nia Ali, an activist for the Muslim civil rights movement, on working to end segregation in Canada: “As a Muslim woman, I felt I had to really fight for my rights.
I felt that I had no choice.
And, of course, it was difficult for me, but it was also very empowering, because there was an entire generation of women in my generation who were fighting for equal rights and that I would have never had the opportunity.
So now, it has been really rewarding to be able to share my story with this generation, and also to share it with my parents.
And to see the strength in their eyes, because they know that my family is doing so much to help the world.”
Aneesh Chopra, an Indian-Canadian author and activist who has been featured in many of the magazines and books published in the United States, including Harper’s Bazaar, Harper’s, the New Yorker