Will you #BeBoldforChange?

Our International Women's Day Pledge On this International Women’s Day, we honor the inspiring legacies of the women who laid the foundation for the world we live in today: from women in prophetic times who persisted and defied gender stereotypes, such as our spiritual mothers Maryam and Khadijah (may God be pleased with them), to the struggles of the many in our American history books who stood up to the injustice of racial and gender inequality.  We honor the daily persistence of our sisters t … [Read more...]

Let’s get it On(Line)!

As a taboo subject in the Muslim community, sex is the perpetually avoided dinner-table conversation. At HEART, we believe it's time to start that conversation. That is why we are raising funds to expand our virtual resource center. We believe that Muslims deserve access to accurate and culturally-sensitive sexual health information.It's time to finally have the talk.https://youtu.be/S4oSAQrwuIUOur virtual resource center provides a unique and necessary medium for Muslims to learn … [Read more...]

Call for Video Submissions: Dear Survivor

The Rahma Network and HEART Women & Girls are partnering on a new video series called "Dear Survivor."Community support can be crucial to a survivor's healing in the aftermath of a sexual violence experience. The act of coming forward is extremely courageous, and often many survivors face much victim blaming and pushback from the community, which can be further traumatizing. A powerful response communities can have for survivors is to believe them and receive them with love.We … [Read more...]

My Inherited Grandmother, MLK, and the Pursuit of Social Justice

*This is the written text of a recent speech given at an MLK Shabbatby Nadiah MohajirI wanted to begin by sharing the story of the grandmother I inherited more than nineteen years ago. I met her when I was just seventeen years old at my friend Tariq’s home. I had imagined meeting a traditionally dressed, Urdu speaking, Pakistani elderly woman, – you know, the picture of a Pakistani grandmother. Instead, I met an outspoken, English speaking, cheerful, energetic vibrant career woman. She wa … [Read more...]

Dear 25-year old Single Girls (a response)

by Alia AzmatThis morning I woke up, scrolled through my social media accounts, and found this. Curious and excited by the title, I wondered what this author had to say to someone like me. Then I read it. I read about how my biological clock is running out. I read about how I need to lower my standards, to find Mr. Suitable instead of Mr. Perfect (for me). I read about how I need to give [men] a chance because they are “surprisingly lovely.” I was told to look my best. That it is unr … [Read more...]

Reflecting on 2016, and Looking toward 2017

As Co-Founder and Executive Director of HEART Women & Girls, I am pleased to share our growth and impact over the years through our annual report. Through this report, you will see just how exponentially we have grown in the last three years, with a primarily virtual and volunteer staff.With your support, we have had an incredible year and have accomplished so much, including:Expanded our programming to college campuses across the country, reaching five times as many participants … [Read more...]

A Note for Survivors

 Dear Survivor,We've had a long, challenging election season. In many ways, election night brought it all together in a way most of us could have never imagined.There aren't enough words to describe the emotions we are feeling. The election results were incredibly painful. We'd like to say that we're surprised, but we know that racism and misogyny are real, and that rape culture and violence against women is ingrained in our society. The election of Donald Trump - a … [Read more...]

The Hypocrisy of Gender Segregation – Separate Can Never be Equal

originally published on mvslim.comby Rafia KhaderThis summer a respected Imam in Chicago pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The case of the Chicago Imam shattered our blithe assumptions that just because something touts itself as “Islamic” it adheres to an Islamic ethos based on mutual respect. Sexual violence is a reality in the Muslim community; the case in Chicago is not an isolated one. But how do we find real solutions that address the problem? A fac … [Read more...]

Don’t Hush, Discuss: The Need for Sex Ed for Muslim Communities

Recently, many loud voices have been critiquing HEART's work and misrepresenting our positions on sexual health and sexual violence. While we absolutely do not expect everyone to be on board or even comfortable with our approach, we are strongly opposed to the tactics that have recently been used on social media. Perhaps, the biggest irony of the situation is that the individuals that have criticized  us for our lack of Islamic ethics, have chosen to denigrate our work in a way that also is the … [Read more...]