Book review – I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim
I Speak for Myself is a collection of 40 personal essays written by American Muslim women under the age of 40, all of whom were born and raised in the US.
It is a showcase of the true diversity found in American Islam.
The book has already caught the attention of prominent thought leaders including Deepak Chopra, Muhammad Yunus, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Jim Wallis, Eboo Patel, Soledad O’Brien and many more.
Readers of I Speak for Myself are presented with a kaleidoscope of stories, woven together around the central idea of limitlessness and individuality.
A common theme linking these intimate self-portraits is the way each woman uniquely defies labeling, simply by defining for herself what it means to be American and Muslim and female.
This book serves as a source of inspiration and education for people of other faiths who are interested in learning more about what it is like to be Muslim in America, as well as Muslim women themselves.
Some of the issues explored include the balance of Western values with Islamic ones; whether adopting the veil can be an obstacle in the professional arena; expressing oneself as a Muslim within society; and political engagement.
The essays featured in I Speak for Myself are not intended to be reactionary to the current climate of suspicion towards Islam in America, but they certainly address such suspicion in a very personal way.
The contributors embody real everyday American women who struggle with their faith while balancing their careers and private life.
Some are public about their faith and include their knowledge of it in their professional endeavors.
Others keep faith and profession separate.
Some are working to change their fellow Americans’ views of Islam, while others are still trying to find their own religious identities.
Some stories are so deeply personal you feel you’re reading a private journal entry rather than an essay.
“I Speak for Myself is a beautiful compilation of stories reflecting the diversity in Islam and the common values that exist among us all. These are the voices of mothers, daughters, sisters and neighbors we can all identify with representing an honest effort to allow American-born Muslim women to change the narrative of American Islam- in their own words,” says Deepak Chopra, Author, The Soul of Leadership
I Speak for Myself Is scheduled for release in May, 2011. Read more about the book at http://www.ispeakformyself.com/