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.

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Meet the Contributors

Who are the women of I Speak for Myself?

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Media and Buzz

  • “This book is a window into how  Islam is lived in America by some of its most dynamic, creative and inspiring leaders. The voices here are clear and compelling, compassionate and courageous.  This is Big Tent Citizen Islam at its best – a community welcoming of its own internal diversity, and making important contributions to the broader society.”  – Eboo Patel, Founder and President Interfaith Youth Core
  • As the dialogue on faith and spirituality progresses, women should not be overlooked.  Maria Ebrahimji and Zahra Suratwala’s book demonstrates that American Muslim women have a story and, more importantly, a unique voice in which to tell it. In an era where women’s empowerment is essential, these are women who have the ability, through their stories and their work, to empower women all over the world to truly speak for themselves.  – Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Winner & Founder, Grameen Bank
  • I Speak for Myself is a must read for anyone curious to understand Islam from a woman’s and an American-Muslim perspective.  This is the work of bridge makers; women who understand that their voices and their truths are one of the most solid, real, and powerful ways to promote understanding and peace between people of various faiths.  Ebrahimiji and Suratwala do a superb job in bringing these women’s voices out with beauty, intimacy and integrity.  I Speak for Myself is the story of every woman embodied in voices of today’s American Muslim woman.”  – Zainab Salbi, Founder, Women for Women International)
  • “Nothing succeeds like success. I Speak for Myself is a powerful reminder that the American dream transcends race, gender, and creed. Here a collection by individuals who are successful in every conceivable way: as women, as Muslims, as individuals, as leaders, as role models—as Americans. Each of them reminds us that personal inspiration is the strongest kind. Each story is so rich that generalizations and stereotypes become impossible. These women are the real Americans. – Parag Khanna, Author, “The Second World”; Fellow, New America Foundation
  • Empowering girls through education does not stop in the schoolroom; a book like this can be just as influential in widening a young girl’s view of the world and of her own potential within it.  This collection of essays edited by Maria Ebrahimji and Zahra Suratwala is empowering and inspiring, and a vital part of any education.– Greg Mortenson, Author, “Three Cups of Tea”
  • Too rarely are Muslim women’s voices heard.  “I Speak for Myself” is an extraordinary collection of essays that lets Muslim American women speak for themselves. It is refreshing, inspirational, honest, and ultimately, an indispensable guide. I must congratulate the editors Maria Ebrahimji and Zahra Suratwala for their important contribution. – Professor Akbar Ahmed, American University.
  • I am so excited about Maria Ebrahimji & Zahra Suratwala’s “I Speak for Myself ” – it is exactly the kind of book we so desperately need right now in America.  Why haven’t there been more books like this?  We don’t need more books on Islam and what Muslims believe – we need books on Muslims and how they are trying to live in America just like the rest of us.  Americans have had the perception that Muslims are not as “American” as the rest of us – that simply isn’t true.  I loved reading the story of a woman wrestling with her identity in her faith and some of the issues just like the rest of us non-Muslims as we wrestle with issues of our faith.  Muslims are not a monolith, they do not want to “take over” America, if anything they came here like the rest of us searching for the same thing – a place to see dreams come true.   Only when we can see them as human beings and Americans wanting to experience the same dreams as everyone else will we be able to get along.  Thank you ladies – I’ll be promoting and passing out this book.  -  Pastor Bob Roberts, Northwood Church, Keller, TX (and Founder, Global Faith Forum)