Muslim Sisterhood Is The Art Collective Challenging Stereotypes
Understanding the term ‘sisterhood’
This ethic of acknowledgement and mutual respect is beautifully demonstrated throughout the Muslim Sisterhood zine and, in particular, by the article on anti-Black racism by Fatima Dinee, which addresses the painful experiences of anti-Black racism within the Muslim community and the erasure of Black histories in Islam. The piece — and by extension, Muslim Sisterhood themselves, whether through their Instagram or via their zine and brand work — approaches friendship from a position of real understanding and a re-evaluation of what is needed and demanded for terms such as ‘friendship’ and ‘sisterhood’ to be made real.
They are also providing a valuable and safe space for discussion around issues affecting young Muslims. Muslim women’s participation in mosques is still a contentious issue in some Muslim communities, with many women feeling locked out. Gulamali provides a more nuanced understanding of the challenges faced: “Our mosques aren’t always open to talking about [issues such as] addiction, mental health, real-life problems that people in the community go through that are considered taboo. I know that’s something that local mosques are working on, but until then, we are able to create [spaces] outside of that context, which uphold the values that are important to us, like a female space […] a non-judgmental space. I’d like to think that we have found a happy medium that works for us.”
Muslim Sisterhood’s creative ventures continue to expand as the three co-founders find new and innovative ways to connect with their audience. Following the successful visual essay collaboration with fashion brand Daily Paper for Ramadan 2020, this year the women plan on teaming up with a family-run factory in Pakistan to produce merchandise that will be available through their online store.
“2020 and 2021 have proved that celebrating joy is an act, a form of activism,” says Khan, “especially in a society that is trying to drag you down. We’ve nurtured the idea of creating a space for radical joy and celebration of our community, and I think that’s a huge reason why we’ve been successful, Masha’Allah (what God wanted).”
The Muslim Sisterhood zine is available for purchase internationally here