The empowerment of women is always good news, especially for Quakers, who have empowered women to serve in the ministry since the founding of the Religious Society of Friends 350 years ago. Just as Quakerism has gained from honoring the gifts of women, Islam is also benefitting, as this recent article from the NY Times makes clear.
The Female Factor
Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in the US
ATLANTA — Around Sept. 11, 2001, not long after she founded the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, Soumaya Khalifa heard from a group whose name sounded like “Bakers Club.” It wanted a presentation.
The address was unfamiliar, but she went anyway. The group turned out to be the Bickerers Club, whose members love to argue. Islam was their topic du jour and their venue was a tavern. Ms. Khalifa laughed, and made the best of it.
Ms. Khalifa, who was born in Egypt and raised in Texas, wears a head scarf but also juggles, comfortably, the demands of American suburbia: crowded schedule, minivan and all.
For the full text of how Muslim women in the USA are gaining prominence, see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/world/middleeast/28iht-muslim28.html