Poet Naeema Hassan offers some advice for Muslim women on sustaining our mental health when facing IslamophobiaWritten by Chelby Daigle
Toronto-based Somali Canadian poet Naeema Hassan recently posted a video in response to Punish A Muslim Day on April 3rd, offering support to Muslim women who face the threat of Islamophobic violence daily.
The reality is that for many visible Muslims, particularly Muslim women who veil, any day can be "Punish a Muslim Day", so Naeema, herself a survivor of Islamophobic violence on public transportation, discusses the need for Muslim women to address the mental and spiritual strain that this reality puts on us.
Naeema's poetry is included in The Rivers of Hope Toolkit , which explores the reality of Gendered Islamophobia.
What is Gendered Islamophobia? "Gendered Islamophobia is a term used to describe the specific kinds of stereotypes and discrimination that Muslim women face (Zine, 2006). Gendered Islamophobic stereotypes include the false and toxic idea that Muslim women are weak, oppressed, repressed, or victims. Muslim women face higher rates of Islamophobic violence than Muslim men do. This is because they are often more visible as Muslims, but also because of the stereotype that Muslim women are 'weak' and are [therefore] 'easy targets'."
The toolkit also includes tips on how to feel better after surviving an Islamophobic attack.
Naeema was also recently interviewed by VICE Canada about her experience with Islamophobic violence and why she attended the Toronto Women's March.