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These Artists Are Rejecting Lazy Stereotypes About Muslim Women

London-based art collective Muslim Sisterhood want to “represent ‘normal’ Muslim girls who aren’t bloggers, fashionistas or Bake Off winners.”

We rarely see non-stereotypical depictions of Muslim women in film, TV and the media: they’re either presented as terrorist wives, oppressed stay-at home mothers, or exotic but one-dimensional beauties. That’s where collective Muslim Sisterhood decided to step in.

Muslim Sisterhood was co-founded by 23-year-old photographer Lamisa Khan, along with artists Zeinab Saleh, also 23, and 21-year-old Sara Gulamali. They wanted to break away from the narrow images of Muslim women we see in mainstream media, and “represent ‘normal’ Muslim girls who aren’t bloggers, fashionistas or Bake Off winners,” Khan told me.

Like so many friendships today, Khan, Saleh and Gulamali met on Instagram. In 2017, Khan was working at Amaliah, a publishing platform for Muslim women. She’d been following Saleh on Instagram for a while, and “really liked the way her art incorporated her faith and culture.” They began collaborating, and after Khan saw photos of their work on online Muslim art archive Variant Space, she reached out to them. The three met up and shared their frustrations with “the lack of authentic representation of Muslim women and the feelings of missing a sense of sisterhood,” Gulamali explains. “We envisioned a space that would encompass a range of different Muslim women all together.” After that meeting, Muslim Sisterhood was formed.

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Tags: #instagram, #islam, #london, #muslim, #women
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