Speakers from community groups, the LAPD and State Department said that by knowing and exercising their rights, American Muslim women could become a force against religious and political extremism.
“The American Muslim woman is empowered because she is an American,” said author, educator and Irvine community activist Anila Ali. From job discrimination and domestic violence to divorce and child-custody laws, “American Muslim women need to be knowledgeable about their rights and who to turn to” for assistance, Ali said.
Radicalism springs from disenfranchisement, said Farah Pandith, a U.S. State Department representative whose job is to reach out to emerging leaders who have grown up in the digital information age in Muslim communities around the world.
“Students, entrepreneurs, hip-hop artists, poets … people who may not have the strongest voice, but interesting ideas,” she said.