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and now works for a healthcare nonprofit "Were creating sisterhood and a soulful space where we can be vulnerable with each other where we can express our emotions and be honest about how were feeling" Isa says "This group helps all of us deal with these broader issues of prejudice and violence" Isa Qureshi Khan and Mohammad say they need the supportive outlet theyve built together more than ever before This is a room where they can talk about the ways that prejudice looms in a political moment that has enabled and at times even encouraged expression of hate against immigrants and people of color Isa has been called everything from "Osamas niece" to a "terrorist" In their regular meetings all four share stories of being stereotyped or forced into prescribed boxes both by members of their own communities and people outside of them Khan struggled with racism growing up in a predominantly white community Qureshi who felt pressure from members of the Pakistani American community to be married at a younger age now has a husband who does half the housework which "confuses" the older generation Mohammad is sometimes met with surprise when shes assertive or even just present in the workplace "The prophets wife was a businesswoman one of the wealthiest in the region" she says Freshta Mohammad left was born in Afghanistan and has worked her way up in the consulting field in the US “I feel like I’ve always lived two lives” she says Miranda Barnes for TIME The halaqa members bring notes and reading materials to inspire their monthly discussions about theology philosophy and personal struggles Miranda Barnes for TIME Each has her own way of finding her place in a culture loaded with misunderstandings about South Asians Muslims and women and together they make a point to consider the vast range of experiences within Muslim Americans in all their diversity recognizing that their point of view is limited "A lot of people have a misconception that Muslim women dont have their own minds that theyre submissive people or that theyre the exact opposite where theyre ultra feminine" says Khan "Were not a monolithic group" Isa starts the "Nice for What" halaqa discussion with an anecdote of her own recently a woman spoke to her aggressively and Isa wasnt sure how to respond Qureshi offers wisdom gleaned from her daily experiences in her medical practice where she sometimes works with patients who are emotionally distressed and behave abusively "It can be a lesson just being able to say I under what youre saying but I cant really hear you when youre using that tone" she says "They allow me to be open with myself and think a little bit more critically about myself” says Khan (right with Isa) of the women in the halaqa "They offer me honesty” Miranda Barnes for TIME "What I struggle with though is feeling like I dont stand up for myself" Isa continues Its a constant internal battle given that Islam calls for its followers to greet others with peace while those who practice it in the US arent always given that benefit "It feels like an analogy for how I relate to things that are going on in the world too because Im like Why cant I do more" Mohammad nods and adds "Were a lot harder on ourselves than other people are" Isa shares her home with her mother Rubyna Isa her father and her two siblings Miranda Barnes for TIME The group speaks about the pressure theyve each felt to represent Muslim women that feeling of needing to set a "good" example (a virtually impossible task on its own given the worlds subjective views of how women "should" be) Mohammad describes how her name is taken as a face-value signifier of her religion and how people sometimes interpret that signifier as an invitation to ask her questions about "all Muslims" "Well theres a lot of cultural diversity" she says "Im just telling you my version" Khan nods and adds "I just want to be me" Mohammad brews cardamom-rich chai before the women sit down to start their meeting Miranda Barnes for TIME Write to Lucy Feldman at [email protected] said there was an "acute shortage" of rescue boats in the area.— the centre where all scenes are reviewed — widely blamed for unfavourable rulings and a byword for a place where bad decisions are made. the government had announced a Rs 1, 2018.S. The water from the dam has already submerged Cheruthoni town. and I should have known better: the group where it happened embodies a certain perspective and I was arguing for a point contrary to that position. amounting to 20.

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