By Libby Allen
BU News Service
The Muslim Women in Black are heartbroken. And they’re angry. Their reason for rallying tonight: to mourn the misunderstandings of the Muslim faith that takes place all over the world. Their actions tonight were prompted by the Beirut and Paris attacks that took place last week.
“We felt horror, sadness, just grief. Pure grief,” said Malika MacDonald, one of the group’s organizers. “We had a good response on the Facebook event page. Many women told us they would be here in spirit. But many women, I think, are afraid to come out.”
The dozen or so women who stood in front of the Boston Public Library held handmade signs and handed out roses to passersby. One woman held an inflated globe; the signs next to her read “Hugs for Humanity” and “I Am Because We Are”.
Hibah Nour, a mental health counselor at the Department of Mental Health said “ I don’t wear a hijab, the Muslim headscarf for women, but I know that a lot of Muslim women who do wear them don’t feel safe, they feel like they have to look over their shoulders twice.”
“You’re damned if you speak and damned if you don’t,” said Edina Skaldic, another of the group’s organizers. “You’re either considered oppressed or your voice doesn’t count. So it’s very frustrating to be in that role. Especially if you grew up here after 9/11, you’re constantly justifying yourself because of the actions of extremists.”
Skalijic’s frustrations represent many women involved in the Muslim Women in Black group. At the rally, she spoke of the group’s desire to create a platform for Muslim women to be heard.
“We’re just sick and tired of seeing all kinds of inhumanity,” Skalijic said. “Everything from extremism to terrorism to violence and so much more. And we just thought that we have to do something, anything, because we’re losing our humanity.”