She is, in fact, a woman

Dr. Ingrid Mattson is the new President of the Islamic Society of North America. Mashallah. May she be granted the wisdom and strength to move the community forward as is best.

I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Mattson at a conference about a year ago, and I think she’ll bring a lovely perspective to the running of ISNA, one that I believe will better reflect the organization’s constituents, Muslims in North America.

This Revealer post critiques the presentation in the New York Times of such a monumental decision. I would add, that to have a picture of man in the foreground in an article about Dr. Mattson is another point of concern to me. She is a person in her own right, and a fairly prominent person who should not have to be just a little bit behind a man in order to send a message that Muslim women are not equal. Intent or not, that is the image.

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5 thoughts on “She is, in fact, a woman

  1. I will be contrarian on Mattson’s election.
    “CHAT PARTICIPANT: What can you tell us about the Wahhabi sect of Islam? Is it true that this is an extremely right wing sect founded and funded by the Saudi royal family, and led by Osama bin Ladin? What is the purpose of the Wahhabi?
    MATTSON: No it’s not true to characterized ‘Wahhabism’ that way. This is not a sect. It is the name of a reform movement that began 200 years ago to rid Islamic societies of cultural practices and rigid interpretation that had acquired over the centuries. It really was analogous to the European protestant reformation. Because the Wahhabi scholars became intergreated into the Saudi state, there has been some difficulty keeping that particular interpretation of religion from being enforced too broadly on the population as a whole. However, the Saudi scholars who are Wahhabi have denounced terrorism and denounced in particular the acts of September 11. Those statements are available publicly.”
    And here’s another:
    “Among the moderate voices is that of Ingrid Mattson. She is the first woman to hold a position on the board of ISNA, the oldest and largest of the official-and generally quite conservative—Muslim organizations in the United States.
    Mattson wears a head scarf and is wary of interfaith dialogue because she considers her faith the “primal religion” and the “right way.” What’s more, she likes the simple Wahhabi theology—and she is not sure Islam even needs a “reformation,” since Wahhabism, which emerged in the 18th century, is considered a reform movement.”

  2. She doesn’t represent me. I didn’t vote for her. I voted for the janitor from “Good Times”- Bookman. Seriously, nice headquarters, shame about the content.

  3. Ghostdog, you scare me. For the record, she does not represent me either. Last I checked it was haram to vote ;), so I didn’t. I suggested that she will better represent her constituents than others who have come before.
    Tony, thanks for sharing. To the first quote, I don’t disagree with her. I can’t tell if she’s being politic, but her statement is factually correct. As to the second quote, that is not the Ingrid Mattson I met. However, God knows best.

  4. IY,
    But read together, the second quotation gives new meaning to the first, no?
    Dr. Mattson also participates, or did, in the NAML (Nationals Assn of Muslim Lawyers) listserv. I had a couple of email exchanges with her, the first when I thought she was beating the victimology drum about television representations of Muslims, and the second when she cautioned us not to take at face value the (Western) news reports that the Saudi religious police (may they get in fair measure what’s coming to them) allowed girls to burn rather than without hijab exit a building on fire.
    As I said, I’m contrarian on Dr. Mattson leading ISNA, just as I would be on Phyllis Schlafly leading a women’s organization.

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