Yasmine Mohammed at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “From Al-Qaeda to Atheism”

Event Description:

Yasmine is an Arab-Canadian college instructor, activist, podcaster and writer. Yasmine shares her story of growing up in an Islamic fundamentalist home and then being forced into marriage. She now works to offer hope to ex-Muslims, atheists and freethinkers. Through our campus program, we work with Yasmine, and other ex-Muslims and Muslim reformers, to apply challenge Islamist ideology.
Ms. Mohammed spoke about her own personal story and her current activism. Yasmine grew up in a strict, fundamentalist Muslim home in Canada, where she was forced to begin wearing a niqab at nine years old. Yasmine showed everyone a niqab, trying it on herself, and then passed it around the room for others to try on. She mentioned that some women have recently tried to promote the hijab/burqa/niqab as an empowering device. She asked everyone to try on the niqab and “see if you feel empowered.” After years of struggling to escape her abusive home life, abandoned by Canadian child services due to “respect for cultural norms,” she was forced into a marriage at 19 to an Al-Qaeda operative. She then talked about her current advocacy work, offering hope to ex-Muslims and freethinkers around the world.

Read more about Yasmine here.