In 2005 a group of diverse Muslim women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area came together to discuss the critical issues that were paramount in their lives. This came about as a result of the tragic happenings of September 11, 2001, when American Muslims found their faith at the center of world events. Friends, neighbors and coworkers were suddenly questioning what it meant to be Muslim. We were asking many questions ourselves: What does Islam stand for as a way of life? What is the role of women in Islam? What can women do within the Muslim community and society as a whole to stand for peace?
That first meeting drew 30 women of all ages from varying heritage, backgrounds, careers and faiths. Many were new immigrants seeking political stability and better lives in the United States. We all wanted to get more involved in the system and make our voices heard and we all recognized the gravity of this moment in history. We were determined to shape our future by organizing and combining our resources. While the needs of the community were diverse, we believed that together we could "empower, promote and support women and their families through education, Interfaith outreach, philanthropy and social services". This became the mission of our unique organization—the Texas Muslim Women's Foundation (TMWF).
Today, after seven years, we've come a long way toward accomplishing what these pioneering women set out to prove. We've done it by working hand in hand to mobilize all members of our community—men, women, seniors and youth. Our work covers the entire Metroplex but primarily focuses on Collin County and its large and growing Muslim population.
TMWF is actively demonstrating that American Muslims are a peaceful, ethical and philanthropic community that cares deeply about humanitarian causes, diversity and equality. We have been on the forefront of establishing friendship and understanding through interfaith dialogue with our neighbors from Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and other faiths. TMWF youth have been our enthusiastic ambassadors for six years volunteering monthly in food pantries, feeding the homeless, working with the Salvation Army, and organizing toy drives for sick and needy children.
Our primary program is through social services, which provides domestic violence (DV) training, education and intervention including the Peaceful Oasis emergency shelter for victims and their children. Our training efforts include an annual DV awareness campaign during Ramadan and workshops for both mainstream service providers and Islamic organizations. We provide counseling for law enforcement and district attorneys to familiarize them with the unique needs of this diverse community. We partner with numerous coalitions and faith-based organizations to hold symposiums on DV to raise awareness and pool expertise and resources. Our agency is the only direct service agency in the nation providing domestic violence training to Imams. As a result of our 2011 workshop, 12 Imams signed a declaration of zero tolerance to DV within their congregations.
Although TMWF is a young organization, we are proud of the progress we have made. Our belief that “the woman who rocks the cradle with her left hand can shake the world with her right one” is coming true!
TMWF is All About Muslim Women for All Women
Each of us has much to share and contribute! TMWF would like to help people understand that Muslim women play many roles just like women of other faiths, and to help overcome stereotypes that many have about Muslim Women.