New int’l initiative celebrates Muslim accomplishments in May
Celebrating Muslim pioneers and change-makers, the International Muslim History Month (IMHM) has returned for the second year this month to celebrate Muslim accomplishments throughout history and confront Islamophobia globally through education.
Established by the New York-based World Hijab Day organization in 2021, the successful initiative aims to acknowledge and raise awareness of the Muslim trailblazers who helped to shape humanity.
“I believe awareness and education is the key to dismantling hate and bring about change. And one of the ways to do that, I believe is for us to reflect back on our past,” Nazma Khan, Founder of World Hijab Day, wrote in a statement.
“A past that’s filled with dreamers, believers, men and women of imagination and innovation. A history full of wonder, built upon the shoulders of giants whose courage did not waver at the thought of being a paradigmatic threat.
“It is by looking at this past that we can find ourselves, our identity, and our courage to call ourselves Muslims today.”
The first edition saw the participation of more than 26 countries 12 months ago.
This year, the number has increased significantly with more individuals, organizations, businesses, and educational institutions taking part, Arab News reported.
“In addition, we have seen a rise in awareness of IMHM on social media by individuals and academics, (and) our reach on social media has quadrupled from last year,” IMHM said.
The New York-based organization, which established World Hijab Day, says its goal was for IMHM to be federally recognized nationwide within the US, and internationally, to help tackle Islamophobia worldwide.
New York adopted a resolution to recognize the month on May 4, 2021, “to pay tribute to those who foster ethnic pride and enhance the profile of cultural diversity which strengthens the fabrics of the communities of the New York State,” Andrew Cuomo, the governor at the time, said.
Returning in the second year, the theme of the IMHM this year focuses on Muslim pioneers from the Golden Age to modern times in four categories medicine; STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); liberal arts; and discovery, including inventors, explorers, and innovators.
Conferences have been organized each week to raise awareness of significant figures in these fields.
“In the first conference, the presenters discussed the examples of Ibn Sina, the father of early modern medicine, from the Golden Age, to Dr. Ugur Sahin and Dr. Ozlem Tureci, the creators of BioNTech, a company focused on making personalized cancer vaccines,” WHD said.
Other notable Muslims that were highlighted this year include 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, sixth-century Arab poet Imru’ Al-Qais, Pakistani-American neurosurgeon Dr. Ayub Ommaya, Palestinian-Jordanian molecular biologist Dr. Rana Dajani, Arab philosopher Ibn Khaldun, Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta, Caliph Harun Al-Rashid, Turkish astronomer Burcin Mutlu-Pakdil, among dozens of others.
The initiative’s page on Twitter has also been celebrating many Muslim figures through out the past three weeks.