Other Group

Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum (MAWPF)

Website:

mawpfdotcom.wordpress.com/

Location:

Washington, DC

Type:

Muslim Advocacy Organization

President:

Darakshan Raja

Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum (MAWPF) is a left-of-center activist organization [1] that engages in “intersectional organizing” to influence local and national policies impacting Muslims and Muslim women. [2]

History and Leadership

Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum was founded in Washington, D.C. [3] in 2015. [4]

Darakshan Raja is the co-founder of MAWPF. [5] She is a community organizer who supports left-of-center social movements in Washington, D.C. Raja is the director of the activist Washington Peace Center [6] [7] where she focuses her efforts on the critical race theory-influenced concept of racial justice. [8] She is also a co-director and founder of the of Justice for Muslims Collective in Washington, D.C. [9] and the executive director of Muslims for Just Futures. [10] Previously she worked at the left-of-center Urban Institute. [11]

In 2016, Raja said that the Trump 2016 presidential campaign represented “the resurgence of an explicit form of white nationalism, which is white supremacy” and claimed the Trump campaign used patriarchy, misogyny, xenophobia, and islamophobia as a part of an “all-encompassing intersectional hate” targeting multiple ethnicities. She also said that the United States is built upon “white supremacist heteropatriarchy, genocide, and settler-colonialism.” [12] She also supports “no wall” on the U.S. southern border with Mexico. [13]

 

Raja has also said that Republican candidates engaging in “xenophobic, patriarchal, and Islamophobic remarks” that dehumanize women, Muslims, and immigrants while Democrats “evade criticism of their brutal policies that also institutionalize xenophobia, patriarchy, and Islamophobia.” [14]

Raja has supported the #NoDAPL protests opposing pipeline construction, the far-left Black Lives Matter movement, and the left-of-center Movement for Black Lives. [15] She has also been a featured as a speaker by the left-of-center Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Civic Engagement Fund. [16]

Activities and Funding

Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum is a self-described “anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal,” and critical race theory-influenced “anti-racist” [17] activist organization that engages in what it identifies as “intersectional organizing” to influence local and national policies impacting Muslims and Muslim women. [18] MAWPF believes Muslim women are subjected to multiple forms of “institutionalized violence” [19] and seeks to contribute to Muslim women’s activism in the United States and build coalition with global left-of-center women’s activist organizations. [20] MAWPF also says that the United States is “built anti-blackness, settler colonial violence against indigenous communities, capitalism, and imperialism.” [21]

Led by Muslim women with a focus on critical race theory-influenced concepts of social justice and “collective liberation,” [22] MAWPF focuses its efforts on the Washington, D.C., to combat what it calls “legacies of colonialism” that it believes are at the root of government violence, anti-Muslim racism, and gender-based violence. [23]

MAWPF supports abortion and joined 40 organizations protesting a Trump administration decision to prohibit non-U.S. organizations that receive U.S. funding from providing, referring to, or discussing abortions on International Women’s Day in 2017. [24]

During the 2016 election cycle, MAWPF built a relationship with far-left Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)-DC. [25] MAWPF also partners with left-wing Jewish Voice for Peace in its Network Against Islamophobia, [26] supports the far-left Black Lives Matter movement, and is listed by the Washington Peace Center as an organization in solidarity with “Black Liberation in DC.” [27]

Also in 2016, MAWPF organized a march with 18MillionRising, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), left-of-center MoveOn.org Civic Action, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Color of Change, CREDO, DRUM, MomsRising, MPower Change, People for the American Way, and the Washington Peace Center demanding the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) end the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). [28] [29]

In 2015, MAWPF organized an event regarding the surveillance of Black Lives Matter movement protests and other organizations that featured participants from Black Lives Matter DC, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, Amnesty International USA, left-of-center Institute for Policy Studies, and Wayside Center for Popular Education. [30] MAWPF activists have also organized rallies with Collective Action for Safe Spaces [31] and in protest of the Trump administration’s order that would bar the entry of citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia to the United States. [32]

References

  1. “Activist Organizations.” NYU Washington DC. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://wp.nyu.edu/nyuwashingtondc/activist-organizations/. ^
  2. “Who We Are.” American Women’s Policy Forum. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://mawpfdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/mawpf-framework/. ^
  3. “MAWPF.” Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum Twitter Page. Accessed December 18, 2022. https://mobile.twitter.com/mawpf15 ^
  4. [1] Altaleb, Omama. “Washington Muslim women fight fear with self-defense lesson.” Washington Times. December 27, 2015. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/27/washington-muslim-women-fight-fear-with-self-defen/. ^
  5. Harvard, Sarah. “Beyond the Headscarf: Let’s Discuss Social Justice Issues Muslim Women Actually Care About.” Ms. Magazine. October 6, 2015. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://msmagazine.com/2015/10/06/beyond-the-headscarf-lets-discuss-social-justice-issues-muslim-women-actually-care-about/. ^
  6. “Who We Are.” Washington Peace Center. Accessed December 18, 2022. https://washingtonpeacecenter.net/whoweare_new/. ^
  7. “Darakshan Raja of the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum.” Feminist Majority Foundation Facebook Video. March 8, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/FeministMajorityFoundation/videos/darakshan-raja-of-the-muslim-american-womens-policy-forum/10155913685637571/. ^
  8. “Presenters.” Hopeful FUTURE Honored Past. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://na.eventscloud.com/ehome/nsac2016/393698/. ^
  9. “Darakshan Raja.” Race Forward. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://facingrace.raceforward.org/speaker/darakshan-raja. ^
  10. “#CancelRent #FreePalestine Twitter Profile.” Twitter Profile. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://twitter.com/DarakshanRaja?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor. ^
  11. Who We Are.” Washington Peace Center. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://washingtonpeacecenter.net/whoweare_new/. ^
  12. Raja, Darakshan. “The Fight Against White Supremacy Continues.” Tanqeed. November 2016. Accessed December 17, 2022. https://www.tanqeed.org/2016/11/the-fight-against-white-supremacy-continues/. ^
  13.  Maryam Saleh and Shahzeb Hashim. “On International Women’s Day, Women Rally for Reproductive Rights.” U.S. News and World Report. March 8, 2017. Accessed December 17, 2022. https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-03-08/on-international-womens-day-women-rally-for-reproductive-rights?context=amp. ^
  14. Harvard, Sarah. “Beyond the Headscarf: Let’s Discuss Social Justice Issues Muslim Women Actually Care About.” Ms. Magazine. October 6, 2015. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://msmagazine.com/2015/10/06/beyond-the-headscarf-lets-discuss-social-justice-issues-muslim-women-actually-care-about/. ^
  15. [1] Raja, Darakshan. “The Fight Against White Supremacy Continues.” Tanqeed. November 2016. Accessed December 17, 2022. https://www.tanqeed.org/2016/11/the-fight-against-white-supremacy-continues/. ^
  16.  “Tweet.” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund Twitter. Posted December 13, 2022. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://twitter.com/aapifund/status/1602704399108710400. ^
  17.  “Who We Are.” American Women’s Policy Forum. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://mawpfdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/mawpf-framework/. ^
  18. “Activist Organizations.” NYU Washington DC. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://wp.nyu.edu/nyuwashingtondc/activist-organizations/. ^
  19. “Who We Are.” American Women’s Policy Forum. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://mawpfdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/mawpf-framework/. ^
  20. “About.” Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://mawpfdotcom.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/about/. ^
  21. “Who We Are.” American Women’s Policy Forum. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://mawpfdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/mawpf-framework/. ^
  22. “About.” Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://mawpfdotcom.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/about/. ^
  23. “Who We Are.” American Women’s Policy Forum. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://mawpfdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/mawpf-framework/. ^
  24. “40 organizations protest in front of White House on International Women’s Day.” National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.” March 8, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.latinainstitute.org/es/node/4575. ^
  25. “Brief History of SURJ DC’s creation and our accountability relationships.” SURJ-DC. Accessed December 1`5, 2022. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56da3d733c44d8dcc8477c19/t/5c99527df4e1fc96efbd8b36/1553551997337/SURJDC_History_Mar2019.pdf. ^
  26. “Handouts for the NAI Workshops and Modules.” Jewish Voice for Peace. 2017. Pg. 62. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/HANDOUTS-FINALJAN2017NetworkAgainstIslamophobiaTwo-SessionWorkshopSeriesChallengingIslamophobiaandRacism.pdf. ^
  27. “Solidarity with Black Lives Matter Resources.” Washington Peace Center. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://washingtonpeacecenter.net/15405-2/. ^
  28. [1] Stewart, Brian. “MoveOn Applauds President Obama’s Decision to Dismantle NSEERS Registry, Calls for Continued Need to Stand With Muslim Communities Under Trump.” MoveOn.org. December 22, 2016. Accessed December 18, 2022. https://front.moveon.org/moveon-applauds-president-obamas-decision-to-dismantle-nseers-registry-calls-for-continued-need-to-stand-with-muslim-communities-under-trump/. ^
  29. “DHS Removes Designated Countries from NSEERS Registration (2011).” U.S. Department of Homeland Security. November 5, 2021. Accessed December 18, 2022. https://www.dhs.gov/dhs-removes-designated-countries-nseers-registration-may-2011. ^
  30. “State Violence: Surveillance of Movements and Communities from Black liberation to ‘The War on Terror.” Institute for Policy Studies. September 2, 2015. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://ips-dc.org/events/state-violence-surveillance-of-movements-and-communities-from-black-liberation-to-the-war-on-terror/. ^
  31. “Women Wearing Headscarves: Muslim Women Reclaim Safe Spaces.” Facebook Event, Collective Action for Safe Spaces. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/events/624887324325654/. ^
  32. “Rally for Refugees at DCA (Reagan National Airport).” Facebook Event Page. February 1, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/events/ronald-reagan-washington-national-airport/rally-for-refugees-at-dca-reagan-national-airport/1666240853668963/ ^
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Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum (MAWPF)


Washington, DC