Author: Daisy Khan
Copyright@ 2018 Daisy Khan
Published by Random House
Daisy Khan is a Muslim campaigner and reformer who is the Executive Director of the Women’s Islamic Initiative for Spirituality and Equality (WISE) and the founder of the Global Women’s Shura Council. Her memoir recounts her life growing up in the foothills of the Himalayas in Kashmir, India to a progressive educated Muslim family and her spiritual journey after she moved to the United States.
Khan left home as a teenager to continue her education in America while living with her uncle and aunt in Long Island, N.Y. There she completed her high school education and went on to receive a degree from the New York School of Interior Design. Still in her early 20’s she started her profession as an architectural designer in Manhattan.
It was during this time that Khan began her spiritual search. Although born within a Muslim family in India, she had attended a Catholic girl’s school and was surrounded by people of other faiths including Hindus and Sikhs. Yet it was the polarizing atmosphere against Muslims in the wake of 9/11 that made her seek a better understanding of Islam. Upon the advice of a friend she was encouraged to attend a Sufi mosque where she met and married her activist husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
Khan worked independently and with her husband to spearhead a number of intra-faith and interfaith initiatives. As she gained a better understanding of Islam she recognized some of the critical fault lines in the interpretation of women’s right in the religion. This spurred her on to found the Women’s Initiative for Spiritualty and Equality (WISE) and the Global Women’s Shura Council. These organizations provide religiously-grounded opinions on controversial issues such as domestic violence, violent extremism, honor killings, forced marriages, female genital mutilation and adoption.