In her book Mecca and Mainstreet: Muslim Life in America After 9/11 Genieve Abdo writes that, “Ingrid’s success and assertiveness are unusual for her generation.” Below Abdo introduces us to Mattson:
As a professor of Islamic studies at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and the President of the largest Muslim-American organization, the Islamic Society of North America, she navigates many different worlds at once. Her blend of scholarly knowledge and real-life experience has made her an important voice for women as well as men. She appeals to second-generation Muslim women with her idealized vision of Islam.
Ingrid’s compelling personal history and her conversion to Islam have given her an elevated status among Muslim-Americans. When she tells imams that the Koran does not say women should pray in a dark basement, they listen. When she tells women not to listen to their husbands if they forbid them from going to the mosque for prayers, they follow her advice. And even in the non-Muslim world, which is often skeptical of a Muslim women wearing hijab, Ingrid has influence. She turns to myth the conventional wisdom that a woman wears a headscarf and loose-fitting skirt only if she suffers under the weight of male oppression.
In celebration of Ingrid Mattson and what she stands for, OUP has rounded up some recent news stories and interviews featuring Mattson. Check them out, she really is a fascinating and inspiring woman.
- Between Faith and Country: Muslims in America
- A Convert to Islam Takes Leadership Role
- Islam on the Internet
- Fox News
- Muslim Media Network
- Middle East Online
To learn more about Geneive Abdo check out her Q&A with OUP.