Altmuslimah.com grew out of a grassroots effort within the Princeton, NJ community that was focused initially on gender-related discourse through a book club. One of the book club’s early meetings discussed Living Islam Out Loud, a collection of essays by Muslim American women, and the club had the pleasure of hosting the book’s editor, Saleemah Abdul Ghafur, at its meeting. The conversation that ensued that day was eyeopening in that it revealed the deep-seated frustrations of Muslim American women, ages 18-45, and their need for a forum to discuss and find solutions for their concerns.
As a direct result of the meeting, Asma Uddin approached Shahed Amanullah, the founder and editor of Altmuslim.com, to launch a site akin to Altmuslim.com, a social and political news magazine, but with a focus on gender issues within the Muslim community. Altmuslim.com at that time had been in existence for almost a decade and had a wide, vibrant audience, numbering in the millions. Soon after Asma approached Shahed, the Muslim community was rocked by news of the tragic beheading of Asiya Zubair Hasan, the co-founder of Bridges TV, by her husband (also the co-founder of Bridges). Just as the community was struggling to make sense of the tragedy and respond to media inquiries, on March 8, 2009, International Women’s Day, Asma launched AltMuslimah.com.
Today, AltMuslimah has become a unique space for compelling commentary on gender-in-Islam from both the male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim, perspectives. Within the first three months, AltMuslimah grew to 40,000 viewers per month, and today, that number has tripled. In addition to a large and ever-growing readership, AltMuslimah has received numerous invitations from prestigious universities, think tanks, and mainstream media to speak publicly at various forums, partner on gender-related programming, and, perhaps most notably, to share content with the likes of the Washington Post.