Minnesotan Muslim Woman Gives Voice to Islamic Center

March 28, 2006

Source: Star Tribune


On March 28, 2006 the Star Tribune reported, "[Sumbal] Mahmud, 28, is the public face of the Islamic Center of Minnesota... In 2003, Mahmud was elected to a three-year term as communications director for the Islamic Center. It's not an easy job. Questions pour in, always urgent, sometimes loaded, often downright ignorant. Mahmud answers them all, even the anonymous ones that flood in after any event that involves Muslims: a bombing in Israel or Iraq, riots in Europe over Mohammed cartoons, a particularly bloody twist in the war... 'Muslims in America have been forced to become spokespeople for our faith,' she said. 'One of the criticisms we heard after 9/11 is that our leaders didn't come forward to say what happened was wrong. It was unimaginable with something so horrific that someone had to articulate that.' Her faith teaches that she is not accountable for the sins of others, she said. But since 9/11, she has realized that 'American culture demands vocalization of the obvious.' Increasingly, people are listening, she said. Churches call on her to speak to their congregations... Minnesota's Muslim population is fast approaching 150,000, by some estimates."