South Dakota Muslim Women's Network

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 21 October 2004.

Contact Information

Address: 21079 1st Ave., Bushnell, SD 57276

Informal Network

The South Dakota Muslim Women's Network is a small, informal affiliation of women of predominantly European-American descent who have converted to Islam. The website provides a means for the dissemination of information but the primary activities occur by phone and in person. The group teaches basic Islamic theology and provides instruction on how to adhere to requirements of modesty. Anisah David, a sociologist by training, currently manages the Network. Ms. David is also a member of the Islamic Society of Brookings and converted to Islam while in college in Wyoming.

Practical and Emotional Support

In addition to providing practical and emotional support to new and experienced Muslims in South Dakota, the Network has also proved useful to it's members for serious legal issues. Sally Barakat, a convert to Islam, lost custody of her son, for what she and Muslim groups across the country claimed was anti-Muslim bias. Ms. Barakat had met an Egyptian man, converted to Islam and married. Barakat had a son from a previous marriage and was planning on visiting Egypt with her new husband. Barakat's father and step mother sued for custody, citing in court documents, "bizarre behavior, including wearing Muslim garb and declaring herself a Muslim." Ms. Barakat eventually won back custody of her son and was allowed to travel but this case highlights the special needs of religious minorities in the area to have a support system in place. Ms. David and other members of the program were instrumental in drawing the attention of national organizations like CAIR to Ms. Barakat's aid.