Seeing Muslim women wearing hijabs and attempting to overthrow their governments over the past few weeks challenges a lot of preconceived notions about women in Islam. I bet it would also be news for most to learn that the President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is a woman.
Ingrid Mattson is the first Muslim convert and first female Muslim to lead the ISNA. She earned her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in 1999. In 2001 she was elected Vice-President of ISNA and in 2006 she was elected President of the organization. Mattson is also currently the Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of Islamic Chaplaincy at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, CT.
To learn more about her and her work click here.
Photo credit: University of Chicago Magazine
Below is a great video of her participating in a moderated conversation at Penn State, in which she talks about her sister who converted to Judaism and the theological differences between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.