Lessons in Sisterhood from Christian-Muslim Women’s Dialogue

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is one of the few places in the United States with a history of Christian and Catholic-Muslim dialogue. In addition, it is one of the few places in which the women from these two Abrahamic faith traditions have participated in a sustained dialogue. It has been argued that there is a greater need for women’s voices in interfaith dialogue to be recognized. In most of the early organized dialogues between Christians and Muslims, women’s voices were noticeably absent. The situation changed considerably in the 1990s and especially after the terrorist attacks in the United States in September 2001. After this event, women activists, both Christian and Muslim, began a serious conversation on matters of faith as well as social issues they faced. Historically speaking, despite the participation of increasing numbers of women, their voices have rarely been allowed to be the medium for disseminating the role and impact of the dialogue. Speaking about the history of women’s dialogue will hopefully lead to a greater awareness of and balanced narratives regarding women’s interfaith engagement and interactions which are more frequent and more cordial than we are led to believe through the usual channels of reporting.