Author, Activist, and Academic
Hijri Unknown-Present (AH); Common Era Unknown-Present (CE)
Ausma Zehanat Khan is a Canadian novelist and author of crime and fantasy novels. Khan published her first novel The Unquiet Dead in 2015; the book received "best first novel" accolades from both the Arthur Ellis Awards and the Barry Awards in 2016. She was the editor in chief of Muslim Girl magazine, a bi-monthly publication that is the first magazine to target young Muslim women. She describes Muslim Girl as an opportunity to reshape the conversation about Muslim women in North America.1 Despite the overall positive reception of Muslim Girl, certain aspects of the magazine have been criticized as being too Western with critics saying that all the women and girls depicted should be wearing headscarves or looser clothing.2 Interestingly, one of ideas behind the magazine is to emphasize the diversity of practice among American Muslim communities which include women who do and do not wear headscarves.3 A longtime community activist and an accomplished Muslim women, Ausma been featured in publications around the world including Asharq al Awsat, the Organization of Islamic Conference Journal, Arabian Woman, Al Ahram Shabab, the India Times, Kristeligt Dagblad, Agence France-Presse and the International Herald Tribune. She also is a contributor to an anthology entitled Her Mother’s Ashes 2 and writes for Muslim Girl.4 In addition to advocacy and writing, she has taught international human rights law at Northwestern University and human rights and business law at York University. She received a PhD in international human rights law from Osgoode Hall Law School, where her research specialization was humanitarian intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. Ausma completed her LLB at the University of Ottawa and practiced immigration law in Toronto.5 Ausma left her teaching position at Northwestern University to become editor-in-chief at Muslim Girl.6 Her forthcoming book, Ramadan, is a non-fiction book aimed at middle-grade students and is to be published by Orca Books as part of the Origins series in Spring 2018. This volume introduces Muslims’ month of fasting and gives a taste of how it is celebrated around the world. The personal perspectives included in Khan’s work elevate it above an average informational book; readers, both non-Muslims and Muslims, can step into the shoes of someone from another background.  Women’s Leadership and Activism in the Muslim World: A Daylong Public Symposium and Community Event - Biographies.  NPR: 'Muslim Girl' Magazine Marks One Year in Print (Transcript).  Teens Not Terrorists: Muslim Girls Get a Voice in Muslim Girl Magazine.  Women’s Leadership and Activism in the Muslim World: A Daylong Public Symposium and Community Event - Biographies.  ibid.  Teens Not Terrorists: Muslim Girls Get a Voice in Muslim Girl Magazine.