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public, such as equal protection, religious expression, and freedom from unreasonable
searches. This for us reflects in many ways a masculine understanding of the social
world and civil rights, where the private sphere of the home is seen as a refuge where
the individual and the family should exist without intervention from institutions such
as civil rights advocacy organizations and government agencies. A masculine interpret-
ation can exclude gendered inequalities that are practiced in private spaces (Gold-sack
private. This means that conceptualizing the work of civil rights advocacy as engaged
only with public spaces draws from and contributes to the masculine interpretation of
social space as divided between “work” and “home,” or public and private (Massey
an appropriate site for civil rights advocacy work, but issues like domestic violence and
sexual harassment are not. When civil rights advocacy fails to include advocacy around
gendered issues, gendered vulnerabilities remain in place.
This chapter discusses the work of two Muslim American advocacy organizations
and how they organize their work around gendered issues including domestic violence,
gender discrimination, and sexual harassment among other issues. I find that the largest
Muslim American advocacy organization, the Council on American Islamic Relations
(CAIR), engaged in only superficial advocacy work on these issues. In the process,
CAIR centers nearly all of its advocacy work in public space—its (limited) work on
gendered issues is almost exclusively seen in the arena of the workplace, law enforce-
ment, and in public policy. It is therefore a rather unsurprising to find that smaller
Muslim American advocacy organizations like Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for
Human Rights, emerged to “fill the gap” on gendered issues not addressed by CAIR.
Karamah's advocacy work centers on gendered issues in private spaces, particularly the
in this research: a de facto division of labor between CAIR and Karamah on advocacy
that attempts to address gendered vulnerabilities. In addition, this research has larger
implications for the study of privilege. Privilege also plays an important role in how or-
ganizations deal with gendered issues. Perhaps, CAIR advocates believe they lack the
that Muslims are uniquely oppressive towards women. If CAIR engages such issues in
reotype. If this is the case, then Karamah advocates might perceive that they have suffi-
cient privilege to take on these sorts of issues. In this way, gender privilege might cre-
ate a deprioritizing of advocacy centered on private spaces in favor of public spaces, in
weight. The chapter considers these explanations while describing empirical research
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