Daisy Khan is an award-winning speaker, author, activist, commentator, and the founder of Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), the largest global network of Muslim women committed to peacebuilding, gender equality, and human dignity.
She has been involved in grassroots efforts combating anti-Muslim bias for over twenty years and is renowned as a thought leader on Muslim women’s rights, Islam in America. As an avid bridge-builder, she has been hailed for producing interfaith programs like Same Difference, the Cordoba Bread Fest, and the “Today, I am a Muslim Too” rally.
Khan believes that women’s leadership is essential to solving societal issues. “we need to remove structural barriers to Muslim women’s leadership, to enable them to use their resolve, passion, and humility to bring societies into greatness.” She founded the first global Muslim women’s Shura (advisory) Council to amplify Muslim women’s scholarship. The Council uses an egalitarian interpretation of scripture to publish position papers against pressing issues such as child marriage, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, terrorism, and many others.
Khan published WISE Up in collaboration with 72 authors to create a counter-momentum to the rise in hateful rhetoric and violent extremism. Her memoir, Born with Wings, published in 2018 by Random House, depicts her spiritual journey as a modern Muslim woman and her circuitous path to leadership. Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review.
Khan is a prolific speaker who has lectured at major institutions, like Council on Foreign Relations, Aspen Institute, Chautauqua Institution, World Economic Forum, and many others. She is a media commentator and an Op-Ed writer who has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, PBS, and BBC and is featured in documentaries and publications like TIME, Guardian, Newsweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Elle and many others.
Khan was listed among TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential” People and The Huffington Post listed her among “Top Ten Women Faith leaders” and MORE Magazine described her as “a link between moderate Islam and the West.” She is the recipient of twenty awards and honors including the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, Edinburgh Peace Award, Interfaith Center’s Award for Promoting Peace, Women’s E-News named her “21 women of the 21st century.” Glamour Magazine listed her among “7 Women You Must Follow on Twitter.”
Born in Kashmir, she spent twenty-five years as an interior architect for various Fortune 500 companies. In 2005, she dedicated herself to full-time community service and building movements for positive change, both in the United States and around the globe.