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VIDEO: Muslim 'female heroes' bicycle across Iowa to inspire women around the world

Religion News Service video by Sally Morrow

(RNS) To celebrate their 50th birthdays, Mara Gubuan and her Urbandale, Iowa, high school classmates invited six elite Muslim female athletes to RAGBRAI, the annual bicycle ride that took place this week (July 19-25) across the Hawkeye State.

The idea was to "create a counter-narrative" to dispel the misconception that Muslim women don't compete in sports. The riders of Team Shirzanan, from mostly Muslim countries, showed it could be done, even while wearing headscarves during July's summer heat.

Gubuan founded Team Shirzanan by collecting donations, through her nonprofit company Shirzanan Global, a media and advocacy platform empowering Muslim female athletes. "Shirzanan" means "female heroes" in the Persian language.

The team includes the first female from Saudi Arabia to climb Mount Everest, a Pakistani Olympic swimmer, a Pakistani- American Olympic weightlifter and an Iranian surfer and snowboarder.

The team, along with thousands of other cyclists, joined this year's 481.5-mile route, from Sioux City to Davenport.


  1. Until the koran changes, these ladies are wasting their time.

  2. Until you start reading Quran before you can change your thought

  3. Reading the koran? Of course and this is what one finds: just a few examples to meet the 1000 word limit:

    “A husband has sex with his wife, as a plow goes into a field.

    Husbands are a degree above their wives.

    A male gets a double share of the inheritance over that of a female.

    A woman’s testimony counts half of a man’s testimony.

    A wife may remarry her ex—husband if and only if she marries another man,
    they have sex, and then this second man divorces her.

    Slave—girls are sexual property for their male owners.

    A man may be polygamous with up to four wives.

    A husband may simply get rid of one of his undesirable wives.”

    Google each koranic rule above to get the number of the passage.

  4. If you’re going to be offensive, at least try to not be lazy about it. I can google the things you wrote myself to find the Quranic reference? Okay, I did. Here’s what I found:
    “You who believe! It is not lawful for you to inherit women by force. Nor may you treat them harshly so that you can make off with part of what you have given them, unless they commit an act of flagrant indecency. Live together with them correctly and courteously. If you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something in which Allah has placed a lot of good.”
    (4:19) And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.

    And much more… like the person before me said, read the Quran that you seem to love to quote.

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