Motivational speaker Ieasha Prime spoke to more than 100 Muslim women on Sunday. *Photo supplied
Motivational speaker Ieasha Prime spoke to more than 100 Muslim women on Sunday. *Photo supplied

More than 100 women from Bermuda’s Muslim community turned out to hear international Muslim motivational speaker Ieasha Prime on Sunday.

The conference topic was Women of Virtue and highlighted some of the roadblocks Muslim women come across throughout their lives and how they might be overcome.

“Bermuda has a very healthy Muslim community,” Ms Prime said. “The women are very active in their faith both here on the island and when they travel abroad.”

Throughout her talk she discussed the traits of “perfectly virtuous women” in the Koran such as Mary, the mother of Jesus; Fatima, the daughter of the prophet Mohammed and Khadijah, the wife of Mohammed and how these traits can still be cultivated in women today.

Ms Prime discussed the qualities possessed by these women — all of varying backgrounds — and what it is about these traits that make them so timeless.

She explained: “We focused on several characteristics — a certainty in God, a deep sense of humanity and to be charitable, modest, courageous and pure.

“These themes unite the virtuous women in the Koran.

“We talked about how we can cultivate these traits in ourselves through doing things like increasing our worship and searching inside our hearts for the qualities that are blocking the virtuous traits — whether it be pride, greed, lust or ingratitude — and then ridding ourselves of them.

“Pride and greed were the principles we worked the hardest on over the weekend. As women we love beautiful things!”

Ms Prime comes from New Orleans and is extensively travelled — spending much of her life as an educator, artist and entrepreneur committed to empowering Muslim women to maximize their full potential.

Concerns

She was invited to speak in Bermuda by local residents Aqueelah Nasir and Lesa Outerbridge when they heard her keynote address at a Muslim conference in Baltimore recently.

“I did hear quite a bit from the women in Bermuda that they were concerned about their public appearance in terms of being covered with the hijab,” Ms Prime said. “For us wearing traditional Muslim wear means that we can transcend the trends of the day and public opinion.

“There is sometimes the public view that the clothes we wear are in some way oppressive. But in fact it is the opposite.

“It helps us maintain a public identity.

“Before a person has the opportunity to speak to me, judge my thinking or judge my size, they know — just by looking at me — that I believe in God and a higher calling.”

In the evening Ms Prime gave a family address for Bermuda’s Muslim men as well as the women.

On Thursday she was the guest interview on one of our local radio stations where one of the callers phoned in to discuss the perception of Muslims in the world.

“He brought up the topic of suicide bombers,” Ms Prime explained. “Unfortunately based on the current political climate and how that’s affecting America, the general public does not always have the best perception of Islam and Muslim.

“It’s interesting to see how we can take the actions of a few and make them the mentality of a certain group.

“We don’t place the same judgment on other creeds.

“We don’t, for example, generalize and say that all white Christians are members of the Ku Klux Klan.

“In general everyone looks at something from their own point of view.”