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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Islamic feminism

Did anyone ever hear of Islamic Feminism? It's a legitimate movement it seems; They even had their first conference in Spain this week. They say that Islam doesn't justify patriarchy, that a less chauvenistic interpertation of the Koran is necessary and are calling for a "gender Jihad" to struggle against such interpertations. I am not kidding. The first ever international conference on Islamic feminism, held this week in Barcelona, denounced on Sunday what it termed as "male chauvinist" interpretations of the Koran and claimed that Islam could "liberate" women. "Islam can liberate women and change their status," the conference's final statement read. It also called for a more open interpretation of the Muslim holy book to take into account the context of twenty-first century societies. "Islamic feminism is an emerging reality that must be seen as an alternative to the dominant chauvinist readings [of the Koran]," the statement said, adding that the Koran "does not justify patriarchy". The October 27 to 29 conference was organized by the Catalonian Islamic Board, whose secretary Abdennur Prado called for a "gender jihad" to "struggle against male chauvinistic, homophobic or sexist readings of the sacred texts" during her presentation to the 400 delegates. The conference also saw Amina Wadud, a female Islamic studies professor in the United States give the Friday jutba (sermon) and lead prayers in front of a mixed audience. Interesting.... Update: Here is a comprehensive article on the Islamic Feminist movement and its history in case you are interested.


At 11/06/2005 05:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it is true.
The verses that give women half what man takes when was first revealed caused such a stir amongst muslims that they expressed their anger & shock, " how do we give money for women when they do not ride horses or do any work, when they do not defend or raid with us?"
Many verses do mention equality, & Only gives leadership to man when he is the sole source of money & food for the family.
In actual fact, the Quran gives women alot of rights but men suppressed it under many guises during the centuries sidelining & oppressing them.
I still have to read what they are saying.

At 11/06/2005 06:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know that Islam and feminism can come together. I mean, it might work along the same lines as the egyptian government's law, which states that women can have social, educational, and professional oppportunities and the state will "assist" them in making sure they don't conflict with family and home obligations.
Sounds like feminism to anyone?

By the same token, I think that as long as the grand sheiks and muftis remain men, then Islam will be predominantly patriarchal. Most Islamic religious scholars who are women are considered "radical" and too "progressive." And God forbid if her hair's not covered.

At 11/06/2005 07:48:00 PM, Blogger forsoothsayer said...

i think islam like any other religion can be sun in a feminist way...especially since it is a legal and political system as well as a religion. but while polygamy remains, it's going to be really tough to spin it any good way.


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