Comments posted on the Guardian website in response to this article
on the subject of 'Islamic Feminism'(1)
Do our rights emanate from 'God' or do our rights emanate from women & men?
Do our rights emanate from religious scriptures from an immutable 'Allah', or do they emanate from women and men, refined and developed and ever improving in a secular society?
Are our rights made by us, or fixed from a time around 600AD in the Saudi Arabian desert, handed down by 'Allah' to a supposed prophet called Muhammad?
If you believe our rights and our laws and our principles are created and striven for by ourselves, you reject 'Islamic Feminism'
at best, Islamic Feminism becomes a way of trying to synchronise misogynistic scripture with modern, secular principles of equality.
A useful article to refer to is "Human Rights: The Universal Declaration vs The Cairo Declaration"
hosted on a blog at the London School of Economics.
It outlines the difference between Islamic conceptions of Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A similar fault line appears here in this discussion of what 'Islamic Feminism' is.
Islam does not 'give' women rights, as 'rights' are not Islam's to 'give'
We are not beholden to Islam, Allah, Muhammad, or any religion for 'permission' to have our rights, our equality as women.
So, Islamic Feminism is a strategic kind of movement, but at best it simply tries to reconcile misogynistic scripture with secular conceptions of Universal Rights.
Lets not get things misunderstood.(2)
Maryam Moosan-Clark is a former Muslim who recently wrote a review
of the book "Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels" by Sikivu Hutchinson.
She touches on many different issues, approaching it from her perspective as an Exmuslim woman who experienced Islamic misogyny. This is her take on 'Islamic Feminism'
"Passages from the Qur’an and Hadith are taken out of context and reinterpreted with considerable creative license, elements which encourage, or appear to encourage, critical thought are cherry picked, while the bulk of oppressive content is ignored and explained away with intentionally vague and irrational language. This creates a heavily encumbered form of feminism whose liberating power is limited by the dead weight of its religious apologetics.
There are lots of critiques of Islamic Feminism from liberal Muslim women and Exmuslim women (who, remember, face persecution for leaving and critiquing Islam, in line with the Islamic apostasy codes)
If you're interested in reading around the subject,"between a veil and a dark place"
is a blog by an Exmuslim lady in America who discusses the issues faced by women under Islam, and offers her critique of 'Islamic Feminism'"Voices of ExMuslim Women – Solidarity on International Women’s Day"
is a round table discussion between Exmuslim women on matters of Islam and feminism which was put together to mark International Women's Day.
+++++These were just comments in response to a single article on the subject of Islam and Feminism. It is a subject that we will speak on in fuller depth in future.