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Theme Changer

 Topic: Islamic Feminism

 (Read 4735 times)
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  • Islamic Feminism
     OP - March 18, 2014, 02:22 PM


    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.


  • Islamic Feminism
     Reply #1 - March 18, 2014, 04:15 PM

    I think that Islamic feminism is an oxymoron, a complete contradiction, and I cannot take such women serious, nor will any of their arguments hold if confronted by people who actually understand and know what "Islamic" means and entails. On the other hand, Muslim feminism is absolutely possible, and I would encourage more and more Muslim women to actually question and debate issues regarding gender in general. But to try and coat it in some kind of "Islamic" suit just comes off as intellectually dishonest and quite frankly extremely ignorant and uneducated. I read an article by Azizah al Hibri, an attempt of hers to "refute" Okin and her text on multiculturalism and gender equality, and it was a very typical example of "Islamic" feminism. I completely destroyed every single argument she had in a response (it was part of a course in global gender issues I took). I feel that women like her create bigger damage to women's rights than anything else they are doing, because they try to hold on to a patriarchal system and claiming it to be "divine", but which is inherently misogynistic. The logic they use is the same like saying "oh no, we demand it to not be any fire-extinguishers in this building, but we are doing it to prevent fires you see!". It's idiotic.

    "The healthiest people I know are those who are the first to label themselves fucked up." - three
  • Islamic Feminism
     Reply #2 - March 19, 2014, 12:18 AM


    Harry's Place has an excellent comment on a thread about an article in the Daily Telegraph on Islamic Feminism written by Shelina Janmohamed

    The comment is by an interactor called Jurek Molnar

    +++++


    The paradox about Muslim feminism seems to be that the term feminism itself is a Western import, because there is no genuine Muslim term for that, but is nevertheless something that has to be adopted at least for political reasons.

    She could say: we don't need Western feminism or feminism at all, because in Islam we are already liberated. But she doesn't say that. She complains that she is not included into the Western concept of feminism, because western feminism rejects religion.

    I wonder, why does she even uses the term, when she is claiming at the same time that she is excluded from it?

    She is not saying that feminism (whatever she thinks that is) is a bad concept. She is not saying she is not a feminist, she is saying that the Western concept of feminism does nor appeal to her, because she feels not to be a part of it.

    This is a strange paradox working here. The deadlock of Muslim thinking is, that everything that is a real world application, including feminism, is somehow an achievement of Western culture, but to continue being a Muslim all these real world applications must be rooted in Islam itself.

    Feminism for instance is not a bad thing for her, indeed it is a great thing that developed out of the political struggles for human rights, but in Islam it has no genuine meaning, since such a term could not emerge in the Muslim tradition.

    But because Islam has always invented things first before everyone else did, feminism must be a Muslim property by its definition. That is what she is trying to do.

    It is sad, just sad.
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