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Islam, Women and Feminism

I am wearing this out of choice. If somebody forced me to wax my legs and wear a bikini, I would have been a prisoner. My hijab lets people just focus on my work and my values, than on my body.” Shaista says, “I think those who are forced to wear the hijab are enslaved.” But banning any kind of clothing, says Maria, is a “violation of human rights” and such statements are “irresponsible”. “Sarkozy should know if such practice is being followed for thousands of years, it has some use, otherwise it would have died out,” she says. -- Irena Akbar

Should Mr Sarkozy ban the burqa from France? Definitely not. Because bans are undemocratic and an unqualified attack on individual freedom. Should we however use this opportunity to question the efficacy of the burqa, the chador, the veil or what you will? Definitely yes. Specially since the burqa isn't just another piece of cloth but has a lot of ideological and cultural connotations to it. The French President himself has termed it a symbol of subservience which has no place in a secular state.
Doesn't it have religious connotations, you may also ask? But hey, just let's keep religion out of this. Primarily because, as scholars point out, the Quran makes a mention of modesty rather than the word 'burqa' when it comes to women's apparel. The veil has more a cultural significance in Islam than a theological one. The Quran categorically mentions that "the best garment is the garment of righteousness." (7:26) And righteousness may or may not be interpreted as the burqa, depending on the personal choice of the person. -- Nikhat Kazmi  
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Burqa is integral to Muslim identity  First part of Sarkozy's statement. The burqa is not a symbol of religion. The burqa, in fact, is integral to the Muslim identity as laypersons know it. But do the scriptures, the Koran, in particular say that women must wear burqa? I spoke to a couple of friends and Sarkozy's so wrong. The Prophet certainly advised Muslim women to protect their dignity. That a woman's dignity lies in her own hands and it is best that she have a chador when stepping out of the house…. Conditioning or choice, many Muslim women bond with their burqa. It's as much a style statement as a proud marker of identity. It gives them ‘security’, they say in a world that has become overtly sexualised. It's their choice to wear their identity on rather long sleeves, but that's none of my business. -- Nandita Sengupta

The irony cannot be lost on anyone today when they see what is done to women in the name of Islam. For, the first Muslim was a woman: ‘Tahira’ whose real name was Khadija, whose husband was none but the Prophet Muhammad. She believed in him when nobody did. -- Renuka Narayanan

A deeper probe into the psyche of most of the narrow-minded radicalized jurists would reveal that their interpretations are based on traditional tafsirs (commentaries) written by patriarchal males representing only the experiences of men with either the total exclusion of experiences of women, or their interpretation through the coloured vision of men. This has resulted in women being brought under the control of men to be exploited at will.  -- A. Faizur Rahman

Cultural mores, not Islamic ideology to blame, claim Sisters

Women activists advocating for an Islamic political system through the Brotherhood believe that Islam brought justice to women. Their lack of equal rights presently, they insist, has to do more with the cultural, political and social realities in which their movement functions than with the movement itself.

Still, more and more female members of the Muslim Brotherhood are becoming restless about the lack of representation and are seeking ways to increase their numbers in senior positions in the movement itself and, in time, to participate more in the country’s politics. Primarily, these women want a formal consultative position in the Muslim Brotherhood hierarchy. -- Omayma Abdel-Latif

 

Those who study the Qur'an know that Islam elevated the rights of women beyond anything known in the pre-Islamic world. In fact, in the seventh century Muslim women were granted rights not granted to European women until the 19th century, such as property ownership, inheritance and divorce. That said, Muslims who codified the Qur'an and Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) into Islamic law did not succeed in expunging the patriarchy of the pre-Islamic world from their practices. This distinction between the faith and the various manifestations of its practice is a subtle but extremely important one. -- Amal Mohammed Al-Malki

 

Before reading this article I should warn you that it might be considered subversive. It may lead you into the paths of disbelief. Beware dear reader, for we are about to discuss Valentine’s Day. -- Shelina Zahra Janmohamed

'Islam must not be used to discriminate against women' by SHAHANAAZ HABIB

Militant group issues Valentine’s Day threat through emails

Their Islam versus Our Islam: Hasan Kamaal deplores Talibani Islam
Hasan Kamaal Tr. by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com

Taliban cannot be taken as the representative of 1000 million Muslims all over the world.  I think it’s my duty to inform the world that the anti-women attitude of Taliban is absolutely un-Islamic; rather it is an insult to the religion Islam- which practically introduced the concept of “Women ‘s Rights ” to the world – which gave women for the first time in human history the right to property and asked them to manage their own property by themselves. It also gave them permission to engage in trade and business. – Hasan Kamaal

Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com

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An Indian Taliban slams mainstream Muslim view


Taliban are fulfilling the role of liberators of their country, from the clutches of foreign hegemonists


Hasan Kamaal, with other Marxists like Javed Akhtar and Javed Anand, had formed a paper organisation called Muslim for Social Democracy… Of the trio in MSD, both Javed Akhtar and Javed Anand are professed agnostics, if not atheist and the group has now taken up the noble mission of projecting their version of Islam as the true Islam. Can there be any more flagrant travesty of fact, that those, whose professed beliefs are against Islam, should now have the audacity to become the votaries of 'true' Islam of their own concoction. --- Ghulam Muhammed

CAIRO, Egypt - Amira Khairy is mobbed by housewives kissing her cheeks in greeting as she arrives to give a lesson on reciting the Quran to women at the Al-Sedeeq mosque in a Cairo suburb. Students set up chairs for the class, and soon the hum of chanting female voices fills one of the building's larger chambers. Up to a 1,000 women may show up for the Quran lessons or twice-weekly religious lectures by women. On any given day, several hundred women buzz around the mosque, organizing clothing drives, cooking meals for the poor or teaching women to read. Al-Sedeeq also has medical clinics and a day care center for children of women who do volunteer work at the mosque.

All the activities are organized by women — not the mosque's male administrators. On one recent day, the only men seen in the building were workers doing renovations and worshippers who popped in to perform one of the five daily prayers required by Islam.-- HADEEL AL-SHALCHI

Islamic law can be brutal; no amount of cultural theorizing erases this fact. But as a faithful, feminist Muslim, I know that seventh-century cruelty is not inevitable in the 21st century. Human interpretations of divinely inspired words are exactly that—human, fallible and subject to reversal. In October, during the United Nations' annual debate about children's rights, Iran announced its intention to reduce juvenile executions. Campaigns in more than 80 countries and local activists prodded Tehran to that point. The next step is follow-through, and savvy pressure by the United States and other nations can help. The trick for Washington is to listen and learn: listen to dissidents who seek support, respect those who do not and learn from those with a track record of triumph. -- Irshad Manji

Because they say "it's important to hear women's voices," a local group called Feminists in Faith has formed this fall to discover how religion enriches feminism-and vice versa.

The group, which meets at the University of St. Thomas' Luann Dummer Center for Women in St. Paul, has engaged Christian, Jewish and Muslim women trailblazers, including Dr. Corrine Carvalho, Rabbi Amy Eilberg and Dr. Fatma Reda, to lead the discussion. Touching on everything from the language used to describe God to the ordination of women, they argue that their religions embrace feminism at a basic level, despite the legacy of patriarchy that characterizes each tradition.

One thing the group has set out to do is trace the curvature of feminism, its successes and failures, within each religious community. That line isn't easily drawn, with prevailing thought being tied to the cultural backdrop that is shifting all the time. "As women assert themselves in all walks of life, it is logical that they take a larger and larger role in the faith tradition that nourishes their spirits," said Linda Hulbert, an administrator for the St. Thomas libraries who belongs to the group. Article by Anna Pratt

Also: Leaders’ fury over arrest of 76 Muslim women By Patrick Beja and Westerners Welcome Harems By Daniel Pipes

 
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  • Islam promotes violence ......etc against Khafirs.
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  • کیوں نہ اہل ذکر سے مراد ماہرین لئیے جائیں یعنی جب بھی کوئی مسئلہ ہو اس علم کے ماہر سے پعچھع
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  • No doubt, debate on Islamic ideologies must happen.
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    ( By Usha Jha )
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  • These terrorists are weakening Muslims and therefore are playing the role of agents of anti-Islamic elements. '
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  • لإخوان يستحلون قتل المخالف ولو كان ضعيفا محروما مقهورا، وفي أقل الأحوال يعملون على تشويهه وتقديم المبررات لاغتياله. '
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  • are kafir admi ye Sarah edan BHI Muslim Nahi hai yahudi hai
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