NEW YORK: The American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) announced the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality (WISE) Conference to be held from October 14 to October 17 in Istanbul, Turkey.
“Soon the world will witness how Muslim women activists, scholars, politicians jurists and poets have assumed leadership roles largely perceived to be restricted to Muslim men, ” says Daisy Khan, Executive Director of ASMA and the organiser of this conference.
Over one hundred and seventy five Muslim women leaders from 45 countries will participate in Muslim Women Leaders: At the Frontlines of Change, a global conference of WISE, a programme of ASMA.
“Our goal is to legitimise a coherent global movement, highlighting the groundbreaking advancements of powerful Muslim women who are sharing and building on their individual experiences,” adds Khan.
Top leaders attending the conference include Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General Nafis Sadik; Palestine’s first female judge, Judge Kholoud Al Faqeeh, appointed to the Shariah Court; Esin Celebi, the descendant of the 13th century poet Rumi; Notable female Spiritual Sheikha’s Aisha Rafea (Egypt) and Seemi Ghazi (Canada); Pakistan’s Shahina Akbar, a lawyer who recently was elected as a member of parliament.
The conference will focus on the key roles Muslim women play in politics, civics and business and spirituality, featuring provocative debates and successful case studies.
A special session will be dedicated to the women who ignited the Arab Spring. Political activist Asma Mahfouz will recap how she called upon Egyptians to join her on January 25th in Tahrir Square, Nimah Nawwab will address voting rights for Saudi women as granted by King Abdullah and also highlight obstacles faced by Saudi Women and Afra Jalabi, a Syrian Canadian, will discuss how her compatriots are maintaining a non-violent movement in the context of state brutality.
Finally, the conference will announce the vision for the first Muftiyyah Doctoral programme which will educate contemporary Muslim women to become full-fledged jurists capable of issuing fatwas. Accompanying this, the Muslim Women’s Shura Council, a global body of scholars and activists will present a religious justification for Muslim women’s leaderships in all spheres of society.
A special Turkish panel with Cemalnur Sargut, a prominent Turkish Spiritual leader, joined by Nazli Kayahan, Dilek Guldutuna and Nese Tas titled “A Woman’s Place in Islam – Views from Turkish Women” will provide a unique lens into Turkish women’s interaction with Islam.
Joining their sisters in faith will be an interfaith panel of Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn, Reverand Gwynne Guibord and Dr Rita Sherma who will share their experiences as women spiritual leaders in Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism. pr