If you want to know about Muslim women’s rights, ask Muslim women

Source: Guardian

By Susan Carland, who is a lecturer in Monash University’s National Centre for Australian Studies

Islam’s patriarchy and western feminism have said a lot. Now Muslim women who fight sexism (yes we exist) must be heard

Within minutes of arriving to collect my professionally bound thesis, I found myself on the receiving end of an unsolicited and impenetrable rant about female genital mutilation.

“What’s your paper on?” the shop owner inquired.

“It’s on Muslim women and … ,” I began, but before I could finish my sentence, he had launched into the subject.

Susan cartland

The author Susan Cartland

The fact that I hadn’t even mentioned the words “female genital mutilation” was irrelevant; merely saying “Muslim women” was a wide enough rabbit hole for him to dart down. My presence as a Muslim woman and my half-delivered topic were the only encouragement he needed.

That he felt authorised to deliver a lecture to me about his understanding of the allegedly sexist treatment of women in Islam, the very subject of my years-long PhD dissertation, didn’t surprise me. This was not the first time a stranger had felt entitled to raise the potential religious interference of my genitals with me.

It’s uncanny how often people try to demonstrate their concern about the alleged oppression of Muslim women by humiliating them. Even finding out the details of my research findings doesn’t seem to deter them from baldly sharing opinions.

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1 reply

  1. According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘Women’s Rights are the rights, that promote a position of social and legal equality, of women to men’

    According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘they are the rights, claimed for the women, equal to those of men, as regards to suffrage that right to vote, as regards to property, etc’.

    ‘Modernising’, according to the Oxford dictionary means, ‘to make modern, to adapt to modern needs or habits’.

    And according to the Webster’s dictionary it means… ‘To make modern, or to give a new character or appearance – e.g., to modernise ones ideas’.

    In short, modernising is a process of updating or opting for the betterment of the present status itself – It is not the present modern status itself.

    Can we modernise ourselves, to master our problems, and to realize a new way of life, for the whole human race?

    I am not concerned about the modern ideas, the conclusions and the categorical statements made by scientists and inexperienced armchair experts, as how a life should be lived by a woman.

    I am going to base my conclusions and considerations on truth, which can be proved by experience.

    Experience and unbiased factual holistic analysis, are the sure test, between the gold of truth, and the glitter of theory.

    We have to check our thinking against reality, otherwise many a times, our mental process will go astray – Indeed the great brains of one time, believed that the world was flat.

    Women Rights in Islam

    Islam’s radical revolutionary support, gave women their due right and status in the days of ignorance… 1,400 years ago.

    Islam’s objective was and continues to be, to modernise our thinking, our living, our seeing, our hearing, our feeling and striving for the women’s upliftment and emancipation in the society.

    Before I dwell further with the topic, I would like you to make note of a few points.

    Approximately one fifth of the world’s population, consists of Muslims. There are different Muslim societies – Some may be close to Islam, some may be far away from Islam.

    The ‘Women’s rights in Islam’ should judged according to the authentic sources, and not what individual Muslims do, or what the Muslim society does.

    The authentic sources of Islam, are the Qur’an, which is the word of God, and the authentic Sunnah, and the traditions of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).

    Qur’an will never contradict itself, nor will the authentic Hadith contradict itself… neither will these two authentic sources, contradict each other.

    Sometimes the scholars differ, and many a times, these differences can be removed by analysing the Qur’an as a whole, and not just by quoting one particular Verse. Because if one particular verse of the Qur’an is ambiguous many a times the answer is given somewhere else in the Qur’an – Some people quote one source and neglect all the other sources.

    It is the duty of every Muslim, male or female, to seek the pleasure of God, and to act as His trustee on this world, and not to try and gain fame or satisfy one’s own ego.

    Islam believes in equality of men and women – ‘Equality’ does not mean ‘identically’.

    In Islam, the role of a man and woman is complimentary, it is not conflicting. It is that of a partnership, it is not contradictory, so as to strive for supremacy.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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