Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Welcome to my blog!
Because of a belief in a liberated, equitable and dignified position of women outlined in the Qur'an, many Muslims, men and women alike, are calling for reevaluation of attitudes and practices that, although done in the name of Islam, are actually contrary to the basic messages found in the primary sources. To question and possibly oppose entrenched positions that are based on archaic laws, weak Hadith, or cultural trends, requires courage and conviction on the part of religious leaders. But this is necessary and worth any risks in order to enable women to achieve liberation through Islam as originally intended.Major problem areas that need to be addressed include the following (which i hope my blog will synergise!):

  • Family laws pertaining to marriage and divorce that reinforce the image of relationships based on a hierarchy with the rights of the husband superceding those of the wife and that prevent women from being in control of their lives.
  • Violence against women which occurs in the home, community, and as a consequence of warfare which is claimed by some to be allowed by Islam when it is not.
  • Abuse of certain Islamic practices that affect women negatively, such as polygamy and temporary marriage, when applied out of context and without abiding by Islamic restrictions.
  • Excluding women from religious activities such as attendance in the mosque which has clearly been established as the Muslim woman's right.
  • Failure to promote the importance of a woman's contribution to society beyond child-bearing.
  • Failure to enable women to take advantage of rights of property ownership and inheritance outlined by Islam.
  • Focusing on the behavior of women as a marker for morality in society and subjecting them to harassment, intimidation or discrimination.
  • Lack of awareness of the important role of men in contributing significantly in sharing household responsiblities and child-rearing as exemplified by Prophet Muhammed.

Until recently, because of a pervasive sexist and oppressive presentation of women in Islam, Muslim women often felt the only way to be liberated intellectually, socially, politically and economically was by abandoning Islam. There appears to be a growing movement of Islamist women who are demanding that the rights guaranteed by Islam must be applied in their communities.

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