On An Islamic Feminism

I am posting here a few of the web sites of Moslem women authors who are challenging the patriarchal control of Islam. I also want to post three recent articles regarding the current movement of Moslem feminism. The two web sites are those of Irshad Manji who is the author of a very controversial book The Trouble with Islam Today for which  she has received much criticism within the Islamic world. The link to her site is  http://www.irshadmanji.com/
While Miss Manji is perceived because of  her book and writings by many Moslems as being hostile to Islam what can be seen in her site is that in spite of her criticisms she is still very much a believer in Islam. The other site is that of the author Sumbul Ali- Karamali and of her recently published book called “The Muslim Next Door.” The link to her site is http://www.muslimnextdoor.com/
I own a copy of her excellent book which I believe is one of the best analysis of  Islam in its entirety, One of the best chapters in the book is the one that deals with the issue of Islam and women rights. In this book I think that she takes on quite effectively some of the issues that have been raised in discussions here such as the issue of the supposed command that men hit their wives and the issue of inheritance.
 I will include a link to the New York Times article “Women Use Koran to Demand  Equal Rights”

which a represent some of the world Islamic feminist response to a ruling in February 2009 by the government of Malaysia to ban the practice of yoga as unIslamic. Enclosed are a few highlights of the article.

“The religious order banning women from dressing like tomboys was bad enough. But the fatwa by this country’s leading clerics against yoga was the last straw.

“They have never even done yoga,” said Zainah Anwar, a founder of a Malaysian women’s rights group called Sisters in Islam.

Anwar argues that the edict, issued late last year by the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia, is pure patriarchy. Islam, she says, is only a cover.

It was frustrations like those that drew several hundred Muslim women to a conference in this Muslim-majority country over the weekend. Their mission was to come up with ways to demand equal rights for women. And their tools, however unlikely, were the tenets of Islam itself.

“Secular feminism has fulfilled its historical role, but it has nothing more to give us,” said Ziba Mir-Hosseini, an Iranian anthropologist who has been helping to formulate some of the arguments. “The challenge we face now is theological.”………….



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