Talking about Islamic Feminism
Today I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with the director of project Baitulsalaam ( http://www.baitulsalaam.net/) in the United States in a radio program that you can listen in internet every saturday and sunday called Muslim Writers Forum, a original and free space to talk about books, gender, violence against women and children and discussing about solutions to improve the situation of women in muslim communities and in non muslim context. Here is the post cast of the program dated the 13th of august of 2011 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/baitulsalaam/2011/08/13/muslim-writers-forum
So, I tried to explain what islamic feminism is about: first we are clear that women suffer discrimination and opression because her gender in all around the world including muslim countries. Allah has created men and woman in equality but some interpretations, very wrong, of the Holy Q'uran and Sunnah have changed the real and original status of women in islam. Beside this, these same interpretations, promote division, isolation of muslims from their communities, intransigence and as a result, the answer from the rest of the world is islamofobia. So, from islamic feminism we want to colaborate in this 2 sttruggle: equality for women and creating links of respect from and to muslim community and among all humankind.
Is true the concept of feminism scares a lot to muslim leaders cause is related with an agressive liberation of women againts men, family and God, and as a menace to the establishment and a promise of chaos. But this is not true in the case of islamic one. Scared reactions are not necessary if we know Allah made women and men equal. A different thing is they are scared to lose part of their power on women if women decide to learn and think for themselves and search by their own the espiritual path of Allah.
In the history of islam, there is a lot of women acting as scholars, teachers, preparing men and women for spiritual path. Why Should be different now?
The heart is the core of the understanding about Allah. Everyone has a heart and the responsability to search knowledge by themselves. And this searching of knowledge includes also the self-knowing. Meet yourself as a especial creature of Allah. This is the same for all muslims so, Why women must to renounce to that mission and put it in the hands of other? That's not the submission Allah asks from us.
The International Congress of Islamic Feminism is a big opportunity to meet sisters from all over the world and know what they are doing to empower muslim women in order to finish with discrimination and barriers that put women in cages of stereotypes and limit their potential. Also in every meeting we try to join effort and made a feedback about the movement. Next year Insha'allah we will meet again to talk about what is the real potential of islamic feminism to change the situation of muslim women in those contexts they are discriminated and how to deal with authoritarism and oppressive estructures.
Islam is submission to Allah, and Allah commands equality; Islam is peace, and there's no peace without respect, justice and understanding. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:"Noone is really a believer until he wants for his brother the same he wants for himself". That's include women also. And we have to find the way to be recognized and included.