My Position As A Muslim Feminist: a Kind of Online Activism
I am an active person. I am always movign around something. I have a work as translator for a publishing house and also I make free-lance job (your requests are very wellcome). In my experience, each one of my choices had lead me to involve in causes and social work. I share everything I do, because it is a way to connect and I have checked the power that lives behind communication. As a writer, I have two blogs, one in Spanish and in English. I write every week about what I feel, do and think, from what happens in my mind, to my view of political events, social and daily life, always from my perspective of gender.
As a muslim, I assumed, since my conversion to Islam, a gender perspective in my relationship with my belief and community. It's clear that patriarchy has affected the participation of women in all areas and religion dont escape of it .Just starting my studies in islamic sciences in the mosquee, I developed a gender perspective that lead me to write and posting on forums and groups of Muslims online, that equality ordered in the Quran has been buried under patriarchal interpretations to relegate women to a place that neither God nor the Prophet Muhammad have designed for them.
In the history of my religion, there are hundreds of women academics, teachers,philosophers, politicians, writers, judges, mystics, soldiers, artists. Their contribution was buried until now, in behalf of the interests of few and now who we want to save this legacy and empower muslim women to become active agents in the community, breaking the rigid roles the dogmatics interpretations say we must to assume. Sadly, the islam very well financed to be spread in latinamerica and western societies, comes the most of the time sponsored for sexism.
In life everything fits with everything. It was through my blogs that I was invited to join a new group on Islamic feminism.Later an important leader of the muslim women invited me to join the staff at http / / www.webislam.com .This is the most important spanish-language web site on issues associated with Islam, religion, spirituality and social subjects.
My first article was about the case of a girl who, after read a book that said education was a corruptor agent, she decide to put on the burqa and leave the school. My sight was religion cannot avoid the right and normal development of a girl. I denounced the fact that many leaders in islam ask newly converted women to leave university under the saying is a kind of "sexual exposition to non muslim" and she will be punished in hell. My article achieve more than 1200 readings in one day.Some dogmatic people also harrased me by email or twitter or facebook and "a few good muslim men" try to ban from mosquee activities, calling me an apostate.
But I chose again to speak and for several months and on, I've been writing on topics related to the position of women in religion as well as articles to make visible the contribution of women everywhere, beyond cultures and beliefs to show how necesary women are for social change and what they are doing in behalf of it. I never stopped to attend friday preach or community activities.
It's amazing to see how technologies help to connect people. Being online has allowed me to meet incredible people and situations that nourish me as a person. I'm part of wonderful groups of women that empower each other towards development, as Muslimah Writer Alliance and WISE. The wonderful thing, all of them work around the world using the internet and new media. Around one month ago, I was invited to speak in a online radio in the USA about Islamic Feminis t and I connected by skype. it was pure Magic!!!
Currently the group of Islamic feminism has over 550 partners around the globe and we are focused on:
1.-Encourage reporting of gender violence within the community, a situation that many sisters preffer keep in silence cause they are told to "give a bad image of Islam" if they denounce. Islam doesnt allow violence against women in anyway so this argument of "bad image" is a lie.
2.-We are also attentive to the harassment and threating by reason of thought. Yesterday for example, I was informed the President of Muslim Women's Association in Spain, who is also an activist for women's rights, has been threatened and even tried to boycott in her workplace, by a group who accused her of apostasy. We understand we have the right to disagree but we wont allow some people to run over the rights of others. Sadly online harrassment has became popular since someone can create a fake profile.
3.-Building bridges with women of other belief: cristians, mormons, etc. even atheist and also with civil movements for women rights cause we believe understanding each other beyond our differences is a way to find points in common and join effort for justice, equality and peace.We all want the same: Live in peace and have the same opportunites for development, receive respect and consideration in our special way of being. "Lamps are different, but the light is the same", Rumi said.
4.- Breaking sterotypes: We are not just a piece of fabric in our head, we are women, born free with a soul to talk with our God. We are not terrorist nor objects. We women are born free to choose our beliefs, and we want to be free to gain knowledge and faith, to know and talk with God, without oppressive patriarchal structures that make from ignorance a virtue.
5.-Spreading information about scolarships, learning opportunities, resources, meetings, conferences, where muslim women and all women interested in the couple gender-religion can attend. Also, Spreading information about the contribution and situation of women in islam since the beggining of the history until current times.
5.-Working hard to organize the IV Congress on Islamic Feminism next october 2012!!!
As muslim, women and human I qualify as disgusting the violence that many woman have suffered for expressing their ideas, in using of their rights, when they dont agree with the "establishment" that the "prophets" of ignorance and dogmatism are looking to establish for the huge profit of their own interests. I qualify this as coward, unfair and very far away from Mercy, one of the attributes of Allah.
I am thankful for the freedom God has given me from the time of my birth, to seek knowledge, develop my talents, correct my mistakes and return in spirit. I would like remain free to think, feel, and reaffirm my point of views with my head up and my face uncovered, because there is no reason for me to feel shamed for who I am or the religion I chose. I will defend my privilege to be the unique and unrepeatable creature that God created, and the elections made by me in a responsible manner in the exercise of my freedom. Because freedom is like life, we have to conquer it every day.