Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The veil, the Koran, and the Muslim women's movement

Muslim women who want equal rights are turning to Islam’s primary authority – the Koran. It’s a smart strategy.
n Islam, a woman who chooses not to wear a head scarf in public has a strong defense: the Koran. Nowhere does Islam’s primary text mandate that she cover her head.

A Muslim woman, then, should have the freedom to cover her hair – or not. But that is not the case in a country like Saudi Arabia. The Koran also supports a woman’s right to own and inherit property, to be educated, and to choose her husband – but not all societies in the Muslim universe of 1.5 billion people recognize these rights.

The disconnect lies in the interpretation of Islam, done for centuries by men. In the interest of achieving gender equality, Muslim women activists and scholars are challenging the male interpretation. Wisely, they are using the Koran to do it.
Christian Monitor


  1. “The decision of the Swiss people stood to be interpreted as xenophobic, prejudiced, discriminative and against the universal human-rights values,” said the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which represents 57 Muslim-majority nations.
    Members include Saudi Arabia, where non-Muslims are arrested for worshipping privately; Maldives, the Indian Ocean atoll where citizenship is reserved for Muslims; Libya, which limits churches to one per denomination in cities; and Iran, where conversion from Islam is punished by death, according to a 2009 U.S. State Department report on religious freedom.
    “The Copts are a minority. Why do they need more churches?” Ain Shams café owner Harbi Muhammed Ali said in an interview. “There are other churches around. If you have one car, do you need two?”

  2. Right, that's Islam shredded. Now for vza's exposé of Christian hypocrisy. 

  3. What an absolutely silly response. I am sure you felt you scored a zinger with that one?
    The topic of the ban on minarets was in the news. Should I have critiqued Christian hypocrisy at the same time? Critiques of Christianity  go on all the time in a multitude of ways, in the news, the arts, stage plays, movies. Nobody dies, nobody riots, and best surprise of all, NOBODY whinges, and miraculously, the world keeps on turning.

  4. What's a zinger?