Friday, November 04, 2005

Islamic feminists denounce 'chauvinistic' reading of Koran

Islamic feminists denounce 'chauvinistic' reading of Koran

The first ever international conference on Islamic feminism, held this week in Barcelona, denounced on Sunday what it termed as "male chauvinist" interpretations of the Koran and claimed that Islam could "liberate" women. "Islam can liberate women and change their status," the conference's final statement read. It also called for a more open interpretation of the Muslim holy book to take into account the context of twenty-first century societies. "Islamic feminism is an emerging reality that must be seen as an alternative to the dominant chauvinist readings [of the Koran]," the statement said, adding that the Koran "does not justify patriarchy". The October 27 to 29 conference was organized by the Catalonian Islamic Board, whose secretary Abdennur Prado called for a "gender jihad" to "struggle against male chauvinistic, homophobic or sexist readings of the sacred texts" during her presentation to the 400 delegates. The conference also saw Amina Wadud, a female Islamic studies professor in the United States give the Friday jutba (sermon) and lead prayers in front of a mixed audience. Wadud caused excitement in March when she led prayers for men and women in a Manhattan Episcopalian church, after three mosques refused her permission for the service. The conference attracted specialists from 15 countries, including Malaysia's Zainah Anwar of Sisters in Islam, and the Iranian director of UNESCO's anti-discrimination campaign, Valentine Moghadma. The event was funded by the Spanish work and social affairs ministry's Institute for Women, as well as the Catalan government.

Amina Wadud Leads Mixed Gender Friday Prayer in Barcelona

One of the world’s leading experts on the Qur’an and its discourse on gender led a mixed-gender congregation in a Friday communal prayer in Barcelona, Spain yesterday. The impromptu prayer came after Wadud, professor of Islamic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, was invited to lead a congregation by several Muslim women during a question and answer period following a talk by Wadud at the International Congress on Islamic Feminism. After answering a slew of questions on the historic mixed-gender prayer she led earlier this year in New York City, members of Spain’s Muslim community quickly organized a makeshift prayer in a conference room at the Alimera Hotel in Barcelona, where the Congress was being held. About thirty worshippers participated in the prayer. Before the prayer a minor controversy erupted about whether Spanish television cameras can record the event, with several congregants refusing to be filmed. Soon, the TV cameras were removed and the prayer began with the call to prayer followed by a short sermon by Wadud.


At November 04, 2005 3:43 PM, Blogger Jez said...

Personally, i don't see how a religion can be changed to suit modern ideals. I think if a religion is chauvinistic-and most are-there's no point in changing it, since then you'd be inventing a religion/philosphy.
Still, it does show that Muslims are not all crazy murderers as some would like us to believe.

At November 04, 2005 4:32 PM, Blogger erp said...

For a very long time, I was a lone voice saying that Moslem women must take their lives into their own hands. For my efforts, I got a lot of ridicule from people who said, don’t I know that would be impossible, that Moslem women are too timid, too ignorant, too scared.

Well it looks like some women are taking things into their own hands and so starts their long road to freedom.

At November 04, 2005 5:31 PM, Blogger John B said...


It is ironic though that this event could only take place outside of Dar al Islam in the land of the infidels.

At November 04, 2005 5:43 PM, Blogger José María said...

I think you are wrong in the understanding of this news. I´ll try to explain. In Spain there are a significant part of the Left that is promuslim, and there are even leftists spaniards that have become muslims.
But the Left supposedly is against discrimination of women, how can they solve their problem? Obviously trying to re-read the Koran with the eyes of the Left.

May be Islam will be transformed in Europe by the Left.

In fact Christianity was transformed to a point that has nothing to do with early Christians. That is the fate of Islam.

At November 04, 2005 5:44 PM, Blogger Jude the Obscure said...

Men will fight to the bitter end to preserve their power and all religions are simply power bases for male authority.

European women had to fight for every freedom they now enjoy, including the right to vote. European men fought against those freedoms every step of the way. Most freedoms were gained only in the twentieth century.

The hope for transformation of islam lies with muslim women. The men have too good a deal as islam now is to change anything. This tranformation will include reduction of the muslim birthrate, something muslim men will attempt to prevent with force.

At November 04, 2005 5:46 PM, Blogger Heloise said...

They can meet and meet and meet again and it won't ultimately change how women are viewed in islam. allah's perfect, eternal, unchanging words, the koran and the sharia, the mohammedan law code, defines the role of women as subservient, to be beaten when necessary, whose testimony in court is worth less than a man's, etc.

I pity these women. If they continue to pursue the goal of equality, they will have to become apostates.

At November 04, 2005 8:21 PM, Blogger erp said...

jmaria, the left is made up a many factions which appeal to people of varying interests and goals, women’s rights, tree huggers, animal rights … The rank and file members of these groups might be sincere, but the leadership has but one goal, a goal they share with Islamic terrorists, and that is the destruction of individual freedom and free market economies in general and the defeat of the American way of life. That’s why you’ll never see any groups like NOW or AI voice a single word of concern for the brutal cruelty Muslim women endure at the hand of their families and clerics. That’s why there’s so much hypocrisy on the left. In fact, my definition of a liberal, one who can hold opposite and opposing opinions at the same time, actually makes sense.

As for the other concerned comments. Of course the women have to take their first baby steps toward reform in a safe place outside of the countries that are governed by Islamic law. The movement must be organized and implemented with military precision and I have no illusions that it will be pretty. They won’t get any help from the leftwing msm either.

They have to do it alone, and the first brave ones will have a very difficult time. They will have opprobrium heaped on their heads by their mothers, daughters and friends and suffer horribly at the hands of their husbands and sons.

Real equality between Moslem men and women is a long way off. If it took decades to finally shame men into allowing women to vote in a free society like the United States, how much longer will it take in a society rife with ignorance and superstition.

However it will happen and the women in these articles are the pioneers.

At November 04, 2005 8:29 PM, Blogger tefta said...

Heloise do really mean to say that women shouldn’t pursue equality because they might become apostates?

That's almost as bad as the Catholic church teaching that it was a woman's fault if her husband got drunk and beat her and the children. If she were a better wife, he wouldn't have to drink.

At November 05, 2005 12:55 AM, Blogger Dark Wing Duck said...

These feminists are deluding themselves. Erp nailed it, Western feminists only care about destroying the west. They never spoke up when the Taleban stoned adulterers in Afganistan or when Uday raped women in Iraq or when moslem immigrants rape women in Sweden. Moslem women will get their rights ONLY when moslem men grow up. That growth will require several centuries or several magatons.

At November 06, 2005 3:11 AM, Blogger Heloise said...

Tefta, if you are a mohammedan, you have to live a certain way of life and hold specific beliefs that are set down in two books, the koran (the words of allah) and the hadiths (words and actions of mohammed).

mohammedans believe the words of allah in the koran are eternal, can't be changed and are to be obeyed by all humanity.

They believe that mohammed was the perfect pattern for all MEN and should be emulated for that is what allah said in his book and allah knows all. Their allah also said that women were less than men, should be beaten if they didn't obey and on and on.

Of course I think the women should meet and discuss their problems, Lord knows they need each other's support but it would be naive of them to think that they can change a religion, a political system, and a barbaric cultural way of life that has beaten every civilization it has encountered into submission.

At November 07, 2005 6:12 AM, Blogger GayLikeAFox said...

"That's almost as bad as the Catholic church teaching that it was a woman's fault if her husband got drunk and beat her and the children. If she were a better wife, he wouldn't have to drink."

When did the Catholic Church teach this? I was raised Catholic, went to a Catholic school, and I don't remember this being part of the catechism.


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