Tag Archives: islam

Photography Lighting the Fire Under Saudi Arabia’s Proverbial Bum

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Saudi Arabia has, as we all know, never been my favorite government.  I love the people, but the government has always rubbed me the wrong way.  Maybe it’s because I’m a woman who likes to drive.  Maybe it’s because I enjoy independence, and the freedom to choose my own clothing.  Maybe because monarchy has always made my stomach churn just a little bit.  Whatever the reasons, I’m not one to shy away from criticizing The Kingdom.

This, however, has gone too far.  Even for the Orwellian Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices.  Saudi Arabia has lost its plot over a photograph of a woman in niqaab holding up a bra.

The photograph was displayed as part of a photography assignment in Thompson River University, Kamploops, BC.  After a group of students complained about the “provocative” image, it was removed.  It’s now back, but the Saudi Arabian government is now involved.

I, of course, not one to shy away from controversial art, am a fan of the artist, Sooraya Graham’s work.  A niqaabi herself (not that it matters), she explained that she wanted to picture veiled Muslim women as normal people, too.  She said she was tired of having people point to her in stores, and wanted to express her own humanity through the photograph.

I believe that is why Saudi Arabia is having such a difficult time with this.  Women as people?  We can’t have that.  The photo, after all, implies that she has breasts, which implies that she also, by default, has other uniquely female organs.  She may even have sex, or worse, enjoy it (brazen hussy).  If she has a bra, she also may wear other pieces of lingerie, which, just by the implication, means she has no decency because it makes sexually frustrated men want her.  Her eyes, too, are quite nice, so they’d thank her to cover those bad boys up.

Sarcasm aside, the artist has support from many people throughout the world (I’m sure some, too, from Saudi Arabia).  Sooraya, keep doing your thing.  Keep taking great photos that express what you think the world needs to hear – because they do.  To read the full article (and see the video clip) click here.

Does Modern Feminism Have Room for Muslim Women? Make Way for Reema the Riveter.

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The feminist movement doesn’t have a very large place for Muslim feminists, and with feminism being as diverse as they come, attitudes towards Muslim women vary from open and accepting to a very arrogant, pittying rejection.

We’ve Got a Long Way to Go, Baby.

Feminism was originally and has traditionally been by, for, and of middle-class white women.  Bell Hooks discusses it in her free pdf, Feminism Is For Everybody.  She explains how feminism has had to struggle and adjust to include women of non-white races and their unique struggles into the feminist movement.  The same struggle, I think, is going on right now as the wider feminist community decides if we’re really welcome here.  Not only is race/ethnicity an issue here, but culture and religion.  It’s complicated, and it’s not going to resolve itself overnight.  Still, there are some attitudes that are certainly outdated and need to get with the times.

The debate about hijab has been a heated one in feminist circles.  While some may observe that it’s a little bit ridiculous for nonMuslim women to form opinions on how Muslim women dress, it still happens.  In the west, as Muslims, we’re still largely defined by our clothing, like it or not.  For hijabis, the judgment is immediate.  The moment they see us.  Before they hear our voices or opinions, before they have a chance to get to know us, they see this foreign, seemingly cumbersome cultural “veil”, and decisions are made by them about us: your entire life revolves around your religion.  If you’re not married, you live at home.  You are conservative, and often, you judge everyone else’s clothing choices.  For nonhijabis, when they “find out” you’re Muslim, the fact that you’re not wearing hijab brings on an entirely new set of judgments.  You’re not that practicing, you’re very liberal, you resent “back home” culture, etc.

It’s a difficult situation for us Muslim women to be in.  You cannot win for losing.  You’re either pious and untouchable, or secular and “loose”.  No middle ground.  It’s the case of “virgin or whore” on a whole new level; and it’s inescapable.

In relation to feminism, it’s worse.  If you’re a feminist, or are familiar with the feminist movement and its many (and often diametrically opposed) opinion-factions, you’ll understand the complexity that arises from any controversial topic, and we’re one of them.

To some feminists, womens’ personal choice is paramount.  It is the quintessence of feminism, the backbone of the movement.  It super-cedes everything else.  To other feminists, womens’ liberation is more important than womens’ choice.  The two may not seem to be particularly opposed, but they are.

For a feminist that values choice above everything else (I’ll use the term choice feminists, though keep in mind it’s a bit of a simplistic term), topics like the issue of pornography are very clear cut.  If a woman chooses to engage in porn, it’s fine.  Obviously, if she’s coerced or forced, the choice feminist is against it.  For a (what I’ll term for the purpose of this article) liberation feminist, pornography becomes more complex.  To some, it’s seen as an empowering experience, a way to take control of ones sexuality in the way one likes.  The liberating potential of porn becomes the topic of discussion more so than “well, she chose it so it’s fine”.  To others, porn is a demeaning, disgusting thing and no woman should ever take part in it.  That a woman may make the choice to participate is hardly a concern, often the reasons a woman may choose it are discredited or analyzed.  There is no way, to these feminists, that pornography is acceptable, and the women who partake in it simply aren’t liberated.  They can’t be.
That is not to say, of course, that choice isn’t a factor for all “liberation feminists”.

The issue of porn is one that is heated and lengthy, read any feminist message board or  facebook page and you’ll see it immediately. Muslim women are fast becoming the “new porn” topic.

Why Hijab Has Become the Feminist Issue of Note

The Muslim world has long been under scrutiny for its, let’s just say, lax attitude towards women’s rights.   In Pakistan, women are attacked with acid for refusing marriage proposals (though the practice has recently become illegal).  In Saudi Arabia, women still cannot drive, or travel without the accompaniment or at least written permission of a male relative.  In Afghanistan, women are forced into Burqas, full cloaks that cover the entire body including the eyes, and in some cases are fitted with blinders (like horses wear) so that their husband or father can see exactly where she’s looking.  Just in case she checks out another man’s ankles.  These countries have had centuries-long issues with treating women like humans, issues that extend into history far before Islam.  They are, to say the least, deep seeded parts of the culture.  Many misogynist men, women, and even scholars, use their religion in an attempt to normalize oppression and quell protest.  In many cases, it works.  In many cultures and countries, women are prevented from receiving not only basic education, but religious education as well.  They have no opportunity to question what they are told.  It is like Middle-Ages Europe, you’re forced to rely on your religious “superiors” to tell you what you must and must not do.  If you object, hell fire is your obvious destination.

These practices are opposed by most Muslims – if they identify as feminists or not.  The vast majority of us will tell you that they are a clear bastardization of our beloved religion and way of life.  Islam loves, honors, and respects women, we’ll say.  We may reference the countless female scholars who have shaped modern Islamic jurisprudence discourse, or the heroines in Islamic history who have been warriors, leaders, teachers, professors, and scholars.   We may suggest you learn a little more about Khadija Bint Khuwaylid, the wife of the Prophet, who could be classed as nothing less than a fierce, intelligent, loyal and independent woman.  We offer you these examples of women of old who inspire us and have shaped how we see our world.

But they are not alive today.  If they were, they’d weep for us.

They never would accept that Muslim women be treated like cattle, they would, no doubt, remind us all that Islam was, at its very core, a liberation movement.  It came to free women from the oppressive culture of the Arabian Peninsula – and indeed the world.  Regardless, many of these practices survive in Muslim communities today.

Feminism has, of course, noticed this, and has, of course, gotten angry.  It’s become a hot topic because here, in the Western feminist sphere of discussion, like in the hills of Afghanistan, our religion and our cultures have become melded.  There is no concept of the distinction.  They have become the same.

That most of us would tell you “they are NOT the same!” makes little difference.  You see a woman forced to veil in Somalia and a woman veiled in New York, and you cannot fathom that their lives have nothing to do with one another.  You don’t realize that while the Somali woman may not have a choice, the girl in New York probably does.  You lump us all together, good intention-ed but naive.

More than Just a Poly-Cotton Blend – Hijab, Identity and Piety

For many Muslim women, hijab is a symbol of freedom.  Freedom from being objectified, judged based on our bodies (will they listen to me when my boobs are so perky/saggy/big/small?), and vanity.  For a lot of us, we not only enjoy the ease of throwing on hijab (if I had a nickel for every woman who told me she “envied” how quickly I can get ready in the morning), we enjoy the control over what parts of us are seen.  We determine it, not society around us.  It’s liberating.

For many Muslim women, hijab is an expression of piety and relationship with God.  It’s a spiritual journey to the decision to wear hijab, something done only for their God, no one else.  For these women, their spiritual identity is very closely linked to their hijab.  It is not only a clothing accessory, it’s their identity.  A part of themselves, a connection directly to their Creator.  Criticism of hijab is not only a disagreement with their dress code, it takes issue with their very core being.

It’s more complex than many Western feminists understand.  To be honest, we don’t expect you to.  The problem, however, lies in the judgmental ethnocentric ideals that are pushed down our throats.

Ethnocentric Feminism: Pity Their Way to Liberation

What I earlier referred to as “choice feminists” usually don’t get particularly involved in this topic.  “If a woman wants to dress that way, she should, but no one should be forced” is the summed-up-stance.  Like the porn debate, though, “liberation feminists” have, in my experience, tended to be divided into two categories.

Some “liberation feminists” argue that, as I touched on earlier, hijab is a liberating and freeing choice to many women.  It has its value and place in Muslim society and in these womens’ lives.  As long as women are choosing it of their own free will, it’s a positive, empowering, and beautiful thing.

Others argue that hijab, as it’s used to control and oppress women in other parts of the world, is at its very nature oppressive and controlling.  Women cannot, they claim, choose it of their own free will because it is in essence a symbol of coercion, fear, control.

The problem with this idea is that it’s entirely ethnocentric.  A western feminist may have no idea why a woman from Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, or Yemen may want to wear hijab.  There’s nothing within her own culture or belief paradigm that can compare, it’s foreign, and in her mind, associated with oppression.  Obviously, then, it is bad.  It’s not western, it’s not something that “we”, independent, intelligent, educated feminists in the West, do.  Thus, independent, intelligent, educated women don’t choose to wear it.  Anyone who does, obviously, is none of those things.  She cannot be.  She’s not like me.

The West has long viewed “foreigners” as stupid, less evolved, backwards, oppressed, poor, and uneducated.  They wear funny clothes, eat food that we only eat on a night out as a “cultural experience”, talk in weird languages and in fact some of them incorporate sounds we’ve never heard before.  Some of them can’t speak English, or do so poorly or with a thick accent.  The West views these people as almost child-like, less intelligent beings that need us, the civilized West, to help them along in their quest for modernity.  It’s the White Savior Complex at its most systemic.  It’s not always about skin color, but culturism isn’t something that even feminism has managed to escape from.

To many feminists seeing a woman  in niqaab (a face veil) or even hijab, pity is what they feel.  Poor, sad, oppressed little girl.  She cannot even dress herself, her dad, husband, brother, or uncle chooses her clothes for her.  She’s pathetic, probably uneducated, and more than likely has been beaten in her life time.  She’s passive, mousey, shy, introverted, and stupid.  She’s no woman, she’s the intellectual equivalent of an abused child.  Pity her.  Pity the sad foreign girl.  No woman would choose that.

What they’re forgetting is that we’re not like that.  Most of us, indeed, especially in modern countries, aren’t like that.  We’re doctors, teachers, professors, lawyers, manual workers, chefs, surgeons, nurses, seamstresses, and homemakers.  Just like you.  We struggle with overcoming cultural expectations and oppression, just like you.  We struggle with fitting in to a society that doesn’t really know where it wants us to fit – in the kitchen, or is it comfortable with us on the front lines?  Especially for us in Western countries, it’s a struggle.  A struggle nonMuslim feminists won’t ever understand.  Because they can’t.  But they don’t need to.

We can choose.  We can think.  We can feel.  We can make decisions for ourselves.  If we find hijab liberating, we’ll wear it.  If we feel it is an important part of our religious identity and that it brings us closer to God (even if you don’t believe in one), we’ll wear it.  Don’t assume that your culture knows how to liberate women better than us.  Feminism in the West has had a long struggle, and still has a long way to go.  Muslim feminists are facing the same struggles, and we’ll do it our way, sensitive to our cultures and spirituality, and it may look quite a bit different from the Western feminist movements.  It’s no worse.  It’s no better.  But it’s our movement to make, they’re our bodies to clothe.  If Western feminists want to be involved, it should be in a role of support and attempted understanding, not of ethnocentric arrogance.  We do not need a schoolmaster to come teach us how it’s done.

Muslim women are fighting for change and equality in their own ways, ways which are appropriate within their own cultural and spiritual contexts, ways that differ from the feminist movements in the West. You’re not going to see women in Saudi Arabia burning their bras in public, but you do see them driving cars in protests. Our feminism is no less valid than western feminism. It just looks a little different.

My survey on Islam’s role within feminism and feminism’s role within Islam

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Please take a moment to complete my survey?  I’m planning on blogging on this topic, and I would love a vast variety of people to take the survey.  If you feel that the survey needs more work/I didn’t provide you with (an) accurate option(s), let me know in the last question’s box.

Click here to take survey

Where the Jahannam Did We Go Wrong?

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Many of us may wonder “where did it all go wrong?”.  We used to be such a force in the Islamic world.  We were respected, admired, loved, cherished, and we had every single opportunity to better ourselves that men did.  And then some.

As Muslim women, we were thriving with education, business, property, and faith.  Those were the golden days of Islam, the days in which the Ummah actually practiced what the Prophet (saws) preached.  I miss those days.

We were scholars, warriors, business women, religious teachers.

Today we don’t have many of these opportunities throughout the Muslim world.  We hear story after story of backwards and sick-minded men abusing, torturing, or killing their wives and daughters.  We see so many of our sisters in Islam being prevented from not only Islamic education, but basic education.  Why?

We as an Ummah have forgotten who we are – who we were – in the world.  We used to be a thriving, healthy, well functioning society that spanned the globe.  Now, we’re a conglomerate of home-culture practice and thoughtless mimicry.

African, Desi, Arab, Asian, Western, and every other culture has strong undertones of misogyny.  When we managed to weed this out and practice Islam, we were an amazing force to be reckoned with.

Today not so much.

Our problems lie with choosing culture over Islam.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Islam does NOT need to change.  It’s not a matter of interpretation.  It’s a matter of practice or negligence.  If we practice Islam despite every cultural, societal, or mental block we have to it, we can then return to the glory that the Muslim world once was.

What will you do to help?

Challenge Accepted

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I got into a twitter war with (who I and others are assuming is the real) Robert Spencer.  Yes, little ol’ me got into it with one of the world’s most prolific Islamophobic side-walk preachers.  I’m not exactly patting myself on the back.  He agreed to a debate, but not a live one like I wanted.  Instead we agreed to go head-to-head, article-to-article on the topic of honour killings.  I know, why did I choose the most easily disprovable point out there?  He, and many other Christians, have made a bullet-point of the topic in nearly every talk, evangelical conference, and interview.  It’s such a prolific concept that Islam allows, if not outright promotes, honour killings.

He promised via twitter to respond personally to my article (which I have not finished yet but plan to have done by the end of the week).  Assuming his disingenuous nature and reputation don’t take the better of him, he’ll have to reference my article in doing so.  The only reason I’m wasting my time on Spencer is for this reason.  I’m hoping logic and truth can win out against hate and irrationality once more.

And so it starts, I’m debating Robert Spencer.  An incredible waste of time, probably, but possibly worth it.

A Few Good (Muslim) Men

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A Few Good Muslim Men — Honoring Those Who Honor Women
If the stereotypical Muslim woman is an oppressed one, then the archetypal Muslim male is responsible for her condition. In news stories, popular entertainment media and even video games, the image of the violent, misogynistic or abusive Muslim man is present time and again.

To be sure, bad apples exist in every religious, ethnic and racial group. But there is a dearth of positive Muslim portrayals to counteract such negative images on TV or the big screen. As a result, your everyday regular Omars and Mohammeds are sometimes viewed with suspicion and fear.

As 2011 draws to a close, we take a moment to recognize the following Muslim men — fathers, brothers, husbands, academics, advocates and religious leaders — selected by others for their individual contributions to the lives of women and, thus, humanity at large:

Asim Rehman (36, New York): Asim is in-house counsel who volunteers his time representing domestic violence victims. Asim’s wife describes him as a “fabulous” partner who encourages her intellectual pursuits. Asim has turned down professional opportunities requiring relocation so that his wife can remain in her NYC post, which she loves. The couple is expecting their first child and Asim “cooks, cleans and grocery shops without complaining.” His wife says she “can’t imagine a better partner than Asim.”

Shyam K. Sriram (32, Georgia): A college professor, Shyam is known for his stance against violence against women and girls. In less than one year, he helped a fledgling initiative — Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence — become a viable one. Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence trains Muslim men how to teach others that violence against women and girls is Islamically impermissible.

Abed Awad (42, New Jersey): Abed was recognized by his colleagues for the work he has done on behalf of Muslim women both as a past Board Member of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, and on the legal front. An accomplished attorney with his own practice, he has earned a reputation for defending women’s rights in religious divorces and other family law disputes.

Davi Barker (30, California): An artist and writer, Davi’s wife — an activist, attorney and community leader — described him in this way: “He is exactly what I dreamed of when I thought I wanted to marry a man who lived his life and marriage through his faith. Religion, and more specifically ‘love and mercy’ dictate everything he does in our relationship. His support is what makes my work as [head of a civil rights organization] possible. From being understanding when I have a difficult case or am coming home late regularly to helping with the graphic design for [my organization] and carrying more than a fair share of chores around the house … I couldn’t do this without him.”

Imam Mohamed Magid (40ish, Virginia): Imam Magid is the Imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center) located in Sterling, Va. He is also President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Imam Magid was referenced by a congregant who characterized him as, “One of the biggest advocates out there for women’s rights.” He conducts domestic violence prevention training seminars for other Imams around the country and serves on the Board of Directors of Peaceful Families, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic violence in Muslim families.

Omar Sharif (29, California): Omar was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda who spearheaded numerous small business projects which placed women at the forefront.

Mohamed Tantawi (38, New Jersey): Mohamed’s wife says of him: “He’s a great pediatrician, he does most of the cooking (and well too), he sings at Carnegie Hall. Most importantly, he does all that is in his power to preserve our family dynamic, one in which he is an active partner.”

Ahmad Hussain (28, California): Currently in Nashville, Tenn., completing his surgical residency, Ahmad was also suggested for inclusion on this list by his wife, a filmmaker in California. She remarked about the breadth of sacrifices Ahmed has made for her. For instance, when she indicated her willingness to sacrifice her filmmaking career which requires her to spend half her time in Los Angeles in order to stay with him in Tennessee, he was adamantly opposed to her doing so: “He said he wouldn’t be happy with himself if he kept me from becoming a filmmaker. He said it makes him happy to see me doing these things. … I know it kills him — he’s tired, he’s lonely, he’s hungry — but he can’t be convinced.”

Abdul H. Abdullah (67, Georgia): Abdul is the Chief Financial Officer of Baitul Salaam Residence for Abused and Neglected Women and Children. In addition to contributing his time and money to the organization, he also allows battered women to seek refuge at his private family business when they are in trouble.

Taraq Chand (late 60s, New Jersey): A father of four daughters and one son, he has taught his children that Islam supports women’s rights. As a result his daughters are all professionals: a doctor, chemical engineer, pharmacist and soon-to-be-lawyer.

Sheikh Abdala Adhami (Washington, D.C.): Sheikh Adhami is an Islamic scholar who has been serving the Muslim community in the U.S. for more than 20 years. A Washington, D.C. native, he was praised by several women including a New Jersey Muslim mom who described him in the following manner: “Simply a magnificent person, he spoke endlessly on women’s rights in Islam, with the notion that women should know their rights and men should know in order to protect these rights, and any infringements on those rights are seen as a crime in God’s eyes. He spoke of the many prominent women throughout Islamic history… and how men would travel far and wide to study at their feet. He lectured on how women, even at the time of the Prophet [Muhammed], owned their own businesses and how this money was solely theirs — to be shared with her family at her discretion, and any money she gave to her family was a charity… [His message] was in stark contrast to what we hear from the Taliban. It brought a peace and comfort and nourished a true connection with one’s Lord — and that is what religion is supposed to do.”

Nabile Safdar (35, Maryland): An accomplished doctor who recently returned from a volunteer mission to Haiti where he provided much needed medical care, Nabile is a father to three young daughters. He delivers religious sermons to his local community preaching against spousal abuse while urging men to treat women with dignity and respect.

Ezat Yosafi (Connecticut): Born in Afghanistan, Ezat was recognized by his daughter, posthumously. She attributes her professional accomplishments as an attorney to her father’s guidance and advice. He passed away in Connecticut in 2008.

Furqan Ahmed (27, New Jersey): Furqan’s wife says that he is “someone who has made law school a more tolerable experience. … It is not easy to be married to a law student as law school … involves such a dedication of time and effort. But he really pushes me to do more and presses me to follow up with law firms. … I think it is really helpful to have someone who is a partner in all aspects.”

Ali Hussain (63, Massachusetts): Ali’s daughter notes, “He’s coached me in multiple ways with my career, helping me overcome hurdles, to be confident in new situations, maintain integrity, be bold yet gracious in asserting my needs. He also encourages [my sisters and me] to dream big and sometimes dreams for us even bigger than we do.”

Prophet Muhammad (posthumously): He is considered by Muslims to be the seal to a long line of God’s prophets and messengers beginning with Adam. The Prophet Muhammad’s private relationships were based on open communication and mutual respect. He never asked anyone to wait on him and participated in household chores and childcare; he used to mend his own clothes, play with children and perform chores around the home. He promoted and nurtured the education of women (e.g. Aisha bint Abu Bakr). He never raised his hand against anyone in his household. He chastised the Muslim men who dared to strike their wives. In the words of the woman who praised him, “He was kind and respected women and asked men to do the same.”

While the Muslim men included above are deserving of our collective support, recognition and accolades, this list is by no means an exhaustive one. Rather, these men are representative of many more Muslims whose names are not included here but whose lives and contributions are similarly noteworthy.

If I may humbly suggest, perhaps this year Hollywood can make the following addition to its collective list of new year resolution: more positive portrayals of the American Muslim community. After all, an image of the Muslim advocate effectively representing the rights of his (or her) female Muslim client in a religious divorce or the imam educating his congregation of Muslim women’s equal social status is a truer realization of art imitating life.

On the subject of accolades, a note about Muslim culture. “Mashallah” is a word frequently heard used between Muslims. It literally means “whatever God wills.” And it is often said in response to hearing about a person’s good deed or impressive accomplishment.

Mashallah.

Article by Islamophobia Today 

Engy Abdelkader is a Legal Fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Selling Out the Ummah for a Jar of Sunnah Honey – Western Islam at it’s Finest (?)

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What state are we in when instead of discussing the injustices in the world, and in fact our own communities, we talk about the lengths of beards and the benefits of honey?  When the war in Afghanistan began my local masjid spoke about how good it is to shake hands and offer a smile.  The only time masaajid seem to speak about injustice is when fundraising – seeing as tears open wallets quite successfully.

While the Palestinian people endure displacement, state-sponsored terrorism, humiliation, and occupation on a daily basis we are more concerned with the fact that the lines aren’t straight for salah.  While the Iraqis are being raped and brutally murdered by United States Military officials who are then left unpunished, we neglect to mention it in favor of the permissiblity of dying one’s hair black.

Some Muslim women are being beaten and tortured by their own husbands but we refuse to talk about it for fear of making Islam look bad.  We don’t have programs, hotlines, meetings, halaqas, or support groups for battered and abused women and children, but we have them for singles looking to get married.  You can call your imam up at midnight to offer him money but you cannot call him at any time to get advice on how to cope with your childhood sexual abuse.

Where are our priorities as an Ummah?  We have so much suffering brought on to us by outside and inside forces, where is the struggle?

By Ninja Girl Power

Am I Really Allowed To Be A Feminist?

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A few times this has been brought up to me.  I’ve had feminists and Muslims tell me I can’t be a feminist for one reason or the other.  They claim either that Islam is incompatible with feminism or that I, a hijabi/niqaabi, am incompatible with feminism.  I’ll address these both separately.

“If you were really liberated, you wouldn’t cover”.
Well if that isn’t the most anti-feminist statement I’ve ever heard.  Last time I checked, feminism is all about our right to choose.  Choice: what we do with, put on, and think about our bodies is up to us, not society.  If I want you to see only my hands and face – and sometimes as I see fit, my eyes, I get to be the one to make that decision, not someone else’s arbitrary definition of liberation.  I AM free beneath my hijab.  I AM free beneath my niqaab.  My freedom is not related to how little – or how much – clothing I have on.  It comes from myself.

“Islam and feminism are incompatible!”
Well if that isn’t the most anti-Islam statement I’ve ever heard.  Islam is women’s liberation.  It is women’s rights.  It is protection of women.  We are “equal halves of a pair”.   The Prophet (saws) enforced women’s rights, not only in marriage but in business, property ownership, religious scholarship, and even, as Aisha (ra) showed us, military leadership.  If that’s not feminism (and Islam), I’m not sure what definition you’re operating from.

“You don’t have to add the term feminism to Islam, it is complete as it is”.
Saying that Islam needs something extra to be complete or just is kufr, by any scholar’s definition.  That most certainly is not what I’m doing – on the contrary.  I’m simply stating that we as Muslims need to embrace and engage in the practices regarding women in the Quran.  They are, by definition, feminist.  Saying “Islamic Humanitarianism” is not met with the same reaction – why then is Islamic Feminism?