Transmitting of Islamic feminist discourse and activist work

Download 252.75 Kb.
View original pdf
Size252.75 Kb.
1   2   3   4
An historical Overview of Conferences on Islamic Feminism  Circulations and New Challenges

Qur’an and Woman and two years before Shahla Sherkat founded what immediately became the highly influential journal Zanan in Iran. These publishing events are considered foundational moments in Islamic feminism. We left Helsinki pondering new, brighter directions women might beheading toward in the maelstrom of religious fundamentalisms’ dark shadows.
To combat the ill effects of spreading Islamic fundamentalism, or Islamism, Women
Living under Muslim Laws (WMUML) was created by secular feminists from diverse locations in the early s who answered back to the introduction of a regressive family law in Algeria. WLUML, which included Muslim women and those of other religious affiliations, maintained a central concern with reforming family laws and other laws inimical to women, and became the first significant transnational network of its kind. WMUML held a conference in Bangladesh in 1992 where we strategized the project of collecting family laws based in fiqh, along with civil and customary laws, in some twenty Muslim majority countries. We wished to demonstrate the diversity of family laws in Muslim societies and thus the multiple readings of Islamic jurisprudence and to underline that so-called “shar ‘iah laws as fiqh-backed law are man-made and not divine and thus immutable as commonly claimed. I remember well the energy and insights that streamed into our collective work over the years transcending national and religious boundaries. The results of a decade of painstaking collection resulted in the manual Knowing our Rights Women, Family, Laws, and Customs in the Muslim
World published in 2003 and republished in 2006. As widely known, WLUML became the largest network of Muslim women, together with non-Muslims and is still going strong today.
The Conference on Religion, Culture, and Women’s Human Rights in the Muslim
World that met in Washington in 1994 organized by Iranian activist Mahnaz Afkhami,
director of Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) constituted another milestone. It was convened to discuss women’s issues framed by the slogan human rights are women’s rights in preparation for the UN World Conference on Women to beheld the following year in Beijing. This conference, unlike the previous two mentioned, was open to the wider public which gathered in huge numbers. For the first time in my esperience secular Muslim women and religiously identified Muslim women (I prefer this to the term religious women as it presumes that secular women are not religious which many secular women resent) as well as non-Muslim women assembled in the same public venue. My reaction to this was that simply coming together in the same room and having formal and informal contact was an effective way to build understanding and to resist attempts by conservatives to split the world of women, the old divide and rule technique. The conference was also an answer to those who wished to perpetuate the notion of an East/West split and use the western label to discredit progressive moves. Sudanese professor of law and human rights expert Abdullahi An-Naim’s powerful presentation on human rights as Islamic was most timely. The phenomenon that would be called Islamic feminism was then still quietly in the making.
By the second half of the sword was getting out about the new Islamic feminism through the publications of scholars, writers, and journalists which quickly circulated through the Internet. In 2005 the first International Conference on Islamic Feminism convened in Barcelona by the Junta Islamica of Catalonia, with Abdennur Prado the lead organizer, put Islamic feminism on the wider map. Not only was this the first international conference focusing on Islamic feminism but it was organized by religiously identified feminist Muslims, mainly Spanish converts, who brought together
Muslim secular and Islamic feminists and women of other religions, along with some men, from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Prado explained that the organizers wanted Islamic feminism to be visualized as a whole The Barcelona conference was a powerful demonstration of the collapse of the East/West dichotomy that the Washington conference had shown to be dissolving. Islamic feminism as a theory Ce site utilise des cookies et vous donne le contrôle sur ceux que vous souhaitez activer
✓ Tout accepter
✗ Tout refuser
Politique de confidentialité

م 8:24 2022/ 11/ An historical Overview of Conferences on Islamic Feminism : Circulations and New Challenges
including the imperative of implementation was illustrated by the combination of scholars and activists on the panels and in the audience. The lively engagement of the audience signaled the wider outreach that conferences can achieve.
Although I followed events closely I did not attend the first Barcelona conference but participated in the next two in 2006 and 2008. (A fourth conference is scheduled for
October 2010 in Madrid) The focus of the second conference was on the shar‘iah and the reform of family laws steeped in patriarchal readings of Islam. The third conference focused on Muslim women and globalization. It examined the double oppression of women ensuing from economic neglect or exploitation and from religious fundamentalism. The conference also examined relationships between Islamic feminism and other feminisms, affirming that broader feminist alliances are necessary to reach goals. It also affirmed the importance of maintaining specificity within diversity. The openness set by the Barcelona conferences should not be underestimated especially in light of the more current trends toward exclusivity being manifested from within the circles of Islamic feminism. In 2006, the same year the first Barcelona conference convened, the French association, Islam et Laicite with
UNESCO sponsored an international colloquium asking, What is Islamic Feminism
Many remarked that this conference was significant for providing a public space,
seldom available in France for Muslims to speak out for themselves on questions relating to women, gender, and Islam. One of the intended goals was to enlighten the wider public fed on negative stories of Islam and Muslims, especially relating to women.
In 2009 the Malaysian Sisters in Islam in Kuala Lumpur hosted the Global
Conference for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family gathering a massive number of scholars and activists from around the world. The purpose of this conference was to launch the Musawah (equality) movement which focuses on the reform of fiqh-backed family laws. It pointed to the progress made in Morocco with the 2005 revision of the

Download 252.75 Kb.

Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page