Last April, the election of committee board of our small Muslim community took place. I expressed my unsatisfactory feelings because women are excluded from the committee board and therefore from participating in making decisions for the well-being of the whole community.
Ironically, ladies seem to be reluctant to call for their right to be members in the committee board. They got used to this situation and “don’t want to generate troubles”.
It is so complicated!
Feminist by choice or by circumstances? I am definitely in the second group.
Being a Muslim woman in 21st century, I have no other choice than speaking out whenever women rights are transgressed!
Unfortunately, our religious texts receive highly patriarchal interpretations. This is for 3 reasons:
+ Women voices are absent from interpreting religious text. For instance, extracting meaning from Quran has been the task of men for centuries.
+ To understand religion, we rely on the work of classic Islamic scholars who lived in 7~14 century! The society has changed! Women become independent, educated… So our references should improve and help us to live this change without contradicting our religious values.
+ The verses and sayings about women have social, historical and geographical contexts. When we read these passages, we need to keep in mind their contexts, so that we do not give them literal meanings that do not fit with the values of Islam (equality, justice, humanism, peace…)