Post 10: Islamic Feminism Revealed

The current fundamentalist ‘jihadi’ movement involves people who believe that an Islamic state governing the entire community of Muslims must be created and that this necessity justifies violent conflict with those who stand in its way (Zalman). This represents the rise of political Islam in the 19th and 20th centuries. In a Jihadi’s eyes, groups have corrupted the ideals of Islamic governance, and therefore there should be war against them. They believe that their view is the only plausible one. Sharia law originated from the Quran and is quite broad. It regulates public behavior, private behavior, and private beliefs. This law is very restrictive and especially so to women. Puritan fundamentalists are mainly concerned with prayer and punishment. They believe that the Muslim world shall all pray to Allah, regardless of their beliefs, and that humans should be punished according to their wrong act. If they do something wrong, they shall be punished for it.


I do not think that Islamic law has always been consumed with punishment. I feel as though recent views and laws have caused more punishment than some in the past, which is normal; practices and beliefs fluctuate. As I researched more into Islamic law and punishment, I found that puritan fundamentalists were the main ones concerned about it. Originally, there was not much concern of punishment, and in fact it was discouraged. As stated above, Puritan fundamentalists believe that ones who are in the wrong should be punished for exactly what they do. The Qur’an states that “The thieves, male and female, cut off their hands as a recompense for what they have earned.” Although this is a strong assertion, I have evidence to believe that Islamic law has not always been consumed with this punishment, and I think many Islam’s are scared of what is to come.

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Islamic feminism includes the awareness and analysis of gender inequality and women’s deprivation of their rights and efforts, as explained by Margot Badron, in her article “From Islamic Feminism to a Muslim Holistic Feminism. It started in Egypt and other Muslim-majority countries, and was a form of colonial cultural invasion. Islamic feminism differs from “Western” or “Secular” feminism in more ways than just one. Secular feminism emerged in the form of social movements, rather than a more independent form. Secular feminists focused on building new institutions of state and society inclusive of women using constitutional, democratic, and humanitarian arguments (Badron). Also, secular feminism focused on the public sphere, whereas Islamic feminism later focused on the domain of the religious professions and ritual. Secular feminists favored the social movement, whereas Islamic feminists went for a discourse in the form of gender identity. Islamic feminism has played a roll in addressing gender inequalities within Islamic societies and communities abroad. Badrons’ article explains that Islamic feminist discourse has made two very strong cases that have been able to make advances for them. First she discusses how they have been “breaking down the notion that the sphere of the family constitutes a separate domain positing instead a continuum of private/family and public/society,” and also they have been “dismantling the notion that Islam ordains a patriarchal construction of the family” (Badron). She goes onto state that there is still work to be made where secular and Islamic feminism need to come together in order to see better changes.


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