A Gender Jihad for Islam’s Future

To conservative Muslims, Islamic feminism is an insult to Islam. To a growing group of moderates, however, it’s a return to fundamental Islamic theology, a reaffirmation of rights granted to women at the foundation of Islam but stripped by “manmade rules and tribal traditions masquerading as divine law”. Asra Q. Nomani, an American activist, was among twelve women to lead a conference on Islamic feminism in Barcelona last week. Nomani emphasizes that the movement is neither against Islam nor sharia, but against contemporary ultraconservative sharia rulings that have distorted Islam’s message. The movement’s leaders, while focused on national and regional issues, reach beyond their borders to compare strategies and work with colleagues around the world, in what Nomani calls a “peace jihad”. She hopes to organize a summit of progressive Islamic thinkers to define a 20-year plan for reform in the Islamic world. “We’re changing history today,” says Nomani, “We’re not going to shut up.” – YaleGlobal

A Gender Jihad for Islam’s Future

Asra Q. Nomani
Monday, November 7, 2005

Click here for the original article on The Washington Post's website.

Asra Nomani, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, is the author of the book “Standing Alone in Mecca” (HarperSanFrancisco).

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