BBC News reports on the first international congress on Islamic feminism, organised by the Catalan Islamic board, and held in Barcelona.
There’s more here:
There are those that take for granted that Islam oppresses women and that this cannot be changed by any means. From this perspective, westernisation, understood as the renunciation of Islam, is the only path to the liberation of the Muslim woman. Opposing this reading, there is a women’s movement that claims that it is possible to achieve liberation within the framework of Islam. For the most part these are women who do not want to give up their traditions and reject the male chauvinism and sexism that prevail in Muslim societies.
This movement considers that a degradation of Islamic tradition and distortion of the sacred texts has taken place. Moreover, this movement affirms that true Islam contains important elements of liberation and calls for the recovery of those elements as a framework for social emancipation.
Discrimination against women has gone from being thought of as an essential part of Islam to being condemned as a distortion of tradition. Women’s liberation cannot be achieved by attacking Islam as a whole, but rather by attacking those who uphold the subordination of women, destroying their arguments and offering Muslim women the elements necessary for their liberation.
The patriarchy upsets this equilibrium established by Allah in nature, fostering a society based on oppression and authority. Male chauvinism is the destruction of Islam as a well-balanced way of life. It breaks with the very order of creation and imposes an artificial order which we call the patriarchy. It’s necesary to be said that the ideological foundations of the patriarchy are not found in the Qur’án or the Sunna. A renewed reading of the sacred texts is needed in order to expose the inconsistencies in the male chauvinist reading of the tradition. So we consider that islamic feminist is not only a political or social movement, but an spiritual restoration of the Message of Qur’án.
(Hat tip: Brett Lock)