While searching for online material on Muslim feminists I have often come across Irshad Manji’s name. Manji is Muslim, believes in the emancipation of Muslim women, opposes stoning adulterers, doesn’t cover her hair, and above all lives without marriage with a partner who is a woman. Yet, she remains Muslim and calls herself a feminist.
Often when I have brought up her name when discussing feminism with Muslims I have only received negative impressions about her in return. She is called “loud”, “irritating””, and “promiscuous.” Manji is Muslim by birth; had she converted to Islam and shown the kind of opposition to patriarchal expectations that she does, I suspect she would have met greater hostility.
How do you, Muslim feminist, feel about Manji? Do you think she is a Muslim feminist? Do you think that if a woman doesn’t cover her head, fights for LGBT rights and stands up against traditional sharia practices like stoning and whipping, then other Muslim receive automatic right to call them infidels? What kind of treatment do you think a woman like Manji would have received in early Islam?