Wikipedia informs a lay person that “Islamic feminists advocate women’s rights, gender equality, and social justice grounded within an Islamic framework.” That is most basic. But most Muslim feminists that I have had the good fortune to know stand up for rights of every human being regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. That was my first surprise – acceptance of homosexuality and support of gays by many Muslim feminists.
Most if not all Muslim feminists actually do the same – they stand up in support for all just causes for all people. Now here is my problem and question – if someone wants to be Muslim and fight for the rights of women why do we deny them this right by putting them down saying “Islam and feminism are mutually exclusive”? I have had Muslims tell me they don’t need feminism! I have had Muslim women claim they know their place and feminism is not required. What is their place? And if it isn’t equal to that of a man’s then are they practicing a version of Islam that is just? Why or how could a woman not want justice and equality?
I feel that those who tell Muslim feminists that Islam and feminism are mutually exclusive are the ones who are denying Muslim women their rights. And I feel a certain hatred and fear in their stance. If you are telling a woman that she can’t be a feminist as long as she is Muslim you should be the first victim of her feminist wrath! I haven’t heard any Muslim feminist say that but if someone told me that I couldn’t be Muslim and a feminist I would question their integrity and motive in making that observation. And I would ask them how dare they think they can tell a feminist how to think.
I have always been a woman who never allowed anyone to think in her place and no thank you, you can’t tell me that Islam and feminism are mutually exclusive.