Someone recently asked me why I cover women’s issues at Dhimmi Watch. The simple answer is that under Sharia, women face discrimination and second-class status, as do dhimmis. This conference aims to undo that. While the stated purpose of holding it in Spain was to reach Muslim women in Europe, I think it is likely that these women are aware of what might have happened to them if they had tried to hold it in Riyadh or Lahore.
From the BBC, with thanks to Leveller:
Women from the Islamic world are attending the three-day conference Organisers of the first international congress on Islamic feminism are calling for a “gender jihad”.
Organiser Abdennur Prado Pavon says the struggle for gender equality in Islamic countries involves refuting chauvinist interpretations of Muslim teachings.
The congress is being held in Spain, organisers say, because they want their message to reach the growing number of Muslim women in Europe.
Around 300 delegates are looking at women’s rights in the Islamic world.
Mr Prado, of the Catalan Islamic board, believes a common misconception in the West is that women’s liberation is not possible in Muslim societies.
Activists representing the Islamic feminist movement are in Barcelona to counter that view and discuss ways of achieving female equality in an Islamic context.
Among the delegates is the Pakistani feminist Riffat Hassan, regarded as one of the pioneers of Islamic feminist theology.
Also here are representatives from the international association, Islamic Feminism.
Islamic Feminism argues that the inferior legal and social status of women in Muslim countries is a result of misogynistic distortions of the teachings in the Koran.
Well, we have been here before. The Qur’an, after all:
1. Likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills: “Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will” (2:223);
2. Declares that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man: “Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her” (2:282);
3. Allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls also: “If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice” (4:3);
4. Rules that a son’s inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter: “Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females” (4:11);
5. Tells husbands to beat their disobedient wives: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them” (4:34).
Are these verses capable of a non-misogynistic interpretation?