By: Asifa Abbas
Islam is all about feminism. Feminism, if taken as a movement toward gender egalitarianism, had been spearheaded by Islam long before the idea was known to the Western world, where it is a recent phenomenon. In the West, it developed in the eighteenth century when people sought in what is now known as the ‘first wave’ of the very rudimentary rights and liberties the European women were hitherto deprived of. It expanded to such basic issues as deprivation of fundamental human rights, reproductive matters and economic emancipation, and mostly centred on decriminalizing the narrative that “Women are humans,” something already acknowledged and upheld by Islam centuries ago. Islam’s benign feminism is in fact positive in aims and objectives, as well as methodology as compared to the current feminist discourse which has raised a big hullabaloo in every nook and cranny of the globe with its playing into the hands of those self-styled protagonists of women rights who are bent upon de-womanizing women.
It is very unfortunate that the real spirit of the Quranic precepts of unification, and subsequent emancipation of humankind from which springs up gender equality, have been either fogged or falsified by both the Muslim obscurantists and the biased Western academia alike. Ignorant of the dynamic essence of the Quranic texts, the orthodox clerics have buttressed the projection of Islam as a creed utterly antithetical to women. Needless to say, the true reading of the holy text is going to be an albatross around the neck of opportunists, for it will demolish the castles of patriarchy they have erected over the years in the name of Islam.
No surprise, such concocted interpretations, while supplanting the real ones, lent the most potent value to the reinforcement of Islam as a religion with a marginal room for women in its socioeconomic and political programme. In the process of the crystallization of falsity into the verity, another equally important factor is the conflation of “Islam the real,” and “the Muslim culture”. Islam is not identical to the Muslim culture(s) existing in the varied atmospheres. While most, if not all, Muslim cultures have spawned in themselves a sexist tendency a great deal, should it be Islam to be apportioned the blame? No mortal with a sense of justice is going to take Christianity to task if the American Christians commit adultery. Indisputably, Islam is way different from the individual Muslim countries.
Debunking the Claims of Modern Feminism
The version of modern feminism feeds upon hate and the demonization of one gender to the detriment of the other, egging women on to adopt the role, an unruly role that is no better than that of a villain. It visualizes a woman wholly de-womanized, and envisions a society based on the war of sexes. Hardly can someone having had a time in the circle of feminists disagree to the fact that freelancing women in terms of indiscriminate sex and sexual independence from their spouse is part and parcel of the ideology.
As put by Gabby Aossey, if we want our women to be respected as human beings and taken seriously in all walks of life, there is a need for us to look to a new source, and that is Islam. It is feminism, the modern feminism, which demeans women while ostensibly claiming to protect the same. For decades on and on, feminists have banged on about condemning men for all plight caused to women in the society on the pretext of the oft-repeated mantra “patriarchy”. Not to condone the ill-treatment meted out to women by some of the men, should all the men be doomed to an eternal condemnation?
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