Politics

How to suppress American Muslims (and throw Sikhs and Jews under the bus)

At a time of fear and hostility toward Muslims, ID documents offer bigots a simple way to wreck the socio-economic mobility of religious minorities (that Sikhs, Jews, and others might be impacted is usually an afterthought). The act of redefining photo ID standards by law to slam religious minorities has an economic dimension, but it also constitutes a form of dehumanization. For the faithful, religious headcoverings are not merely articles of faith but also integral and inseparable components of their identities as human beings. They are a source of self-definition and strength.

Read More

The debate continues: A response to a rebuttal to a response

The Muslim Public Affairs Council said I misrepresented their argument in my critique of their article on child brides featured on Altmuslimah. I noticed that their rationale for demanding an Islamic prohibition on child marriages is the exact same rationale used by Muslim scholars who advocate for child marriages: that a young girl does not have the mental maturity to make such an important decision. Muslim scholars who advocate for child marriages would then assert that since the young girl lacks mental maturity, the decision for her marriage is given to her father.

Read More

A rebuttal on child brides

Omer Subhani seems to largely miss the point of the Muslim Public Affairs Council piece on child marriages, which was posted last week here on Altmuslimah. Especially considering that both MPAC and Mr. Subhani staunchly oppose the horrendous practice, it would be immensely more productive if we could channel that agreement to defeat injustices in our communities. Our intent with this report is to shine a light on the issue as one that we must all confront head-on.

Read More

A response to “The case of an eight year-old Saudi bride”

The Muslim Public Affairs Council spoke out against the practice of child brides in the Muslim world in a December 9th article, “The case of an eight year-old Saudi bride,” published here. This is an area of jurisprudence that has caused contentious debate in both the Muslim and the Western worlds. Many Muslims argue that the issue of child brides is directly related to the life and practice of the Prophet Muhammad (may God’s peace and prayers be upon him).

Read More

The case of an 8 year-old Saudi bride

Several cases of child marriage in recent years have brought the issue of children’s rights in Islam to the forefront. Of significance is the case of an 8-year-old Saudi bride, which surfaced on the international stage in February 2009. The girl’s father gave her in marriage last year to a 47-year-old man to repay a debt. Her mother opposed the marriage and appealed to local courts to grant her daughter a divorce.

Read More

The case of Pakistan’s Safia Bibi

The Islamic definition of zina, with the consensus of all schools of thought, is the process of sexual penetration in an unlawful relationship. The manifestation of a pregnancy does not serve as evidence that a woman or a man has committed zina. In this regard, the application of hudood laws represents an extreme misapplication of Islamic law.

Read More

Greater equality for Muslims can mean greater gender equality

Last month Muslim women from around India met at the third annual convention at the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) – the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement. The BMMA exemplifies the reality that women’s rights movements face in addressing the numerous issues and challenges of both the struggle of women and the upliftment of entire communities to which women belong.

Read More

Date me, I’m a racist

When both the White House and U.S. Army advised everyone not to jump to conclusions on the Fort Hood shootings, many government officials and journalists claimed that political correctness should not impede the truth. Some said the Muslim community was not condemning the incident vociferously enough. Others claimed that the Muslim community was overcompensating by being too apologetic. Talk about mixed signals!

Read More

The “witches” of Pattharghatia

The Muslim cleric and the village women in India who recently labeled five widows as witches played the role of self-appointed judge, jury and executioner, condemning their victims to a savage beating. Widows are popular targets because they may possess money or property, however paltry, which their neighbors have a covetous eye on. And the law fails to protect them, leaving their fate to be determined by local patriarchal interpretations of tradition, custom, and religion.

Read More

WISE Muslim women standing up

Promoting women’s rights from any perspective is requisite. An Islamic perspective is just one of many avenues. But for Muslim women’s rights, this avenue is crucial, because Muslim women need to know that their religion gives them rights that their patriarchal culture often takes away. Malaysia’s WISE conference, which gathered Muslim women activists from around the world, is helping demonstrate this.

Read More