Feminism | Posted by Aleka R on 06/15/2010

Indian Muslim Women: Excluded from Indian Feminism?

Indian Muslim Women: Excluded from Indian Feminism?

Indian Muslim Women: Excluded from Indian Feminism?

In India, the Dar-ul-Uloom’s (an Islamic school propagating Sunni Islam in India) recently declared a new fatwa which states that it is un-Islamic for women to work with men and talk to them. The fatwa is extremely misogynistic in nature.. A huge furor was created in India after the fatwa was issued and it lead to a wide ranging debate with many Muslims divided on the issue. It indicates that reform measures undertaken in the Indian Parliament to uplift the condition of Indian women are useless when it comes to Indian Muslim women. It seems that, while a silent feminist revolution is in the works in India, Muslim women are largely not included in it.

The clerics who issue such fatwas are unwilling to allow Muslim women to move ahead and advance their position in society.They are of the stern view that women are meant to stay at home and look after their families.

It is also an extremely dicey situation for the government of India to handle because if they take sides against the Islamic clerics they risk losing the support of conservative Muslims. But lucky for us we have a highly effective media who highlight such issues and bring to light the otherwise hidden plight of Muslim women in Indian society.

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  • Tessa @ at 12:25 pm, June 15th, 2010

    As a woman of color (biracial: half Indian, half black), I know how much we still have to achieve in terms of rights for women of color. Especially in the countries of India and Pakistan. The Muslim religion itself is very misogynist in that women are expected to stay at home and serve their families. In some provinces of Pakistan, girls cannot go to school. However, I hope that India’s government can help these Muslim women out in achieving the equal rights they deserve. And I hope western feminists can really highlight this problem, because it often seems as if American feminists simply don’t care enough about the plight of women in other countries. Western feminists are way too caught up in trying to bring equality in American society (which we already have in terms of social, political, and economic rights) and don’t recognize the plight of women on an international level. Great post, though.

  • kashif @ at 5:06 pm, June 15th, 2010

    there is more to this story that meets the eye. Please see the following link: http://twocircles.net/2010may13/everybody_loves_bad_fatwa.html

  • Khadija Hassan @ at 4:52 pm, June 18th, 2010

    Tessa, yes I agree this is a great dilemma what these cleric men are doing but do you know anything about Islam to criticize the whole religion?

  • Tessa @ at 3:04 am, June 19th, 2010

    Well, from what I have observed, Islam reduces women to a subservient role. For example, two of my Muslim classmates and close friends, Mehreen and Akifa, cannot go to sleepovers, class fieldtrips, or many other places because their individual parents feel as if a daughter’s place is in her home. Their brothers and male cousins can, however. Of course I cannot stereotype the whole religion by providing just one example, but if this is how it is in the U.S, then it must be pretty misogynistic in Pakistan. Again, I don’t want to offend any Muslims, but based on my observations and interactions with Muslim friends, I know that it is a religion that emphasizes a woman’s place as being at home.

  • Khadija Hassan @ at 1:52 am, June 20th, 2010

    Tessa,
    I was offended when I responded because every time I hear people talk about Islam, it’s either about it being sexist or hateful. I see what you are talking about with your friends but what the koran says people’s interpretatios are different.What you should know is that cultures bring out sexism not religion and the interpretation of patriarchic societies.FYI, my namesake was an independent business woman who was the prophet frist wife.She is everything western’s don’t see in a Muslim woman.

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