22 June 2017

Muslim women need to challenge the patriarchy in their own faith

.. I stated plainly that certain narratives, especially within the orthodox segments of Muslim society, must be challenged by Muslim women themselves, because awareness of their own place in society is central to achieving any kind of progress.

Embedded narratives on polygamy, wife battery and the segregation and seclusion of women prevent a robust challenge emerging in these communities.

For example, the argument that men are natural leaders of the household, and that they have a stronger sexual urge than women, is used to excuse polygamy.

Many traditional Muslim homes embrace such explanations, along with a related religious sanction for beating wives. The religious justification thwarts any challenge to such outrages.

I urged members of the audience to ponder these issues with open and inclusive minds, to eschew any narrow religious basis for antagonism and especially for misogyny.

Muslim women in particular must see these traditional narratives for what they are. They are mere rationalizations, and the time has come to see beyond them. [Toronto Sun] Read more