November 14, 2019
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  • 4:42 pm The Friendly Atheist Podcast
Muslim Women’s Rights and Islam – Strategic Empowerment and the Qur’an


Well, one of the first things that the Quran says is to read. And really calling upon its followers to read and understand and interpret the text for themselves in their own lives. And that is really the basis of the work that Muslim women’s rights activists, such as those at Sisters in Islam are doing. Really understanding and interpreting Islam for themselves in their own way, in what works for them in their lives and in their contexts. With the recognition that, again going back to the fundamentals of Islam, that all humans are equal and there is one
god, but even the prophet is a human and is equal among all humans. And so we all have that right and that responsibility and obligation to understand what the religion is saying and what it means in our lives. Muslim women’s rights activists, such as those who work at Sisters in Islam, are drawing on religion as a resource in their women’s rights advocacy work in direct response to the rise of religious
extremism and politicized religion in their country. So, it’s a very deliberate drawing of religion, using religion, referencing the Quran, referencing reputable Hadith in their work and putting that into action through women’s rights trainings with Muslim women on what are their rights under current, existing Sharia or religious Law within their country, as well as how that those laws can
be reformed to better support women’s rights, and Sisters in Islam argues to better be in
line with the fundamental values of Islam. Of human dignity and equality and justice. At Sisters in Islam, everyone there does identify as Muslim, of course they’re going to identify that in different ways. That is how they refer to themselves. And, so, because this is such a huge part of their identity, even this process of going back to the text and understanding what it is, what it is saying for themselves and what it means in their own lives is a very personally empowering process, as well.

Jean Kelley

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