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‘Islamic feminism irrelevant’

Kozhikode: The very concept of ‘Islamic feminism’ was irrelevant. The coining of the terminology itself was part of a mischievous disinformation campaign aimed to mislead the practitioners of the faith, the Director of Niche of Truth, M M Akbar, has said.

Mr Akbar was introducing the topic at an open debate on ‘Islamic feminism’, organised by the Islamic Students Movement (ISM), the youth wing of the Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen (KNM) here today.

The debate was in response to the workshop conducted by the Cultural Wing of the US Consulate on ‘Islam and women’, in Kozhikode on December 22. The speaker at the workshop senior fellow, Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding, George Town University, Washigton, Margot Badran, had faced widespread protests from different Islamic groups, and a section of the minority community here.

According to the organisers, the discussion was an attempt to counter the alleged concerted move to create a disinformation campaign against Islam, and to educate the public on how the religion viewed the status of women. The US Consulate seminar had been a move to impose a professed label of ‘Islamic feminism’, the organisers alleged.

According to Mr Akbar, western feminist movements which had its origin in the French Renaissance was a totally different concept since it had its moorings in exploitation of women. Western societies viewed woman as a commodity which was in contrast to how Islam saw them, he asserted.

The State president of the KNM, T P Abdulla Koya Madani, alleged that the workshop had been organised by the US Consulate with the purported objective of maligning the Mujahideen faction with the assistance of a minuscule section in the community. He lashed out against such efforts to tarnish the image of an organisation which had stated objectives and all along been quick to spearhead progressive ideals.

He said that the Mujahideen Movement was opposed to dowry and ostentatious marriages. The movement had all along stood by the need for women to have a dignified existence in society be it in matters of literacy, education, dress code and the right to worship. (The Hindu, December 27, 2003) 

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