One of the most persistent stereotypes about Islam is that it is oppressive towards women. While it is true that there are many instances of abuse and oppression of Muslim women and problematic interpretations of religious texts, there is no justification for that behavior in the faith. In fact, it is clear from the Qur’an and the hadith that the relationship between men and women should be based on respect, kindness, and love. In this post, I would like to focus on a few examples of hadith that underscore these core values and illustrate that the Prophet Muhammad himself displayed these characteristics in his interactions with the women in his life. Continue reading
In a country where women have been told their stories do not matter, and have been threatened for telling them, women still muster the courage to write about themselves, even at the risk of severe punishment. The Afghan Women Writers Project is a US based organization dedicated to bringing their stories to light.
With strong ties to the historical Turkish-Ottoman Empire, the Balkan countries of Southeastern Europe contain several Muslim-majority states. Islam is the dominant religion in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Other Balkan countries with significant Muslim minority populations include Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Religious worship was generally prohibited in these countries until the collapse of the Soviet government in the 1990’s. Religion and ethnicity remain closely linked in these countries and discrimination and tensions continue to be reported. Continue reading