Women in Islam: An Inside Islam recap


Farah Pandith, a former radio guest on Inside Islam. Photo: www.state.gov

One of the most popular topics here on Inside Islam has been gender, primarily focusing on women. That’s no coincidence, given that Islam’s attitude towards women is generally portrayed in Western media as retrograde and repressive.

And there’s certainly plenty to criticize. Over our four years, we have highlighted cases like that of Amina Filali, a Moroccan girl who committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist, and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to be stoned for adultery. We have also addressed issues such as domestic abuse and how key texts have been interpreted to discriminate against women, to ban women drivers, and to justify practices like child marriage.

But while our goal has never been to whitewash problematic issues, at the same time the standard mainstream rhetoric regarding Muslim women oversimplifies things and only further disempowers them. There has been a general inability to look beyond the veil when discussing Muslim women. Non-Muslim women or men who preach to Muslim women because they choose to cover their heads or accept certain circumstances tend to fall into the trap of portraying all Muslim women as a single entity without agency. They miss the movement within Islam itself to empower women.

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Here on Earth to host Moustafa Bayoumi Monday

Moustafa BayoumiHere on Earth: Radio Without Borders will have Moustafa Bayoumi on their show Monday to talk about Arab American youth in a post-9/11 world. He is professor of English at Brooklyn Collage and co-author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America The book features personal stories from the American Muslim community. Hear more about the book and stories from Arab American youth. Listen to past interviews with Bayoumi on Here on Earth’s archive’s page.

Comment on Muslim American perspectives post-9/11 before the show airs.

Leave a comment or email blogislam@insideislam.wisc.edu with your thoughts.

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