Egypt Rethinks Muslim Female Rights

At last week’s round table discussion conducted by Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights(NCHR) keynote speaker Zeinab Radwan urged putting “an end to incorrect though which does not agree with Islam, but rather is used as justification for preventing Islamic exegesis from stepping in line wwith successive development and changes in today’s world.” She wants the testimony of just one woman to be acknowledged in business tranactions versus current laws which require the views of two women who are witnessing such action. Her view was challenged by fundamentalists who claim the Quran says the testimonies of two women equal that of one male. “The text of the Qurtan is related to a specific situation in which women were illiterate at the time and could have forgotten the detials of the incident since what they were giving was verbal testimony, not written.”

Ahmed El-Sayeh, a professor of Islamic philosophy at al-Azhar University, strongly attacked what he termed “the beliefs of some memers of the centre which were inherited from extremist sects in pre-islamic eras, underestimating the position of women.” He insists that Islam provides for full equality between men and women. A majority of members of the Islamic Research Council support such an interpretation.

The winds of change are sweeping through nations such as Egypt which, hopefully, will restore to Muslim women the rights they once enjoyed and which are denied by extremists who fail to accept the teaching of the Quran.