Islamic Women In Malaysia Demand Rights!

There is an increasing tendency on the part of conservative fundamentalist clerics to issue edicts about aspects of modern life that bear no relation to anything about religion but say a great deal about their desire to impose upon people conformity in thinking. A religious order banning women from dressing like “tomboys” was bad enough, but now there is an edict forbidding them to engage in yoga because it is connected to the Hindu religion. A group of Malaysian women have concluded it is time to fight religion with religion. The Musawah(equality) project has emerged under which women will seek to take back their society from the clerics. They have no problem with the Koran but considerable with men who interpret the Koran to fit their preconceived ideas.

Zib a Mis-Hosseini argues “feminist Islamic scholarship is trying to unearth the facts that were there” and examine the legal tradition in a scholarly manner in order to confront clerics with facts not opinions. She believes Iranians were moving toward more liberal view of the Koran until Bush policies created fear and gave fundamentalists more power.

Unfortunately, there is a thousand years of male legalistic jargon which dominates the Muslim religion and it is doubtful if women in the near future can undo the power of the past.