Archive for June 8th, 2009

08
Jun
09

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ART THOU NOT aware of those who, having been granted their share of the divine writ, now barter it away for error, and want you [too] to lose your way? But God knows best who are your enemies: and none can befriend as God does, and none can give succour as God does.

Among those of the Jewish faith there are some who distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of context and saying [as it were,] ” We have heard, but we disobey,” and ” Hear without hearkening,” and, ” Hearken thou unto us, [O Muhammad]” – thus making a play with their tongues, and implying that the [true] Faith is false. And had they said, ” We have heard and we pay heed, ” and ” Hear [us], and have patience with us, ” it would indeed have been for their own good, and more upright: but God has rejected them because of their refusal to acknowledge the truth – for it is in but few things that they believe.

AN – NISA (44 – 46)  

 

WOMEN’S VOICES

I’m all for speaking up!

I’m all for articulating thoughts, opinions, viewpoints, ideas in speech  and writing!  

For only in making yourself heard and read can you effect learning in yourself and others. And only through knowledge and experience can you bring about  the desired improvement or change or development or progress.

I’m all for healthy interaction and communication and exchange – what is currently referred to as “engagement” that is, involving one another in the pursuit of these improvements, changes, developments, progress; that is, what is popularly called “inclusiveness”

For there’s no doubt that societal change involves society’s stakeholders, that is the men and women and young people and children who constitute society and who are the beneficiaries of the change.

Every segment of society matters in any change that is going to affect their lives!

For it is these men and women and young people and children that constitute the family, one of the most important if not the core unit in society!

Each segment has a voice and the right to make themselves heard and be heard, whether it is in the championing of social justice, humanitarian issues, political concerns, culture and tradition or religious responsibilities.

If there is dissent or disagreement either within the segment or without there must be room for discussion and debate, either in an open forum or behind closed doors. 

YOU DON’T SIMPLY SHUT THE DOOR TO SHUT  PEOPLE OUT/UP!   

I therefore view the PAS call to ban Sisters In Islam (SIS) as a cowardly, retrogressive move!

I object strongly to the PAS call to “rehabilitate” the SIS women who have fought long and hard to engage men and women in a more progressive discourse on Islam.  

Through their research-based programmes which are reinforced by continuous input and feedback from enlightened thinkers and scholars, SIS has slowly but surely effected change in the landscape for Muslim women.

SIS is the voice that has spoken loudly and clearly about the injustices borne by Muslim women and advocated change or modification to a male-centric interpretation of the Syariah.

The two lone and lonely voices of the PAS women in an oblique support of SIS represent the great injustice  in the Muslim world – the silencing of articulate voices (be they from men or women) who only want the justice and equality promised in the Quranic teachings.

When Muslims should be reaching out to one another to present a united, compassionate and merciful ummah, emulating our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in his teachings about the 99 attributes of Allah, we are at odds with one another over something as important as justice and equality!

For Muslims to be taken seriously, there must be genuine efforts at a real muzakarah of the men and women of Islam to iron out the creases in the understanding of the Syariah.

Age-old prejudices and misconconceptions about the duties and responsibilities of men and women in the family and society must be looked at within the context of present-day needs and requirements!

THIS IS THE WAY FORWARD!

E PLURIBUS UNUM  (OUT OF MANY, ONE)!

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