Head to Head: Is There a Place for Modem Feminism in Islam?
Formed in the 7th Century, Islam is one of the world’s major religions. While popular Islamic rhetoric touts being the first religion to empower women, Islam has been characterised by Western media as holding archaic values which do not align with Feminism or the modem world. The proponents of Islam argue that women’s emancipation and gender equality is part and parcel of the Quranic notion of equality of all insan (human beings), whereas some feminists argue that Islam is not compatible with the principles of equality embodied in individual autonomy, freedom, and women’s rights. Such feminists assert that Islam privileges men over women and further entrenches patriarchy and its androcentric practices into the fabric of society on theological grounds. It is amidst this background that this debate unwraps whether Feminism and Islam are compatible. Is there a place for Feminism in Islam?
Proposition: Hibba Abugideri, an historian of postcolonial and Islamic feminism and women in the Middle East Opposition: Etin Anwar, a Chair of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York