Fortunately the pesky secularists and liberals and feminists don’t get to have it all their own way. Week before last there was a meeting of “Muslim women united against attack on gender segregation”…in other words united in favor of gender segregation. A site called 5pillarz has a carefully worded report.
Around 150 Muslim women attended a community event last Friday evening, organised after the attack by politicians and the media on the Islamic practice of gender segregation.
Not the “Islamic practice” as such, no. The “attack” was and is on attempts to impose the practice at university lectures and debates open to the general public; it was and is not on the practice in mosques and other religious and/or private spaces.
They were addressed by a panel of notable Muslim women from across the community – prominent journalist Yvonne Ridley, Islamic female scholar Fatima Barakatullah of IERA, Zara Faris of Muslim Debate Initiative (MDI), Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir, Britain Shohana Khan and Aisha Azri, Head of a London ISOC.
Ahhhhh that’s not “across the community” – not if “the community” is meant to be Muslims as opposed to Islamists. But that’s what Islamists do, isn’t it: they pretend that the narrower and more fundamentalist “community” is actually the larger and more varied one. It benefits them, but it harms Muslims who aren’t as reactionary and theocratic as Islamists.
All the panellists addressed an attentive female audience, on the issue which has received much media attention in recent weeks. They all discussed how this attack was part of the wider agenda against Islam, as gender segregation was nothing alien to the current society in toilets, changing rooms, hospital wards.
They all iterated the need to unite as Muslim women in order to respond to the attack as there is a concerted effort to silence their voices. The responses included first and foremost having a unified voice, and then dispelling the myths the media perpetuates about the Islam’s view of women through practices like gender segregation and niqab.
Because in fact, gender segregation and the niqab are totally egalitarian and empowering. Right.