Are pious women to be equated with submissive wives?

There’s a conference in London today, wrapping up in an hour. It’s put on by the Deen Institute, and it’s titled Can Muslims Escape Misogyny? Tariq Ramadan is at the top of the bill.


This conference will address the injustices against women which persist across communities and cultures the world over, and ask where Islam stands on countering these issues. Islam is often criticised as misogynistic, and its name is invoked by those who seek to perpetuate injustices and inequalities against women and girls. So what’s truly to blame and what solutions does our spiritual tradition offer?

Moreover, stories of forced marriages, domestic violence justified under the guise of sharia law and female genital mutilation perpetuated by purported religious figures, continue to make the headlines. Does Islam place one gender above another? Does the Quran really condone domestic violence? Are pious women to be equated with submissive wives? And beyond issues strictly associated with Islamic texts, what do Islamic teachings have to offer women in terms of freedom from male domination and holistic emancipation?

Join us to explore these issues and many more.

I wonder what “holistic emancipation” might be…


  1. Al Dente says

    I wonder what “holistic emancipation” might be…

    Possibly it’s a form of homeopathic emancipation, i.e., emancipation so watered down that not a molecule of emancipation exists in the solution.

  2. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Are pious women to be equated with submissive wives?

    If- as is the case with the Koran- the holy teachings piously followed order women to submit to their husbands, the question must be rhetorical.
    Whatever holistic emancipation is, the blurb seems to argue that is lam offers “freedom from male domination and holistic emancipation”. Or perhaps grammar isn’t their strong point.

  3. Shatterface says

    Possibly it’s a form of homeopathic emancipation, i.e., emancipation so watered down that not a molecule of emancipation exists in the solution.

    Yet it magically retains the ‘memory’ of emancipation.

  4. Merlin says

    I am going to guess that there was plenty of “No True Muslim” and “Separate but Equal” going on. I really, really hope I am wrong and that the meeting was more progressive than that, but my prior experience does not encourage optimism.

  5. A Masked Avenger says

    “Holistic” by definition means in terms of [the] whole [system], rather than its individual parts. Which would seem to imply liberation across all spheres of life, as opposed to, say, mere liberation in individual areas such as forced marriage, etc.

    Oddly, though, “holistic” in practice becomes a modifier that converts a word into its opposite. So “holistic” liberation probably means, “We’re liberated, when you look at the big picture, even though we continue to suffer discrimination in various particular ways.” If we were placing bets, I’d bet that “holistic liberation” is what you have when you transcend your petty concerns with sexism and realize that your spirit can be free even when your body is in chains.

    (Note that I highly respect survivors of gulags, or concentration camps, or long imprisonment, who say, “They enslaved my body, but they couldn’t take my freedom.” I think their inspirational examples are soiled when they’re confused with slaves embracing their chains. Which in a nutshell is what I’m betting “holistic liberation” means.)

    If we were allowed to place two bets, my second bet would be that “holistic liberation” here means “liberation from sexism while remaining subject to Islam itself.” Rather the way some Christian women half embrace feminism, while remaining in the reference frame of Judeo-Christian patriarchy.

  6. A. Noyd says

    I think holistic means like averaging liberation across all spheres. If you just look at forced marriage, you’re not seeing how women are “free” of the stresses of finding and keeping jobs, getting sent away to war, leading a family/business/country, or whatever. It’s fucking nonsense, of course, because it’s not like women can choose to do those things if they want. But banning women from something men find onerous is often cast as women “getting out of” having to do it, and thus being “liberated” from it. MRAs like to play the same stupid game.

  7. Decker says

    The list of speakeres is a rogue’s gallery of islamists.

    And ‘holistic’ is so trendy a term these days.

    Were progressive atheists to invent a term like..say…”tweedledump” to indicate gender emancipation, these speakers would be “tweedledumping” left, right and centre.

    This is just another case of islamists using progressive terms and language to promot clerical fascism.

    YOu know, the burkha as the ultimate form of feminist self-realisation…yawn…

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