Directory of Religious Centers Glossary Religious Diversity Newsfeed Afro-Caribbean Bah;ii Buddhism Christianity Confucianism Taoism Humanism Jansenism Judaism Native Traditions Paganism Shinto Schism Unitarian Universalism Zoroastrian About COG Credits American Muslim women today are struggling to address the stereotypes and wide variety of positions in American life: medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, chemists, housewives, broadcast Journalists, professors, clerical workers, business women, schoolteachers.
Some are immigrants, from countries ranging from sub- Sahara Africa to Indonesia, while many others are American-born; some American Muslim women were raised in Muslim homes, while others embraced Islam as adults. Some Muslim women cover their head only during prayer in the mosque; other Muslim women wear the hajji; still others may cover their head with a turban or a loosely draped scarf. The “role of women” in Islam is not easily defined.
The Curran and the practice of the Prophet Muhammad seem to recognize the different functions and mutually supportive roles of men and women, encouraging Just and balanced social and family fife. In seventh-century Arabia, the Curran extended to women the right of property ownership and financial independence, prohibited the practice of female infanticide and other abuses, and significantly modified marriage and divorce practices. While many Americans consider Islam an “oppressive religion” with regard to women, Muslim women often comment on the liberty and dignity they derive from their faith.
Many Muslim women explain that “true” Islam is frequently compromised by oppressive practices that have their roots in cultural differences or political expediency; general ignorance and lack of engagement with the diversity inherited within the tradition contribute to the perpetuation of these practices. Numerous Islamic organizations in America are working to educate both the Muslim community and the larger society on this issue, writing articles, pop-De pieces, and publishing pamphlets such as ‘Can’s “Status of Woman in Islam” and the Institute of Islamic Information and Education’s “The Question of Hajji: Suppression or Liberation. The Islamic Center of Southern California distributes the pamphlet “To Separate Fact from Fiction… Women in Islam. ” Citing the Curran, this publication aims to nuance views held by those outside of the Muslim community, while also pointing to the “regrettable practices in some Islamic societies where anti-lilacs culture(al) traditions have won over Islamic teachings. ” Muslim women in the United States are actively engaged in this issue on every level, from academia to small grassroots groups. Dry. Aziza al-Hybrid, a professor of Law at the University of Richmond, notes that Islamic laws about humanity come from a compassionate God.
Accordingly, she researches issues in which Islamic law is being applied to women in what she views as an oppressive way, in order to find “the legal basis in Islamic Jurisprudence for dealing with these kinds of situations. ” AAA-Hubris’s organization GRAMMAR: Muslim Lawyers for Human Rights, is one of many outlets through which she works to understand and promote Islamic civil rights, especially those pertaining to women. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed her as a commissioner to the U. S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
AAA-Hybrid is one of many Muslim women in America assuming active leadership roles both within ND outside of the Muslim community. Elected and to serve as vice-president and president of the Islamic Society of North America (SINS). She is highly regarded as a scholar of Islam and as a Muslim scholar. Among many accomplishments, Dry. Mattson founded the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary, where she is Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, as well as the Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations.
In 2005, Mina Waded, a black American female convert to Islam and a scholar of Islamic studies, led Friday prayers to a congregation of Muslim men and women in New York, breaking the tradition that reserves that role exclusively for men, and stirring a controversial debate about gender in Islam. Daisy Khan, an Indian-born American Muslim, is the co-founder and executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASSAM), as well as the founder of Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) and she is also actively involved in other projects that focus on interfaith efforts and dialogue on Islam in the West.
These women are but a few of the many American Muslim female leaders who are challenging misconceptions about gender equality in Islam. A December 2010 article in the New York Times, “Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U. S. ,” highlighted this trend of increased involvement of American Muslim women in the United States, emphasizing the leadership roles that they have within public and private sectors, as well as within Muslim communities. The article noted that American Muslim women have more authoritative positions in society particularly as marred to Muslim women in other countries, and also compared to American women of other religions.
And yet, gender in Islam remains a frequent debate in America. The results of a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, “Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism”, suggest that nearly half of all American Muslims agreed that men and women should be separated when praying in a mosque. Data from the survey also shows that over a third of American Muslim women cover their hair, by wearing hajji or otherwise, when they are in public.