Friday, November 24, 2006

Oh thank Allah!!!

WATANDOST: Inside News About Pakistan: Empowering Muslim Women

Maybe a day late, but really here is something to be thankful for this holiday season.
The Dragon tries really hard to understand and respect all creeds, and has read the Koran, just as he's read the Bible, Upanishads, and Dhammapadda. I just have a problem with fundamentalism, hate, and intolerance. (So don't you born agains think you are getting away with anything just yet...)
I can even tolerate religious groups who practice traditional gender roles, as long as that practice doesn't extend to genital mutilation, and acts of violence and murder upon those who do not live up to those roles.
I'm just gonna shut up, now, because it would be too easy for me to rant about the negative. But here, my friends, is a little bit of light...

Bid To Bring Female Voice To Islamic Law Ben ArnoldyMuslim Women From 25 Countries Meet In New York, Forming CouncilChristian Science Monitor:November 21, 2006

Meeting in New York over the weekend, Muslim women from 25 countries began laying groundwork for the first international all-female council formed to issue fatwas. Their idea: to ensure that women's perspectives on Islamic law become part of religious deliberation in the Muslim world — particularly on issues such as domestic violence, divorce, and inheritance. ...
The number of women officially sanctioned to issue fatwas is hard to pin down, but certainly tiny. The emergence of such women, known as muftias, usually makes headlines: A religious school in India installed three in 2003, and the Turkish government last year hired two assistant muftias, its first. Governments and schools try to license who can issue fatwas, but Islam stipulates only certain prerequisites, such as knowledge of the Koran and Arabic. As a result, the ranks of unofficial authorities are deeper and the barriers to women surmountable. ...
The New York gathering, called the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity, plans to seat the new council — perhaps seven members — within a year. Drawn from diverse schools within Islam, the members will be versed in Islamic law. The group also plans to give scholarships for more women to pursue advanced training — open to women in places like Morocco, Egypt, and Iran — in an effort to broaden the qualified pool. "Islam is a religion of law, and it is important to express the principles of social justice within the framework of Islamic law," says Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and leader of the effort. "This is why we need muftias, in order to do that. Otherwise, it falls on deaf ears." Traditionally, religious legal authority was local, vested in muftis and other leaders who attained their status via government appointment or community esteem. But today's global communications are challenging that, as more Muslims seek religious opinions far and wide through the Internet. The women's council takes advantage of this: Its members will be in different places, taking questions and conferring over the Web.

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