Who is the Muslim woman?

Dalia Mogahed: Well, I think that one of the most interesting themes in our research is that sometimes here in the west, we can become prisoners of our own clichés, as Hussein ______ said today. Or prisoners of our own false dichotomies.

And so we sometimes look to Muslim women and we ask the question, “Do you want rights, or do you want religion?” And that’s the dichotomy.

What we find when we ask Muslim women themselves what they in fact want, the answer is both. And they see no contradiction between the faith they cherish and the rights they deserve.

I think that’s one of the most important findings is that we have to break out of these constructive, false dichotomies and really get a much more nuanced understanding of this population, which tells us that they admire much about the west. They see no contradiction between Islam and democracy, or Islam and women’s rights. But that these types of things have to grow out of their own cultural context. They cannot be imposed from the outside.

I think that there are definitely some ways that the interpretation of Islam needs to change; and many would argue to become more true to its spirit; that what Islam is essentially is really the collective understanding of its people, of its followers. And so that piece of human agency is very important. And what we find is that not only are the majority of Muslims interpreting their faith to be to offer a vision of gender justice, but that they are, in many ways, fighting for gender justice through the framework of their faith, rather than outside of it.

 

Recorded on: July 3, 2007. 

 

 

 

Do you want religion or do you want rights?

To boost your self-esteem, write about chapters of your life

If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.

Personal Growth

In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.

Keep reading Show less

Futuristic inventions and emerging technologies that will change the world

What do the inventions of the future look like?

(Photo Credit: Rick Guidice/NASA)
Technology & Innovation
  • Self-sustaining space colonies and unlimited fusion energy would bring humanity to a new point in our evolution.
  • Flying cars and robot butlers could be the next paradigm shift in our tech appetite for change.
  • Death and consensus reality might soon become obsolete.
Keep reading Show less

Ashes of cat named Pikachu to be launched into space

A space memorial company plans to launch the ashes of "Pikachu," a well-loved Tabby, into space.

GoFundMe/Steve Munt
Culture & Religion
  • Steve Munt, Pikachu's owner, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the mission.
  • If all goes according to plan, Pikachu will be the second cat to enter space, the first being a French feline named Felicette.
  • It might seem frivolous, but the cat-lovers commenting on Munt's GoFundMe page would likely disagree.
Keep reading Show less