Islam, Law, and Custom: Redefining Muslim Women’s Rights

By: Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.

“Muslim women’s rights have been the subject of a great deal of debate, most recently in Beijing and Huairou. While many secular feminists have criticized patriarchal religiously-justified laws in Muslim countries, many Muslim women have defended Islam as the guarantor par excellence of women’s rights. This broad perceptual gap among women was partly explained by some as the result of miscommunication. Secular feminists tend to blam Islam for laws in Muslim countries which are oppressive to women. Muslim women tend to defend Islam in light of their familiarity with the ‘ideals of Islam’.

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