In March 2010, KARAMAH held a two-part program in Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium, which included interactive training sessions in leadership and advanced Islamic law. Muslim women in Europe face unique challenges deriving from cultural misconceptions and a lack of understanding regarding their religious and legal rights. In some cases, these faulty judgments pose as obstacles in the development of social identity and integration to civil society. And, since 2002, KARAMAH’s Law and Leadership Summer Program (LLSP) has worked with EU leaders and Muslim communities to develop a better understanding of the gender-equitable principles inherent in Islam through trainings in Islamic law, leadership and conflict resolution. LLSP teaches practical methods for applying knowledge of Islamic law and Muslim women’s rights to real-life situations.
For over a decade, with the support of the U.S. Mission to Belgium and the Kingdom Foundation, KARAMAH has graduated more than 125 Muslim women leaders from around the world, including Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Recently, KARAMAH has received funding from the Sigrid Rausing Trust to advance its initiatives in Europe to reach more women and provide solutions to the everyday challenges European Muslims face. In light of these efforts, KARAMAH held Islamic Law and Leadership workshops throughout Belgium in November 2009 and March 2010.
During the first workshop, KARAMAH held a one-day training in Islamic law, conflict resolution and leadership and established a steering committee to strengthen its presence in Europe and create long-term, substantive programs responding to the needs of Muslim women in Europe. The KARAMAH-EU steering committee has played a pivotal role in expanding KARAMAH’s Law and Leadership Program in Europe.
The March program in Belgium was designed as a condensed version of Karamah’s three-week Law and Leadership Summer Program, which takes place annually in Washington, DC.