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"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Yvettep

Post Number: 677
Registered: 01-2005

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Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 03:42 pm:   

Great background on that other thread, Kola. I picked out a few interesting points from this article--Maybe they'll spur discussion, even if folks are not interested in Islam per se.

Ms. Wadud argues that verses in the Koran used to justify the subjugation of women have been taken out of context or otherwise misused... In other words, the prejudice can be found not in the Koran itself, but in the Koran's readers.

The same has been said about various innterpretations of the bible, on as many topics as the eating of pork, the status of women, rights of Blacks, and the morality of homosexuality. Part of my enduring sense of wariness with such documents (religious texts, national constitutions) is that I am not sure the extent to which they can ever apply to changing times. But, if these documents are the basis for a religion, or a nation, or whatever, then do we make these institutions meaningless if we can choose to interpret their founding documents any way we choose?

This is a huge part of my ongoing personal growth in faith and citizenship. No answers yet--and I sense my time on earth is growing shorter!

The prayer, as Ms. Nomani envisioned it, would be about making a bold statement. She saw it as a way to take back the identity of Islam from those who were trying to pervert it.

I remember after 9/11 some people demanding that if some muslims claimed Islam is *not* about violence, then it was their responsibility to speak out against those of their faith who were "perverting" it by their actions. Again, I see the same thing happening in other arenas: For example, mainstream media and politicians calling for Black folks to "speak out" against Farakahn (spl?) or Jesse Jackson when he made his "Hymetown" (spl) statement. I generally feel that such demands, made from without, are not sincere. They produce a no-win situation from the people who are being demanded to show their allegiance by repudiating one of their own.

(But in this case, it appears the motivation came from Amina herself, and not from outside forces.)

I also, though, see a lack of...legitimacy when people pick and choose what they'll get angry about. For example, community leaders who will march in the streets following the handful of Black deaths at the hands of police, but who do nothing following the far more common black-on-black crime deaths...

She scoffs at the argument that this was the wrong time for a woman to lead a public prayer. "Every time women demand something they say, 'Oh, this isn't the right time,'" she says.

All I can say to this is, Amen, sister. Again, something we've heard time and time again in many contexts. And whenever I hear it I think of King: "Why we can't wait." But it is really hard to be the one person out in front, deciding that now is the time, when everyone else stops steppin and says Well, er, I'm witcha, but...er...it's not the right time now...

So, in that respect I give this woman much respect. However folks feel about what she did, she knew the sh** she'd get and decided she go out on a limb anyway. I think about other women doing the same (e.g., Cindy Sheehan).

Well, that's enough discussion from me for now! I'll keep my eyes open in the higher ed sources for any further word about this case.

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