Muslim feminists online

While doing some general research on social media activism, I came across an article about social media platforms dedicated to the efforts of Muslim feminists. With images of Muslim women wearing burqas and the tragically inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai in my mind, I do not readily associate feminism with having a significant role in the Muslim religion. It turns out that there are numerous blogs written by Muslim women trying to reinterpret their religion with a feminist point of view. Sadia Ali wrote this blog post about her discovery of Muslim feminists online and how she went on to create pages on several social media platforms for these women to be able to collaboratively study the role of their gender within Islam. She reports that the conversations that ensued between women on these sites are harmonious, empathetic and genuinely curious. Some reject the idea that social roles should be based on gender while some do not. Most basically and most practically, ICTs contribute to development improving access to necessary information. However, I believe that  the ICT of social media can go beyond these basics. Allowing a marginalized population to virtually come together can redevelop cultural values and preconceived notions, with time potentially leading to a widespread lifestyle change. I know this sounds overly optimistic, bordering on naive (unless I’m already there), but a culture’s reconsideration of its treatment and perception of either gender must begin with an honest conversation, particularly revolving around the original source (whether it be a holy text, constitution, etc.). Although cyberactivism is not completely understood and is widely criticized for not making a significant impact, it does have the ability to open up such conversation, as exemplified by Ali’s Muslim Feminism Facebook page.

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2 responses to “Muslim feminists online

  • kbruce2016

    I love this blog post!! I actually have a close friend from high school who is a Muslim feminist. I have always found this interesting, because I always considered a lot of Muslim practices to be oppressive to women. However, she has completely changed my perspective. It is all about how you interpret the religion and the practices that it promotes. For her, the burka allows her to be seen for more than physical beauty. To her, the burka empowers her to be taken seriously as a person, instead of relying on her appearance. AND although we haven’t in close touch since moving away, she also has a Muslim feminist blog and is very active on social media so I am able to keep up with her posts regularly.

  • abernst2

    I also really love this post. It is so interesting to hear about people in limited social situations broadening their identities and shaping their own lifestyles around the norms they live in. Social media’s contribution to this wide network of Muslim feminists really is astounding. There are actually many artists that explore Muslim feminism and women’s relationship to religion, which is how I first heard about this. I wonder if social media could be utilized to expand this group even further in terms of breaking stereotypes and raising awareness of this group of women.

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