Today on twitter, I saw a tweet that made me go, “some women don’t understand how feminism works, huh?” A woman made a poll for people to vote and asked the following question:
A Muslim feminist is:
1 – contradictory and aware
2 – in shock with reality
3 – misunderstood feminism.
Mind you, the woman who tweeted this is an Agnostic Arab lawyer.
This isn’t the problem here; the problem is that in the Middle East, it is believed that a feminist Arab woman is either atheist or agnostic. Nothing in between. But that is not true, a lot of Arab women, who believe in a god, are feminists. We always ignore this for unknown reasons. Feminism is for everyone, whether you are a believer or non-believer. Why must Arab women have to choose between their faith or rights? Why can’t they have both? Muslim feminists are so much braver than any other feminist. By being a Muslim feminist, they are simply risking their lives and reputation! Using a woman’s faith against her is as bad as the patriarchy by judging her faith, mind, lifestyle, her choices, and so on. Feminism DOES NOT leave a woman behind. Every woman has the right to be a feminist without being a “contradictory,” the movement itself accepts everyone.
If you had a bad experience with Islam and feminism, that’s fine. But to generalize this contradiction for all Muslim women and accusing them of 3 choices that describe YOUR experience? You are simply taking their rights: choice and free speech. And that is NOT what feminism about. The problem is YOU, not Muslim feminists.
Believing that feminism is limited to white women and ignoring minorities, believers, nonbelievers, and Arab women, who have it harder, has nothing to do with the actual purpose of feminism. We must differentiate toxic feminism and real feminists who fight for every woman. I see Islamic feminism the same as radical feminism, liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, etc. Each one is different, yet they have the same goals, to destroy the patriarchy, and achieve equality.
In conclusion, faith is a personal matter. It is something between a person and their god. Muslim women are not taking enough credits for the things they do. They have a huge, important part of the movement.