LIVE: Scriptural challenges to violence against women, from an Islamic perspective

  Throughout history, religious texts of all sorts have paradoxically served as both a rationalization for and an argument against violence, specifically of violence against women. Islam in particular has come under fire in recent years for an allegedly higher prevalence of violence. One study of Muslims living in the United States asserted that 10%…

A Woman’s Inheritance and Gender Equity in Islamic Law: The Basics

This short article was written by the Da’wah Institute of Nigeria, Islamic Education Trust, Minna. A charitable organization based in the city of Minna in Northern Nigeria established in 1969 which is majorly devoted to da’wah, education and welfare, including areas such as water, medical and orphan support. The Da’wah Institute of Nigeria (DIN) is the research…

Dealing with Domestic Violence against Women: An Islamic Perspective

To facilitate greater exchange of grassroots knowledge, resources, best practices, and lessons learned, we are conducting a series of guest interviews to sustain both public and private conversations about critical and timely issues. In recognition of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which takes place annually on Nov. 25, we are discussing through a series of interviews religious perspectives on…

Reclaiming Faith

By Dr. Alaa Murabit

The author writes about her work to build religious literacy as a strategy for countering extremism. She identifies the pursuit of political power and misuse of authority as the root source of the deprivation of women’s human rights by religious institutions and in religious societies. Arguing that we must engage religious for its potential to affirm rights and build equal societies, she compels the reader to seek more nuance in our understanding of religious discourses and narratives. 

Alaa Murabit

Dr. Alaa Murabit is a medical physician and founded The Voice of Libyan Women, an organization that pushes for inclusive peace processes and conflict mediation by redefining the role of women in society using religious discourse to positively reinforce women’s rights, roles, and participation. Murabit is participating in The Carter Center’s 2015 Human Rights Defenders Forum.

George Bernard Shaw once said “beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” As we consider the wave of religious extremism sweeping much of the world, and its influence on civil rights and liberties, his wise words are particularly relevant. Religion and culture are inarguably interconnected, but when it comes to the human rights of women and girls, it can be hard to know where one begins and the other ends. Perhaps as a result, the influence of religion and culture is often overlooked in international efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, which are already hampered by a lack of resources. In fact, attacks on gender equality are invariably the earliest warning signs of extremism. We cannot hope to achieve women’s rights without understanding–and challenging–the purported ‘religious basis’ for extremism, the preeminent threat to international peace and security of our time.

The deliberate manipulation of religion is the single greatest, most cost-effective method of socio-political control.