BRUSSELS, March 4, 2006 (IslamOnline.net) – Holding a maiden meeting in the Belgian capital Brussels on Saturday, March 4, more than 90 European Muslim woman activists are seeking to wash away Western misconceptions about the role of women in Islam and the prestigious status they enjoy under the Muslim faith.Reply
"The forum is an ample opportunity to project the true image of Muslim women and remove media-circulated stereotypes of Muslim women as being inferior to men and oppressed under Islam," Nur Gaballah, the coordinator of the European Forum of Muslim Women, told IslamOnline.net.
Gaballah, who represents the French League of Muslim Women, said the forum will tackle a host of pressing issues facing Muslim women in Europe, chiefly racism.
"We are giving special attention to the second and third generations of Muslim girls in Europe, who suffer from racism due to their religious and cultural backgrounds."
The meeting is hosted by the Free University in Brussels and themed "Muslim Women's Contributions to European Societies."
It brings together up to 90 Muslim woman activists from across Europe.
They will elect a 45-member administrative committee and board members, who will in turn choose a chairwoman.
Chief among the participants are British Salam Yaqoob, from Respect Party; Nura Rami, the spokeswoman for the French pro-Hijab March 15 Committee and Hilina Bin Ouda, the president of the Islamic Council in Swede.
The forum brings together up to 90 Muslim woman activists from across Europe.
Gaballah said the forum will give due attention to the man-woman relationship under Islam and how Muslim women are treated on equal terms with men.
"It is a very important issue as a point of fact given that the West misbelieves that Islam treats women as inferior to men," she noted.
The activist said some Muslim women in Europe, like Iranian-born Chahdorff Djavann and Somali-born Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, have helped entrench stereotypes on women under Islam.
Ali achieved notoriety after she wrote the scripts of a short film called "Submission" in which she highlighted what she said mistreatment of women under Islam.
She said in November that the second part of the film focused on homosexuality in Islam.
When asked whether non-veiled women were welcomed, Gaballah said the forum is open for all.
"They all defend their Islamic and cultural identity," she said.
The issue of hijab has taken center stage in Europe after it has been banned in state schools in several European countries.
Muslim woman activists in Europe have frequently blasted Western media and governments for not practicing what they preach.
They maintain that media parrot about the alleged oppression of women under Islam, but they turn a blind eye to the racism and oppression Muslim women face in the labor market, universities and public life.
03-05-2006, 11:03 AM
Originally Posted by sonz
Can I object to the title of this thread? These women did not, as it happens, do a single thing to clear up any misconceptions about the role of women in Islam. What they did do was attempt to bully Western critics of Islam into silence by calling them rude words like "racist". Nothing else as far as I can see. Oh, they also demeaned and back-bit their sisters in Islam who do not share their views on the positive role of women in Islam. And attacked the societies that host them and give them the opportunity to be discriminated against in the Work Force.
I have a suggestion for these women: how about doing something more useful and important - clear up some misconceptions in the Islamic world about the proper role of women in Islam. How many Muslim women suffer because of discrimination in the West? How serious is that discrimination? Now compare the tragic plight of the Western Muslima with the plight of the Muslima in the Muslim world. Who suffers more? Where are the equivalents of these women in the Muslim world? As you can see this is clearly a political stunt that is, if you do not mind me sounding a little paranoid, designed to cover up another agenda. What would that be I wonder?
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