View Full Version : Consolidating women's education . . . ?

10-05-2006, 07:26 AM
Consolidating the Education of Women

Are you a believer who is not a Muslim?
Believer in what can I hear you ask?
That is, are you able to sustain belief that there is reality in Faith in Allah?
Are you one of those women whom have wondered why so many very intelligent Muslim women wear Hijab?
Would you like to participate in a series of weekend seminars and workshops with a group of Muslim and non-Muslim women to work on developing the ideas we already share of the importance of the education of women?
Can you already consider Islam in a positive light and want to learn with Muslims and learn about Muslim method and the real status of women in Islam?
Are you a Muslim woman whom would like to work with non-Muslim women in the area of consolidating the reality of the need for women's education?

These are some words that were running through my mind today on a bus. It came to me that I want to make such a series of seminars a reality. But in this time my own social situation is not especially conducive to actualising this. It might better be made to happen among University students and academic staff, and could happen in any place where Muslim women are learning alongside non-Muslim women already.

The aim would be twofold. To validate for non-Muslim women that much of the worth that modern feminism seems to have attained for women can be sourced to Islam. Before Islam if a woman had any independent material means then, unless her Husband had supported her in midwifery, she might only have been a prostitue. But these days many women are in the workforce whom are neither working the jobs that only women can perform, and are neither publically regarded as prostitues here in the west. They might be less provident to their children than they ought to be in love and so have more money. But that they could receive the kind of education which enables them to also attend well to the education their children receive: that is, as well as to having opportunities to travel before marriage, or read in their spare moments instead of only embroider; we must surely assert as an acheivement of Islam, even if it has gone a bit too far.

The other aspect of the aim must be to enable Muslim women to comprehend what are the psychological mechanisms which are preventing women in the west from wanting to become Muslim. Are women educated in western industrial democracies able to understand reality within work of reconciling Religion with Science? The immense need that all society begin to work towards re-reconciling any and every feature of modern science with Islam is the underlying motivation. What are those pre-existing mental processes in non-Muslim women that provide a basis from which to even begin to consider Islam?

Now I have a confession to make. What got me started in this idea was my own bizzare sense of humour. But that is what I am like these days. So much in the world that is decent is being hindered by rubbish mind that laughter can be the only way at times. When a sick twisted sense of humour inspires a working idea which could have real impact towards a positive future; well, then, I guess we just have to face the fact of how sick the world is now.

The joke was inspired by a group of Muslim women in Sydney who got a female journalist into Hijab to go shopping with them. I have an image in my mind of a group of Muslim women and a group of non-Muslim women sitting around together and being instructed that for the whole day, including going out for lunch, they have to wear the following items:
the non-Muslim women get to choose between a black veil and a white veil, either of which cover them up to an equitable degree to that customary among the Muslim women present;
the Muslim women get to choose between a pirate's eye patch and a doctor's sterile mouth and nose mask.

I am sick.

But then I got carried away with my self. Having imagined that much could be realised, I began to provide my self with a realistic context within which such a happening could have real positive impact.

What else could we study together with non-Muslim women?

I wondered about Muslim women escorting non-Muslim women into different contexts of the Muslim community so that non-Muslim women can experience the reality of being well treated as women. Such a set of seminars clearly will need to work to manage preventing any negative stereotyping of women's role in Islam. It might be that only women whom are in happy marriages, or whom have been supported by the Muslim community to get out of a bad marriage, should be in such a subversive teaching role. I have two things in mind here. The incident of women approaching the Blackburn Masjid in UK and the need that what I am suggesting avoids inflaming any such situation; and also an incident reported elsewhere in which a couple of Christian women supposed that the Muslim men standing outside a Masjid after Prayer were being rude to them by not parting the crowd to let them through. So I am thinking about the many examples in which Muslim women could demonstrate to non-Muslim women what sort of behaviour to adopt so as to be treated respectfully.

Then I thought more. Such a set of seminars and workshops would need to avoid every possiblity of disturbing arguments that could attack Muslim faith; and so all participants would need to be already accepting of a Monotheist basis for belief, or at least be wanting to learn and not wanting to accuse. So there would need to be a stringent process of selecting whom could participate.

But with such difficulties ironed out, then there is truly much to work with.

For example comparing attitudes to child raising as a method of introducing the concept of what the culture is which sustains Islam. In that then finding what of that cultural basis is already sustaining to other women, perhaps as academics and mothers?

Are there other examples of commonality in perceived need?

In Law: knowledge of Law; and need for legal representation?

What is the general regard for the importance of teaching children scientific method?

Women are whom mainly attend to the tasks of managing the patterns in which children are subconsciously caused to believe in one culture or another. Belief is normally taught solely behaviourally in the formative year. Even up until the age of five the behavioural lessons are far more important than verbal instructions. The words we command our children to repeat after us, are the words which mean something to the child rather than the words they hear. The tasks we enable them to attend to. What is the common ground between Muslim and non-Muslim women in work to instill belief in children. If we can not find that common ground then there is no point in trying to convert anybody, as we are obliged to in Allah. So I am in favour of work like what I am suggesting, to be able to be made among women, in the interests of fostering a whole and integrated mainstream society within which the methodology of Science can be accessed by any person to prove to themselves the efficacy of Islam.

What is your regard for the question of what work can be eventually completed, and successfully begun, through this method?

Can we use this thread to further develop the idea? Have any other persons suggestions for activities that such seminars could engage in; or any knowledge of reading material that will be good? How will we work to encourage that all participants access Qur'an? Is it better to give each non-Muslim a book or an audio CD of recital.

Can we enable women to make their own scientific enquiry into the efficacy of Qur'an as a tool for preventing a reoccurring nightmare or similar? Or make a workshop in studing the efficacy of Prayer? What sort of support could the idea receive from a Da'wah project? Perhaps the non-Muslim women might find themselves needing?

My supposition is that the two groups of women would have to provide to each other enough personalised material of their own life stories so as to form a temporary friendship like acquaintance. What are the safe ways of providing such? There are many examples that I am familiar with from working as a youth worker among young mothers. I worked first voluntarily and then paid, for the YWCA in Canberra for a few years and mainly oriented to their work among young mothers, but within a pattern they were establishing of providing a small number of mothers with access to a career path within a time frame that had short cuts built into it. Much of my work place skill is in integrating disparate points of veiw to enable group cohesion, so I have a fire brain today for this idea? In think it could be lots of fun.

It is realistic?
For who?
Would you like to participate in such a thing?
Can you please make posts here only containing any actual work oriented contributions.
That is I am not posting this thread for short “that is nice” type posts but rather any “I would/would not like to participate for these reasons” would be prefered. Also contributions from brothers advising would be beneficial. But mainly could we try to keep the theme of consolidating active and try to focus upon what could usefully be included and what subjects need to be dealt with sensitively or excluded?

I must add that my own experience has been of becoming immersed in Islam before realising that; and so I am in favour of such methodology as to cause a person to believe before they realise that what they are believing is Islam. It seems to be that which an number of different individuals whom freely associate with Islam are needing. People raised within the mainstream of western industrialised democracies need that their existing belief is substantially unravelled before being able to consider Islam, that is even most Christians. By disproving the existing mental patterns one by one and replacing with better from within Muslim knowledge of the world, the mind is gradually enabled to change: but then at some point there need be provided a mass of information, like of reading Qur'an during Ramadan. But even something like a decent translation of a thousand and one Arabian nights can be effective in the first instance if persons are really afraid of approaching organised Religion as many of us have become through the abuses worked in Jesus name. I praise Allah for every among the modern affluent Christian world whom is able to find any cause to learn any Islam; and am believing that much of the abuse worked through Christian Churches has been motivated in an attempt to prevent Islam. So this is my understanding of the set of external conditions that motivates me. It is not that I want to make Muslim women look silly; but that I want for Muslim women whom are available to work towards converting, to be able to comprehend that for many other women putting on a veil can feel like drawing attention to the appearance. Perhaps in some circumstances, having the hair neatly plaited and pinning on badge that says “I am a Muslim” is a better option. For example: many in the west internally associate any instance of having the hair covered inside a house as a statement of being of criminal intent, and not by their own fault, but by exposure to long abuse of culture from the occult.

Thankyou for ready my post wassalam.

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10-07-2006, 07:03 AM
Assalamu Alaikum and thankyou who has read the first post

I thought that I have better add to the thread that I am in support of wearing Hijab and have never removed my own. I hope only that Australian women will find that experiencing a few instances of accompanying Muslims wearing Hijab will only enable Australians to more realistically consider Islam and their own modesty. While perhaps the experience I describe can enable Muslim women to detect what the obstacles are which need removing for that to commence. Most Australians simply dismiss any idea of any intelligence under a Hijab; which can be convenient at times. In few instances few Muslims have made an open profit by. But I am adverse my self to profiting from since such can worsen the impact that is being made upon non-Muslims whom believe and might need Islamic education.

Gladly however there is a recent possibility of a University offering Islamic Studies; and I hope that the simple fact of the Australian Government affording to pay for there to be space for such at a tertiary institution will help us all.

Assalamu Alaikum

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