Asma Barlas Speaks at International Congress on Islamic Feminism

Submitted on behalf of Tanya R. Saunders, dean, Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies.

Asma Barlas, director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (CSCRE), was recently in Barcelona to speak at the third International Congress on Islamic Feminism. While there, Professor Barlas was interviewed by the BBC World Service and was asked to write a short column for the Guardian newspaper.

Below is a comment that Professor Barlas appended to her published Guardian article:

"Earlier this week, the BBC reported that some of the world's leading Islamic feminists have been gathered in Barcelona for the third International Congress on Islamic Feminism, to discuss the issues women face in the Muslim world (October 27th). Even though the BBCs coverage of Barcelona III was quite nuanced, two points need to be clarified. One is that Congress participants focused not only on the Muslim world (a troubling phrase since Muslims donít live in a separate or homogenous world), but, also on Muslim women in the West. Second, it was not only Islamic feminists who attended the Congress but also Muslim feminists, secular feminists, and others who simply call ourselves believing women. The difference between Muslim and Islamic feminists is that the latter look to the Qur'an for understanding/ defining the notion of sexual equality while the former do not. This seems to be a hard point for many people to understand--because they confuse Islam with Muslims--but it simply means that not everyone who is born a Muslim practices Islam."

You can also read more about Professor Barlas's involvement in the conference in this BBC article.

Originally published in Intercom: Asma Barlas Speaks at International Congress on Islamic Feminism.

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