More than 300 Muslims— mostly women— say they are against being ruled over by any religious body and are working to try to gain independence from Sharia courts and religious bodies.
“We oppose any religious body—whether presided over by men or women— that seeks to rule over us,” the Muslims said in a statement published by Open Democracy.
Most of the people involved in the statement have “witnessed, experienced or fled from the horrors and degradations of “honour” killings, domestic violence, child and ritual abuse, forced marriage, polygamy, rape and sexual assaults,” says Pragna Patel in an opinion column for The Guardian.
“These women remind us of the inherent dangers faced by all vulnerable minority women when religious fundamentalists masquerade as ‘guardians of faith’ in order to take control of personal and family relationships,” Patel writes.
Patel says the sharia council creates harm to women, children and others.
“Those of us who try to challenge religious laws – on the basis of long-established secular feminist principles, international human rights and gender equality laws – are increasingly labelled ‘anti-faith,’ ‘unrepresentative’ or ‘Islamophobic,’ she said.
“But we work to help the most marginalised women – like those who signed today’s statement – to build feminist cultures based on common and universal values of human rights, citizenship and the rule of law,” she added.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: December 14, 2016