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Old 05-29-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
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Gender Jihad/Islamic Feminism

I understand that this could be a potential for hostilies so I am coming out and saying it. This thread is dedicated to the idea that Muslim women can attain modernity in the Middle East.

Gender jihad is a phrase coined by anthropologist Lara Deeb. In her ethnography An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi'i Lebanon, she talks of the 'pious modern' woman. The pious modern is a sort of in between woman who accepts certain Western ideals like dress but is still pious in that she places emphasis on the community. It is stipulated that Western feminism places emphasis on the individual self and this is seen as selfishness to these Lebanese Shi'a women.

Gender jihad is what it is, a struggle for gender equality. In terms of the Islamic community, it is this drive towards an authenticated Islam while leaving behind the tradition or what they perceive as backwardness. Overall it is the idea that a Muslim woman could be equated to men in terms of being able to participate in public ceremonies and still be pious.

Authenticated Islam is the reinterpretation of texts from the Quran and hadiths. The reinterpretation was to lead away from the more 'backward' traditions like during Ashura where men used to self flagellate and spill blood in memory. The authenticated version would be to donate blood.

My question is, can the West see past the Orientalist images they have conjured up and accept that modernity is not necessarily the Western idea?

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Old 05-29-2008, 07:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JediMaster12 View Post
My question is, can the West see past the Orientalist images they have conjured up and accept that modernity is not necessarily the Western idea?
I'm not sure I understand the question within the context provided.

Is the argument that equal rights for women is inherently Western?
Is the argument that islam can be "modern" by allowing women to wear blue jeans but maintain tradition by allowing honor killings?

Please help me to understand where you are going with this.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:57 PM   #3
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I'm with Achilles.

Could you restate the question please?
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:38 PM   #4
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Sorry let me add:

Western view of Islam is always seen as backwards or anti modern and any political Islam is seen anti-American. Most of it comes though the Orientalist view of the Middle East, the viewing of the 'other.' What I am asking is given what you think you know and what I gave on the pious modern, could authenticated Islam be constituted as modern?

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Old 05-29-2008, 08:56 PM   #5
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Western view of Islam is always seen as backwards or anti modern and any political Islam is seen anti-American. Most of it comes though the Orientalist view of the Middle East, the viewing of the 'other.'
You sound as though you consider these "assumption" to be incorrect. Since there does seem to be something of a culture war happening within islam, wouldn't it be safe to say that some of these viewpoints are based on fact?

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That I am asking is given what you think you know and what I gave on the pious modern, could authenticated Islam be constituted as modern?
Modern by whose standards? By theirs (which you seem to be arguing we don't know by making multiple references to Orientalism)? Or by ours (which you seem to assume the answer is "yes" by default, hence your multiple references to Orientalism)?

Could it be that there are objective standards by which we measure modernity? What would those be? Perhaps some sort of moral or ethical standard rather than how many McDonald's restaurants they have or how many Xbox360's are sold to Saudi oil princes?
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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I was operating under the premise that modernity is based upon Western standards. If you are looking for standards, the common form is demographics that look at education, technology and infant mortality and lifespan. Generally speaking, Western ideas of modernity involve this whole notion of 'unveiling' and bringing democracy. You could go far to say that it is ethnocentrisim on the West's part.

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Old 05-29-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
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I was operating under the premise that modernity is based upon Western standards. If you are looking for standards, the common form is demographics that look at education, technology and infant mortality and lifespan.
Could I take liberty with your criteria and perhaps expand them a bit to encompass those used to determine the U.N. Human Development Index?

In the 2007 report, Kuwait ranked 33rd, Qatar 35th, United Arab Emirates 39th, Bahrain 41st, Oman 58th, and Saudi Arabia 61st. All other Middle Eastern countries were either ranked Medium (71st through 155th) or Low (156th through 177th).

Countries that love them some honor killings like (some of) "the Stans" seemed to come in somewhere between 0.794 (73rd) and 0.551 (136th).

So within the context that you've provided, some Middle Eastern countries are probably fairing pretty well in the modernity department, whereas a lot of have a lot of work to do. Unfortunately, the answer to the question that you asked doesn't seem to shed a whole lot of light on the spirit of the question you started out with.

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Generally speaking, Western ideas of modernity involve this whole notion of 'unveiling' and bringing democracy. You could go far to say that it is ethnocentrisim on the West's part.
Based on the title of the thread, I would have gone more the "women won't get stoned to death while the police watch just because they were alone with a man" vibe

That's just me.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:39 PM   #8
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I'd say as long as true Islam (not the american version, in other words) has women as property, then no, it can't be called modern
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:54 AM   #9
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Don't know whether modern is really relevant here. Perhaps "enlightened" vs barbaric or some suitably negative term.


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Old 05-30-2008, 05:24 AM   #10
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People tend to assume that there country, continent, Religion, is the center of the map, the rule to follow, the right way. Western Modernity is a western phrase, our choices, laws and wants do not count elsewhere, I'm not saying it's not horrible to witness there treatment of women, that is bad 'IMO'. My biggest problem is that decisions, laws, wars and people's fate are still decided by Religion... It's archaic imo.


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Old 05-30-2008, 01:38 PM   #11
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No, I don't think you can have true Islam or an Islamic society with the level or reinterpretation required to create a equal-level modern society. Once you've re-written the religion to the point where Islam tells people to do things completely diferently than it did before, it's not Islam anymore.

And I don't think current Islam has the capabilities within an Islamic State to be a modern society with equality between men and women.


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Old 05-30-2008, 01:48 PM   #12
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No, I don't think you can have true Islam or an Islamic society with the level or reinterpretation required to create a equal-level modern society. Once you've re-written the religion to the point where Islam tells people to do things completely diferently than it did before, it's not Islam anymore.
I disagree, several Christian churches preaches gender equality. If they can modernize, I dont see why Islam can't, or would you say they are not christian?


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Old 05-30-2008, 03:14 PM   #13
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I'd say as long as true Islam (not the american version, in other words) has women as property, then no, it can't be called modern
What would you say is true Islam? Women are not labeled as property. What does stoning have to due with anything? Hell the Bible speaks of stoning to death.

Western ideas of modernity have been accepted throughout the world as a standard for modernity. Authenticated Islam is the reinterpretation of the Quran and as someone else pointed enlightenment. Specifically in the ethnography I am referring to, Shi'a Lebanese women consider the "traditional" to be a mode of ignorance, something to move away from. To put it directly, the "traditional" person is a person who practices religion improperly or without true comprehension and who believes that her role is a domestic one. The other extreme is the "empty modern" and the "westernized" person who is selfish, materialistic and obessessed with her appearance and social status. The 'pious modern' is an in between. They say they are modern in that they have women who go to work outside the home and they participate in public presentation. They also show public piety by that they use their modernity to better the community.

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You sound as though you consider these "assumption" to be incorrect. Since there does seem to be something of a culture war happening within islam, wouldn't it be safe to say that some of these viewpoints are based on fact?
Was the Protestant Reformation anything different? That was a religious culture war in of itself.

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Old 05-30-2008, 03:36 PM   #14
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Was the Protestant Reformation anything different? That was a religious culture war in of itself.
I'm not sure how the protestant reformation has anything to do with "western stereotypes" of islam. Could you please explain?
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:52 PM   #15
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The Islamic Revolution in Iran of 1979 was seen initially as a movement of enlightenment, not a movement to makes things as they were in the Prophet's time. The Protestant Reformation was an enlghtenment in that it was a reformation of the Church. I know it sounds terrible but the way I see it a revitalization or reinterpretation is no different from the movements we've had in the States. Western media and the fanatics make it otherwise.

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:42 PM   #16
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The Islamic Revolution in Iran of 1979 was seen initially as a movement of enlightenment, not a movement to makes things as they were in the Prophet's time.
I suppose that's one way of looking at it. I would be more inclined to attribute the revolution to political factors, since "enlightenment" is typically not associated with taking political prisoners, but I'll stick around long enough to allow you to make your case.

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The Protestant Reformation was an enlghtenment in that it was a reformation of the Church.
Reformation=enlightenment? Not sure I'm willing to make that leap. Not all changes are for the better. Neither are all changes motivated by lofty philosophical agendas.

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I know it sounds terrible but the way I see it a revitalization or reinterpretation is no different from the movements we've had in the States. Western media and the fanatics make it otherwise.
Forgive me for pointing this out, but this seems to be the 4th or 5th time you've moved the goal post during this thread.

You said: "Western view of Islam is always seen as backwards or anti modern and any political Islam is seen anti-American."

16th century religious reform in Europe has nothing to do with this. Modern zeitgeist in the U.S. has nothing to do with this.

What does any of this have to do with how equal rights for women factor into modernity?

The facts of the matter are these:

1) There is no moral argument that supports the idea that women deserve fewer rights than men.
2) Since the moral philosophy is not inherently "Western" or "American", there is no reason to consider equal rights for women to be a "Western" or "American" standard.
3) Women are not granted equal rights (dare I say they are not granted any rights) in a majority (if not the entirety) of muslim countries.

So the answer to your question is no. Islam will not be able to achieve parity with regards to modernity so long as it continues to accept (and/or promote) the subjugation of women. Giving a woman "some rights" in order to satisfy "authenticated islam" won't be good enough. I hope that answers your question(s).
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:50 PM   #17
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'Modern' views of women are not the norm in the vast majority of Islam, or even the world, for that matter. In some Muslim societies, women are at best second class citizens and in some places, valued less than livestock (Afghanistan under Taliban rule comes to mind). Astro might come in and show me wrong, however.

Trying to achieve gender equality in Islam is going to be exceedingly difficult. It will require a fundamental shift in the perception of women as equals. I haven't read enough of the Koran to know if this kind of change is supportable by the texts or not.


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Old 05-30-2008, 04:58 PM   #18
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I haven't read enough of the Koran to know if this kind of change is supportable by the texts or not.
Arguably, it's not the qu'ran that we have to worry about, it's sha'ria law. In other words, I would say that the change is supportable by the text, depending on how you read it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:17 PM   #19
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I'm not sure how reliable this source is, but this is the first thing I found, it should prove enlightening hopefully:

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/women/long.html

What's this? Very interesting!:

4:34: "Men are in charge of women, because Allah made men to be better than women."

So, obviously the Qu'ran does discriminate agaisnt women, if this is a reliable source.


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Old 05-30-2008, 05:23 PM   #20
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Arguably, it's not the qu'ran that we have to worry about, it's sha'ria law. In other words, I would say that the change is supportable by the text, depending on how you read it.
You could indeed argue that. Sharia law is supposed to be based on the Koran, but I understand the distinction you're making. If there's something in the Koran stating unequivocally that women are inferior to men, it's going to be hard to justify equality from a Muslim point of view, and that will end up getting reflected in Sharia law. That's the piece of the puzzle I don't have, which is why I don't want to agree or disagree on whether gender equality is achievble in 'traditional' Islam.

As far as I know, though, Lebanon does not follow Sharia law as gov't poliy. I thought most Lebanese were Sunni and not Shi'a, and thus a little more moderate, too.


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Old 05-30-2008, 05:31 PM   #21
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And you wonder why people seem so fond of Islam.

Making a Modernized Christianity isn't that difficult, given that most of the sexism of the past centuries have been predicated on assumption and the dictates of the Catholic Church. I can't think of any passage in the Bible that states that women are property.

Isn't Shari'a Law pretty much part and parcel with the Qu'ran?
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:37 PM   #22
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So, obviously the Qu'ran does discriminate agaisnt women, if this is a reliable source.
Careful with the Skeptic's Annotated. I would view it as a starting place for your own research rather than a reliable source unto itself. You may find that you agree with the commentator's conclusions or you might not.

As the source points out though, there are entries that argue both sides. For example the passage you quoted:
Quote:
Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
vs.
Quote:
Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
While not a glowing discourse on equal rights, it does show that the thinking is not 100% one way or the other.

The bible has similar problems yet christianity has (mostly) been able to successfully abandon the idea that women are subservient to men, so it's not as though there isn't any reason to hope.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:57 PM   #23
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I disagree, several Christian churches preaches gender equality. If they can modernize, I dont see why Islam can't, or would you say they are not christian?
The level of female oppression in the new testament is VASTLY different than that of the Islamic holy texts. There is nothing on par with Sharia Law that ever existed in Christianity. In short, modernizing Christianity is a lot simpler than modernizing Islam. Particularly because Christianity has been modernized slowly over time, and Islam has stayed much the same since it's foundation, if not gotten worse in the last 500.


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Old 05-30-2008, 09:05 PM   #24
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It certainly looks on first blush that these verses show gender discrimination. However, I'd be hesitant to cherry pick a few verses out of the Koran without a. looking at them in the original Arabic and b. reading them in context with the rest of the text.


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Old 05-30-2008, 09:10 PM   #25
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You may be right, and, if you are, that sadly isn't going to change anything in the muslim world unless if soemone were to point that out, if that is true. Even if that were the truth, which it very well may be, how many people are going to want to change to that? I bet a lot of men in the muslim world wouldn't be very happy to find out if Allah actually told them to treat women equally, and they'd have the arrogance to ignore it, Radical muslims would probably threaten to kill whoever came up with the idea in the first place. I wonder, just how many people in Islam, particularly women, say they beleive in Allah, out of fear of punishment if they stood up for themselves?


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Old 05-30-2008, 09:19 PM   #26
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However, I'd be hesitant to cherry pick a few verses out of the Koran without a. looking at them in the original Arabic
And you learned Koine Greek and Hebrew so you could read the bible?

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and b. reading them in context with the rest of the text.
And what context, other than a proceeding paragraph which reads, "the following is an example of what we do NOT believe" would change what you read?

As far as I know, the qu'ran does not include a convoluted tradition of "old testament vs. new testament" to hide behind.

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Old 05-30-2008, 09:33 PM   #27
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It depends on the country. In some predominantly Muslim countries someone can be non-Muslim without much concern. In places like Sudan, professing anything other than Muslim faith could earn you ex-communication from family and community, physical abuse, or death. For women in Sudan it is particularly difficult. Men who've been kicked out of their family can move to another place and still make a living. A woman, however, will be without any way to support herself because few women can get a job or do anything on their own outside of the home.

It's taken about 100 years to break a lot of the gender barriers in the US, and we still have work to do. It won't happen overnight in the rest of the world, either.

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And you learned Koine Greek and Hebrew so you could read the Bible?
They're on my copious list of classes to take at a university if I were independently wealthy. I have a Greek and Hebrew key word study Bible. Two of the pastors at our church have learned Greek and Hebrew, so I can always ask them if there's a question that I can't answer.


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Old 06-01-2008, 10:26 PM   #28
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My question is, can the West see past the Orientalist images they have conjured up and accept that modernity is not necessarily the Western idea?
*cough* My question is, can the West see past the Orientalist images they have conjured up and accept that it is only Westerns who are debating about these Orientalist images and no Muslim has ever actually posted in this thread until now? *cough*

Do realize also that many, MANY Muslims see the Orientalists images as fact, and want to actually change society to fit the Western World. In other words, modernity is a western ideal. However, these 'many' aren't really that visible...or even really a whole lot. It's all goes down to geogpaphical conceration really, some Muslims are for it, other Muslims aren't. Meh.

As for Islamic Feminism, I may agree with you, but there are limits. Ban honor killing, yeah (honor killing is a part of their culture, not a part of Islam). Wear blue jeans, yeah (I don't see how anything can prohibit that). Take off the Hijab, sure, some men actually agree with that (their argument usually centers around the fact that the Hijab was a Sunnah, not Fard). Lead world governments? Well...*points to Bhutto*

But have the female lead Salah prayers? Uh...

Yes, you haven't mentioned that...but there are those who may advocate that. And Turkey actually allow for women to lead the Salah and to become Imams. But, erm, not many other Muslims agree with that. I do advocate for the peservation of rituals here. You can't start modifying these rituals here without any good reason, considering that the supposed origins of these rituals are divine (And don't you DARE start attacking the origins of these rituals, Achilles).

There. That's one lone Muslim voice about Islamic Feminism. You will be better off talking to actual Islamic Feminists though, I'm a male. I strongly urge you to talk to MUSLIMS. They're the ones having to follow this, you know.

EDIT: And, ahem, but I'm going to try to find out the various Islamic interpretion for these verses, and find new Quarnic verses too. It will take me a while.

EDIT2: In order to prove the existance of liberal Islam, Turkey's Diyanet. In fact, the offical Turkish government has banned the wearing of the Hijab in public universties and other places sinc ehte 1990's...however, that ban may be overturned by the new government. The problem is, that government is likely going to be outlawed by the Judicary System for violating the secular nature of Turkey by attempting to overturn the ban of Hijab.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here

Last edited by SilentScope001; 06-01-2008 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:31 PM   #29
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:03 PM   #30
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Forgive my "moving of the goal post" Achilles. When I was writing this topic I was struggling how to start my topic paper on this subject. ocus is hard when you got a lot of drama on your plate.

SS001: The Western notion of modernity is emphasis on the individual, materialistic and obsession with appearance and social status, which is seen as selfishness in the eyes of the Lebanese Shi'a women in al-Dahiyya. This is contradictory in part with the materialistic is in their eyes modernity is a two-pronged process that involves materialistic and spiritual progress.
Islamic feminism focuses more on the community hence why I brought up the 'pious modern' woman. This woman is the ideal woman who demonstrates knowledge of and practice authenticated Islam, dedication to self improvment, participation in the public life and the betterment of the community. They see the "westernized" person as the empty modern since the self improvement is just for themselves and not the community. As for the "traditional" woman, they see it as a person "who practices religion improperly or without true comprehension and who believes that her only role is a domestic one" (Deeb, 2006, p.30).
The role model that this particular group of women have is Sayyida Zaynab. She is particularly important during the commemortaion of Ashura. This is the martyrdom of Imam Husayn. Zaynab was Husayn's suster and she led the group taken in captivity on the tenth of Muharram. (Note: Ashura means ten). The reinterpretation of Zaynab's character in authenticated Islam have depicted her as a person with courage strength and resilience. She became the person who stood up in the face of the oppressor and told him that she was the victor.
Western women have their folk heroes that paved the way for the feminism that followed. A general example are the suffragettes of the 1920's. What differs, from the Islamic perspective, is that the extreme feminism, being equal as men is an irrational absolute equality. From what I gather, the extremist view doesn't make sense and why should it at least from their point of view? Perhaps it goes back to what I mentioned earlier in that it is a combination of the spiritual and materialistic. Contradictory to the materialistic being selfish but it is compensated with the fact that be dedicating to self-improvement, it is for the betterment of the community.

I realize I may sound like a broken record but that is how I viewed the subject .

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Old 06-02-2008, 03:00 PM   #31
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Forgive my "moving of the goal post" Achilles. When I was writing this topic I was struggling how to start my topic paper on this subject. ocus is hard when you got a lot of drama on your plate.
Apology accepted.

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The Western notion of modernity is emphasis on the individual, materialistic and obsession with appearance and social status, which is seen as selfishness in the eyes of the Lebanese Shi'a women in al-Dahiyya.
I think the introduction of Materialism is your doing.

Modernity is neutral with regards to obessions with appearance, social status (in the context that it seems is being used here), and selfishness.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:13 AM   #32
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Apology accepted.

I think the introduction of Materialism is your doing.

Modernity is neutral with regards to obessions with appearance, social status (in the context that it seems is being used here), and selfishness.
Read Lara Deeb An Enchanted Modern (2006). Most of what I spoke of modernity and materialistic is based upon her field work and what her interlocutors provided her. If you think about it though, we do place a great deal of emphasis on the self and the word mine, etc. Stop and think from the point that this is seen from a community who's own ideas and social values differ greatly from ours.

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Old 06-03-2008, 12:27 AM   #33
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SS001: [wall of text]
Thanks JediMaster12. I was going to write something similar to that, after listenting to one Muslim woman preacher said almost the exact same thing you said. I do need to find those quotes and the explanations soon.

But I still believe modernity is a 'Western' ideal, because it was invented in the halls of Europe, not because it is actually grand and all, and that Islamic Feminists are trying to hybridize it with traditional Islamic norms. Which isn't really a bad idea, but meh. I'm an ethical relativist at heart. Plus, I don't see it as "authenticated" at all (or at least regard it with some suspicion, just in case), but it's really my own personal beliefs, which many Muslims will disagree with. Otherwise, I would be committing a "true scotman" fallacy, and nobody wants logical fallacies.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:39 AM   #34
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Read Lara Deeb An Enchanted Modern (2006). Most of what I spoke of modernity and materialistic is based upon her field work and what her interlocutors provided her.
Then I guess I owe you an apology. It is her, not you, that is adding materialism to modernity.

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If you think about it though, we do place a great deal of emphasis on the self and the word mine, etc. Stop and think from the point that this is seen from a community who's own ideas and social values differ greatly from ours.
There are Western tendencies toward materialism and then there is modernity. I guess I would need to see a pretty persuasive argument to convince me that they have to be synonymous.
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:08 AM   #35
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SS001: The Western notion of modernity is emphasis on the individual, materialistic and obsession with appearance and social status, which is seen as selfishness in the eyes of the Lebanese Shi'a women in al-Dahiyya.
I want to address this statement because of it's inherent truth buried under the BS of not looking deep enough. I'll state the obvious of, what is "Western" is an over generalization of bits and pieces picked out from what is usually America. I'm not a spokesman for Europe, but it's really simple to see that "Western" while in general and often very similar between the US, Canada, and Europe(including Russia here too), is not a standard line.

Throughout history, "western" culture has indeed placed an emphasis on the self, hence the popular concept of a "self-made man". To equate this with selfishness is to assume that social status is gained by destroying others to get anywhere. It is also a very casual look at the "West" and it's history, personal achievements are not always for the benefit of the individual. Perhaps the guy who invented the pacemaker wanted a name in history, but at the same time, through his desire to make a name for himself, he did so through helping the community. While pure altruism is great, it is still a rare commodity in most of humanity, Western or otherwise.

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They see the "westernized" person as the empty modern since the self improvement is just for themselves and not the community.
I realize these aren't your statements, but I want to address them anyway.
I think it's the easy way out to equate personal success with throwing the community out the window. However, personal success, advancement and achievement can very easily translate into community success. If students strive hard in school and do well, even if it's for their own good, they and their school(the "community") are rewarded with more intelligent people who can work better jobs, bring better jobs into the community, help others in educating themselves, and so on.

People often complain about how "the west" examines other cultures from a western perspective, this above statement seems to do the opposite, judge western cultures and values based on if they existed in a Middle Eastern/Islamic setting(where they would be percieved as "bad").

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Western women have their folk heroes that paved the way for the feminism that followed. A general example are the suffragettes of the 1920's. What differs, from the Islamic perspective, is that the extreme feminism, being equal as men is an irrational absolute equality.
Personally, equality is irrational and stupid. Equity is a great idea though. No two people will ever be equal, regardless of legislation that says otherwise. People can however, be quite equitable, that is, they have the same chances, they can take the same risks, work the same jobs, get the pay they earn based on the quality of their work. That can make two people seem very similar, but they remain equitable, not equal.

There are a WIDE spectrum of people who advocate a variety of things for women, some believe in a "seperate" system(not seperate but equal, a system where men and women operate under two different systems).

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
But I still believe modernity is a 'Western' ideal, because it was invented in the halls of Europe, not because it is actually grand and all, and that Islamic Feminists are trying to hybridize it with traditional Islamic norms. Which isn't really a bad idea, but meh. I'm an ethical relativist at heart. Plus, I don't see it as "authenticated" at all (or at least regard it with some suspicion, just in case), but it's really my own personal beliefs, which many Muslims will disagree with. Otherwise, I would be committing a "true scotman" fallacy, and nobody wants logical fallacies.
I have to chuckle when people say that "modernity" is the invention of the West. The Islamic nation was far more advanced and "modern" than Europe for a long time. Perhaps current modernism is a western development, but the concept of equality, equity, fairness, rule of law, ect...that are the basic concepts that modernity have grown out of existed in Islamic societies in the past.


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Old 06-03-2008, 04:34 AM   #36
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However, personal success, advancement and achievement can very easily translate into community success.
I believe I did add on to this stating that for the pious modern, self improvement was a means of enabling her to better the community.

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Originally Posted by Web Rider
People often complain about how "the west" examines other cultures from a western perspective, this above statement seems to do the opposite, judge western cultures and values based on if they existed in a Middle Eastern/Islamic setting(where they would be percieved as "bad").
And don't we all do it? An anthropologist would tell you that it is ethnocentrism, the viewing and judgment of a culture by one's own standards. Yes the east is equally as bad as the west and tha is based upon the societal norms that are instilled in a culture.

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Originally Posted by Web Rider
Equity is a great idea though. No two people will ever be equal, regardless of legislation that says otherwise. People can however, be quite equitable, that is, they have the same chances, they can take the same risks, work the same jobs, get the pay they earn based on the quality of their work.
Sounds like the basics of capitalism to me. Everyone has a fair shot, etc.

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Plus, I don't see it as "authenticated" at all (or at least regard it with some suspicion, just in case)
Deeb uses "authenticated" due to the specific nature and type of word that was used to describe this reinterpretation of Islam. Her interlocuters used different terms but never specifically said "authenticated." That is Deeb's assessment.

Perhaps I should point out that Lara Deeb is Lebanese. Her family is Orthodox Christian which actual makes up part of the population of the neighborhood al-Dahiyya. That may be some bias but she is not a practicing Muslim so she is coming from an outsider view and she has had attempts made to convert her.

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Old 06-03-2008, 12:36 PM   #37
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Sounds like the basics of capitalism to me. Everyone has a fair shot, etc.
Yeah, it could be. But you don't have equity of ability in centrally planned or highly socialistic governments. People work the jobs they're told, if the government is very good at what it does, they may even work jobs they're good at. The high focus on community limits a person from taking any job they want because they risk the success of the community if they leave.

But yeah, capitalism, or at least, a free market, goes hand in hand with modern ideas about freedom and such. You can't really say you're free if you don't have the right to work where you would like.


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