Islamic Feminism: Current Perspectives by Anitta Kynsilehto (ed.)

By Anitta Kynsilehto (ed.)

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4 In the beginning of the 1990’s they founded the Women’s library and Information Center and opened a private shelter for women. 5 However, the new feminists were not the only group of women that became visibly active in the 1980’s. In the mid-1980’s there was a growing number of university students and teachers who covered themselves with big scarfs and long overcoats as a sign of their affiliation to Islam. As a reaction to this, the Council of Higher Education banned the wearing of the Islamic headscarf on university premises and this in turn led to the so-called türban or veiling movement in which Islamic women protested against this dress code.

The centrality of tribal kin-based alliances in the constitution of influential powerful groups determined Moroccan politics and illustrates the way the legal system underwrites their interests. The codification of the 1957 Family Code was, then, largely shaped by the requirements of national homogeneity that was determined in terms of the tribes-monarchy alliances and so the law came to serve a particular perspective of justice, that of the rural extended patriarchal family. ” One of the main urban voices at that time was Allal Al-Fassi, a contemporary Moroccan religious scholar who advocated the rights of the Muslim Moroccan woman, arguing for the abolition of polygamy in his writings and supporting it during the codification of the 1957 Family Code.

The new feminists are said to make the right diagnosis of the situation of Turkish women, but the medicine they offer for it is the wrong one. In their fight against women’s oppression, new feminists are seen to be at war with men. This, however, is contrary to the teaching of Islam, where men and women should be friends and helpmates to each other. The Islamic women therefore promote harmony between women and men, in similar fashion to Kemalist women, and reject the conflictive model of gender relations espoused by the new feminists.

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