Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Monday, June 06, 2005

Leading From the Front ?

Much has been made of Amina Wadud leading a Friday prayer congregation. A clear majority of 'scholars' consider this to be against the teachings of Islam and using a traditional interpretation of Islam they are almost certainly correct.

At the same time, other Muslims, 'liberal' ones lets say have hailed her actions as progressive ones which should be applauded as an attempt to break the male hegemony over Islam.

I personally think that Ms Wadud's actions and in particular the response to them reveal how distorted Islam has become - moving away from general principles of equality and justice towards a petty understanding of what it means to be a Muslim.

Yet taking a pragmatic approach it is not clear to me that Ms Wadud serves the wider purpose of bringing about change within the way in which Islam is practiced. In fact I would suggest that doing something so provocative and controversial is only likely to turn away 'moderate' Muslims while strengthening the cause of traditionalists.

In order to bring about real progress, surely things perceived as media gimmicks need to be avoided.

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