Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

Location: London, United Kingdom

Friday, September 02, 2005

Shazia Mirza and Sania Mirza

Very insightful piece at building upon Johann Hari's article in the Independent which featured the work of talented uslim comedienne Shazia Mirza.

It very rightly says that in order for Muslims and especially young Muslim women to be drawn away from fundamentalism, anti-Muslim prejudice must be fought in Western society not only to free people from discrimination, but also so that it can not be used as propoganda to encourage women to rebel against the society in which they live in and adopt a very strict form of Islam which does nothing to help integration.

A key quote - 'But by forcing Muslim girls to choose between their rights as Muslims and their rights as women, we will create more fanatics. It is inevitable'.

Of course even if anti-Muslim sentiment is greatly reduced in society there will still be very strict Muslims who will see only negatives in Western society. However, there comes a point where people who are growing up in a positive environment will come to disregard the anti-sentiment out of hand. If on the other hand they continue to encounter racism and abuse then they may well turn to fundamentalism and in extreme cases violence.

On a similar theme, there is an interesting post at the Gene Expression blog on the role previously played by pilgrims returning from Mecca after completing the Hajj as 'meme fountains'. This might be stretching it, but it seems that there might be an analogy with the previous point with women who are stuck at home and whose main contact with the outside world is through the frustrations of her husbands and relatives. Of course these are often then reinforced through her own limited experiences of the world around her and passed on to the children.

Before i begin to ramble if I haven't started to do so already, just a quick congratulations to Sania Mirza for reaching the fourth round of the U.S Open. She's probably going to be hammered by Sharapova, but that won't take away from the progress that she's made.


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