Muslim women call for change
Last Updated: July 18. 2009 12:54PM UAE / July 18. 2009 8:54AM GMT
KUALA LUMPUR // More than 200 female Muslim scholars and community
leaders from around the world have gathered in the Malaysian capital
this weekend to launch an ambitious initiative to reinterpret Islamic
teachings, in the hope of improving the lot of Muslim women around the
They will establish a shura council as well as a fund to support local
initiatives and a website. Daisy Khan, one of the organisers, said the
conference was an "historic moment for Muslim women's activism and an
opportunity to build on the change President Obama highlighted in his
speech in Cairo.
"We're thrilled to build upon the collective experiences of Muslim
women from around the world and establish a true global support
network of Muslim women working for social change at the dawning of
this new political era."
The 15-member shura council will operate this year under an umbrella
campaign called Jihad Against Violence, which will tackle issues from
female circumcision to domestic violence and terrorism.
Yesterday's bombings at two Jakarta hotels provided added urgency to
its first official statement: "It is time for peace. We, the Muslim
women's shura council, stand for non-violent and peaceful means alone
to create change. In the wake of yesterday's tragic incidents in
Indonesia, we unconditionally denounce violence, regardless of who
perpetrates it and for whatever objectives. We urge all to join our
global Jihad Against Violence."