PICS: UK women’s conference says Islam is path to shaping identity of 21st century Muslim woman
On Sunday 4th July, around 700 Muslim women from across the UK gathered at a youth conference in London organised by the women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain. Titled, ‘21st Century Muslimah’, the conference addressed the modern day dilemmas and problems that young Muslim women face in the West.
Speakers challenged the oft repeated allegations of Islam’s mistreatment of women, the accusations of extremism associated with calling for an Islamic Khilafah state, and claims that Islam is backward and irrelevant to 21st century life. They also addressed problems such as drug addiction, binge drinking, teenage relationships, anti-social behaviour, and a culture of disrespect escalating amongst youth in the West resulting from the self gratifying, individualistic, and materialistic environment nurtured by secular liberal values. The event ended with a resounding expression by attendees that it was resolute adherence to Islam that would enable Muslim youth in Britain to overcome such problems and equip them to become model members of society, contributing fully to society while simultaneously fulfilling their responsibility to Muslims globally.
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain commented, “At a time when it appears to be a growing trend to accuse Islamic beliefs of being barbaric, oppressive, backward, and intolerant, young Muslim women have nothing to apologise for Islam. Why should they be ashamed of their dress code that promotes a culture of modesty and respect for the woman, liberating her from the shallow and oppressive expectations of the Western beauty myth? Why should she be ashamed of the position of women in Islam that raises her from the objectification and dehumanization of sexualisation in an exploitative capitalist society to a status where her dignity is considered priceless and where she is valued for her thinking and contribution to society rather than her waist size? Why should she be ashamed of the strict Islamic social laws that regulate the relationships between men and women and protect society from the epidemic of human misery of broken relationships, broken families, and young single mothers afflicting secular liberal societies? And why should she be ashamed about a religion that directs humanity away from the destructive individualistic, self gratifying culture of drugs, binge drinking, and promiscuity nurtured by liberal values to a sense of accountability for one’s actions, a mindset of care, concern and responsibility to one’s society, and respect for one’s parents and elders?”
“The identity of the ‘21st Century Muslimah’ is of a woman empowered by Islam, confident in her beliefs, a woman who refuses to be portrayed as a victim of her religion or for others to speak on her behalf. She is a woman ready to rise to the challenge of fighting the lies and propaganda against her dress, her values, and her Islamic faith. A woman unwilling to succumb to fear tactics employed to compromise her beliefs, to silence her voice against oppressive Western foreign policy, and to turn her back on the plight of Muslims globally. She is a woman intolerant toward injustice and unreservedly unapologetic about her passionate desire for the establishment of the Khilafah state – a leadership that will remove autocratic incompetent regimes, return authority back to the people, secure their rights, fight poverty, and liberate occupied Muslim lands. A state that will herald a positive and progressive future for the Muslim world – one that she can be proud of.”