London, UK, March 16th 2011 – Around 1000 women from across the UK are to attend a conference in Central London on Sunday 20th March organised by the women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain regarding the issue of women and Islam. The event is the culmination of a three month nationwide campaign that sought to challenge popular Western myths regarding Islam’s oppression of women as well as the prevalent belief that women’s liberation can only be achieved through Western secular liberalism. The day will include an in depth presentation of what an Islamic system implemented by the Khilafah state would mean for the position and rights of women in the Muslim world.
Commenting on the campaign, Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir said, “For too long a false narrative has been sold to the Western public that Islam is the enemy of women’s rights and the modern, educated woman. This is despite thousands of educated women converting to Islam each year in the West and significant majorities of women in the Muslim world expressing their desire to live under the Islamic Shariah laws. This is a narrative that is not only well past its sell-by date but also unscrupulously propagated by Western governments to justify colonial wars in the Muslim world as with Afghanistan as well as continued interference in the politics of Muslim countries to secure economic interests. This orientalist, colonial myth needs to be put to rest.”
“Western secular liberalism has been presented as the undeniable path to achieving the respect and liberation of women in spite of the fact that after 200 years of struggle for women’s rights and innumerable equality laws, Western liberal societies continue to grapple with epidemic levels of abuse, sexual harassment, violence, sexual exploitation and discrimination against women. The educational, economic, and political progress of women within such states has been undermined both by their objectification, licensed by liberal values that has degraded their status and by liberal freedoms that have promoted the mindset amongst many men that they are free to treat women as their desires dictate. It is therefore unacceptable that this system be exported as a successful model of women’s liberation for the Muslim world to embrace. There needs to be genuine consideration of an alternative approach to securing the dignity and rights of women, and it is Islam that offers this.”
“As political change sweeps across Tunisia, Egypt, and other countries in the Muslim world, many are debating what type of system would herald a better future for women in the region. The Islamic Khilafah system offers a credible alternative to both the injustices meted out against women by non-Islamic autocratic regimes as well as the exploitation of women under Western secular liberalism. It not only guarantees full rights for women in education, economics, judiciary and politics but also implements a comprehensive social system that prohibits exploitation of the woman’s body and that obliges men to always treat women with respect, with serious judicial repercussions for any form of violence or abuse.”
“This conference will seek to separate fact from fiction, the truth from the lies. As Muslim women, we recognise that it is Islam that empowers us, protects us, and instills us with confidence so we refuse to accept to be portrayed as victims of our religion, oppressed and subjugated. This event will aim to construct a modern day narrative on women’s liberation, one where Islam offers credible solutions to the true oppression, injustices, and abuses that women face globally.”