By Staff writer
"You’re either for women’s rights and against Islam, or for Islam and against women’s rights"
Western colonisation have skewed Islamic laws and societal behaviours in Muslim countries, according to a US-based Islamic scholar.
Speaking at the Northwestern University, Qatar, on Sunday, Islamic and US constitutional law expert Asifa Quraishi-Landes said years of Western colonisation have negatively affected the global perception of Islam, and created false divides between those who support Westernised liberation, and those grounded in Islamic law.
“There seems to be a West vs. Islam polarity,” she said.
“So, you’re either for women’s rights and against Islam, or for Islam and against women’s rights. And there is very little room in between. That’s how the international discourse has been set up, and how most people, including Muslim women, talk about this.”
Northwestern University, Qatar, Professor Zachary Wright, said that women in Muslim societies would benefit from more education in Islamic law.
“Muslim societies think of Sharia as ultimate justice, not the reductionist image of ‘hudud’ [Sharia] punishments so popular in the Western media. Muslim women have effectively asserted their rights through an appeal to Sharia-based norms specifying female rights,” he added.
Quraishi-Landes is a professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is recognised for her work in comparative legal theory, and women in Islamic law.
She noted a lack of awareness about the origins of Islamic law have allowed the West to manipulate the religion.
“Women in Muslim societies would benefit from more education in Islamic law. This is a proposition that many Western feminists find unpalatable,” she added.
If she is serious about the claim that Western colonisation has skewed Islamic laws, she should offer proof and examples.