A growing group of Muslim women from 47 countries recently came together to discuss the imperative of female equality in Muslim society. A Feb. 16 article by the New York Times recounts how in Indonesia and throughout the Middle East, women are using the Koran as a tool of progress, not suppression.
Islam, they argue, is “trapped in a battle between two visions,” one that is absolute in its historical grounding and one that looks to the future in its inclination towards democratic liberal societies. Female Muslim intellectuals are using this forward-thinking approach in their defense of the Koran as a text of justice and equality. The grass-roots movement has taken a foothold in Morocco and will soon spread, they hope, throughout the Muslim world. “It’s a movement whose time has come,” one organizer said.