“Sisters in Islam and the Struggle for Women’s Rights” by Zainah Anwar, from On Shifting Ground: Muslim Women in the Global Era

It was interesting to me that the woman who helped to found sisters in Islam originally did not see domestic violence as necessarily “wrong” – rather, as a fact of life; as something deserved. Is there a human instinct for what is wrong or right, or do these women simply always feel shame – do they think they are doing something wrong? If they were not educated, would they have been able to claim her humanity? Or is there humanity and agency in being submissive and ashamed? I do not believe there is – the men abuse, physically sexually, and emotionally, the women in their lives – this is not a “fact of life.” It is simply not. And it is not what the religion teaches either. 

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