Being both Muslim and progressive is not that weird

Being a young Malaysian-Muslim feminist SOGIE ally can be quite the experience, both online and offline! Muslims find me too feminist. Feminists find me too Muslim.

How can my perspective be considered legitimate & informed as any other, when they are often overshadowed by the debate of my existence? In everyday conversation there are first persistent stereotypes to unpack, stereotypes that cause bigotry and damage lives. The events of the past few days never take me far from reflecting on this struggle.

I speak as a Muslim when I say all forms of inequality is unIslamic. Being a Muslim should not endanger lives. Being a Muslim should not hinder reaching a consensus on how appropriate it is to commit to equality. Power inequality too is unIslamic, and is just one example of a concern that overshadows the voices speaking out against it. No one should speak for me just because we share a religion. When they do, I wrangle the consequences of their entitlement every day.

It is a concern to me that the infallibility of religion extends to the interpretation of a few. What a fallacy! If anyone believes their religion should stand the test of time, then they should move forward when time calls for it. To be enduring is to be progressive.

First published here in the UN Women daily newsletter of Beijing+20 Review in Asia Pacific: 

Originally published on UN Women Asia Pacific. I was fortunate enough to be invited to Bangkok with Juana and Syar, who wrote their own UN Women blog entries. Read Syar’s here and read Juana’s here


Leave a Reply