Thursday, July 22, 2010

female imams blaze trail among china's muslims

NPR: Female Imams Blaze Trail Amid China's Muslims by Louisa Lim

I wish that I (and the Muslim community generally) had been more aware of this history back when Amina Wadud was making waves with the whole issue of female-led prayers. Basically, they have had female imams for about 100 years in China (along with female mosques which developed organically from Quranic schools for girls). It might be interesting to compare Amina Wadud's approach to female empowerment with what the Chinese Muslims have done. Wadud's move was arguably more radical and uncompromising but also marginalized as non-orthodox. The Chinese Muslim community, on the other hand, seems to have found spaces within fairly traditional parameters for female leadership in the community.

see also:
quran and woman

1 comment:

svend said...

Salaams & Ramadan mubarak
I'm somewhat agnostic on the issue of female imams. I'm not convineced that this particular gendered role is inherently misogynistic, but I'm very passionate about the critical importance of female khateebs; the former perform a function, whereas the latter lead the community.

I think Amina Wadud's treatment and demonization in the broader community were scandalously ignorant and unfair. Contrary to the smears, she's a serious scholar, and from I've seen she raises legitimate issues in a scholarly manner.