- 12:01 pm - Tue, Oct 30, 2012
- 57 notes
The always-worth-reading Asma Afsaruddin reminds us that Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old women’s education activist who is currently recuperating from an assassination attempt by the Taliban, is only the latest in a distinguished heritage of Muslim women shaking things up, going back to the 7th century:
As historical records inform us, women in particular excelled in religious scholarship through the late Mamluk period, the 14th and 15th centuries of the Common Era. This should not be surprising since women’s right to education is firmly guaranteed by Islam. A well-known saying of the Prophet Muhammad asserts that knowledge is equally obligatory for males and females – which has allowed for considerable Muslim receptivity toward providing education for girls and women alongside their male counterparts through the centuries. As a result, women scholars dot the Islamic intellectual landscape.
The “oppressed” narrative doesn’t leave room for scholars like these, nor for activists like Malala. For more pushback against stereotypes of Muslim women, see one of our favorite tumblrs, Oppressed Brown Girls Doing Things.