At Common Grounds News Service, Amal Mohammed Al-Malki writes about the distinction many Islamic feminists make between Islam and Muslims:

While adopting the Qur’an at its core, Islamic feminism challenges two main norms: the patriarchal cultural customs mistaken for Islamic teaching and patriarchal interpretations of certain Qur’anic verses.

The project of disentangling what is true Islamic teaching from cultural traditions historically practiced in a Muslim territory is an ongoing project for Muslim feminists.

Arifa Mazhar, the manager of gender issues for the Pakistan-based Sungi Development Foundation, whose goal is to effect policy and institutional changes relating to development by mobilising marginalised local communities, declared at the International Congress on Islamic Feminism in Barcelona in 2008: “Instead of debating Islam, we should be debating culture and its impact….There are a lot of social taboos and tribal traditions that oppress women, and they have little to do with Islam.”

Read the full article here.