The burqa existed long before the Taliban, worn by Pashtun women to mark “the symbolic separation of men’s and women’s domains.” Although it could be argued that this reinforces patriarchal ideas of women belonging at home, we must remember that many saw the burqa as a “liberating invention”.
Almost two years ago, I wrote a long twitter thread explaining what a Muslim marriage contract entails and why I think every young person looking to get married should get one. The reactions from many young Muslim men were quite appalling. Many of them interpreted this gesture as an attack on the male gender, some said it was a sign that couples don’t trust each other and many others said it was a means to sneak liberal ideologies into Islam.
Coming to terms with the truth that it will never be enough, no matter how much I do, renders me powerless. But now, it just makes me want to do my part even more while resting in the knowledge that other humans are holding up their ends of the sky.
Each time a non-Muslim says Islam is oppressive to women, I choose to channel my energy inwards, to observe the referenced situation, to see the unbiased truth/untruth of the matter. I refuse to counter with the clichés that are usually employed to patronize Muslim women. I choose to call for the much-needed change within the community.