“Feminist Imam” Spreading the Word of Women’s Equality in Islam

by Intern Candice

Women aren’t the only ones who can be feminist. One such man, is proving that by spreading the word of equality for women that he says Islam, in fact, promotes.

Imam Yahya Hendi, imam is the title given to prayer leaders of mosques, has been traveling to both Muslim and non-Muslim countries since 1998 spreading his knowledge and take on Islam. For Hendi, it is a huge challenge to teach Afghan society that equality for women is actually promoted. Which isn’t surprising. Not just anyone can try to fix years and years of misinterpretations, which he believes stem from Muslims and non-Muslims not truly informing themselves on the teachings of the Quran. Maybe we should all take a page from his book; he’s not only spent decades educating himself on Islam, but also on Judaism and Christianity too.

The imam, who’s been given the nickname “feminist imam,” has met with presidents, villagers, and religious scholars of all faiths. During his current trip to Afghanistan he has held group sessions to explain that in Islam, women are equals in many areas such as theology, law, ethics, and morals. He states that women can and need to become part of the educational and social/political systems of Afghanistan. “There is nothing Islamic women cannot do,” he says.

He’s been greeted with some welcoming feedback from leaders who want to acknowledge the fact that women are equal, but are afraid that they will be punished by the Taliban. Hendi responds that “what makes a leader a leader is his or her ability to be courageous. To stand up or take a stand.”

Hendi also states about his feminist nickname, “I think it is a title I have to be proud of and it means a lot to me.”


Source: MSNBC|Photo: Flickr

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