During the closing ceremony of World Conference on Women and Islamic Awakening that was held on Wednesday in Tehran's Milad Tower conference hall Dr Fariba Alasvand university professor and faculty member of Iran's Office of Women's Studies defined the Islamic Awakening movement as the revival of Islamic values for the purpose of reproducing great Islamic civilization.
"Narrating a civilization is a complicated process and its major force is the devout and macro-oriented human capital that is composed of individuals who care the realization of regional and global ideals within the network of an Islamic nation.
"Women comprising half of this big nation and family as the institution that regenerates the required capacity for achieving Islamic aspirations claim an explicit seat in the process of Islamic awakening. Among the main destinies of the Awakening movement is providing a reading of Islamic doctrine that neither is restricted by obsolete and abolished understanding nor entrapped by secular approaches" she said mentioning the conference's central messages.
Reminding of three challenges and a prospect of hope in the process she added that "the first challenge is the emergence of Islamic feminism in Muslim countries. Although the juxtaposition suggests an oxymoron since the basic feminist principles are justified by noneof Islamic nominations, the movement has penetrated into the Islamic thinking. Distinguishing this trend is a must for women who are active in the Islamic Awakening movement.
"Islamic feminism is a Feminist reading of Islam of which feminism makes the core and the attempt is made to bring the utmost adaption of Islam to feminism and meanwhile removing the main Islamic doctrines. Islamic feminism suggests a non-Islamic exotic understanding of Muslim women's condition that interests the Western approaches; it adopts the same motivations and ideals of western feminism under an Islamized veneer.
She mentioned the equality theory as the central distinction between Islamic view and feminism, adding "the equality expected in opportunities and outcomes implies the undermining of natural differences between genders. Feminism chases equality [in this sense] by providing optional feminisms for women to choose from and identify with. This is while the natural differences between genders are quite more explainable and basic than racial and geographic discriminations.
"Whereas inequality between genders in the areas that they are similar is not accepted, the equality in areas where the two are different ends in inequality itself.
"The inequality [of second type] is referred to as 'positive discrimination' or 'affirmative action' within the international legal documents (example is 11th article of CEDAW law) but many countries have voted the article –related to women's natural rights at work- in favor of capitalist interests."
The university professor rejected the peculiar defense of women's [so called rights] as justified by the idea of equality said "this this approach the needs of housekeeping women is ignored as the theory behind the idea is reshaping the social structures especially the economic aspect of working women exclusive of housekeeping women by and large.
"The idea of equality in developed countries has impaired non-working women by altering laws of divorce, alimony, and health care."
She informed that Islam is replete with equally defined ethics and religious laws for genders and added "except for minor section in ethics and some religious rules based on specified principles, the distinct rules for men and women are defined that observe the natural, biological, psychological and mental differences between them and the importance of family and its advantages as prior to the advantage of individual and the unique role of women within this framework."
The member of Iran's Office of Women's Studies notified the fact that women have managed to engage in social activities along with men but men have not been able to take a part in women-specific tasks said "the reason for this is not only that men did not want it but in addition to this that there are roles such as motherhood in which men are not capable of by essence."
The other difference between Islam and feminist in her opinion is "gender ideology". "The distinction between 'gender' and 'sex' is introduced by feminist for the purpose of reducing differences and suggesting their constructiveness. The very idea means to ignore gender identity and gender roles. The gender ideology disturbs the self-assumption of one's gender of men and women to which the post-modern crisis of 'self' adds.
"the ideology has not only deprived gender roles of its legitimacy and popularity, it has also alienated women by dissatisfaction from doing their gender-asigned roles. The result is women have voted to the excellence of male gender and its gender roles in her unconscious.
"Within feminist criticism what reproached for women is recommended to men: that is women's gender roles are recommended to men while male roles are blamed for biologically men. The crisis of gender roles has undermined the institution of family which is a dependent of its members' satisfaction with their described roles."
Alasvand named another modern ideology that pursue the change in Muslim women's lifestyle as another challenge: "although group has come to the issue in response to their observations of the obsolete readings of religiosity regarding women and family, it is observed that they are pursuing a maximum of change in religious rule on women. The method of interpreting Quran that they have initiated requires the separation of Quran words from the system of meaning and signification in the literary style so that to make the most free, therefore secular, inference from them. This is while they claim to reach the most inner meaning layers of Quran.
"The verses of the Holy Book that describes gender's differences are totally justified or abandoned by the group and the remaining verses describing the common characteristics as understood by a layman are adopted. It is observed that not Qoran, but their subjective interpretation attached to Qoran is going to rule."
According to Alasvand, the increasing presence of international organizations in the Islamic countries and the application of international laws upon the national is the third challenge. The international organizations working on women issues (UN Women Organization) has prepared thorough and detailed plans alongside the moving of Islamic awakening in order to confiscate (or westernalize) the movement.
"Budget allotment for women in Islamic countries while amid the economic austerity in Europe and the protests in US to the economic condition, holding conference and meetings dealing with the topic of women, violence and tradition while Muslim women are sacrificial of American and Israeli violence, operating law training workshops, networking, and bringing feminist NGOs to the women in Islamc countries, all mean nothing but to confiscate the revolutions.
"The developed world considers Islamic countries with rich cultural and civilization backgrounds as a prey and with the motif of 'local action/global change' and has targeted our civilizations by melting nations' religious identity. Muslim women have accompanied the region's movement aiming the revival of their lost identity."
Rejecting the mentality that women in Muslim countries are in a condition to be sduced by western culture and equality watchwords like what happened in the past century said "these women are witnessing the disappointing outcomes of the alluring women-centered mottos; economic independence beside loneliness and in the absence of a nice sense of dependence, overwhelming working hours beside the male structured capitalism, motherhood without marriage, male irresponsibility beside governing women's bodies, biological singleness until women's biological clock times out, … are part of the outcomes. The discriminated behavior of international organizations to women in the Islamic countries has convonced Muslim women to lose trust in them.
"The crawling effect of these organizations in changing women's minds in these countries is of the same importance. The conventions such as CEDAW or child rights convention –unfortunately recognized by Islamic countries- are now nonnegotiable truths."
Noting that legal attempts of hidden cultural nature aiming to change the culture of Islamic countries she said "in such documents any difference between genders is dealt with as discrimination, the psychic-behavioral differences of genders that come from biological differences are rejected as sexual clichés, motherhood is considered not as female role but a social designed role that requires no female capability according to the radical feminism.
"Prostitution is condemned as long as the individual woman condemns it and the soon a woman desires it, it becomes the force that gives her self reliance, individuality, and self-possession. The mingle education of boys and girls is the best method of learning by the system according to which the educational organ is obliged to equalize the methods, sources, and results of the education programs for both genders. Within the system the concern is not the sexual relations between boys and girls but the epidemics that threats infection. Therefore, the policies are designed towards immunizing overt sexual relations and not immunizing the institution of family."
Asking if Muslim women would allow their revolution to be confiscated by the organizations of this kind said "I remind you of a prospect that demands Muslim thinkers to expand study in the field of women and family and deliver a unique and clear view of Islam based on which women can enjoy the Islamic promise of rights and the peaceful and immune behavior that the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) guaranteed for them within the frame of family. Defining women's rights and liability convention based on common Islamic rules is one of the major steps toward the unity of the big nation of Islam with concentration on Islamic awakening movement that is hoped to become the general demand of Muslim women from the country members of Islamic Cooperation Commission.