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Articles on Muslim women

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World Hijab Day started in the U.S. and is one way women have asserted pride in wearing a headscarf. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Why some Muslim women feel empowered wearing hijab, a headscarf

Day 5 our Understanding Islam series. For some Muslim women, wearing a hijab can be a religious act but Muslim women’s clothing isn’t entirely about faith. It has been used – and is still used – as an assertion of identity.
The response to anti-Islamic law bills introduced in 2017 included counterprotests like this one in Seattle. Ted S. Warren/AP Photo

What is Sharia? Islamic law shows Muslims how to live, and can be a force for progress as well as tool of fundamentalists

Day 6 of our Understanding Islam series. Sharia constitutes a broad set of rules that guide Muslims on how to lead an ethical life. The way Sharia is interpreted depends on who is using it and why.
Afghan citizens at a March 2021 rally in Kabul to support peace talks between the Taliban and the government. Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Taliban ‘has not changed,’ say women facing subjugation in areas of Afghanistan under its extremist rule

Burqas and male chaperones for women were features of the Taliban’s extremist rule of Afghanistan in the 1990s. Those policies are now back in some districts controlled by these Islamic militants.
Zara Mohammed, the new secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, was recently questioned about Muslim female leadership on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Abdulmukith Ahmed/Muslim Council of Britain

Women in mosques: fixating on the number of female imams overlooks the progress that has been made

Complaints against BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour over an interview about female leadership in Islam have revealed how complex the issue is
Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before the midday prayer during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that ends May 27, 2020, and is celebrated this year amid pandemic. Stephen Maturen/AFP via Getty Images

Muslim women observe Ramadan under lockdown – and some say being stuck at home for the holiday is nothing new

A survey of Muslim women finds many are frustrated by having a Islamic holy month in quarantine. But others say a ‘remote Ramadan’ is nothing new because child care duties often keep them home anyway.
Women in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh neighborhood are protesting a new Indian citizenship law that they say will discriminate against Muslims, women – and, particularly, Muslim women. Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Indian women protest new citizenship laws, joining a global ‘fourth wave’ feminist movement

A round-the-clock strike of Muslim women in a working-class neighborhood of Delhi is India’s most enduring pocket of resistance to religious discrimination, inequality and gender violence.
In an effort to increase tourism, Saudi Arabia recently eased its strict dress code for foreign women, allowing them to go without the body-shrouding abaya robe still mandatory for Saudi women. FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

Women in Arab countries find themselves torn between opportunity and tradition

In countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, it’s now official policy that women should go to college and work outside the home. But cultural pressure to marry and have kids remains strong.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces at al-Omar oil field in Deir Al Zor, Syria, at the announcement that they had ended the Islamic State’s control of land in eastern Syria, March 23, 2019. Reuters/Rodi Said

Kurds targeted in Turkish attack include thousands of female fighters who battled Islamic State

Kurdish women have fought on the front lines of military battles since the 19th century. A scholar explains the origins of Kurdistan’s relative gender equality in a mostly conservative Muslim region.
Conservative lawmakers in dozens of U.S. states have raised fears that Islamic fundamentalists want to impose Sharia on Americans. Reuters/David Ryder

Don’t blame Sharia for Islamic extremism – blame colonialism

There is no inherent tension between Islam and democratic values. Like any use of religion in politics, the application of Sharia as law depends on who is using it – and why.

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