• Thursday, July 31, 2014
  • A program of IPS Inter Press Service supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund

    Muslim Women Leaders: at the Frontlines of Change

    New York City – The American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) announced the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality (WISE)  Conference to be held October 14-17, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.  “Soon the world will witness how Muslim women activists, scholars, politicians jurists and poets have assumed leadership roles largely perceived to be restricted to Muslim men, ” says Daisy Khan, Executive Director of ASMA and the organizer of this conference.

    Over one hundred and seventy five Muslim women leaders of diverse backgrounds and religious ideologies from 45 countries, from Senegal to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia to Kazakhstan, will participate in Muslim Women Leaders: At the Frontlines of Change, a global conference of WISE, a program of ASMA.

    This timely convening will highlight how Muslim women are shattering stereotypes by playing significant roles as key leaders in their societies. “Our goal is to legitimize a coherent global movement, highlighting the ground breaking advancements of powerful Muslim women who are sharing and  building on their individual experiences,” adds Khan.

    Top leaders attending the conference include Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General Dr. Nafis Sadik; Palestine’s first female judge, Judge Kholoud Al Faqeeh appointed to the Shariah Court; Esin Celebi, the descendant of the 13th century poet Rumi; Notable female Spiritual Sheikha’s Aisha Rafea (Egypt) and Seemi Ghazi (Canada); Pakistan’s Shahina Akbar a lawyer who recently was elected as a Member of Parliament.

    The conference will focus on the key roles Muslim women play in Politics, Civics & Business and Spirituality, featuring provocative debates and successful case studies including from Jamila Afghani, an educator from Afghanistan, who will showcase a unique approach to training Imams on women’s rights in Kabul and Jalalabad.

    A special session will be dedicated to women who ignited the Arab Spring. Political activists Asma Mahfouz (Egypt) will recap how she called upon Egyptians to join her on January 25th in Tahrir Square; and Nimah Nawwab (Saudi Arabia) will address voting rights for Saudi women as granted by King Abdullah and also highlight obstacles faced by Saudi Women; and Afra Jalabi a Syrian Canadian will discuss how her compatriots are maintaining a non-violent movement in the context of state brutality.

    Finally, the conference will announce the vision for the first Muftiyyah Doctoral program which will educate contemporary Muslim women to become full-fledged jurists capable of issuing fatwas. Accompanying this, the Muslim Women’s Shura Council, a global body of scholars and activists will present a religious justification for Muslim women’s leaderships in all spheres of society.

    A special Turkish panel with Cemalnur Sargut a prominent Turkish Spiritual leader joined by  Nazli Kayahan, Dilek Guldutuna and Nese Tas titled  “A Woman’s Place in Islam – Views from Turkish Women”  will provide a unique lens  into Turkish women’s interaction with Islam.

    Joining their sisters in faith will be an interfaith panel of Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn, Reverand Gwynne Guibord and Dr. Rita Sherma who will share their experiences as women spiritual leaders in Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism.

    Contact Information :
    Daisy Khan daisy@asmasociety.org
    Dominic Bocci: Dominic@asmasociety.org Ph: 212 870 2552 (ASMA)
    Caitlyn Bolton: cb@cordobainitiative.org Ph: 212 870 2552 (Cordoba Initiative)

    Website: www.asmasociety.orgwww.wisemuslimwomen.org

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