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An investigation and analysis of the role of women in contemporary Islam in the context of a multicultural society

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Introduction

An investigation and analysis of the role of women in contemporary Islam in the context of a multicultural society When a person thinks of a Muslim woman immediately the image that forms in your mind is one of veils, tent like garb and the word 'oppression' and 'suppression' comes to mind. This image of being suppressed and oppressed, being without any rights or social standing is a Western stereotypical view of Muslim women. To understand and appreciate the true essence of Islam it is important to carefully investigate the roles of both Muslim women and men in Islam and the religious authority for these. It is most important to consider what a Muslim woman's rights and obligations are, and how they are lived out in daily life. Alongside this it is relevant to find out how a Muslim woman may be influenced by her family's culture and the traditions and cultures of other peoples in this society. In a multicultural society such as Britain there are many people of different religious backgrounds. Britain today can be seen as a multicultural society or even a secular society, which is not governed by religious laws and certainly not by Shari'ah. Muslims living in Britain today come into day-to-day contact with many ideas, beliefs and practices which are not part of Islam. ...read more.

Middle

The benefits for Muslims in a multicultural society like Britain is the access to education, there is a greater chance of Muslims obtaining education in this country compared to their 'slim to none' chances back in their native countries. There is an opportunity to be involved in public life occupation wise. As the government in Britain is not ruled by a specific religion, people are allowed to practice their religion openly, whereas in Turkey a woman is not permitted to wear a headscarf to college, school, or university. Also in communist countries people did not have the right to proclaim what they believed in. Many Muslims in Great Britain are often asked whether they are British or Muslim first. There is a difference of opinion to this answer between the older and younger generations. The younger people tend to say they are British and Muslim whereas the older generation hesitate and reply they are Muslim first. What we should ask ourselves is how come it is only the Muslims this question is posed to? Why not the Christians or the Jews? These kinds of questions are asked for example during the Gulf War or since the incident on September 11th. The Muslims are expected to be on the defensive, as if there is going to be a conflict with being a Muslim and British at the same time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to the education in this country it is estimated that after a couple of generations language barriers would be broken down, that more Westernized dress would be adapted to in a way that seems Islamic and women would take up more prominent roles in the Islamic and in wider communities. This could be an advantage as well as a disadvantage, there could be spokeswomen who is highly educated in the fields of politics and other high profile careers, this way they could be interviewed by the media and as a result the general Non-Muslim public would be more aware of Islamic teachings and see it in a more acceptable and not so negative light. This is the possible future for Muslim women in this multicultural society. However, my personal opinion as a Muslim living in British society would be that it is important to remember that though these women may become more prominent in secular society as Islam's "leading women", they would be placed under a negative light from fellow Muslims. These women in partaking such active roles would be leaving their idealistic obligatory role as according to Islam, also to get to this 'possible future' would mean many rules would have to be broken, twisted or forgotten completely. According to Islam a woman's true worth would be greatly acknowledged if her duty at home first is complete. ...read more.

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