Department of English, Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. 221010
Islam is the world’s second largest religion having 1.3 billion followers. Despite the fact that Qurán grants equal rights to all Muslims regardless of their gender, Muslim women are oppressed throughout the world. The statistical data shows that the women in Muslim societies are far behind the average national levels in education, employment and other fields. Domestic violence is prevalent in Muslim households. Due to these data, as well as the representation of Muslim women in popular culture and media as beings oppressed by their male counterparts, majority of the people believe that Islam itself is a misogynist religion, and it allows gender violence. Islamic feminism emerged to struggle for the rights which are due to Muslim women; it also tries to clarify the popular misconception that Islam is a misogynist religion by retrieving liberating theology from the Qurán itself. They argue that Islam and Muslims practices should not be looked at as being synonyms. Muslims do follow certain customs which are anti-Islamic. This is done because the Qurán has been misinterpreted by the patriarchal authorities.