By: Qudsiya Contractor
As a Dawoodi Bohra woman, I am proud of Sahiyo and the work it is doing.
Because I am tired of people assuming that we as Muslim women are hapless victims that need to be rescued from their Islamic cultures steeped in orthodoxy and patriarchal traditions. Or that we are consenting participants in our own oppression and so self absorbed that we cannot look beyond our homes, families and ourselves.
It is because of Sahiyo that I can feel proud of my roots again and be aware that there are responsibilities that come with the privilege that we have gained as a community in society. And that change begins with oneself.
I am proud that Sahiyo is reminding us to think and act for ourselves and uphold the true spirit of Islam – reason, justice, fairness and benevolence.
It is high time that Dawoodi Bohra women speak out fearlessly against patriarchal censorship within the community.
Whenever Muslim women raise their voices they are accused of playing into orientalist projects or the Hindu right.
When will you stop suspecting our motives and listen to what we have to say?
I think Sahiyo is reminding us to put our liberal education and economic freedoms to the right use. To speak up so that mindsets of our brothers and sisters change and our coming generations make true progress.
Let us not be known as women who quietly suffered from the practice of khafz and looked the other way when our sisters and daughters suffered too. Let us not be known as women who unquestioningly perpetuated the practice on our young girls. Rather let us be known as women who questioned a harmful practice, putting an end to it to begin a new chapter for themselves and the community for generations to come.