A few notes and quotes from "Dreams of Trespass"

Mostly regarding islamic feminism and women’s rights in general.

From Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood By Fatima Mernissi

– Regarding those “women who [ally] themselves with men [and their msgynist philosophies] as being responsible for women’s suffering…these women are more dangerous then men…because physically they look just like [other women]…but they are really wolves posing as sheep”

– “[Fate] and happiness…how to escape the first and pursue the second…[women’s] solidarity, many [agree is] key to both”

-“[The] problem with [(most) arabic/islamic] women today [in the middle east and N.Africa] is that they are powerless…[and] powerlessness stems from ignorance, and a lack of education”.

– The main thing for the powerless is to have a dream…[true], a dream alone, without the bargaining power to go with it, does not transform the world or make the walls vanish, but it does help you keep ahold of dignity.”

Dignity is to have a dream, a strong one, which gives you a vision, a world
where you have a place, where whatever it is you have to contribute makes a
difference.

You are in a harem[restricted/controlled] when the world does not [think it needs] you.

You are in a harem when what you can contribute does not [seem to] make a difference.

You are in a harem when what you do [men think] is useless.

You are in a harem when the planet swirls around, with you buried up to your neck in scorn and neglect.

Only one person can change that situation and make the planet go around the other way, and that is you[emphasis mine].

If you stand up against scorn, and dream of a different world, the planet’s direction will be altered.

But what you need to avoid at all costs, is to let the scorn around you get inside.

When a woman starts thinking she is nothing, the little sparrows cry.

Who can defend [those sparrows] on the terrace, if no one has the vision of a world without slingshots?

Mothers should tell [their] little girls…about the importance of dreams [and hope]…[they] give a sense of direction…you need to have a vision. [Can] you distinguish amoung all the wishes, the cravings which beseiged you, and find the one on which you ought to focus, the important dream which [gives] you vision? [The] key dream [will] emerge and bloom within, and then, from the intense pleasure it [gives to] you, you [will] know that it [is a] genuine little treasure which [will] give you direction and light…[you’ll] be able to transform people [from these dreams of freedom].

– “[Gender seperation] creates an enormous gap in understanding. ‘Men do not understand women…and women do not understand men…[the] cosmic frontier indicates the line of power, because wherever threre is a frontier, there are two kinds of creatures walking on [this] earth, the powerful on one side and the powerless on the other” Where do you stand? “If you cant get out [are restrained, held back due to your sex] you are on the powerless side” Is that where you want to be? Do the “impossible”, stand up for yourself and for those who cannot stand up for themselves. It is your right. Make it happen!

Standing alone, no longer…

From Asra Nomani’s Standing Alone in Mecca:

An Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Bedroom
1. Women have an Islamic right to respectful and pleasurable sexual experience.
2. Women have an Islamic right to make independent decisions about their bodies, including the right to say no to sex.
3. Women have an Islamic right to make independent decisions about their partner, including the right to say no to a husband marrying a second wife.
4. Women have an Islamic right to make independent decisions about their choice of a partner.
5. Women have an Islamic right to make independent decisions about contraception and reproduction.
6. Women have an Islamic right to protection from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
7. Women have an Islamic right to sexual privacy.
8. Women have an Islamic right to exemption from criminalization or punishment for consensual adult sex.
9. Women have an Islamic right to exemption from gossip and slander.
10. Women have an Islamic right to sexual health care and sex education.

An Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Mosques
1. Women have an Islamic right to enter a mosque.
2. Women have an Islamic right to enter through the main door.
3. Women have an Islamic right to visual and auditory access to the musalla (main sanctuary).
4. Women have an Islamic right to pray in the musalla without being separated by a barrier, including in the front and in mixed-gender congregational lines.
5. Women have an Islamic right to address any and all members of the congregation.
6. Women have an Islamic right to hold leadership positions, including positions as prayer leaders, or imams, and as members of the board of directors and management committees.
7. Women have an Islamic right to be full participants in all congregational activities.
8. Women have an Islamic right to lead and participate in meetings, study sessions, and other community activities without being separated by a barrier.
9. Women have an Islamic right to be greeted and addressed cordially.
10. Women have an Islamic right to respectful treatment and exemption from gossip and slander.

Breast Cancer Detection Practices among Muslim Women in Southern California

From UmmaClinic.org
Muslim Breast Cancer Survey Results
Thursday, October 14, 2004

UMMA Community Clinic has been collaborating with UCLA, Charles Drew University and many different Muslim community organizations in Southern CA to submit a grant to the Susan B. Komen Foundation about Breast Cancer in the Muslim Community. The grant was submitted in August, and below is the abstract of the preliminary data collected during the process. Please stay tuned for more information about this exciting project; if you are interested in becoming involved please contact Lynn lynn@ummaclinic.org.
———————————-
Breast cancer is a serious global women¡¯s health problem. Early detection of breast cancer necessitates that women should practice monthly breast self-examination. In addition, they should have a regular clinical breast examination and mammography screening at suggested intervals. The purpose of the present study is to explore the behavior and attitude of Muslim women in Southern California towards early breast cancer detection practices. We conducted a cross-sectional study among a convenience sample of 226 Muslim women, age 30 years and above. Data were collected using a questionnaire in the primary language of the participating women. The questionnaire included questions on demography and practices of breast self-examination (BSE), clinical breast examination (CBE), and utilization of mammography. Among the 226 participating women, 82