By Amad

Emotions are on short-fuse these days. News travels at the speed of light, social media lights up in a heart-beat and any and all that we say, online or offline, faces scrutiny like never before. Not so long ago, the only way someone on one side of the globe would hear a publicly delivered speech in another part of the globe was is if it was recorded on a tape-recorder, and the recording transferred physically. By the time this exchange traversed, the story would be old and any responses would take far too long to effectively blossom into an outrage.

So it happened that Sh. Abu Eesa (popularly known as AE), an avid cricket fan, a British imam of Pakistani origin, and a teacher at Al-Maghrib institute caught social media's attention and was suddenly thrust into the spotlight of significant female and male disdain.  Those who know AE on a personal level (I don't but know enough who do) believe that AE could have a dual profession as a comedian. But unfortunately for AE, sarcasm, especially of the British ilk, doesn't always translate very well in writing. One statements can find all his posts/comments intact on his Facebook page. They mostly relate to Abu Eesa's disdain for International Women's day (IWD) and for “feminists” in general. Those who have been following AE also know that he doesn't back off so easily, even for his own good.

Let's get straight to the point.

First of all, what AE is not? He is not a misogynist. He is not a sexist [Editors Note: Sexist jokes are hostile and considered being sexist]. It is very difficult for a true misogynist to masquerade as someone else in real life. Yet, any numbers of his female students, including my own daughter, consider him to be their favorite teacher. And interestingly it is due to a mixture of two personality traits—being extremely funny and being extremely respectful and kind to female students. Had AE really been a woman-hater, it would be projected in his personality on the floor. Racists, bigots of any type, cannot project something they are not, consistently and for a long time.

Let's also please agree that AE jokes and sarcasm went on for far too long. At some point, he should have sized the backlash, simply apologize for any misunderstanding and shut up the Facebook shop. He didn't, so in some ways the response wasn't entirely surprising, although the high level where it reached was. One can argue that many of those who have hopped on this crusade against him would not fit the typical Al-Maghrib student profile, and that some even might have more sinister agendas, but at the same time there were many sensible, religious Muslim women and men including many Muslimmatters folks) who found the entire issue completely unpalatable. Particularly offensive to many was the comment about rape. I believe Abu Eesa 100% that he meant this to be sarcastic hyperbole to make a point entirely opposite of the literal meaning. I get it. And perhaps I would not have understood the offense until I read the tweets of a particular Imanbuilder who was supportive of AE, until she read this comment as it touched a nerve within her about her past physical abuse. AE has posted a clarification on this issue and also includes a picture of the entire conversation, which provides more context for what he said. [Update: Sr. Maria @ImanBuilder spoke directly to AE and she appears to be satisfied with the apology and moving on- the tweet can be seen on my TL]

image-1   As I have watched this episode unfold rapidly, I have found myself torn on many fronts. For one, I am no fan of “feminism”, especially the Muslim type. I appreciate the nuanced history of the terminology, I understand that it has evolved over the years, I get all that. But I also believe, for good reason, that there is more significant danger lurking underneath the flowery context provided. While many sincere believers carry this term with pride, without any evil motivations, I believe there (a) are many who don't share this sincere agenda, and (b) that the sincere ones are inadvertently helping the more sinister, less visible objective of a certain brand of feminism .These objectives include, for example, the desire to usurp Islamic authority in rights and roles of females in the society, such as women leading men in prayers.

My wife, Umm Reem, is on the forefront of discussing taboo subjects of all things having to do with women issues. She has been attacked personally for discussing such subjects. I take pride in standing by her and addressing the many issues that she talks about regarding the rights of Muslim women and when she openly discusses such sensitive subjects. She speaks for herself and for many in our communities who need to hear when cultural issues are conflated with Islam and used to oppress women. Having said that, there is still a role of positive traditions in all cultures that do not contradict Islamic principles. Sometimes in the spirit of misguided feminism, some of these traditions may be destroyed, leading to problems within spouses, and eventually those communities. I think (and hope) most Muslims will agree on basic objectives for Muslim women uplifting, especially in in repressive societies: no to domestic abuse, no to emotional abuse, no to disenfranchisement, yes to education, yes to more female voices, yes to more female scholarship. These are basic goals that Muslims have a long way to go on. It is like we are pursuing Mount Everest even though we haven't yet climbed a small hill.

And this is where we get all wound up. Instead of focusing on principles and objectives, we get wound up on terminology (even me). There are words and terms that evoke emotions, some negative, some positive. If indeed the term feminism evokes negativity in some quarters of the Muslim population, why do we need to shove it down everyone's throats? Wouldn't we better off by adopting more neutral terms that build positive energy and collaboration? Is our goal to reach an acceptance of the term “feminism” or is our goal to achieve the common basic objectives? I truly hope that we find a way to identify more positive terminology that all can agree and build-up on to achieve objectives that we all agree upon.

I digress again.

Shaykh Waleed, Vice President of AlMaghrib, said, “I do not like jokes or sarcasm on issues that are sensitive”. I believe that this is at the heart of the learning from this episode. It is not sufficient that a person is sincerely not wishing harm in something they say, joking or serious. Rather, how the audience takes it is equally important. We do not have the right to be offensive, even if we don't mean to be offensive. And once we realize we have offended someone inadvertently, and it is obvious that the affected party is sincerely offended, then they have the right to receive an unconditional apology. Communication is complex, especially in this day and age of different cultures coming together on a common platform. How our statements are being received is becoming as important as what we are saying.

Abu Eesa messed up in not giving up.

He apologized. But his apology was wrapped up in too complex, too lengthy and too nuanced of a Facebook post. (Since then he has posted another apology). He is not anything like what his detractors who don't know him are making him out to be. And I hope he will simplify the apology, take a break from Facebook/twitter, and as they say in America, take a “chill-pill” (a British one will do). Time will heal and his true character of mercy and love, wrapped up in a great sense of humor, will radiate out eventually.

I also take this opportunity to do a mea culpa. I cannot count the multiple statements I have made, whereby I have put my proverbial foot in my mouth—where I was offensive, sharp, rash, harsh or plain stupid. Age has an amazing way of polishing character and calming emotion. I turned 40 last month and it is obvious to me now why the greatest, calmest, wisest man Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was granted prophet hood at 40. So if I offended you in any way, please accept my sincerest apologies. If you want me to personally apologize to you, leave a comment with a valid email and I will email you directly.

UPDATE: AE has offered another apology, which is much more clear-cut and I feel sufficiently unconditional. Furthermore, he has been discussing/apologizing personally to several sisters affected by it and I know this from first-hand information of those who he spoke to.
I also personally like this article by Sana Saeed. I don't have to agree with her on everything but at least she has used nuance and is balanced in criticism.

207 Responses

  1. sas

    this by far is the best commentative article i have read about the issue and i agree with you.

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    • Amad

      I am sure many did. But if you read my article carefully, the crux of the matter is that the effect is as important as the intention.

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  2. Fatima

    I don’t get why there is a need to extend the drama by writing this article.

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    • Mahmud

      :assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      I know, I was actually hoping there wasn’t going to be an article on MuslimMatters.org but there is. It’s possibly adding fuel to the dying embers and prolonging the issue.

      It’s obvious to anyone, reading what was written, that Abu Eesa was being sarcastic and not joking about rape victims.

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    • Amad

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, one could argue that this is extending the discussion.

      From my vantage, if you are not part of setting the narrative, then the narrative is set for you.

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      • Mahmud

        “From my vantage, if you are not part of setting the narrative, then the narrative is set for you.”

        Yeah, I think that might have been the other current running through my mind. It didn’t get much resistance but there wasn’t much charge to it in the first place…so it fizzled out.

        *Just did Physics homework

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  3. aisha

    He never once joked about rape. I don’t know where that came from.

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  4. muadhkhan

    Thank you for this well-written, balanced piece. While I wouldn’t have joked like Sh. AE did, I find it disgusting that he was made out to be some sort of misogynist, despite what he has always taught and the way he has worked.

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  5. Mohsina Bukhari

    Subhan’Allah at times like this we should look to calm the fitnah, not fuel it further. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Ar-Riqad said, “I heard Hudhayfah saying, `A person used to utter one word during the time of the Messenger of Allah and become a hypocrite on account of it. I now hear such words from one of you four times in the same sitting. Surely, you will enjoin good, forbid evil and encourage each other to do good or Allah will surround you all with torment, or make the wicked among you become your leaders. The righteous among you will then supplicate, but their supplication will not be accepted.”

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  6. Umiman

    On AE’s defense: he was joking and making sarcastic comments for “feminists” – although I felt equally offended and I am no feminist. Perhaps as a “Islamic scholar” he should learn Quran first and try to practice the teachings before preaching to others. Verses like,
    O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former.”

    [al-Hujuraat 49:11]

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    • Amad

      Appreciate the link– it further reinforces my point on who he is versus what some are making him out to be.

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    • Parwin Qasem

      I am very sad that Almaghrib defending Abu Eesa for how he is viewing women.

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    • Amad

      I have tried to explain it in the post. My problem is with the term, and its baggage, not with the common goals of viewing women as our twin-halves. thanks.

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  7. Toyeeb

    I am very sad that in this time of *attacks on scholars*something of this nature would be added. Shaykh Abu Eesa is someone I look up to, and my heart is heavy just thinking of the kind of emotional distress he must be going through right now.

    One thing I have learnt is never to make hard jokes in issues concerning sisters. It’s always a dangerous path.
    Well I believe this is a test for Abu Eesa from Allāh, and I pray he passes in flying colors; thereby getting Hajr.

    To all the sisters and brothers that were offended, just like Bro Ahmad did, I also join him in offering apologies. And I would like to remind you of what you will get if you pardon the Shaykh and refrain from spreading what is other than his intention:
    ….Let them pardon and overlook, don’t you love that Allāh should forgive you? And Allāh is the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. ~ Surah An Nur: 22.

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      • XX

        Mercy?????????????Charitable to one another? It’s access to justice you’ve denied womankind for too long.
        Your title – Humour overload indicates – why sadly some Muslim men just don’t get it.

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      • Jawariah Ahmed

        So, so true- mercy has been MIA, and the fire keeps on burning thanks to people who just do not want to let go. Keep adding fuel to the fire and you only burn yourself in the process- May Allah protect us from Fitnah. Too many of us get caught up in fitnah nowadays.

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    • Hyde

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • Hyde

        Ok Ok, let me embellish. His comments were bit off the wall. I know certainly I would have not made those comments. Yes those demented femi-nazis do exist well enough in the Muslim world. Women who are always waiting for some men, particularity a Muslim man, more so a prominent man to do something that they can take advantage off to clown the ummah. The women committing suicide in Iraq because they are tired of prostituting themselves do not make a twitter by storm, nor Palestine, nor Burma nor Central Africa, but the enemy always seems to be come from within.
        The particular lady on patheos who instigated this had legitimate concern and I do concur with her sentiments but her lashing out and ridiculing AE like a common thug (though some of his comments did harbor on thuggery) was down right disgusting again almost like his comments.

        Most leftist Muslims are waiting for an opportunity to throw the ummah under bus because of the likes of AE; instigate Reform start anew. Ironically quite similar to the extremist agenda.

        The entire Western academic discourse that these women and men go through is built on argumentative analysis of some status quo and this idea is painfully ubiquitous in their writings. That website itself has published some atrocious and downright pathetic essays by so called Muslim.

        But then again it is a simple Islamic principle not to open your mouth if you know people will be hurt by what you say (“the tounge”) so certainly some of AE’s caliber should have been a bit careful.

        IWD is useless because it inherently acknowledges women as minority and personally I find it pathetic BUT if there is some young girl who can go outside and say “I’m a girl and there is nothing wrong with that” and if she in her way support IWD, then I too support IWD for that reason.
        Women may come from a slanted rib, but that does that make them any less human.

        And lastly because of the filth of the social media and unsuitable agog degeneration that it purveys, I stay the heck away from it. I’m human and need not to exist on on any of these insane websites. and Never will. Best of luck to those who do.

        Lastly to my comment on top, because we live in a pathetic politically correct world we really should just ignore some stuff that we know we talk about it, our deen would be put on trial for. Best not to attract attraction then to attract the worst attention.

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      • XX

        Men rape men …………………….??????????????? My dear God a parallel universe of doublethink. I’m British acquaint yourselves with the meaning of sarcasm in a British context before you bandy it about.

        How typical and revealing this post. And dear sisters reading this wake up. If you brought daughters into this world wake up about ……………..

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  8. The Salafi Feminist

    The excuse that “it was just a joke in bad taste, let it go already b/c the guy has done so much for the community” is a tired and pathetic excuse. There are plenty of racists who work with with people of other races and do excellent work for them; but it NEVER excuses making inappropriate comments.

    From the beginning however, my issue wasn’t ‘just’ the jokes or his increasingly aggressive responses… it was that:

    1) There is an Islamic etiquette to humour, and a wisdom in how one speaks even while joking, and those etiquettes were completely disregarded from beginning to end. Neither the so-called ‘humour’ nor the follow up comments followed the Sunnah of Islamic humour, and it can’t be brushed off as “British humour” either – because it has nothing to do with the ‘type’ of humour (I appreciate sarcasm as much as any other citizen of a former British colony), and everything to do with an inappropriate attitude.

    2) AE’s comments (and this post) display a narrow understanding of feminism, and write off all orthodox, practicing women who do use the term, by implying that they’re just ignorant tools who are unaware of the consequences of their choice to use the term.

    3) Saying that “oh, my female students know me and don’t have a problem with me!” doesn’t invalidate the serious and legitimate concerns of women who were *not* his students (and who is to say that of the women who are his students, no one was offended? They may have just chosen to not say anything because of the vitriol being spewed against anyone who disagreed with him.).

    “Sometimes in the spirit of misguided feminism, some of these traditions may be destroyed, leading to problems within spouses, and eventually those communities.”

    This statement is extremely troubling, as it’s a common line to be trotted out by disgruntled men who are upset that their womenfolk aren’t doing exactly what they want… especially if the women aren’t actually transgressing any Islamic rights, the next-best excuse is “well you’re being too independent and feminist and that makes me upset because I’m your husband and you should do whatever I want without questioning and you daring to challenge my Islamic standing on any given issue is a sign of your disobedience and ungratefulness and it’s because of the way you think that is destroying our marriage/ family/ society!”

    And no, I’m not exaggerating. MANY women can attest to facing this kind of reaction *especially* in disputes where the man has no Islamic standing for his position, but will use ‘feminism’ as a kneejerk accusation to make the woman feel like she is being a less-than-ideal Muslimah.

    Also, people totally overlook the fact that women who do NOT identify as feminist to begin with are still labelled as feminist when they support certain (ISLAMIC) positions regarding women’s rights, or when they speak out on troubling misogynistic behaviours in our communities. It’s thrown out as a curse word whether one purposely identifies with it or not.
    I, personally, decided to take the label on for myself when it appeared that it was impossible for people to stop ‘accusing’ me of being a feminist to begin with. I use it purposely now, to stick it to those who seek to offend me by calling me by it.

    Finally, on the subject of apologies (whether from AE or others) – apologies mean nothing and are nothing but hollow words unless there is proof that the attitude which spurred the initial behaviour has changed. It’s easy to issue apologetic words, much less to change ingrained mentalities… which is why the latter is much more meaningful than the former.

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    • Mohsina Bukhari

      Please forgive my ignorance sister. I’m not debating here with you, just trying to understand where this is coming from. What is a Salafi feminist? Didn’t Islam give us all the rights 14 centuries ago? Why do we need to use the western label for ourselves? Honestly, I’m so turned off from the term “feminist” because these are the very people who mock us because we wear the hijab and want to “liberate” us from oppression and we are supporting their cause? Allahu Mustaan!

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      • The Salafi Feminist

        Here’s an explanation of what it means to me:

        http://thesalafifeminist.blogspot.com/p/on-being-salafi-feminist.html

        And the type of feminists who want to make Muslim women remove hijab are acting in contradiction to their stated beliefs, which is that all women should have the freedom to make their own choices regarding their beliefs, clothing, behaviour, etc.
        That type of extreme secular feminism is often referred to as xenophobic, white, middle-classed feminism, which is heavily critiqued and rejected by the vast majority of feminists from other socio-economic and racial backgrounds.

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      • Mohsina Bukhari

        JZK sister, very well written Masha’Allah. However, I still have a major issues with the term “feminist.” I experienced a lot of racism & outright disrespect from not only the type of feminist you described above, but also the so called “liberal” one. Growing up, I was the only hijab in school! I guess my point is, I’m profund to be a Muslim woman & that’s the only label I would want to be known as, Alhamdulillah. JZK again for the interesting discourse. :)

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      • The Salafi Feminist

        I for one have no issue with people choosing to not call themselves feminists; my issue is with those who make it sound like a swear word that automatically implies kufr (i.e. when people say “calling yourself feminist means that you don’t believe Islam is perfect)”.

        I was also the only hijabi in elementary school, and my mother and I were at one point the only niqabis in an entire city :) So I do understand where you’re coming from in that sense.

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      • Mohsina Bukhari

        Sorry to bug you again. However, don’t you think that’s the impression given when one uses that label? Especially given the history of feminism, what they stand for and Muslim women’s horrid experience of dealing with them.

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      • The Salafi Feminist

        The problem is that Muslims have an extremely narrow-minded, tunnel-vision idea of what something means – and deliberately so.
        For anyone who cares to learn, it takes about .5 seconds to realize that “feminism” isn’t a monolothic movement, but is made up of a HUGE group of people who differ from each other.

        Sadly, Muslims prefer to shut their ears and ignore what they are being told directly, and would rather keep telling Muslim women that they don’t know what they’re doing… rather than actually listen to what those women have to say and what they *actually* believe and are trying to work towards.

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    • Amad

      Thank you for your comments. You have referred to a lot of things I have not even stated, but I can understand that actual messages from all these articles/comments can become fuzzy.

      I disagree with your approach and the more you insist on terminology that evokes negativity, the more it will be resisted. If you want to work on women issues, build bridges with people who most need your help– in developing countries where patriarchy is rampant. Mention feminism and you will lose any chance of reaching out to the ones who need it most.

      I also feel at some point your desire to marry salafi and feminism will come head to head and you will have to make some choices. I hope and pray you make the right ones in all matters. Until then, wish you the best.

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      • The Salafi Feminist

        “I disagree with your approach and the more you insist on terminology that evokes negativity, the more it will be resisted. If you want to work on women issues, build bridges with people who most need your help– in developing countries where patriarchy is rampant. Mention feminism and you will lose any chance of reaching out to the ones who need it most.”

        In my experience, it’s been the opposite :)

        AlHamdulillah I’ve had the opportunity to get more involved in hands-on da’wah again (beyond the keyboard), and as a general rule, I don’t even mention feminism until the inevitable “you sound really feminist!” line comes flying at me (usually in a discussion related to women’s rights in Islam, or dealing with issues like DV, gender interaction, etc. – where I only ever discuss the Shar’i aspect of these matters).

        As I mentioned previously, the reason I’ve adopted the term at all is because it’s what I’ve been labelled with no matter what I choose to call myself… since I was a fresh-faced innocent young blogger known merely as AnonyMouse ;)

        But rather than acting as though I’m ashamed – well, why should I be ashamed? – I’ve chosen to take pride in it, because I know that *always*, my values stem from the Shari’ah of Islam and nothing else.

        There’s a further irony in “your desire to marry salafi and feminism will come head to head and you will have to make some choices.”
        For me, my choices have always and inshaAllah *will* always be made based upon Islam alone.

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      • Mohsina Bukhari

        I whole hardly agree with what the Brother mentioned above. Subhan’Allah, the second you use such terminology, you turn many practicing Muslimah away even though your main objective is valid and commendable.

        Muslim feminists, for instance, derive their mandate not from the Qur’an but from the conviction that Islam is a patriarchal and misogynist religion that “professes models of hierarchical relation-ships and sexual inequality and puts a sacred stamp [onto] female subservience.” These are the words of the noted Moroccan feminist, Fatima Mernissi and she’s certainly not alone in holding such views. Muslim feminists almost universally consider Islam oppressive because they view God “himself” as being misogynistic.

        أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

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    • Hyde

      So if I were to call myself “Practicing, bearded, five time praying Muslim and Proud Gay Rights Activist” what would I expect the reaction to be ? Would I be upset if some Muslims branded me a “kaffir” ? Quite obvious that I am using my religious platform to formulate my secular politics or using what I know or think I know to polish something that I know only will cause a reaction and a stir, hence I am fully cognizant of that…and naturally I expect reactions in which I can fully put my ego hat/hijab on and lecture about my point.

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  9. Mostafa

    You’re basically saying; “He can’t be a sexist, his wife is a woman!”

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    • Amad

      I am basically saying what I have written in my post :) Different people may read different things into it. What he is cannot be definitively grasped from a few facebook posts, just like I should not come to a conclusion about you based on your one line :)

      take care.

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      • Mostafa

        JazakAllah Khair for responding. Overall, I think the article got the job done. Also, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to everyone. That’s very nice of you.

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      • Mahmud

        Amad is an……..ADULT.

        Big time.

        Perhaps 40 is another special level of adulthood like 18 is….wallahu a’lam.

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  10. Basmah

    Amad Bhai, I would really appreciate it if someone from the Muslim Matters staff would take this opportunity to address what is the real reason why we’re all so overcome with emotion. Our community doesn’t address abuse in Muslim homes. This is the closest we’ve come to internationally recognizing that it occurs and that it has hurt likely each and every one of our families in some way, at some point in time. I personally could care less about which sheikh said what or what organization they’re from. We need to not be distracted by these unimportant details. Masha’Allah, Saba Baji has done a great job of opening the door and stepping into the dark corridor that leads down generations of Muslim women being beaten down by the very misogynists who were meant to love them. I ask that we now continue with her efforts with urgency and address these topics before they cool down and retreat into the far recesses of our minds where we visit them only in private, fearful and unsure. It’s time we address this as an Ummah. We’re here. We’re awake. We’re all over the internet ready to take action, insha’Allah.

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    • Amad

      Basmah, good to hear from you. MM has addressed issues like domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. for a long time… sometimes those topics don’t get the play they deserve until attached to some incident.

      Why don’t you write something– you are a capable writer mashallah, we all know that :)

      Give my salam to your family…

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  11. Isa

    I appreciate the balance that this article has brought to the conversation but I do not feel that it takes any of the burden of guilt off of Abu-Essa’s shoulders. Though joking, the jokes he made were wildly offensive (like when the actor who played Seinfeld’s “Cosmo Kramer” repeatedly used “Nigga” in one of his skits at a comedy club).

    I also don’t agree that we should find a word outside of feminism to use because some who make certain associations with the term find it offensive or unsettling. feminism comes from the word feminine, which at its Latin root means “one who suckles” or “to suckle”; making a direct reference to simply being a woman. “ism”, in this sense, is a suffix used to denote a behavior or a tendency. Thus feminism quite literally means “behaving like woman”, which is completely subjective. The leg up we have as Muslims in this regard is that we are (to my knowledge) the only doctrine that sets out how woman should behave.

    So kudos to the Muslim woman who embrace there feminism and aren’t afraid to show it!

    P.S.
    There are also entire psychological studies on embracing your feminine power (being loving, nurturing, patient, and etc.) as men and women. I’d highly recommend all who read this post to check them out.

    Peace and Blessings

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    • Amad

      Thanks Isa. I wasn’t trying to take burden off anyone’s shoulder :) He has his own wide shoulders to carry this and please see my last update at the bottom of the article– I believe that his last post is a big step forward.

      As for feminism, I came back to the same point– what’s the point? Goals are more important than terminology.

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      • Bro. Isa

        AsSalaamuAlaikum Brother Ahmad and thanks for the reply.

        MashAllah, Abu Essa’s response was well put and his resolve towards the end is very exemplary. Though this generalization of the word feminist I’m beginning to see is rather off putting for me. I also love to see how the Muslim community is making an immediate response to the media storm that issued before popular media could get there hands on it. Coming from a minority community that constantly has to bare the burden of the actions of any one of its members I know all to well the importance of this.

        In terms of the word feminist, from my perspective it is an affiliation attached to ones cultural identity and does not in any way conflict with Islam. And I strongly believe that minority (various American cultures, European, Some African and etc) cultural woes are often over simplified and brushed aside in our communities, as compared to majority (Arab, Indo-Pak, some African countries and etc) cultural woes, under the context of “Your Islam doesn’t need that”.

        This is similar to how some Muslims would say “No, ahki. your not African-American” or “Caucasian American” or “Latino-American. Your Muslim Habibi.” This completely denies a person an intricate part of their Identity.

        Furthermore, to your point of goals being more important than terminology should scholars then ban using the term “Jihad” in the West because of how A majority of people associate with it?

        Simply put, If an identity does not conflict with Islamic teachings and enhances ones love and adherence to their deen then why should we seek to refrain from it? I apologize for the lengthy response, I tend to use examples a lot when I speak :).

        Also, JazakAllahKhair for uploading this article.

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    • Mahmud B.

      In regards to the N-word being over-used these days. I see alot of young kids using the words these days, not knowing the hurt behind that word. And when you look at the root of that, its the fact that so many black people use the words themselves. Whether its in movies, black musicians using the word, black comedians etc

      Or just black people amongst themselves.

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  12. sadia

    The fact of the matter is that our religion says it is better to forgive….. if AE needs a lesson so do the offended parties.

    1. He has already APOLOGIZED ….. ball is in your court u forgive him or not
    2. He is a human being first and THEN a scholar he is bound to err… that is human nature! Allah says if insan did not make mistake he would have replaced us with another set who did and repented
    3. I did not like the jokes myself altho I usually get where he comjng from and its ok to complain….. but keep going on about it when he has apologized shows that there might be another agenda to this whole debate
    4. Everyone needs to be patient. …. where is the patience?
    5. If he is being aggressive what are the offended doing? Check urself first!

    Lastly we all seem to have too much time on our hands …. instead of arguing over this nonsense…. we all could have squeezed in more recitation n memorization of Quran would have been more beneficial and we could have all learned how to be a better person from the best of teachers

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    • XX

      Oh then we must have arrived at the end of days if we think this is scholarship. Pearls of wisdom, erudition.- or God lifted a veil through an almighty slip of the tongue. Anyone, anything can feign contrition.

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  13. Hassan

    Sulayman Ibn Mahraan, Al Amash was a joker and very hostile to people. I am sure he never apologized to anyone. Perhaps it is good thing the internet was not invented at that time

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    • The Salafi Feminist

      Yet scholars also mention that such behaviour was the exception, not the norm; and also, that just because another scholar did it, doesn’t mean that it was acceptable. The scholars were not – and are not – perfect. They are as prone to error as the rest of us, and sometimes their (public) errors carry more severe consequences.

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      • sana

        And we also have to be more patient wirh them….have u thought about it maybe he was having a dig@ xenophobics n not ur kind of feminist?

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      • The Salafi Feminist

        No, because I commented & he replied directly by telling me that any orthodox/ practicing Muslim woman who thinks that she can be a ‘feminist’ is actually engaging in behaviour that’s completely contrary to Islam (kufr, actually).

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      • sana

        It may actually be have u ever looked at the meaning of feminist?…. their roots?… isnt islam the answer y do we need to tag ourselves as feminist? Y cant we just be muslimah and still ork to better our communities?

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      • The Salafi Feminist

        And my issue isn’t even personally with AE, it’s with the mentalities and attitudes regarding women that were exposed as being disturbingly common and widespread amongst Muslims.

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      • sana

        So my question is this on the bases of a lame joke u accuse him of being closed minded have u actually interacted with him in real life…. and see that he had any such traits? When most of his students r begging to differ that he is no such thing?

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      • sana

        So r u not assuming /implying because of a lame joke as well ?

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      • The Salafi Feminist

        His direct interaction with me regarding the issue of the usage of the word “feminist” was enough to illustrate that he *is* close-minded on this particular matter.
        He was very clear that he did not consider for a moment what I had to say on the subject and that anyone who disagrees with him on that particular matter (usage of ‘feminism’) is misguided, working with the enemies of Islam, etc.

        Again, however: My issue is NOT personal with AE, but with the deeper underlying issues that were illustrated.

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  14. Hassan

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  15. Musa

    This article, while taking a conciliatory tone, is nothing but a poor justification for someone who should know better. I don’t know too much about Abu Eesa, but now I can only see him as an incredibly immature and arrogant individual. It’s a part of basic ‘adab and elementary human decency not to rile people up; AE was clearly having fun provoking people who were already upset. The argument that ‘those who don’t know him might have an easy time misunderstanding him’ is just another attempt at excusing him. Just the opposite is true– those who do know him are losing sight of the fact that AE is a public figure, and public figures have to be held up to certain standards or else they don’t deserve the pedestal. People have been fired for much less.

    I actually tend to feel bad for people caught up in controversy. Usually it all starts with a little mistake or a poorly thought out decision. In this case, however, AE has shown a complete inability to act conciliatory and peacefully and instead of using his position to address serious issues like rape and abuse, he has chosen to go at feminists as the “enemies of orthodoxy.” His obsession with feminism is worrisome. He can’t even write an ‘apology’ without firing some bullets at them (p.s. many of those angry aren’t even self-described feminists, anyway, it’s just his way of steering the debate).

    And don’t confuse an acknowledgement with an apology. AE acknowledged the controversy, he didn’t apologize for it. He apologized for responding so late and that’s about it. The shaykh needs to take a Managing Controversy 101 class. But I believe in forgiveness. It will die down, and I hope he takes it as a message to lose the tough-guy posture and to accept people’s feelings.

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    • Amad

      He has written another apology post, which is not just an acknowledgement. He has been responding to private messages all day yesterday (he mentions this and I know it to be true as three people I know had direct correspondence/discussion with him). Let’s be merciful and open to our brothers and sisters. I have linked to this FB post as an update.

      In fact, you can see my TL on twitter @amadshk and see the tweet from @ImanBuilder who I refer to in the article as being personally affected. She had a discussion with AE and is satisfied and moving on.

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  16. Ashley Gar.

    So dissapointed at all the individuals (esp sisters) who felt it necessary to defend AE. He took jab after jab after jab at women and IWD and made his silly points.

    I am all for giving your Muslim
    Bro and sis 70 excuses, but let’s be real here…that was a choice, not a mistake. If you make a mistake, you apologize and vow to never do it again. When you decide to do or say something over and over and over again, you are not making a mistake, you are making a choice. Therefore, he made a concious choice to joke and to laugh at others and to belittle certain causes and certain individuals so now he should have to deal with the consequences and the backlash that has followed.

    All I was saying was to call a lemon by it’s real name, a lemon and not beat around the bush.

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    • Amad

      I hope you have seen AE’s last FB post (linked at the bottom as an update above)…

      And I hope we can indeed move on.

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    • XX

      It’s centuries and centuries of conditioning that’s why the women have defended him. It’s pulling out ‘be forgiving – don’t we want to be forgiven?’ and everything else on this article. It will never end this stuff in Islam – it’s too deep rooted and systemic. You use ideals of patience and fear of your own sins to silence or create enough acquiescence so people drop it. Who are we anyway the low things that man described to be used and abused.
      And so those disgusting vile things he mentioned continue, they carry on to another generation all sadly too prevalent in our lovely lands. Thee people who’ve experienced these things are just trying to pull their lives together to keep going,reluctantly fall back to their duties. They don’t have time to dwell or be outraged about such a putrid tongue.

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  17. Adil

    When Sheikh AE made the feminist joke, I had a good laugh about it, though I’m a female. Because, knowing him, I know he didn’t mean the bad side of it. I genuinely think that only those who hasn’t been to his lecture/class/videos would take it seriously and get unnecessarily offended. If you don’t know him, then better leave the judgement whether he is a true racist to Allah. Please, no more bashing.

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  18. Anon

    Asalamualikum, I am an ex devoted almaghrib student, I have become despondent regarding the celebrity status of the Shaykhs with their young fanclubs. Without mentioning any in particular it seems the courses have become more about acting out a certain image for each Shayook and offensive jokes to keep the audience awake and less about the knowledge. I am shocked at the amount of time AE has on his hands to post so much on facebook, a page he keeps public but asks non students to unlike. He holds a public position, he should be aware that what he says represents our religion, good or bad, I seriously think looking at his posts in recent weeks he is either mentally unwell or his arrogance has escalated to new heights.

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  19. Ibn Ismail

    You can do 99 good things, but if people see you do 1 thing they don’t like they make it like you have no good in you.

    The Muslims who inflated this and exploded it out of all proportion, and twisted it, and channeled it into mainstream blogs and media outlets (HuffPost, patheos and the like) so as to produce a slander…you need to fear Allah with regards to your brother Abu-Eesa.

    All you had to do was send him a private message with your naseeha. If he listened to it, fine. If he didn’t, then you did what you could do. A couple of risque jokes/sarcastic remarks on a personal facebook page is not enough evidence to claim that he is deviant or leading people astray…certainly nothing comparable to the fitnah some of you unleashed.

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  20. RCHOUDH

    I’m trying to look at both sides of this issue here and this is what I’ve come up with: First of all, I believe that it was wrong of Sh. AE to have made jokes that would come off sounding borderline offensive to a casual observer. Even if he meant to sound sarcastic or meant it as just a private “in-joke” for his followers, now that it’s out in the open and caused this much damage, he should be the bigger person and apologize publicly to everyone and vow never to engage in such “humor” again. Allah rewards those after all who try to patch things up by apologizing first, even if they personally believe that they did nothing wrong. Also I don’t think it’s wise to lump all Muslimahs who regard themselves as feminists into one monolithic mold of feminism as popularized by the West. While I agree that there are some Muslim women who can be deemed as ultra-liberal feminists who try to find solutions to women’s issues from outside Islam, it can’t be said that all Muslim feminists are like that. There’s a quite a good number of Muslim feminists who not only work on bringing attention to issues affecting Muslim women, but who also try to find solutions to those issues from within Islam itself. Most of them are only trying to reclaim the rights given to them by their deen that they lost over the years due to ignorance and cultural oppression. And finally I think some of the Shaykh’s followers were out of line in demeaning and stereotyping his critics and stating that whoever does not like the Shaykh’s sense of humor should stay away from his social media profiles. Telling someone to leave and never come back does a disservice to Islam, because aren’t we supposed to help attract people to the Deen instead of repel them from it. We are not supposed to treat the Shaykh (or anyone for that matter) as though he is some sort of celebrity who is above reproach after all.

    With that said, I think that the way people started calling him out for his words and actions also got out of line too. In Islam I thought that the proper way to correct someone’s behavior was to discuss the matter with them privately. If you publicly call attention to someone’s mistakes/transgressions, the person will most likely not want to change their behavior because he/she will feel like your only intent was to humiliate them, not to advise them. I don’t think it was right for the Shaykh’s detractors to have resorted to writing articles for Western media, start a Twitter campaign, etc to have brought this matter attention. They should have first privately messaged him about the matter first, and also have tried to contact Al-Maghrib to mediate in the matter if they felt like privately contacting him was going nowhere. In other words they should have worked through the proper channels first. And finally I wonder what should be done when someone errs. If the person is properly chastised for their behavior, do we hold their past behavior against them forever? Could there ever be a time to forgive someone and move on, or what? If the Shaykh does finally come out and apologize for the matter and vows never to do it again, I think it’s best to forgive and move on rather than holding him accountable for this one bad action for the rest of his life. These are just my thoughts on the matter.

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    • Amad

      Thank you
      Good points– balance is critical. We are too ready to destroy someone too quickly.

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    • hope

      Alot of times when you advise privately they just ignore or start a smear campaign against you., i speak from personal experience.it takes a very mature person to apologize for their mistakes.

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      • RCHOUDH

        I understand your concern sister, unfortunately that does turn out to be the case oftentimes. That’s why I thought bringing someone neutral to mediate the dispute (whether from Al-Maghrib or even elsewhere) could be helpful. I just think it’s better not to publicize these affairs because they wind up doing more harm than good in the end, and if the person refuses to change his behavior, I believe it’s best to make du’a for him and us and move on.

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  21. Abu Milk Sheikh (@AbuMilkSheikh)

    Jazakumallahu khairaa. This was a good job. The author touched on the anti-Islamic ideology of feminism and I’d like to flesh out some of that.

    Definition of Feminism in wikipedia – “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.”

    Definition of Feminism in the dictionary – “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.”

    This is what Islam has a problem with. Does that look anything remotely like Islam to you? It makes a total mockery and rejection of Allah’s sole and supreme right as the Lawgiver. Newsflash – such rejection and mockery is an act of disbelief! And labeling oneself a ‘Muslim Feminist’ is akin to labeling oneself a ‘Muslim Jew’.

    However, since we live in an age of revisionism, deviance and general ignorance of orthodox Islamic teachings, misguided Muslims will cherry pick certain aspects of feminism that they feel are “Islamic” and run with it, just because it’s cool or because they have an inferiority complex towards the dominant, disbelieving culture/ideology. Or it could be more sinister than that, as the author pointed out. The sad fact is that their revisionism is neither compatible with feminism nor Islam. It doesn’t matter how one dresses it up with flowery language and ridiculous, attention-seeking oxymoron-ical titles, the reality is that unadulterated feminism, as a concept, ideology and movement, is totally antithetical to Islam. Neither it nor the revisionist, wishy-washy, diluted version has any place whatsoever in the Islamic tradition or contemporary Islamic discourse.

    May Allah forgive and have mercy on Abu Eesa Niamatullah. More often than not, silence is the best speech.

    And may Allah guide the Muslims to submit to Allah and worship Him as He wills, and not worship Him according to our whims and desires.

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      • Siraaj

        um, any reason you’re responding “waiyakee” to a “jazakallah khayr” that went out to Abu Milk Sheikh? ;)

        Siraaj

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      • Amad

        lol– i was following comments on the backstage (admin) so it didn’t show the thread :) that’s embarrassing :)

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      • Mohsina Bukhari

        lol, I thought it was the same person after the response. Br. Amad, it’s just been that kind of day, totally get it.

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    • Musa

      So since you disagree with the definitions you’ve quoted of feminism: which social, economic or political right would you like to take away from women?

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  22. Faatimah

    Regarding the recent controversy about Sheikh Abu Eesa post regarding International Women’s Day, read his status update on 22 June 2013 and form your own opinion on his position towards women. May Allaah Help us to develop good thoughts on our Muslim brothers and sisters; particularly someone striving to propagate the Deen of Allaah

    [How much do we males hate on the sisters? It's amazing just how much they put up with, what with our incessant teasing and joking and sexism and whatever else we can say or do whenever gifted an opportunity. Naturally I personally rarely miss a chance to stick it to the girls wherever possible being the King of all things sexist but the true reality of course is that we only do what we do because we realise just how awesome they are.

    Remember back in the days in Primary school when we'd pick on and bully the girls we fancied? It was our way of expressing our inability to handle the love and respect we held the greater sex in. Nowadays it's not all that different either. Men especially Muslims often realise just how lame and pathetic we are with respect to our responsibilities and duties and just how outdone we are by our women. And it hurts I guess. We feel even more insecure than we are!

    I want to give a massive shout out to all of our dear sisters who just keep pushing it higher and higher and raising the standards in Deen and ihsan. They are busy running the homes, raising the next generation, doing the da'wah on the streets, educating themselves and others, and just being all round superstars.

    Today my cousin sister graduated after finishing her 'Aalimah studies at Jaamiatul Imaam Zakaria in Bradford after 7 years of boarding away. Today I was teaching a class where the sisters outnumbered the men 3:1 in what is a deep, intense study of difficult aspects of fiqh. And they smashed it out of the park with their intelligence and insight into detailed masa'il bismillah ma sha Allah. Today I was considering exam questions for our Logical Progression class where sisters make up the mass majority of thousands of students, and their hard work and sacrifice and all-round quality is stunning. Today a sister in Algeria will be making the decision on the direction of our syllabus and study because she has proven herself to be beyond awesome in her understanding and she is a true leader and the one I seek advice from even though others may not see her that way because she's a woman. Today I realised what kind of unexpected stresses my wife has to deal with all and only because she decided to sacrifice a good and free life to become my everything *in* every thing. Today I realised that we men and this Ummah are more dependent upon its women than ever before if that was even considered possible.

    Today, to all my sisters out there I say respect. You are our present and you are our future and we know we're finished without you. May Allah bless you all, continue to guide you, give you even more patience and increase you in awesomeness which you all have so clearly made your own. Ameen. ]

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    • Amad

      Reem, what are you doing on the internet?? What happened to those cooking classes??

      {#FireAmadFromMM}

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      • Mahmud

        {#FinallyBanMahmud}

        Lol

        What’s funny is that they seem to thing because they are a vocal minority, with some incredibly grotesque and vicious members, that they can publicly bully Abu Eesa out of his status like AIPAC uses the ant-Semite card.

        The reality is, their efforts will fall back on them, and Abu Eesa will come out all the better inshaa Allah.

        And these agenda-driven deviants will realize they are in a weaker position than they thought and every further effort of their’s to poison this deen will be frustrated inshaa Allah.

        And they’ve been exposed to as as well-Alhamdulilah

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  23. Yasi Sho

    Will say it simple – If what is said is true then you do not have right to be offended and if what is said is false then there is no need to be offended!

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  24. Muslimah657

    As salamu aleykum, I don’t know how to feel about all of this. Abu Eesa has been absurdly offensive in the past when he made questionable comments or “jokes” about reverts and black Muslims and then did not apologize and told all those who were hurt to simply “get over it or unlike the page.” The over-descriptive rape comment really disgusted me to put it lightly. I don’t understand why he would say things like that, may Allah forgive us all for our evil speech. He is supposed to be a “scholar” but he forgets that meaningless speech hardens the heart. I hope he learns from this inshaAllah.

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    • Amad

      Instead of deleting it, I left it to show how extreme we become in our reaction. Had AE actually committed a physical crime or had actually been a real misognist (i.e. wasn’t just joking), then I would leading a petition like this. But when we know from AE’s history (even of FB posts) that he is nothing like this, then we are dealing with his errors in judgement in posting such material. The “punishment” for such errors is not to try to put the man on the street. Otherwise you reinforce the idea that feminists are hell-bent on destroying anyone in their path.

      See this post from Mohammed Ghilan, where he touches on this extremism (and this article was supported by Suhaib Webb, who was endeared in Rabia’s article where she called for firing AE): http://mohamedghilan.com/2014/03/12/drama-with-abu-eesa/

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      • Abc

        I was also merely highlighting how ill thought out comments made in perceived jest can be misconstrued.

        Far be it for me or anybody else to question a fellow brothers intention and integrity, but what is undeniable is that the incessant distasteful jokes on said day were very peculiar.

        And the apology now posted, in my opinion, would have been much better minus the renewed challenge and provocation to those groups already riled by original comments.

        May Allah forgive and guide the brother and increase him in good and may he learn a lesson from this.

        Unfortunately the students of such teachers demand this type of humour and the teachers often find it hard not to appease.

        Allahs knows best.

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  25. Ashley Gar.

    Honestly, the issue is not even about AE anymore…it’s about the way we are being attacked for having an opinion that doesn’t coincide with everyone else’s. If I want to be upset, let me be upset. If I want to be offended, let me be offended. I will eventually get over it and will be fine…but the fact that I (and others, whose opinions coincide with mine) am constantly being told that I have no sympathy for someone who makes a mistake and I need to fear Allah because he is the only one that can judge others, etc. then it makes me feel as if I am overreacting, nothing even slightly offensive or degrading was said and my opinion has absolutely no validity and everything I am saying is useless and baseless; when in fact I know it isn’t! Let’s make this an open forum where we can peacefully share opinions, even if we agree to disagree. May Allah forgive all our shortcomings and guide to the straight path. Ameen!

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  26. Yusuf Smith

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    When I first saw the reaction to the IWD jokes, I thought them at best an overreaction and at worst a conspiracy by a group of secularist feminist “Muslims” to silence him (and if you offend a big or loud enough lobby group, you can easily find yourself banned from a whole range of intellectual spaces). Some of the other material that came up, however, was entirely unacceptable and inappropriate for a shaikh, especially the rape reference. People need to realise that this is immensely upsetting for some women, particularly if they or a friend or relative of theirs had been through it. It doesn’t matter that it’s become a staple of British comedy (sometimes they are even targeted at specific individuals); scholars are really meant to be above reproach.

    Abu Eesa probably thought he was taking aim at the serial complainers and crybabies who are a cancer in the British feminist scene, as well as those who promote kufr and immorality and call it Islam (I saw several of those contributing to the #fireAbuEesa campaign), but one must beware of attacking the powerless when one attacks the powerful (and they’re not that powerful anyway, even if they’re a nuisance). If we make jokes about monkey gods in reference to Hindu thugs who attack Muslims in India, we end up insulting ordinary Hindus who are no threat or who help Muslims as well. Some Muslims think it’s great fun to slag off non-Muslim women (especially those in the West) and make them out to be whores, but that is hugely offensive to most converts who have non-Muslim family.

    On the other hand, some ideas coming from modern feminism are profoundly opposed to Islam and some Muslim women are advocating them, and there are some converts who are unwilling to relinquish them. We hear terms like “heteronormative” and “patriarchal” used as if they were insults, when in fact Islam prohibits any other sexual relationship besides marriage between men and women, and explicitly advocates male headship of the family. Some of them claim that “gender is not binary” and that someone can just dictate what their gender is and everyone should just honour it, neither of which are accepted in Islam. If you want to attack people who advocate these (and other) ridiculous ideas, go ahead, but you need to do it without offending people who are innocent of any of this.

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    • Abu Milk Sheikh (@AbuMilkSheikh)

      2nd and 3rd paragraph are precisely why many Mumineen AND Muminaat of Ahlus Sunnah STILL have Abu Eesa’s back even if they disagree with his comments and attitude. A cursory glance at the #MuslimMaleAllies and #FireAbuEesa hashtags will see a significant presence of feminists of the deviant, hypocritical and heretical variety, if not an outright hijack. The way they were insidiously weaving in the innovations and heresies was almost Machiavellian. The Believers shouldn’t allow these people to hijack their voices/agency.

      This is the danger of normalizing feminism, the label and its concepts in contemporary Islamic discourse. The Munafiqeen will be able to hide among the ‘feminists by name only’.

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  27. Reyhana Islam

    Though your way of writing is subtle still to me the fitnah stands out from your article. It was very wrong to take screenshots of the Shaykh’s comments, and with all due respect you have no right to suggest that he should take a break from social media. In fact its wrong that you wrote regarding this issue itself which we both know will only spread it more, but then who cares right? I mean you will be getting a good amount of hits. To me this is no different than what cheap shows like ET do: GOSSIPING about the mistakes, sins, and issues of public figures. May Allah purify your intentions…Ameen.

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  28. mezba

    Here’s how AE can apologize. As a management major, I will even help draft a letter.

    “Hi, I am AE. I would like to sincerely and wholeheartedly apologize for my recent posts on Twitter and Facebook. Those who know me, know that I hold women in high regard, and always ensure equal accommodation for female students in my classes in terms of access to teachers, questions and so on. I have never participated in, nor support, misogynistic statements against women, nor can I condone violence against women such as rape, FGM etc. I condemn them in the strongest terms. Unfortunately, some jokes I made recently cross the line, and I apologize to all those who were offended. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. Going forward, I plan to review my public posts and avoid sexist jokes, iA.”

    Now this is what you call an apology, not the half hearted page long one posted on his website where he STILL takes a dig at feminists, etc. Dear Sh AE, you may be a swell guy and all, but YOU committed the offense, so don’t look at agendas or anything of the accusers, just apologize and get it over with.

    As for Al Maghrib, and especially Sh YQ – very disappointing that they chose to belittle the offense and close ranks. This is what THEY should have said.

    “Al Maghrib stands for supporting women’s rights in accordance with the Shariah and laws of Islam, which granted women rights and privileges not realized elsewhere until recently. Al Maghrib offers education equally to both male and female students, and strives to ensure women have equal access to teachers, teaching materials and question time. Over x% of our students are female and we have never had to deal with any instances of sexism or gender bias.

    Due to the recent comments by one of our instructors, we would like to apologize for the offense, and distance ourselves from the jokes. We realize those jokes crossed a line. However, in light of brother AE’s long time record, we would like to pray for Allah’s forgiveness for him, and ensure in the future such mistakes do not happen again.”

    There, tada. You are all welcome.

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    • sana

      Ah so now u want him to apologize in the words you want to hear come out of his mouth…. really?

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  29. sana

    I fail to understand what has this game achieved even for the feminist…… how has this situation actually CHANGED any of the situations of the victims of abuses mentioned in anyway since the status battle started?

    I believe if the victims were to be saved even if it were AE saving them …. they would care less about the joke or the tag … feminist ….. they would just be grateful for being saved…..
    And the real work starts after the saving…. giving them their identity and the correct purpose of life back…..

    Our prophet was abused physically and emotionally yet he was the most patient….. some people fly off the hook over some words and yet advocate equality … change comes wiyh patience not with flying off the hook at mere words

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  30. mg

    Lots of these teachers joke about these issues and get away with it because no one catches them. Maybe this is a lesson for all of us..Be more careful about what we say…In the past i have advised privately only to made a scapegoat..so i understand the need to make this public…

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  31. Nobody

    I think all these sheikhs- Yaser qadhi, Basyouni, Sulueman-need to stay away from social networks. Anything they say can be misunderstood into something they didn’t mean it. Now in the darkness of all this back and forth replies, you could be sure if only what you read, and having read the so called sarcastic words from sheikh I think it could be taken as offensive. The ego got the way of the sheikh to apologize on time. It is wrong to not apologize even if you think you did nothing wrong. This is where the mischief began!

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  32. Laura Garvock

    As a Muslimah I find your apologetic article problematic. I have been an advocate and counselor for women who are victims of domestic violence for over 14 years. As you know, domestic violence includes verbal and emotional abuse, as well as physical. Over and over again, I hear ppl say, who know the abuser, how nice, sweet and charming he is…but the true self comes out at home. I believe this is this same with AE, his true feelings come out in his sarcastic, hatefilled humor. It’s totally unacceptable and he has no place among scholars. His bitter hate speech, masked as humor, reflects a serious disease of the heart.

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    • Amad

      Thank you for your work as an advocate/counselor— I am sure that must be an extremely hard and emotionally taxing position.

      I have much more benefit of doubt for AE based on people who have had years of experience in dealing with him. Let’s hope I am right and you are not, for his sake and his family’s sake.

      I hope MM’s editors can engage with you and learn from your experiences and share with our readers. thanks again.

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      • Laura Garvock

        I just read his updated apology, and find it to be no apology at all. He said he doesn’t believe he said anything wrong…and ends it with another insulting, sarcastic statement. He’s like Paula Deen, who said racist things, is recognizing that she is racist, but is oh, so sorry she was caught revealing it.
        Br. Amad, jazak Allah for your kind words and I look forward to offering any assistance I may be of help with for the sake of Allah.

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  33. Um Nur

    I don’t know why AE associated International Women’s Day with feminists or why everyone accepts that all feminists are against Islamic tradition or attach any other negative connotation to it. IWD was started by women who may have been categorized as “radical” feminists in the 60′s, but today, as is the case with the Civil Rights and Human Rights Movements, its main purpose and agenda is to eradicate injustice. The focus of IWD is specifically the eradication of misogyny and its extant atrocities against women, which any informed, god-fearing Muslim should support.
    There’s nothing to joke about here, especially since Muslims in general (men and women) are light years behind “feminists” and the rest of the world in standing up for justice.
    AE’s diatribe against IWD and those he labeled “femin-nazis” is at the core of his offense. At the root of Al Magrib and their incognito extremist Wahhabi doctrine, is the advocacy of “takfir” or calling others Kafr (unbeliever) and the other more subtle labels they apply to any person or group with whom they disagree. With the billions of dollars of Saudi funds supporting their propaganda, they, and the thousands of other Salafi/Wahhabi organizations, have effectively drowned out all dissenting voices specifically by labeling them. Wahhabi organizations like Al Maghrib and many of the men who follow them, use labels to de-humanize women and those who disagree with their interpretation of Islam. Not only have they programmed their followers to judge everyone and everything according to the labels they assign, they encourage them to turn a blind eye to any wrong-doing or indiscretions of their leaders, be they political (Saudi government, for example) or scholastic, as in the case of AE and other “superstar” Imams.
    (There. I have given you an example of the very labeling you propound. How does it feel? Even if I’m 100% justified in the labels I’ve assigned, you probably still feel offended, because labels minimize any validity in an opponents position.)
    If Prime Minister David Cameron or the Pope or any journalist or teacher or comedian or any public figure had said what AE said, even if that public figure was not one of a category of millions of men who actually do the crimes he jokes about, there would have been unprecedented outrage and righteous indignation, and rightfully so. But the proponents of “never follow blindly” are asking us to take a “chill pill” when a Muslim public figure who has influence over our sons and daughters makes vicious verbal attacks against the internationally-recognized observance of the very human rights we are commanded by our Creator to support. That is the aspect that is unconscionable.
    Don’t tell me what is misogyny, I’m a woman. Don’t tell me what is racist, I’m Black. Don’t tell me what is ageist. I’m a great-grandmother. Don’t tell me what is nationalistic. I’m an American. Don’t tell me to take a chill pill. I have been a victim of misogyny! Don’t tell me he was joking. I’m not stupid.
    Don’t tell me what is unjust. I stand with all those who oppose it.
    Tell Abu Esa that as a Muslim, he should apologize and set an example by resigning as a teacher or public figure. What good has he done for anyone, anyway?

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      • Um Nur

        Thank you for the info. I’d like to inform you of something that you’re probably not old enough to know about. It would be laughable if it were not so pathetic: In the 70′s, right after I converted to Islam,when Wahhabis first started making their inroads among American Muslims, they used to laud Hitler and the Nazis. Using the overly simplistic thinking, for which they are still known, Salafis assumed that Black American Muslim= hate all white people= anti American= “Hitler/Nazi good”. I heard a Medinah U-educated guy refer to Hitler as the “wrath of God on the Europeans for the atrocities against Africans”. When someone asked the Saudi was he Black, the guy nearly choked. Someone else asked what wrath did God send on the Arabs who sold the Africans to the Europeans. Class was dismissed. More than 40 years later I still have a bad taste in my mouth when a Saudi agent assumes he/she can spout any nonsense and get away with it. I’m grateful to know there are still intelligent young people willing to look at the world and Islam with a multi- dimensional view. Thank you Amad and MM for a lively discussion.

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      • Amad

        Saudi agent AE? He’d probably take that as the most insulting thing anyone said about him :)

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      • Amad

        Also I do hope that you are able to put your bad experiences about “wahhabis” behind you and treat all people based on what they are now, rather than what you might perceive them to be… You are obviously our older sister with much experience mashallah, and hope that you will experience blessed people even among those you perceive as “wahhabis”.

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      • Hajar

        Amad, the sister’s comment clearly resumes the kind of fitnah your article is creating and how its helping to get things out of proportion. Hopefully in another 40 years you will understand why you were wrong. And just to clarify, this is not about AE, but about you being the best example of someone busy looking at others mistakes instead of fixing his own. May Allah protect all muslims from having a person like you in our lives who takes advantage of our mistakes for his own benefit…Ameen.

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    • Laura Garvock

      Jazak Allah khair for your intelligent, rational, and informative comment. I feel as you appear to feel. I too am not impressed with this apologetic defense of something indefensible. We can move on, as so often suggested by the backward, often male, Muslim commenters. But, unless AE’s hate speech is acknowledged as wrong, the last thing we should do is “take a chill pill”

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    • Amad

      Thank you for your comment. I hope you know I did not ask any of the detractors to take a chill-pill… but AE himself :)

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    • Fatima

      What good has AE done? lol is that serious? You will likely find thousands of people who have benefited from him. Whatever mistakes he may have I think you don’t need to worry too much about find what good he has done.

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      • O H

        That is the nature of mankind. Most people are ungrateful and treacherous! The believer has to be merciful towards their fellow believers and to hold a good assumption, more so if it is a shaykh/scholar who in general deserve a bit more respect and honour. If one reads his latest FB posts he has adequately apologised whilst addressing some key refutations against his detractors headed by the modernist feminist individuals and groups who themselves lack the basic adab/etiquettes of judgement, criticism and advice as evident in their exaggerated responses. I personally don’t support such jokes but the outrage has been overblown! If only such passion was exhibited by the sisters for their fellow sisters who were imprisoned, assaulted etc in Buraydah KSA (check video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYrEbibExUQ) which is actual physical torture and oppression-far worse than a few words on social media. I am sure many Muslims haven’t heard of it. Or the actual rape of our blessed sisters in Syria, May Allaah protect them-Ameen. Get some perspective people!

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      • Um Nur

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  34. ZAI

    I find a lot of disturbing parallels in the way people are practically calling for this man’s head with how many Islamic extremists react to something they’re offended by or how homosexual lobbies have recently begun to shame/silence people who oppose that behavior. If you(speaking rhetorically here, don’t mean any individual in particular) as a liberal, feminist, etc. are one who always asks why Islamists, Muslims, et. al cannot tolerate dissent and accept free speech, then why attacking this man to the point of silencing him? Disagree with him, then move on. One either accepts the idea of free speech or doesn’t. There really isn’t a middle line here, because once you try to establish one…it’s a slippery slope that leads to these type of situations and hypocrisy.

    I myself found the “jokes” to be crude and insensitive to the extreme…and having examined some of the man’s writings I would never in a million years be a student of his myself. Why is irrelevant to the comment and topic at hand, but suffice to say I’m not an admirer of his views or interpretation of Islam. Still, he has a RIGHT to believe what he wants and say what he wants as well. I say this because this seems to have gone BEYOND asking for an apology for his crude joke and into brow-beating him into accepting feminism or changing his views. It’s as if he’s being punished for his beliefs more than his statement…the statement just provided the opportunity to attack. Again, feminists and anyone else have the right to disagree with him in return…do it…but then move on. Demanding he be fired or hounding him to contradict his held beliefs is going too far, and again I say this as someone who is not much impressed by him or his views.

    Secondly, even in criticizing him and procuring an apology for the jokes…some tact could have been used. There is a certain way to do things if you want results. The man is a Pashtun, and having been raised in the same culture, lemme tell you: his detractors GUARANTEED themselves his contrarian, reactionary and stubborn response. You do not publicly shame a Pashtun male and expect him to humbly submit with contriteness. The proper way to handle this if you wanted RESULTS would have been to approach him privately, discuss concerns and see FIRST whether he would apologize for going too far with a joke or not. Publicly shaming him first pretty much guaranteed he would dig in and stubbornly defend himself, thereby prolonging the whole thing.

    Again, I’m not an admirer of his views, so I am hardly defending the man. I’m simply pointing out the nuances ‘free speech’ demands in a society so as not to be hypocritical or inconsistent and also pointing out how this matter could have been better handled initially.

    As for Abu Eesa’s side of things, would be better in the future to avoid joking about sensitive topics…especially about things like women’s rights, roles, etc. as there are legitimate issues involving these among Muslims and the jokes can be seen as making light of legit issues and dismissing them. Very hurtful for many. There is a general rule in comedy, elaborated on by many minority comics like Paul Mooney, Chris Rock, etc. that it is not funny to make fun of the powerless party in any dynamic…so note to Br. Abu Eesa. Further, a lot of the backlash also involved targeting IWD specifically: not only feminists celebrate this day, but is a day for women in general to draw attention to women’s issues like education, equal pay, certain rights even Muslims can agree are legitimate(FMG bans, forced marriages, etc.)…so to joke about this day denigrates the many women who aren’t extremist feminists as well. You don’t want all Muslims being lumped in with terrorists, Taliban or Al-Qaeda…well why lump all women who care about issues affecting women together then?

    It is a shame to see this kind of thing catching fire and getting out of hand.
    Is a demonstration as well that the internet and tools of social media, etc. can
    be misused and destructive when placed in the hands of some people who cannot
    check their emotions or don’t think about what they’re writing, yet have the power
    to be heard and have their message spread. Some responsibility is called for when
    using these tools and from what I see with this situation, that goes for Br. Eesa as well
    as his detractors.

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    • Mahmud

      I wouldn’t go a million years near an Islamic class taught by you either-I don’t think a lot of people would.

      I like whatever I skimmed through of your post. Paragraphs help my Pakhtu fellow.

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      • ZAI

        “I wouldn’t go a million years near an Islamic class taught by you either-I don’t think a lot of people would.”

        Wouldn’t teach one, not qualified…but if I was, that is their right. Similarly people who don’t like what Abu Easa says should just say so and move on. Let the people who like him patronize his classes, web page, etc…and others can go find a scholar they agree with.

        Paragraphs are in use my brother! They just happen to be long ones :)
        BTW Pakhtu/Pashtu is the language or riwaaj, people are PakhtuN.

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      • Mahmud

        “Wouldn’t teach one, not qualified…but if I was, that is their right. Similarly people who don’t like what Abu Easa says should just say so and move on. Let the people who like him patronize his classes, web page, etc…and others can go find a scholar they agree with.”

        I know you and I have long running disagreements……but I’d totally shake your hand for this one.

        Anyways, jazzakAllahu khair. From now on, I’ll say “Pakhtun girl” or “Pakhtun boy” and so on.

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  35. Umm ZAKAriyya

    :( I wish it was Ramadan tomorrow , so we would all keep quite about this . Lessons learnt , time to move on . Lingering on the same page is bad for us muslims . Clearly this is a fitnah of the shayateen .

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      And also once all of this is over , I hope br.Amad deletes this post too from the archives , so that no one has a memory of this .

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  36. Jawariah

    Great article! You outlined all the important points and got straight to the core of this issue. SO far, this is the best article I have read on this issue and it is very well spoken.

    Also, of course, you will always have people who still spread controversy and hate in comments, but just know that you are doing something wonderful by clearing the fog and showing people what it’s all about. Keep doing the work that you do!

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  37. Drama with Abu Eesa | mushuchism

    […] was the second analysis I read about the Abu Eesa situation, the other one being Abu Eesa (AE) Humor Overload, Feminism and Apologies. Both written by men, and unsurprisingly, both missing the […]

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  38. Siraaj

    I think everyone’s looking for nuance and context, that they’re not a monolith, etc. Abu Eesa on his comments vs his complete body of work, faith-based feminists, proud patriotic shari’ah practicing muslims, salafis who need to qualify what type they are so everyone knows they’re not “super” (or dropping the title and going for “orthodox”), and then some.

    I think in all cases, the title is less important and the beliefs are more important, and what they stand for overall. However, it’s also important to note most people who like you will shorthand you in their mind with whatever stereotype they have of the label, either positive if they like you or negative if they don’t. It’s up to each person to decide if they’re ready to fight those battles or not.

    Myself, I’m happy with my label of Muslim, and the occasional Ahlus Sunnah w’al Jama’ah. Beyond that is too much of a bother and time waster, particularly on internet discussions where certain people are hungry for a dividing line to exist so they can start meaningless interwebs wars.

    Siraaj

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  39. O H

    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Treat women kindly, for woman was created from a bent rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is the top part, so treat women kindly.”

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  40. Mehdi Hasan Sheikh

    The Mouth of Manchester Abu Eesa
    Took to facebook to say his piece-a.
    His words, they were loaded,
    The Social Media’s exploded,
    And now he waves the white flag of peace-a.

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  41. Ridhwaana

    Out of all the articles that have come out of this whole debacle alhamdulillah this is probably the one that hit the nail on the head. JazakhAllah Khayr.
    And yes it does come down to interpretation and I don’t think Shaykh AE realised the levels of reactionary comments he would have received as it hit a nerve with some and not with others. Having been taught by Shaykh AE all I can say is that he has the utmost respect for women and many of his female students can attest to this, me included. It’s a shame that this has spiralled out of control and it really has brought about the worst in some people and even more shocking that they are not even willing to forgive or even show an ounce of Mercy? What will we do on the Day of Judgement when we will not even enter Jannah on our deeds alone but by the Mercy of Allah??? We expect Mercy in return but refuse to give it. Double standards is becoming an apparent trait in Muslims today.

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  42. Fritz

    One of the unsettling hallmarks of feminism is the nasty way in which any critical comment is pounced on by the hyena sisterhood who then publicly smear and shred a persons reputation by emotive blackmail and a total and utter distortion of their arguement. Make a joke about say women taking a long time to get ready, and the individual has become an apologist for domestic abuse, rape, FGM etc!

    The way in which this Sheikh has had his reputation ripped apart on social media is appalling. It almost reminded me about the way pro-palistinian advocates who are labelled as anti0semietic. A lifetime of work means nothing. A misguided minority of sisters have seen “one thing they didnt like” in Abu Eesa and its almost as if “there is nothing good in him at all”.

    Feminism is a venemous political ideology, full stop. For the most part it has nothing to do with the genuine needs of ordinary women. It is most certainly not a civil rights nor equality movement. It is a partisan gender ideology with a vested economic interests.

    I feel as though many who should know better have stabbed Abu Eesa in the back. Some scholars are already having to “water down” some of their Islamic rulings to suit this brigade. Next time there a hadith or opinion which contradicts the feminist viewpoint I fear many will think twice, look at their audience and think “do I really want to loose all my membership?”. And Islam will suffer. And we are all poorer as a result.

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    • Nahraf

      “Feminism is a venemous political ideology, full stop. For the most part it has nothing to do with the genuine needs of ordinary women. It is most certainly not a civil rights nor equality movement. It is a partisan gender ideology with a vested economic interests.”

      That paragraph is spot-on. Anyone who says “Feminism is about equality” is either ignorant about what feminism actually does or is lying, period. I agree, the teacher’s comments were immature and it strikes me as odd that he teaches Adab (manners). But his comments are nothing compared to the spiritual sickness and sheer insanity that is Modern Feminism.

      I would like to see people of conscious take a principled stance against feminism.

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  43. O H

    May Allaah strengthen and keep the Al Maghrib instructors steadfast upon the Haqq. They have benefitted the Muslims in the US, Canada and elsewhere in many ways. Recently I have seen many of them getting bad publicity on various issues, fatwas etc and regarding their behaviour/conduct. Some of it has been overboard and unfair whilst on other occasions it has been fair criticism. All I can say is that we should assume good of them in their efforts to attract the youth and encourage/motivate them towards gaining knowledge and to somewhat remove the misconception that gaining knowledge is an arduous, boring task. You can see it from their website their aim is “how could we teach you Islam in a way that was fun, social, spiritual, and oh yeah, academic”. They have endeavoured in this regard to be active with the youth on social media, with a light-hearted approach at lectures, seminars Facebook posts etc to motivate the youth and this has occasionally hit the nerve of certain individuals and groups who have deemed them to have crossed the line. May Allaah reward these shuyookh for their intention and efforts and I urge people to be fair & merciful towards them whilst constructively advising them if they go wrong. This extreme anger and witch-hunt is a huge fitna. Every son of adam errs and the best of those who err are those who repent and fix their ways.

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  44. Nahraf

    as-salaam ‘alaykum

    I agree that his comments were pretty immature. But take it in the backdrop of what is happening in the world.

    Men have endured the following:
    * Men endure higher rates of violence then women across all measures except sexual violence (Where, mind you, female-to-male rape is impossible by definition)
    * Men do not have an equivalent “Violence Against Men Act”, despite being the overwhelming victims.
    * When you adjust for industry, years of experience and educational background, men earn less money than women.
    * Male health issues, such as Prostate Cancer affect 1/7 American Males but receive less than 1/2 the funding of Breast cancer, which affects a comparatively less 1/8 American Females.
    * Boys educational rates are significantly lower than girls, but girls continue to receive higher rates of educational funding
    * The higher education gender gap is significantly in favor of women
    * Men are given harsher prison sentences than woman for equivalent crimes.
    * Khutbahs about husband-rights are met with criticism and claims of sexism. Discussions on wife-rights are celebrated
    * Male-spaces are sought out and actively destroyed as “sexist boys clubs”, while female-spaces are respected.
    * Males are subject to military service, while females are not.
    * I could go on and on…

    And somehow feminists still have the gall claim that they are an oppressed class, and that some kind of invisible “patriarchy” exists. I judge movements by their actions, not their arbitrary definitions. Feminism is about female supremacy and some day, in sha Allah, feminism will be seen as the backwards, anti-scientific, relic of the past that it is. Right up there with global warming deniers.

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    • Yusuf Smith

      As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

      (1) Prostate cancer is usually harmless — a study of deceased middle-aged and older men’s prostate glands found that about half of them had it. It usually does not require treatment, unless it grows particularly quickly, causes excess prostate growth or metastasises (that is, spreads to other organs). Whereas breast cancer (like most other cancers) will metastasise unless treated, so it’s always harmful, hence the increased research funding. The other reason women’s health problems get more attention is that women are more likely to ask for help, but even then, women are often dismissed as hypochondriacs or their symptoms minimised. I have heard of women dying of ovarian cancer (which causes bowel problems) because doctors refused to test them for it and diagnosed them only with IBS.

      (2) It’s true that men suffer more casual violence (and there is a lot of violence in some all-male institutions, and not just prisons), but women suffer more domestic and partner violence which is a lot more difficult to get out of because they need help. If they don’t have friends or family who will take them in, they are trapped, and they may not be able to take their children or leave the country. Men can usually do more damage with their hands and feet alone than women can, unless she’s attacking a man who is disabled.

      (3) All-male clubs are often places where powerful men meet and do business, so if women are excluded then they are at a disadvantage in their profession. This was definitely the case with some of the men’s clubs in London which were attended by politicians, journalists etc. (Most have integrated; a few, like the Garrick, have not done so.) Whereas women-only spaces usually offer nothing like these opportunities, and often serve as a refuge for women who have been subject to harassment and violence from men. Incidentally, some all-female institutions (like most or all of the all-female Oxford and Cambridge colleges) have been integrated.

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      • Nahraf

        1) What you said is all but irrelvant. Prostate cancer has damaging effects on the body and general well-being of the person. The point is to acknowledge that males do get cancer, but their funding is but a fraction of that of women. This is clear-cut sexism,

        2) Men are more likely to be the victims of violence across *ALL* categories of violence, with the exception of “Intimate Partner Violence”. No one is denying that there is male-on-female violence. It is not conceding your point to recognize that males are statistically more likely to be the victims of violence. It strikes me as sexist that there are laws like the “Violence against Women Act”, but no equivalent “Violence against Men Act” when, according to objective data, men are more likely to be the victims of violence. Let that sink in for a moment.

        Why then are there more services for women? Anecdotally, why do women have escort services at universities, but males are denied similar protections? How is this not sexism by the feminists?

        3) I disagree. You speak about the phantom “gender power dynamic”. Consider this: Do you think that the heads of NOW or AAUW are not hubs of political and social power? Can a man become the head of the organization or is it a womens’ only club? That’s feminist sexism!

        My primary angle of this point was social organizations, such as fraternities, social clubs or even religious institutions. Men are systematically denied male-spaces by the feminists in the name of equality. But those same people will NEVER NEVER NEVER take on female-spaces – such as segregated gyms, female-only organizations, female-only university programs, etc, etc.

        You did not address the following points. I will assume you recognize the inequalities and matriarchal power structure.
        * Educational disparities
        * Military service
        * Income inequality
        * Criminal punishment durations
        * Family-law and divorce court preference of women over men.
        * The rejection of husbands’ rights and the celebration of wives’ rights

        To all people who believe that feminism is about solving power inequality between men and women, I would suggest you re-evaluate who really holds the power in society based on statistical data and independent research – it will most certainly change your conclusions on feminism.

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      • Nahraf

        I just re-read my comment and it sounded kinda rude. I didn’t meant it to, I apologize if it came off as such.

        I’m just very passionate about mens’ rights and equality.

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      • Hyde

        Thank you. Now I know they are brave men like you who care about my rights. I feel so cozy…:)

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  45. rmirza

    Salaam,

    I like what everyone has posted above.

    My only thing is after the different shuyookh have already released statements on this incident (check the facebook of shaikh yasir, shaikh navaid, shaikh omer, shaikh hatem and others), there is no reason for br. amad to write his own little rant.

    When we have much more qualified individuals, who really cares about some older brother’s opinion? Br. Amad, also due to your track record of controversial comments, i don’t think it should
    gave been you writing this article.

    In times of fitnah, it was always the pious predecessors who would remain silent. The ones who
    spoke out were always criticized for taking sides. There is no doubt, in my personal opinion, that
    this article should not have been written for muslimmatters.

    It is always easy to criticize someone else who makes a mistake on facebook. It is much more
    difficult for me and br. Amad to do what we should be doing; take all of our comments on various social engines that offended others and repent for them. Make our own apologies.

    Even someone who is a father who is successful in his dunya matters is not above repentance. In the future, Br. Amad, my advice is for you not to get involved in matters of fitan with your opinion. Or else you should write this same thing for when any other almaghrib instructor steps out of line.

    The next one can be for the time an almaghrib instructor shook hands with a woman. Did you write an article for every single almaghrib instructor’s mistake of what they should do in situations where they messed up? It just comes off as self-righteous, though i am sure your intention was better alhamdulillaah.

    ‘Abdur Rahman

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    • Amad

      thanks for the advice. The decision to write was harder than the writing itself. Especially with the history of my controversial comments (which I alluded to in my last paragraph).

      I believe I have tried to answer your question of purpose in another comment– if we are not part of setting the narrative, the narrative is set for us.

      From comments I have received, above and on other platforms, it appears that there has been some benefit in this writing. Shayookh including Yahya Ibrahim, Waleed Basyouni have been supportive, and I hope and pray that Allah accept our good intentions and make this an action that pleases Him.

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  46. S.

    I can see both sides of the argument from your article, Jazzak Allah Kheir brother. I can see that AE’s comment was intended as a sarcastic one but as a victim of sexual assault I find any sort of joke about physical/ sexual assault, abuse, genital mutilation etc. to be incredibly offensive. There are certain topics you don’t make sarcastic jokes about no matter how well intended the joke may have been. If he were trying to speak out about getting the Ummah to do more to prevent such acts and help those who are victims then he really should have worded it much differently.

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  47. Bro. Isa

    AsSalaamuAlaikum Brother Ahmad and thanks for the reply.

    MashAllah, Abu Essa’s response was well put and his resolve towards the end is very exemplary. Though this generalization of the word feminist I’m beginning to see is rather off putting for me. I also love to see how the Muslim community is making an immediate response to the media storm that issued before popular media could get there hands on it. Coming from a minority community that constantly has to bare the burden of the actions of any one of its members I know all to well the importance of this.

    In terms of the word feminist, from my perspective it is an affiliation attached to ones cultural identity and does not in any way conflict with Islam. And I strongly believe that minority (various American cultures, European, Some African and etc) cultural woes are often over simplified and brushed aside in our communities, as compared to majority (Arab, Indo-Pak, some African countries and etc) cultural woes, under the context of “Your Islam doesn’t need that”.

    This is similar to how some Muslims would say “No, ahki. your not African-American” or “Caucasian American” or “Latino-American. Your Muslim Habibi.” This completely denies a person an intricate part of their Identity.

    Furthermore, to your point of goals being more important than terminology should scholars then ban using the term “Jihad” in the West because of how A majority of people associate with it?

    Simply put, If an identity does not conflict with Islamic teachings and enhances ones love and adherence to their deen then why should we seek to refrain from it? I apologize for the lengthy response, I tend to use examples a lot when I speak :).

    Also, JazakAllahKhair for uploading this article.

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    • Nahraf

      wa salaam Br Isa,

      Over all, you’re saying that if adhering to ideology A or B brings out an aspect of the Deen, there is nothing wrong with claiming to be of that ideology. Is that right?

      I might agree in some cases. But please recognize that there is a big difference between the outward of an ideology that is given to the masses and the inner theories and ideas.

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      • Bro. Isa

        Yes, that’s quintessentially what I am saying. But I believe that the individual discretion comes in not from looking at an Ideology from what “the masses” define it as but what the originators of the cause and it’s most scholarly thinkers define it as. And even at that the core values and principles are what’s most important.

        It’s like how people try to defame Islam by the actions of an extreme group of Muslims.

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      • Nahraf

        How familiar are you with early feminism? The earliest feminists subscribed to an ideology we would now call “Anarcha-feminism”. More moderate forms of feminism only came out during the “third wave” movement.

        However….

        A point I made in my earlier post was that according to nearly every measurable statistic, women are outperforming men in almost all aspects of life. Per the dictionary definition of feminism, feminism is no longer needed in the west. What then are its goals? We need to dispassionately analyze not the mere words it says, but its actions.

        Free-thinkers and people of conscious challenge feminism because the manifestation we see in the world today are not about equality, they are for supremacy, in some cases openly.

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  48. Mariam

    Assalamu alaikum,

    While I am used to sarcasm as I have some pretty sarcastic children, I recently realised that there are limits to it not to surpass, especially on a public platform. This came after an article on the UK dailymail about Muslims hiring Legoland for a day out. (It was written by LittleJohn). I dismissed the article entirely as it was so sarcastic, yet he was letting people know of his real views. Unfortunately, some groups decided to act on that article and threatened Legoland workers through phone calls and emails. The result? The day out had to be cancelled because the police could not guarantee safety.

    So, while those used to sarcasm might not think too much of it, it does have consequences as the majority of people (even British) are not able to grasp sarcasm. May Allah keep us all in the limits of Islam.

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  49. Riz Khan

    Feminism has some very disturbing behind the scene theories. For example a few simple ones to understand are here:-

    Patriarchy is the most basic of all social institutions.
    –The struggle against patriarchy is more important than the struggle against capitalism.
    •Society is divided into sex-classes.
    –Women constitute a sex-class.
    •The primary social struggle is between women and men.
    –All women are potential allies in the struggle against men and the patriarchal social institutions supported by men.

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    • Nahraf

      Spot on!!

      The prevailing notion is that feminism is about “equality”. False!

      But the underlying theories paint a radically different picture. Like I always say, anyone who still thinks modern feminism is about equality is either ignorant or lying.

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    • Sarah

      Assalamu alaikum sirs,

      I think that when many, many people talk about feminism, they are not using political nor textbook definitions, backed up by theories and points made by important ‘thinkers’. They simply mean advocacy for women’s rights.

      “Feminist: An advocate for social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.” (Dictionary.com)

      I agree with you that the term carries a lot of baggage in many people’s minds, and the label is often used by people who seek to change Islam. But calling yourself a feminist does not mean that you agree with Western/xenophobic feminists, nor that you belong to this group, any more than calling yourself an environmentalist means that you believe in the methods of Greenpeace. In general, practicing Muslim feminists are defined by their critique of Western feminism, and their advocacy of women’s rights SOLELY as based upon Islam.

      It would be nice if we, as Muslims, stopped arguing over such ‘political correctness’ as this.

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      • Nahraf

        wa salaam,

        Then given that the term has a lot of baggage, would you be okay with someone defining himself as a “Muslim Patriarchalist”, but defining that term to conform with Islamic values and principles?

        I think its more than bland political correctness. Its about the hurtful nature of the term ‘feminist’ and the harm that it causes. I dislike hearing “yes but…” type responses, I would like to see respect for men and an acknowledgement that the term is intrinsically hateful and harmful.

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      • Riz Khan

        Sister Sarah you wrote!
        “Feminist: An advocate for social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.” (Dictionary.com)

        I would dare to differ as
        Justice in Islam means everything being in its proper place, not absolute equality. So there are different sets of rights and obligations for man and woman according to their relevant roles. Their rights are not absolutely equal. Therefore I stress that one should be careful when using the term “Feminist”.

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  50. Abu Asiyah

    Assalaamu ‘alaykum,

    I find the latest apologies to be not apologies at all, not when it comes from a person of knowledge who taught al Adab al Mufrad.

    It doesn’t even matter whether he made comments about women or about something else that is controversial. The point is, as a scholar he should know that many of the past and present scholars consider sarcasm to be haraam, as it is a form of ridicule, which is impermissible (even when it comes to the kuffar).

    Furthermore, what I was taught about the prohibitions of the tongue is that it doesn’t matter if we don’t mean something to be offensive. A believer is one of deep insight – when we know something will be offensive to another person, we shouldn’t say it, even if we don’t find anything offensive about it ourselves.

    And ok, let’s assume the above two points are invalid due to difference of opinion. What in the world is the benefit of posting such posts? Surely he was aware it would cause offense in some people. So what is the overriding benefit in posting something that is so provoking? Aside from the fact that it is crude in language, something Muslims are taught to avoid.

    The crazy thing to me is that AE still doesn’t think he did anything wrong, but that he’s sorry people got offended. In what world is that an apology? The “I’m sorry you got offended, but I did nothing wrong” never works – it’s essentially calling the other person out for being so sensitive.

    If this was an average Muslim – I’d say forgive and forget. But this is a person of knowledge, who teaches other people and who people take as a role model. Forgive him? Sure. But take knowledge from him? No way.

    Which brings me to my last point: is AE ill? Because this is nothing like him, at least not the stuff of his I used to listen to back in the day.

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  51. Noushad

    Thanks everyone , this post and comments taught me a lot , not being a knowledgeable person , i have learned a lot ….feminism….what not to joke….how people talk in internet…etc etc

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  52. Riz Khan

    I really did not know about this man Abu Easa. After this post I visited his FB page(and encourage all to visit his FB page https://www.facebook.com/AbuEesaPersonal). I can’t say about whether or not he is correct about all the other things but about feminism he is spot on. I believe it is kind of evil which is seeping through to even the most devout brothers and sisters. We have to recognize it and alienate ourselves from it. The following is from his FB page.

    The worst thing about feminists, liberals, pseudo-intellectuals and their ilk is that they respond to *real* oppression, with another one: an oppression of their *own* minds after being tricked into fighting using principles based on other than the Shari’ah.

    This oppression of their intellect is an invisible one. They can’t see it. They genuinely believe when they are advised by orthodox Muslims that their Deen has sufficient ammunition to destroy the ignorance and practices of criminals, domestic abusers, racists, extremists etc, they instead inadvertently turn to kufr and adopt their narrative with its corrupt foundations. They need to know they are kidding no-one. They need to realise that adding the prefix “Islamic” or “Muslim” to the word Feminist, doesn’t make it any more acceptable in light of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    They don’t believe Islam is enough. They have lost their trust in their faith because of their unwillingness to the study it deeply enough and bring forth the arguments and evidences to deal with the real problems. They are happy to just parrot the same tired nonsense of “cultural, misogynist, patriarchal Islam/Muslims can’t help us”.

    Those who can’t dance, always say the floor isn’t right.

    Stop oppressing yourself sisters and anyone else traversing a path of pseudo-Islam. If you genuinely believe in the cause you wish to fight for, do it within the tradition and stay loyal to the end to Allah and His Messenger, and don’t sacrifice your morals, your hijab, your modesty, your language, and ultimately your belief itself. This is the true oppression of your own selves.

    “It was not Us they oppressed; they oppressed themselves.” (2:57)

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    • Asda Alsafeway

      We have to be careful about generalisations of course. If someone is saying something that is clearly against the shariah or against islamic creed then we have to argue against that: whether they considers themselves muslims or not. However, this has to be established first – one cannot assume that people using language we are not used to are part of an ‘evil category’ we have established in our minds.

      Yes, there are people who call themselves feminists that have issues with religion in general and may seek to rally up support from muslim women in slowly pushing an agenda that seeks to un-instill muslim values from the minds of muslims. However, there are at least as many people if not way way more, that may call themselves feminists (or what is more likely: others may call them feminists), who work on issues related to social inequity between men and women in a way that works on top of muslim values and islamic law.

      The terms patriarchal/misogynist can are subjective, one person may think that giving dowry upon islamic marriage is ‘misogynist’ as it sees the woman as some sort of slave that has to be paid – however, the other person may argue that ‘no it is a gift, and whatnot, it is like a gift a person gives out of love not as an exchange for services’. They are simply technical terms used for discussion.

      If it makes it easier you can understand them through islamic terms, something truly misogynist/patriarchal is something that denies God-given rights towards women and treats them poorly physically/psychologically/etc, and that is zulm/corruption as opposed to ‘adl/justice and haqq/truth/’rights-based’.

      Quran and sunnah are all about establishing what is right, muslims take their values from these texts and centuries of work in social justice, scholarly discourse about rights/social-justice etc. It is not a big deal to use ‘english terminology’ – just as scholars/muslims of the past used ottoman turkish, persian, urdu/hindi/etc, to make their points in their home language.

      The problem is making statements that appear not to cohere with their said muslim values and legal tradition. And if that happens then they have to be replied to accordingly, not made fun of or dismissed outright as not properly muslim or whatever.

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      • Riz Khan

        Brother Asda Alsafeway! I have different views . You wrote!

        “We have to be careful about generalisations of course. If someone is saying something that is clearly against the shariah or against islamic creed then we have to argue against that: whether they considers themselves muslims or not. However, this has to be established first – one cannot assume that people using language we are not used to are part of an ‘evil category’ we have established in our minds.”

        Brother if some is carrying the label of being Catholic, I can’t help but to assume that he believe in trinity and so is doing “shirk”. If someone is carrying the label of feminist, it is natural for me to assume that he believe in the basics/principles of feminism. I encourage you to do a net search and see for yourself what “feminism” stands for.

        Brother you wrote!
        “Yes, there are people who call themselves feminists that have issues with religion in general and may seek to rally up support from muslim women in slowly pushing an agenda that seeks to un-instill muslim values from the minds of muslims.”
        I had written earlier!
        “I can’t say about whether or not he is correct about all the other things but about feminism he is spot on. I believe it is kind of evil which is seeping through to even the most devout brothers and sisters. We have to recognize it and alienate ourselves from it.”

        Sould we not distance ourselves from these “evil feminists”. Brother how I would differentiate you-a devout brother from those “evil feminists” when both would call themselves feminists.

        To clarify I would further add that about feminism consider the following facts:-
        1. the feminist view that patriarchy is equivalent to the oppression of women is not compatible with Islam. They attack the relgions on the ground being patriarchal as all the Prophets (Peace Be Upon Them) were men.

        2.The feminist idea that traditional gender roles are to be eliminated is opposed by the Islamic idea that the primary role of woman (after that of servant of God) is that of wife and mother.

        3. Feminism is critical of the institution of marriage because it leads to the subordination of women, while Islam strongly recommends marriage for both men and women, and the marriage institution in Islam is one in which husbands and wives have clearly distinct responsibilities and duties. The leadership role for men is taken for granted in Islam, while it is considered oppression by feminists.

        4.The moral values espoused by feminists, whether equality feminism or gynocentric feminism, are not values supported by Islam. In feminism the goal is absolute freedom to choose to live as one pleases without interference of social customs or regulations assigning specified roles to men and women. Justice in Islam means everything being in its proper place, not absolute equality, let alone feminine superiority in all areas. The determination of justice in Islam requires the wisdom and insight that result from study of and living according to the patterns set by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and companions (Radi Allah Taala Anhu).

        In the end I would give you some famous proper feminists
        Asra Nomani search and see what she say
        Ayaan Hirsi Ali search and see what she say
        Irshad Manji search and see what she say
        Fatima Mersini search and see what she say

        If some dear sister/brother wish to quote herself/himself “feminist”, I think he/she should first have the full knowledge of what the term stand for.

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      • tired of doublespeak

        Sisters don’t usually call themselves feminist, rather the moment they stand up for anything regarded women they are branded as a feminist in scare-quotes. if asking back God-given rights makes a woman a feminist in the eyes of Muslim discourse, than what choice does she have but to use it?

        As well, feminism has many meanings, just as religion has many meanings.

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      • Fritz

        Thats a gross generalisation.

        I have found when they start to ask beyond their rights or (the classical feminist motif) start to ask for all the rights but without any responsibility then this is used.

        Read up about feminism and its aims and you find there is a general thread running through all of its objectives.

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  53. ZAI

    It’s odd that a lot of the critique has turned to critique of feminism.
    The reaction to him has not been because he insulted feminists, it
    was because his jokes insulted women in general, i.e. “stick that in the oven”, etc.

    1. Not everyone criticizing him is a proponent of feminism or a feminist.
    2. IWD is not just a celebration for feminist women

    Many Muslim women…practicing, observant, Muslim women… were insulted by what he said.
    You do not have to be a feminist to be offended by jokes telling you to get in the kitchen,
    about rape, physical abuse, or saying women are all crazy and impossible to understand.

    …and IWD is used by many activists, not just feminists, to promote female education, end to
    abuses like forced marriage, domestic abuse, procuring rights and help for women who are raped,
    etc. etc. etc. So why insult the entire event and anyone participating and sneer the word “feminist”
    like an insult at them?

    Finally, in regards to terminology…not all “feminists” are out to oppress men, turn the world
    upside down or whatever. There is no single goal or single ideology or even a single group.
    Many who use that word, including Muslim women, for LACK of another word , simply mean they
    are working for certain rights for women…in the case of Muslim women, rights they believe to be
    owed them by Islam…and which btw many scholars like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf or Suhaib Webb would back them on. Yes there are some extremist Muslim feminists…Fatima Mernissi for instance and many others. Most Muslim sisters using this word are not among them though. They just want rights they think Islam or basic humanity owes them.

    Should they perhaps use a different word because “feminist” has been tainted in the eyes of some with extremist ideology…perhaps, but I find this attempt to smear them all as extremists really pedantic and oversimplified. I mean, should Muslims stop using the word Muslim or the word jihad because some extremists have usurped those words? If you say, “Well, it’s not just about phraseology…it’s about the very origins of the word and the ideology”, ok…again, tho: it is NOT a monolithic organized and codified movement, and further the meaning of words change. Many self-described feminists in the west, like Sheryl Sandberg, simply think the word means education, the right to work and advance in the workplace and the right to make their own choices as women. She is not beating on her husband every day, ignoring her kids or out to take over the world in the name of Athena.

    The women who were insulted have every right to feel insulted.
    Insult is a feeling. That’s how they feel. Khalaas. What, Muslim men don’t
    feel insulted when they perceive insult over statements about Eastern Men, cartoons, etc.?
    People are going overboard in all directions. Some people saying he should be fired and making
    him the very face of misogyny. Others defending him saying anyone who took offense is a feminist and how dare they feel insulted? It’s all absurd.

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    • Aly Balagamwala

      People are going overboard in all directions. Some people saying he should be fired and making
      him the very face of misogyny. Others defending him saying anyone who took offense is a feminist and how dare they feel insulted? It’s all absurd.

      I totally agree with you on this Zai!

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

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      • O H

        Assalamu alaykum Aly. Totally unrelated to this article I wanted to know if you can remove me from the moderation list! I regularly post on MM and the moderation thingy takes ages & is annoying. Aly FTW! :P.

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  54. O H

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WYOihjt9Vg&feature=youtu.be

    Amazing Khutbah by Br Nouman Ali Khan which’s highly relevant and applicable in this issue.
    It’s regarding Verse 9 of Surah Hujurat in the Qur’an.

    “And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah . And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”

    Note: Do not reach your own conclusions/tafseer of this ayah in relation to Shaykh Abu Eesa’s FB posts. First listen to the lecture!

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  55. sahmed

    Kamal El Mekki:

    Hey Abu Eesa did you really think I would let you take all that hate by yourself? This is my territory yara! My apologies for the delay, I was oblivious to this thing for a while and then I was traveling internationally (I am actually writing this on the plane).

    Although this is the perfect opportunity to throw Abu Eesa under the bus and come out victorious; I have to come out of hiding for the following reasons;

    1. My potent combination of manliness and awesomeness dictates such.
    2. Nobody hates on Abu Eesa but me.
    3. I would gladly take a bullet for my friend (rubber only, and just one).
    4. I want to defeat Abu Eesa while he is at his strongest and on my own, I don’t need anyone’s help.
    5. I don’t want to resemble those who took this opportunity to win some brownie points with the women. You know very well what I put in my brownies!

    As for all the men who joined the bandwagon and attacked AE; I will deal with you on a separate post. It was an issue that didn’t involve you but you couldn’t wait to inject yourself into it. You will experience firsthand how a lion deals with hyenas.

    But on a serious note (and I do mean a serious note, I have resisted every temptation to make sardonic remarks):

    1. The Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam described the hypocrites as severe when they disagree. You could have just objected to the jokes. But sadly, you had to ask for firings and such. Others tried to drag Almaghrib into this as well. The believers would have only commented on the offense and not gone beyond. It is amazing that some quoted ahadith about correcting brothers. Is this how you correct your brother?
    2. There were companions who committed major sins, yes MAJOR sins (adultery, slander), but they were still considered believers and their good deeds in the past were not forgotten. Mistah ibn Uthathah slandered a chaste woman but his good deeds and his participation at badr were not forgotten. Allah still commanded Abu Bakr to do good to him (24:22). Someone said Abu Eesa is not to be called a shaykh. So that’s how it works? You cancel out years of good work and speech if someone makes one mistake (I’m not saying he made a mistake by the way)?
    3. We all hate it when the kuffar go into an innocent Muslim’s history to try to dig up dirt, and when they find nothing they quote statements out of context. They do this because they don’t fear Allah and they don’t care for the truth. Some tried to going back in time to prove their case against AE using past jokes and posts. What is the value of knowing about Allah and His Messenger salalahu alayhi wa salam if in the end, you behave just like someone who never heard of Allah and His messenger?
    4. Be the one insulted and not the one insulting. You lost the minute you started to personally insult the man. Which is worse; a joke about women that is tasteless (in your eyes) or actually insulting an individual? How can someone possibly think they’re on the higher ground when they directly insult and assail someone else for telling a joke? Put the two on both sides of the balance and see which is worse. By what standards is it ok for girls in their twenties to insult a speaker who is older than they are, has gray hairs and is a father? At what point did we lose all the adab in our communities, and think it’s OK to publicly insult people?
    5. Or perhaps you think it’s ok to try to ruin and tarnish someone’s reputation? So you’re religious enough to ‘correct’ and to state what is wrong, but you are not God fearing enough to realize that launching a campaign against someone is far more serious? You lie against someone saying he promotes rape and still think you’re in the right and they’re in the wrong?

    What does it say about you when you try to ruin someone’s life because of something you didn’t like (not a major sin mind you)? Can we claim to be any better than the tyrants we hear about on the news? Why aren’t we able to separate between what we like and what we dislike about an individual?

    I would like to conclude by telling you about the most unique and incredible battle in the history of mankind, the battle of Siffin. Believers would fight during the day and after the battle would go into the other camp and chat and converse. Unlike us, they could clearly separate between disagreeing with someone on the one hand, and still seeing them as brothers and as believers on the other. They didn’t allow their quarrel over an issue to spill into every other dynamic of their lives.

    Brothers and sisters, we are mistreated and dealt with unjustly in the world today because we do the same to each other. Let’s change ourselves and change will come.

    Be the hated and not the hater.

    Be the insulted and not the one insulting.

    Be the killed and not the killer.

    wassalam

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kamal-El-Mekki/131857895079?hc_location=timeline

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  56. Lilia

    Thank you Salafi Feminist. I respect what you have shared. keep on! as for the whole thing; sorry people, really, a Muslim writing in a public forum, a muslim speaking privately, a Muslim even thinking thoughts, and especially a Muslim who has a lot of influence – all need to think many many many times before opening their mouths. Go and look at the Hadiths on prohibitions of the tongue. subhanAllah. I am a Muslim feminist, and many like me believe that Rasul Allah sal Allahu alayhi wasalam was the first and true feminist. look, you may have a diff. understanding of the term. but in my book, it means having a clear concern that women’s rights and women’s status in society do not get overlooked much less abused as has been teh case in almost all societies. having said all this, a person should not have a problem being held accountable for his publicly-spoken words. the real storm in a teacup began because he stubbornly and arrogantly dug his feet in and accused other scholars of pandering to their “fans” – to me this reveals the sad trap this smart young man, AE, is in: he has no mentor to help him get a grip and pull back. he thinks of himself as a superstar (his title on

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  57. Lilia

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • O H

      How can you say “he thinks of himself as a superstar”?! Assume good for your fellow Muslims and their intentions, especially shuyookh and scholars who deserve more respect and dignity. Plus the sarcastic smart young man label doesn’t sound great either. We muslims ought to assume good about other fellow Muslims, even more so regarding people of knowledge. If you disagree, disagree objectively with proper Islamic manners and etiquettes instead of name-calling on such a public platform.

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      Lilia ,

      What if your words hurt him ? You wouldn’t want to hurt another muslim , let alone a man who strives so much to please Allah .
      If Allah loves him very much , you just hurt someone who Allah loves .
      For us muslims , it’s best we speak good or remain silent , like our rasool pbuh taught us .

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  58. Arban Shazan

    Asra Nomani, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji and Fatima Mersini all are feminists and fighting for the rights of women according to their ideals and views. They are not killers, suicide bombers or smugglers. They are law abiding citizen.They just have different views than you. What harm they have done to you. I am sorry but it is ridiculous to term them evil. Unfortunately Riz, I think according to you everyone who has different views than you is an evil. I don’t share or rather understand your reasoning.

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    • Fritz

      They are selfish individualists who are practising a creed of sectarianism along gender lines. Right with no responsibilities and the destruction of the family. That is their call to arms. Is that not evil enough?

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      • Arban Shazan

        One mans hero is another mans enemy. We have different perspectives.

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      • Arban Shazan

        My ethics forbade me to use words like “evil” or “selfish” for others especially those who have not done any harm to me. Also many islamophobics would like to rewrite your sentence as
        “Muslims are selfish individualists who are practising a creed of sectarianism along religion lines.”

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    • Riz Khan

      Sorry Brother, I just reread my comment and I think that I was an exaggeration to use that “evil” word. You are right, it is not civil to declare someone evil just because they have different values, religion or opinion. I was just trying to prove my point that “feminism” is essentially un-islamic by quoting them as model feminists. I think they are presenting a distorted version of Islam. And they are one of the many reason for my hate of “feminism”.

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      • FeminaziAntiAbuEesa

        Riz, you are monster and extremest.you should be ashamed of what you commented.

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      • Riz Khan

        yes, I am mosnter, I was born with bombs and arms fitted in my mouth and I eat children dammit!

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      • Jawariah

        how is he a “monster”?! Do you make any sense?

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  59. Arban Shazan

    In response to all the anti-feminists!
    Feminism is the best thing that ever happened to men. What we men have given this world-war, killing whether in the name of religion, oppression. Let give the reign to our mothers, sisters and daughters. Femininity stands for gentleness, empathy, sensitivity, caring, sweetness, compassion, tolerance, nurturance, deference, and succorance and that is what we all need in this time and age.

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      But do we have to call ourselves feminist to have all those values . ?:) Those are ‘feminine’ values ….

      As a muslim , I don’t see the need of using this word as an addition to being muslim . Islam , by nature, is feministic( as per today’s definition of the term ). By showing the world that we need to be feministic , is like saying islam doesn’t have the inherent quality of protecting women’s rights.

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      • Arban Shazan

        Feminism has a history. There are names like Rebecca Walker, Elizabeth Cady Stanton,Amelia Jenks, Marie Therese Forget, Carrie Chapman and lots of other selfless feminist who made a better life possible for the western women.
        My sister you would probably be living in a western country enjoying all the human rights and more importantly being considered equal to man (gender equality). All these liberties of freedome of movement, education , marriage, job etc is only possible due to the work of the feminists of the past. Unfortunately the muslim women living in muslim countries are not so fortunate.
        I would only give you the example of the center of Islam Saudi Arabia.
        Saudi Arabia is country in the world where women are forbidden to drive motor vehicles. The motoring ban is not in statute law, but is an “informal” religious fatwa imposed by conservative Muslim clerics in order to maintain the country’s tradition of gender segregation. In 1990, when 47 Saudi women drove cars through the streets of Riyadh in protest against the ban, protestors were punished. “All the drivers, and their husbands, were barred from foreign travel for a year. Those women who had government jobs were fired. And from hundreds of mosque pulpits, they were denounced by name as immoral women out to destroy Saudi society.”
        Women complain that “we can’t move around without a male.” Many cannot afford chauffeurs, and the few buses that do operate in cities and towns across the Kingdom do so randomly. In 2013, women started a campaign to defy the ban by driving on October 26, 2013. However on October 23, in a “rare and explicit restating of the ban”, Interior Ministry Spokesman General Mansur al-Turki warned, “It is known that women in Saudi are banned from driving and laws will be applied against violators and those who demonstrate support.”

        Under Saudi law, all females must have a male guardian, typically a father, brother or husband (a mahram). Girls and women are forbidden from traveling, conducting official business, or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission from their male guardians.

        The guardian has duties to, and rights over, the woman in many aspects of civic life. A United Nations Special Rapporteur report states that

        “legal guardianship of women by a male, is practised in varying degrees and encompasses major aspects of women’s lives. The system is said to emanate from social conventions, including the importance of protecting women, and from religious precepts on travel and marriage, although these requirements were arguably confined to particular situations.”

        Depending on the guardian, women may need their guardian’s permission for:

        marriage and divorce;
        travel, if under 45;
        education;
        employment;
        opening a bank account;
        elective surgery, particularly when sexual in nature.

        The official law, if not the custom, requiring a guardian’s permission for a woman to seek employment was repealed in 2008.

        Some examples of the importance of permission are

        A July 2013 case, where King Fahd hospital in Al Bahah postponed amputating a critically injured women’s hand because she had no male legal guardian to authorize the procedure. Her husband had died in the same car crash that left her and her daughter critically injured.
        August 2005 a court in the northern part of Saudi Arabia ordered the divorce of a 34-year old mother of two (named Fatima) from her husband, Mansur, despite the fact that were happily married. The divorce was initiated by her half-brother using his powers as her male guardian, who alleged that his half-sister’s husband was from from a tribe of a low status compared to the status of her tribe and that the husband had failed to disclose this when he first asked for Fatima’s hand. If sent back to her brother’s home, Fatima feared domestic violence.

        Guardianship requirements are not written law. They are applied according to the customs and understanding of particular officials and institutions (hospitals, police stations, banks, etc.). Official transactions and grievances initiated by women are often abandoned because officers, or the women themselves, believe they need authorization from the woman’s guardian. Officials may demand the presence of a guardian if a woman cannot show an ID card or is fully covered. These conditions make complaints against the guardians themselves extremely difficult.
        There are horror upon horror regarding the situation of muslim women in Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanista etc. I would not go into detail about them as the truth is already sour. What is the cause of their plight… Islam or Muslims?

        In west feminists are constantly at work making it better and better. Inshallah the women in future would enjoy more rights due to the work of feminists. No matter what terminology we use and whether we acknowledge it or not there will always be selfless people at work just for the benefit of others.

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      • Fritz

        50% divorce rate (80% initiated by women), and a generation of latch-key kids who have no concept of a family unit.

        Wow. Some progress huh?

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      • Arban Shazan

        Brother divorce occurs when both the husband and wife can not continue their relationship due to many reasons. Islam allows it. Divorce rates are high even in muslim countries. For example Saudi Arabia and kuwait almost 50%. They are not desirable. But it is a global phenomena. Let me draw your attention to something relevant. What about the Honour Killing . Muslims seems to be champions here. Statistics show that 90 percent of the world honour killings are committed by muslims- mostly killing their own mothers, sisters, daughters and other relatives.I won’t say
        wow! because it is saddening.

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      • Fritz

        Interestingly the original feminists fought along the lines of civil liberties (i.e. vote/legal rights)…one of their key aims was to protect the ability of women to live securely in their homes and look after their families! Amazing!

        The next generation have sought to “privitise” the mother for economic gains

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      • Arban Shazan

        @Fritz ..”Interestingly the original feminists fought along the lines of civil liberties (i.e. vote/legal rights)…one of their key aims was to protect the ability of women to live securely in their homes and look after their families! Amazing!”

        Certainly with their own choice and that is what feminism stands for…Giving them power to choose, marriage, education, career etc the right of choice.

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      • Umm ZAKAriyya

        “Unfortunately the muslim women living in muslim countries are not so fortunate…..”

        Did you ask why ?
        The answer is not islam , but non-implementation of islamic values.
        I have lived in 3 countries : 2 of which being US and Saudi
        Arabia .

        Every culture i have lived in has degraded women in different ways . It all depends on how you see it :)

        Unfortunately , Saudis are made beacons for islam . Why? They are not . There are just as many non practicing Saudis muslims in Saudi , as there are in other countries . Infact , I remember being so upset about how distant some saudis were from islam , despite being in a muslim country! And that includes the high officials and law makers .

        The best “islamic units ” in the world today are ” practicing muslim families”. Not countries or tribes.
        Within these families you will see islam in action , with women being treated with much love , care and dignity. With no need for a feminist savior to rescue any woman.

        I don’t hold extreme views about feminism . I see it as a duty being a muslim , to fight for the rights of people, whether female or male.
        But I would call that ” being muslim” , instead of ” being feminist”. Because I would want people to know its islam that’s helping , not its absence.

        I dislike extremism of all kinds .. that includes the radical feminism of our times .

        One of the core teachings of islam is to be moderate in everything we do or think. As long as we keep this in mind , it doesn’t matter what label we put on ourselves.
        Peace ✌️

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      • Arban Shazan

        Feminism is an active and effective force against degradation of women in each and every form. The norm feminist is standard for anyone advocating for the rights of women. The muslim majority countries have failed to ensure the rights of women. Unfortunately only the “KAAFIR” feminists are raising their voice for them. Those muslim who reject the term or title feminist should also consider to reject other similar term/title (I don’t mean it literally ) muslim american, muslim canadian, muslim british etc also because all the causes of rejecting the term feminist also apply in that case. For example american laws allow liquor, interest etc and an american can be a christian, jew, hindu etc.

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      • Arban Shazan

        Also all women are not fortunate enough to have caring and loving families. What about those women who are suffering due to abusive husbands, fathers, brothers etc. What about those women who are being killed in the name of honour. What about those women who are discriminated due to their gender.
        Notwithstanding the classical theories, the term feminist has evolved to be used for anyone working or advocating the rights of women.There are influential feminist groups/organizations working in the world. Anyone working for the rights of the women has to make contacts and working relationship with these groups. Avoiding or rejecting the feminism would not be conducive for the greater good of women i.e. effective movements with the aid of different feminist organizations across the world.

        Islam teach us to be just in each and every respect. consider the following verses!

        يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُونُوا۟ قَوَّٰمِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَآءَ بِٱلْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَـَٔانُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰٓ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا۟ ۚ ٱعْدِلُوا۟ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ خَبِيرٌۢ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

        O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. Quran 5:8

        يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ ۚ إِنْ يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَىٰ أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا ۚ وَإِنْ تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

        O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. Quran 4:135

        According to these sacred verses it is the responsibility of muslims to stand for justice even it it be against themselves, parents or relatives. If feminists are raising voices for the rights of muslim women then it would be according to the Holy Quran to give support to them.
        والله أعلمُ بالـصـواب

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  60. Arban Shazan

    Certainly with their own choice and that is what feminism stands for…Giving them power to choose, marriage, education, career etc the right of choice.

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  61. Eemaan

    Oh wow, what a complicated world! Only if we all learnt to accept an apology we never got…
    Nice post btw.

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    • Jawariah

      maybe if u checked back to his facebook page ud see just HOW MANY apologies he has given. And maybe if u messaged him he would have given u a personal apology as well. But no, you choose to sit there and comment against him on forums, holding your little “grudge” like thas gonna make any difference. Let it go already!

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      • Eemaan

        Dear Jawaria,
        That ‘apology’ was meant in a general term, for every human on Earth including myself, for every issue. As far as Abu Eesa is concerned, I had nothing against him in the first place to even look for an apology from him. I know nothing accept good about him. And had you had any common sense, ‘nice post btw’ at the end would have made it clear to you.
        What I should have said was, ” only if we learnt to accept apologies we never got,”.
        So now do me a favour. Look back and read our comments again. And tell me who is “attacking on forums”; me or you?… Actually, don’t bother. Coz I won’t be checking back again. And if you have any further misunderstandings, please keep them to yourself.

        (I apologise if you find me blunt, but believe me I have done my best to put my thoughts into the best words possible, while still keeping the effect.
        And to anyone else who was hurt by my comments, sorry. I never meant for anyone to be hurt.)

        *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

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      • J A

        oh oops my bad… sorry about that :/ I guess misunderstandings happen. I’m only a teenager after all hehe ;)

        *Name has been changed to comply to our Comments Policy*

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