The Muslim Council of Britain today urged mosques and associations to mark International Women's Day on Friday 8 March. This is a perfect opportunity for khatibs to mention in their Friday sermons the importance Islam places on the role of women in society. It is also an opportunity to highlight and challenge the negative actions taken against women, often, misguidedly, in the name of Islam.
In particular, Imams and religious leaders can affirm the high status of women in Islam, as stated in the Qur'an:
“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will We give a new life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the their actions. (Qur'an 16:97, see also 4:124).”
Talat Ahmed, Chair of the Social and Family Affairs Committee of the MCB said: "It is unfortunate that the voices of these women and their status are often overlooked and instead prejudice and stereotypes against Muslim women continue.
As Muslims too we must be open and accept that violence against girls and women persists and that our communities should - and in fact already are - working to address this, but like the challenges facing women across the world of all cultures and religions, there is more to do and we cannot rest.
Muslims are proud of their women and their achievements in the public and private sphere and the Muslim Council takes a moment today to acknowledge their contributions in all walks of life, and holds high hopes to work with society at large to eradicate discrimination, violence and prejudice."
We commend those affiliates who are taking real steps to tackle the challenges and celebrate the role of women in our public, private and religious life.