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Jakarta Post

Conference urges revision of Islamic jurisprudence

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 12 2009   /  09:54 am

Muslim scholars and women’s rights activists have called for a review of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), saying the outdated legal system marginalizes women. The executive director of the International Center for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP) Syafi’i Anwar said fiqh tends to be patriarchal and the laws derived from its philosophies, such as the marriage law, rarely benefit women. “This patriarchal fiqh is linked with positioning women so they lack the necessary autonomy to determine their own rights,” he told a Regional Conference on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Rights in Muslim Societies in Jakarta. Syafi’i said the existing fiqh structure was formulated during the medieval era when men had legislative authority and superiority over women. A rethink of the fiqh system is not out of the question, he said. “Fiqh is an individual interpretat...