Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Benazir Bhutto on Islamic Teachings and Patriarchal Traditions

September 4, 1995

Muslim women have a special responsibility to help distinguish between Islamic teachings and social taboos spun by the traditions of a patriarchal society. […] In distinguishing between Islamic teachings and social taboos, we must remember that Islam forbids injustice: Injustice against people, against nations, against women. It shuns race, colour, and gender as a basis of distinction amongst fellowmen. It enshrines piety as the sole criteria for judging humankind. It treats women as human beings in their own right, not as chattel. A woman can inherit, divorce, receive alimony and child custody. Women were intellectuals, poets, jurists and even took part in war.

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