October 2018


Professor Spahić Šiljak emphasized in her lecture the importance of facing problems of discrimination, oppression, sexism and misogyny in the name of religion and God, without hiding behind learned lessons on how Islam granted all the rights to women and how women do not need feminism and human rights to guarantee them those rights. Professor Spahić Šiljak clarified that while it is correct that Islam granted women all the rights, Muslims denied women those rights. As a Muslim feminist, she finds that Islam and feminism are compatible if the message of Islam is interpreted from the perspective of egalitarian idealized cosmology of gender relations. Idealized cosmology is a vision of universe with normative religious constructs of gender, gender relations and relations of female individuals with the transcendent. If the constructs of these relations are formed on the basis of justice and equality in private and public sphere of action, as it is insisted by Islamic feminists, then it is possible to build a society in which every female individual will have the option to express her full potential with no discrimination on any grounds.

Professor Spahić Šiljak also emphasized the importance of analyzing cultural contexts in which legal and other norms are created – either in religious or non-religious discourse. In order to understand the woman's position in Islam, it is necessary to analyze the importance of Mesopotamian cultures, Judeo-Christian anthropology of the human being and Aristotelian philosophy on the birth of human beings, upon which women were defined as unfinished or incomplete men. That is extremely important because no religion can occur and exist ouside culture, practices and traditions of a certain context, and they are inevitably immersed in and colored by them and their positive and negative practices. Unfortunately, from the ancient Mesopotamian cultures until now in the 21st century, the patriarchy and androcentrism are institutionalized, and it is necessary to deconstruct them in order to create new gender policies.