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IPSA dissects MMB at symposium

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While the Muslim Marriages Bill (MMB) remains a divided issue within the Muslim community, its relevance will be unpacked at the Islamic Peace College South Africa’s (IPSA) 2nd Annual “Women in Islam – Women in South Africa” (WIWISA) Symposium this weekend. This year, the 2014 WIWISA symposium is entitled “Muslim Marriages Bill: Mapping the Ongoing Socio-Ethical-Legal Challenges for Women.” It will critically reflect on some of the key areas of contention and causes for the current impasse.

“We hope that this event will create a vibrant and robust space for dialogue between various role-players including government on this important issue. We have invited speakers from the ulama fraternity, legal experts and practitioners,” said IPSA principal Sheikh Isgaak Taliep.

Deputy Home Affairs Minister Fatima Chohan will provide the government’s perspective, while gender-rights activists as well as Muslim women will speak to and of their own lived realities.

“We consider it critical that Muslim women’s voices be at the forefront of the current discourse around the MMB and that the consultative processes that will inform the way forward on this issue be inclusive of and validate their voices,” said Taliep.

The first session is themed ‘Locating key contentions, identifying the causes for the current impasse, and the role of Fiqh of Minorities?’ and will feature legal experts such as retired judge Essa Moosa, Dr Abdul Kareem Toffar and Sheikh Muneer Abderouf.

Session two focuses on the ‘Limitations of fatāwā in relation to the lived realities of Muslim Women in SA’ and will feature gender activist Khadeeja Bassier, clinical psychologist Zubeida Ahmad and Nuraan Osman, the director of the Ihata shelter for abused women.

The programme will feature a 15 minute talk in session two and three of the programme and also a panel discussion and QnA session.

The theme of session three is entitled ‘The Way forward? Government and Legal Perspectives on the Marriage Officers’. In this session, facilitators hope to offer a critical response from a legal perspective on the recent government initiative of designating imāms as official Marriage Officers.

IPSA is regarded as one of the foremost higher Islamic education colleges in South Africa, and the first and only institution of its kind to be accredited by and registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET),

“Our annual WIWISA symposium forms part of IPSA’s broader campaign to provide a platform for stimulating important conversations on various issues related to gender and gender-justice within the South African Muslim community,” added Taliep.

The event will be held on Saturday 6 September 2014 from 13h30-17h30 at IPSA’s Conference Room in Rylands Estate, Cnr. of Johnston and Duine Road. Tickets cost R100. To rsvp, contact Leila Macauley on 021- 638 1121 or email lmacauley@ipsa-edu.or.

VOC is the official media partner for the event and the lectures will be broadcast at a later date. VOC

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