In what has been described an unprecedented move in the history of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), a female representative has been elected as a member of the ulama body’s Executive Committee. The announcement was made following a by-election on April 21, 2018, at the MJC’s Annual General Meeting. Having carved a name for herself within the community on the socioeconomic issues facing Muslim women within the Cape and elsewhere, mualima Khadija Patel-Allie has been placed at the helm of an organisation that has been dominated by male leadership since its inception in 1945.
Allie is currently serving as the chairperson of the MJC Women’s Forum and is the wife of the body’s 1st deputy president, moulana Abdul Khaliq Allie.
Allie explained that she is humbled by the MJC’s General Majlis’ for having the confidence in her abilities and electing her for the position.
“The MJC with this bold step, with the challenges happening in our community, has shown that they are prepared to put themselves out there and say ‘let’s make a shift’,” Allie stated.
Allie admitted that while it is a move for women within the Muslim community, there is an “unpioneered” road ahead.
“It is not a personal thing. We understand that the challenges are big and this sector of women needs perspective and representation.
“Alhamdulillah, the MJC has made this move and it is really a move for the advantage of women in our communities,” she added.
As the HOD of the MJC Women’s Forum, Allie says she has been elected within that setting.
While the rest of the board of executives are prominent scholars within the community, Allie describes herself as a community activist.
Describing the MJC’s executive as a “male fraternity”, she says her election serves as means to even the playing field for Muslim females and open the discussion around women’s issues and concerns of ineffective social justice within South African.
“I have been elected into this position, I believe, because of the need for women’s perspectives in ‘that’ circle. It is positions that will do much good to our community, our society and to the issues of women.
“I know that people have their reservations, so our duas should be that good comes from this,” Allie continued.