The Muslim Youth Movement’s Gender Desk will commemorate the life of the late Shamima Shaikh, South Africa’s most prominent Muslim gender rights’ activists. As a proponent for gender justice within the South African Muslim community, Shaikh championed the causes of women’s access and inclusion in sacred spaces, a just Muslim Personal Law and promoted, through her own example, women’s leadership and scholarship.
Speaking to VOC Drivetime on Friday, organiser Safiyyah Surtee said through her commitment to Islam, Shaikh believed it imperative to speak out and act against all kinds of injustices, especially racial and gender discrimination.
In commemorating her life, the memorial lecture, set to take place annually, will provide a platform for much-needed discourse on critical issues in the struggle for gender justice in Muslim communities.
The first lecture will take place on Saturday 20 September at the Women’s Jail, Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg, featuring tributes from former comrades, family members, activists, and spoken word artists. The lecture itself will be delivered by Professor Kecia Ali, and will be titled “Muslim Feminism, Islamic Law, and the Quest for Gender Justice”.
Kecia Ali is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. Her books include Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence, Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam, Imam Shafi‘i: Scholar and Saint and The Lives of Muhammad, about modern biographies of Islam’s prophet. She is active in the American Academy of Religion and is the president of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.
The event starts at 13.30pm. Salaah facilities will be available and refreshments will be served.
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