Kugle- Sexuality, Diversity, and Ethics

After reading this article, a lot stood out to me, but the one particular quote that stood out to me is ” The Qur’an doe snot blame sex or sexual desire for the “fall” of Adam and his mate Eden, nor do Muslims in general see sex as part of fleshly corrupt in the life on this world. Rather, sexual desire is part of the creation and expresses Allah’s wisdom. It brings divided people together, forces them to confront spiritual and ethical truths, and allows for continuity between generations.” This really made me question a lot of thoughts I previously had about Islam and the teachings. Through a lot of the readings that we had for class, there was a strong emphasis from the religion and culture of the taboo of same sex relationships and other types that were not heterosexual. This article completely switches this view and portrays the complete opposite which brings up the issue of interpretation of the Qur’an. There has always been a lot of controversy about how to perceive the Qur’an or any other holy book, and this is a prime example of how it could cause problems between people. It was very confusing to me because it stated the views on same sex relationships pretty clearly in my opinion so I don’t fully understand how there was any room for interpretation.

The Mosque in Morgantown

After watching the movie, it was very surprising to me that she got so much backlash from her views and the way she wanted to make changes in the mosque. She was very clear about her views about the inequality of men and women in the mosque and the difference in opinions turned into a huge negative on how he efforts were viewed. It was particularly surprising to me when other women were strongly disagreeing with her efforts because she was really putting effort into bettering the lives for them and to have them be equally involved in there community, especially when they were so committed to their religion. She got a lot of negativity for standing up for what she believed in and a lot of criticism that she got was for apparently ‘making the rules up for herself and not following the Qu’ran in the proper way.’

There was a lot of backlash against her but I think she needed to realize that people of the mosque were not in the most progressive mindset that she was in which doesn’t mean that they weren’t agreeing with her, but they just weren’t at the same level as she was. I also think that she was not listening to the other perspective of the people in the mosque and how much their lives would change. There was no real connection to her and the town of Morgantown so one of the huge problems people had with her was that she just walked in to this town and decided to try and reform the community and the mosque.

Tales of the Waria

I really enjoyed watching this movie about the Waria because it really made me think about other parts of the world and it exposed me to new ideas and thoughts about the Waria. I had never really heard about it before watching this but there were a lot of different feelings, both positive and negative, after I finished watching it. It was very surprising but really good to see how they are very accepted in their society because in the Western world, we are made to believe that they aren’t accepted anywhere in the world, especially in such a conservative society. It was really interesting to see the different kinds of relationships and how the difference in opinions plays a role in the mindset of the people that were documented. One of the relationships that was really surprising to me but in a positive way was the waria that was married to the guy who also had a wife. It was particularly striking to me because they showed them all to be equally included in the family which was nice to see because it was shown to be very accepting but then at the end of the movie, this family dynamic changed but it was not explained why.

This movie was definitely very eye opening for me and showed a lot of new perspectives and the difference of opinions which is important. It really did focus on the better parts of the lives of the Waria, and I’m sure there is also the opposite but the bad is always focused on so I think that this movie was important to show the positives too.

Source Review #1

After reading through my sources that I found for my bibliography, I chose to do my source review on the article I found about the 2012 Olympics that took place in London. This article was particularly interesting to me because there was a lot of information that I think is very relevant to the paper that I was to write, and it is also very informative since it has a lot of personal stories about Muslim women athletes who have experienced things in the Olympics that they thought was important to share. The article takes specific stories that were either on the news or other articles, all of which were fabricated from the west, and they break each one down, highlighting all the issues that came from them and then pointed out the truth in each and every one of them. This is extremely important for my paper because a lot of what we think is just based on what we hear in the media but it doesn’t guarantee the truth, so this article shows both sides of the the story and gives me a lot of information to work with and base my paper around. It covers many different topics about these women, from their backgrounds to the way they were looked at and treated in the olympics, and it provides me a lot of different directions that I can take my paper in.

This article is based on these women and the author’s main thesis is that there is a lot of false information that is presented to us and she wanted to dig in and find the truth in all the examples that she provides to show us how the story gets changed from multiple different perspectives. It really helps my paper because she presents each example in a very clear and concise way which makes the arguments for each case very understandable and accurate. She takes personal accounts of athletes which doesn’t leave any room for interpretations and assumptions which makes her arguments even stronger and allows the reader to get a better understanding.

“Prohibited Acts and Forbidden Partners: Illicit Sex in Islamic Jurisprudence”

After reading this article, there were a lot of things that surprised me but also a lot that I expected from a western point of view. One part of the article that I was particularly interested in was when they were talking about different types of sexual relationships and when they listed which ones they consider to be sins. Same-sex relationships are looked down upon by a lot of people in their culture and religion, especially if they have a very traditional way of thinking. Another thing that really surprised me was one of the sins that were listed was if a woman refuses to please her husband sexually and this is so surprising to me because I would never think of it to be sin. The whole article describes multiple sexual examples that would be considered a sin, all of which restrict people from being who they truly are which is something that I have never been exposed to. This post almost made me mad because I live in a place that is so accepting and forward thinking and after reading this, there are so many places in the world that are the exact opposite and the views and mentality is so extreme. I always knew that a lot of people, especially the older generation were very conservative with their thinking and view point, but this article highlights the most extreme cases, and even goes as far as calling these relationships sins which is so absurd and surprising to me.

Polygany

Today in class we talked about the complications of polygany and there was a lot of interesting topics that came up in our discussion. There seems to be a big controversy about the perspective of polygany from a man and woman, and we talked about the differences of the laws in the US on adultery. In the religion, a man is allowed to have up to four wives but this was explored more when we read the article where multiple women involved in this arrangement were interviewed. Some women don’t mind this arrangement and view it as a positive because they view their relationship to be exclusive with their husband, even though he has multiple of the same system with other women. On the flip side, other women see it as a huge problem because they are so in love with the man and don’t feel it is right that he shares his feelings with others, so the opposites are very extreme but this doesn’t change the way the system works because of what the Qu’ran says.

In the US, there are laws against adultery in some states so I think that that is a huge reason why we think of the concept of polygany in such a negative way. We associate it with cheating since there is nothing like it in our culture, despite the may different religions in the country. After today’s discussion, it helped me really understand the specifics of polygany and what people who experience it really think about it. I particularly really enjoyed reading the article and discussing it with my group because it provided interviews with women and it helped us get a clearer understanding of the system instead of other peoples’ perspectives on it.

Macy’s Verona Selection – Muslim Modest Clothing

After watching the video of the Macy’s modest clothing line that they released, there were a lot of different thoughts that went through my mind. A lot of things in the video were very controversial and could spark up a lot of debate so after watching that video, I went online and found videos that had reactions by Muslim women and what they thought about it. The reactions were very varied which I thought was interesting, but it also depended on the individual and the values and tradition that they are brought up with. Some women had a very conservative mindset and really liked the fashion line because it was very modest but modern and allowed them to keep up their traditions whilst also keeping up with the new trends. I found that a lot of the younger generation who were interviewed, were not impressed by it because they have a more forward way of thinking and don’t believe that there was any need for them to be very covering and reserved. It was interesting to see because all the responses were so different for every person, and I have never viewed  clothing as a significant topic for controversy.

Annotated Bibliography for Research Paper

  1. Samie, Sumaya Farooq and Sertaç Sehlikoglu. “Strange, Incompetent and Out-Of-Place.” Feminist Media Studies, vol. 15, no. 3, June 2015, pp. 363-381. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/14680777.2014.947522.Jiwani, Nisara and Geneviève Rail. “Islam, Hijab and Young Shia Muslim Canadian Women’s Discursive Constructions of Physical Activity.” Sociology of Sport Journal, vol. 27, no. 3, Sept. 2010, pp. 250-267. EBSCOhost, muhlenberg.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=55114653&login.asp&site=ehost-live&scope=site. –> This is definitely an article that I would want to use. It really focuses on the younger generation and their thoughts and opinions on the social expectations of Muslim girls and women in the athletic world. It focuses on the heavy influence of the religion and culture in Canada which is considered to be one of the most forward thinking places for anyone to be living in.
  2. Abd-Latif, Rozita. “The Perspective of Arabic Muslim Women toward Sport Participation.” Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, May 2010, pp. 364-377. EBSCOhost, muhlenberg.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=51003312&login.asp&site=ehost-live&scope=site. –> Similarly to the first article that I found, I would want to use this article because it gives me real life interviews and experiences of Arabic Muslim women of all ages, all of which have been exposed to being in the athletic world and their different opinions and beliefs after participating in their respective sports. This and the first source will help me compare the difference in opinions of multiple women, all of which have provided first hand experiences so it will help me research my topic more, but with different perspectives to make it more interesting and enlightening.
  3. Sfeir, Leila. “The Status of Muslim Women in Sport: Conflict between Cultural Tradition and Modernization.” [“Muslimische Frauen im Sport: Der Konflikt zwischen kultureller Tradition und Modernisierung”]. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, vol. 20, no. 4, Dec. 1985, pp. 283-306. EBSCOhost, muhlenberg.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=11489669&login.asp&site=ehost-live&scope=site. –> This is one of the most helpful sources that I plan on using because it gives a lot of broad information about the position women are put in when it comes to the athletic world. It also tackles the constant question of how much tradition and modernization play a role in today’s world and peoples’ opinion of this very controversial topic.
  4. Kay, Tess. “DAUGHTERS of ISLAM: Family Influences on Muslim Young Women’s Participation in Sport.” [“Töchter des Islam: Familieneinflüsse auf das Sportengagement junger muslimischer Frauen”]. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, vol. 41, no. 3/4, Sep-Dec2006, pp. 357-373. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/1012690207077705. –> similarly to the other articles I have found, this one focuses on the influence of the families of Muslim girls and women when it addresses the athletic world. There is also a debate about the outside influences, whether it be the media or the religion or culture, all of which starts from the families. It gives specific examples that show multiple perspectives and highlights a lot of issues that are overlooked the majority of the time by people who haven’t been exposed to this particular issue.
  5. Walseth, Kristin and Kari Fasting. “Islam’s View on Physical Activity and Sport.” [“La mirada del Islam sobre la actividad física y el deporte: La interpertación del Islam por las mujeres egipcias”]. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, vol. 38, no. 1, Mar. 2003, pp. 45-60. EBSCOhost, muhlenberg.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=9592166&login.asp&site=ehost-live&scope=site. —> a lot of these issues and articles are hard to understand, especially with the aspect of religion, so this article is important because it gives a very factual text that informs the reader about the technical ‘rules’ that is implied by the religion and has a very over-arching theme that is more informational than personal.
  6. Samie, Sumaya Farooq and Sertaç Sehlikoglu. “Strange, Incompetent and Out-Of-Place.” Feminist Media Studies, vol. 15, no. 3, June 2015, pp. 363-381. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/14680777.2014.947522. –> The olympics always draw a lot of attention to this topic because of the Muslim women who are participating in it. This article takes us back to the 2012 Olympics and give us detailed accounts of the personal experiences of Muslim women athletes who were put in the spotlight for the way they felt, or the way they were treated. It gives us a very different perspective from the other articles who mention a small focus group of Muslim women versus famous athletes who are being watched by millions of people all over the world with many different opinions.
  7. Berick-Aharony, Omna. “The Bare Truth: Porno-Chic Models of Femininity as a National Narrative.” European Journal of Women’s Studies, vol. 20, no. 4, Nov. 2013, pp. 390-407. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/1350506813481965. –> this article highlights the issue that is seen as a problem throughout society but also sparks up a lot of debate because of the severe difference in opinions. It talks about the sexualizing of females in not only sports, but their day-to-day lives. It ventures out to different parts of the world and compares the way each society looks at women and compares them all to each other and the western views.
  8. Shavit, Uriya and Frederic Wiesenbach. “An “Integrating Enclave”: The Case of Al-Hayat, Germany’s First Islamic Fitness Center for Women in Cologne.” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, vol. 32, no. 1, Mar. 2012, pp. 47-61. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/13602004.2012.665621. –> this article takes us to Germany where they opened their first women’s gym. This could be seen as a positive or a negative, both of which are highlighted in the article. But this takes us even further and explores the issue of segregation versus integration in the western society and the Islam. There has always been many questions and concerns about this, and with the opening of the new gym, it allows us to look into the perspectives of this issue in a real life situation with a  specific case to study and analyze.
  9. Tarlo, Emma. “Hijab Online.” Interventions: The International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, vol. 12, no. 2, July 2010, pp. 209-225. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/1369801X.2010.489695. –> This is a very different articles from the others that I picked. This one talks about fashion and the opening in the market for stores that are specifically targeted towards Muslim women. This can be linked to sports and how this is a way to encourage Muslim women to participate and not be stopped by apparel. It can also be linked to the daily lives of women who lead a more conservative lifestyle. It allows them to have options and not be restricted with what they want to do.

Research Project Topic Idea

With the recent controversy with the Olympics and the female Muslim competitors wearing hijabs, I wanted to research more in depth about the different view points that people have about this topic. There has always been a lot of talk about Muslim fashion and the major controversy about women wearing hijabs, especially since Macy’s came out with the Muslim fashion line and this caused major backlash. The conversation about the attire in sports can also be tied into this topic so there is a lot of information for me to research about this and I can find a lot of different perspectives and delve into more first hand experiences of women who have been through this and can provide a more detailed explanation of their thoughts about this issue.

Inside the Gender Jihad: Chapter 3 Reflection

In chapter 3, Wadud really emphasizes the importance of justice in Islam and how it ties in with gender reformation. She mentions how she believes that changes should be made. “If we want change then we cannot merely run around like ants and just be active. We must have ideas about where we want to go and why we want to go there, and from there determine how to proceed effectively. Theory is significant in providing direction and perspective.” One of her main concerns was what the root of the problem is and how to find that out. There is a strong emphasis on providing a plan of action in order to try to make change. Wadud believes that every decision made stems from the basis of Islam and everyone’s individual agency which affects the mentality and mindset people have of the reformation of women’s rights in Islam. This was really surprising to me since I have never had a strong religious influence in my life and I have never had a religious mindset but I could see that point of view and it made me realize how much the Quran plays a role in people’s lives and the decisions they make.