Islamic feminist calls it quits after threats of violence

Published: 30th July 2013 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2013 08:01 AM   |  A+A-


Acclaimed Islamic feminist, Amina Wadud, on Monday, decided to “give up” on India and return to the US after a series of her lectures in the city, including one at Madras University, was cancelled following threats of protest from local Muslim groups.

She was scheduled to talk on ‘Islam, Gender and Reforms’, and abandoning the programme raised the hackles of the academia and those interested in having an engagement with Islam.

Sources said the police instructed the University and the JBAS College for Women here to call off the event as there was an alleged threat to the law and order situation if the Afro-American scholar of world renown presented her lecture. However, the US consulate, where she was scheduled to participate in a discussion, said the event has been “postponed”.

“I will save my breath for people of love and spirit and I am not really finding that sufficiently here so I give up. I am leaving India and returning to America shortly,” read Amina Wadud’s Facebook status  on Monday evening.

An Islamist feminist, Amina Wadud, a US national, continues to be in the forefront of the movement for liberal interpretation of the Islamic holy texts.

A reputed scholar, she rose to prominence because of her radical views on gender equality within the religion as well as her groundwork of leading Friday prayers in the US and UK mosques since 2005, a hitherto exclusive preserve of male imams. This earned her the ire of the conservatives and even led to a fatwa against her. She has been living in Calicut on a multiple-entry visa for about a year now since her retirement as a professor.

University sources told Express that police had contacted the Registrar on Sunday and asked for information about the lecture.  A few hours later, the administration was instructed to cancel the talk as there were threats of protest from a “number of local Islamic groups in Chennai”.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp