Saturday, September 10, 2016

SYMPOSIUM :: The Case Against Female Clerics in Islamic Law: A Cultural Basis Does Not a Legal Basis Make

Cleric Liu Xueqiang (刘学强) examines arguments rooted in cultural norms to find a legal basis for female clerics. He concludes that "female clerics originate[d] in the particular historical-cultural environs of the Central Plains of China," out of the region's "traditions of scriptural education." For him, though, these origins are at odds with fundamental Islamic principles espousing gender complementarity rather than sameness. Professor Man Ke's (满珂) assessments confirm Liu's cultural argument about the origins of the practice. She finds that "custom-based gender relations influence" Salafī women– that is, those who adhere to Saudi Arabia-inspired conservative interpretations of Islamic law that purport to go back to Islam’s founding period – to "consistently" believe that women can only be "female teachers," and never authorized clerics. Image credit: China Daily