By Mohammed Wajihuddin | tnn TNN
Every time the fatwa brigade of Darul Uloom Deoband or any other patriarchal seminary delivers a regressive diktat, Zakia Soman is among the first to react. Tearing into the mullahs’ ruling over a variety of issues, including the length of Sania Mirza’s tennis skirt, Soman raises a banner of protest. She symbolizes a liberated, albeit miniscule, voice among Muslim women who mostly lead (or are forced to lead) a segregated, secluded life. Education might have propelled a section among Muslim women to step out of their homes, but the orthodox clergy continues to consider them inferior to men. Soman provides an antidote to such medieval mentality.
valley, saw ample verbal fireworks. A dozen or so participants, mostly women activists experienced in fighting misogynist mullahs, exchanged views, cracked jokes and slammed the sermonizing clergy. Recounting acts of rebellion, many remembered the calumny they suffered for opposing oppressive patriarchy and for calling the bluff of the champions of orthodox Islam.