I just read a posting on Shirin Ebadi (thanks mas Fatih).
Very interesting. Not everyday you found somebody who’s able to realize and criticize the rigid interpretation and implementation of certain Islamic laws without slipping into becoming an extreme liberal.
Shirin seems to be a rarity, a voice of reason among the chaos. While others are either going to the extreme of interpreting Islam literally, or interpreting Islam so liberally it’s no longer Islam; Shirin manages to steadily and bravely walk on the middle path.
She even dared to criticize Israel in her Nobel prize speech.
Among many things, she got it right when she said that Islam can be interpreted quite differently, depending on who/how/where/when it was interpreted.
Different culture interpreted Islam differently; example, forced marriage is usual in certain Middle East countries, while it’s incompatible with Minangkabau’s matrilineal culture.
Another culture put great emphasis on inbreeding, which while halal, can be harmful (or even fatal) for the 3rd or 4th generation.
Another example; currently women are not honored in various cultures as they have had. They’re looked down if dared talking to a man. It’s in stark contrast with the beginning of Islam; Imam Syafie’s guru was a woman. And Aisyah ra (prophet’s wife) was a guru for many companions.
Some feminist went overboard when faced with these though – instead of reverting back to the original Islamic practices, they aimed to destroy Islam itself instead.
Extremism is never a good thing, and it’s against Prophet Muhammad’s teaching as well. It’s good to find another muslim(ah) with his/her vision set firmly on the original Islamic values. Hopefully more and more will show up.
If I’m wrong on my comments about her though, please feel free to correct me. Thanks.