Samar Khan Story
Samar Khan is currently studying MA Women’s Studies in UCC. As an Indian Muslim woman, feminist and scholar, she brings a fresh perspective to Islamic philosophy.
“The lack of female scholars in Islamic philosophy feeds into the misinterpretation of Islam. We need more women academics to research and investigate religious texts and to promote the basic philosophy, to avoid it being manipulated for use against the economic and political development of women. My aim is to become one of these academics.
Religion has always been used politically by the powerful elites to subjugate the weak. Islam is often seen as religion where women are treated as inferior to men. However, we tend to forget that Islamic philosophy and Islamic practice are two different things. One of the most damaging phases for Islam was the age of feudalism that bred patriarchy, institutionalised misogyny and made a gender neutral compilation of the Qur'an and its interpretation instead something aggressively masculine.
As a critical believer who thinks that the emergence of Islam was a political response to the historical problems of the time, I challenge the perception that the Islam encourages gender discrimination.
This university has given me the chance to speak and, more importantly, to be heard. In UCC I feel comfortable and confident to voice what I think. UCC’s environment is conducive to bilateral learning. It reaffirms my faith in academia and its role in building a better and more democratic world. Coming to Ireland and studying at UCC may be the best thing that has ever happened to me . . .”
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