Laughing at this ridiculous attitude of mine, my close friend said, “It means that you are still worried if you found a new ideology (again) that would break your faith in feminism.”
When buying books on Feminism and Islam, I happened to find books written by Fatima Mernissi and Riffat Hassan, Qasim Amin, Amina Wadud, Nawal El Sadawi, etc that just a month ago I found out those people were labeled “radical Muslim Feminists”. Pay attention to the word RADICAL. People mostly refer the word into something negative, just like radical feminists who choose to be lesbians, and in fact until now homosexuals are still considered to deviate the norm.
My getting to know feminism ideology spoiled myself with more liberal (and perhaps people label it radical) ideas to fulfill my rebellious character, besides to find the answers of my own questions since I was a kid. When (some) people in Indonesia suspect the word LIBERAL as something negative, I find it intriguing. This made me read more various books, the ones that were easily red-penciled by my elementary school teachers (and perhaps my parents too). For example, whether there is something very wrong with Syekh Siti Jenar’s ideas so that this particular character was forbidden to talk about in my community.
My curiosity whether God really takes side to a certain religion needs to be answered. It obliged me to be more open-minded and broad-minded.
Without my awareness, I started to leave the “ridiculous attitude” of mine in 2003. I don’t imprison myself to read only books written by feminists, or books written by fanatic Muslims who easily judge other religions or faiths as rubbish because the adherents do not worship the Omnipotent Allah.
Why is that?
The answer is because I have strong faith that feminism exists to help women who are jailed in patriarchal culture consensuses.
I also have strong faith that Allah doesn’t take side to any religion or faith so that people do not need to feel arrogant that their religion is the absolute truth. I keep being a Muslim because of my strong faith in this religion that I have adhered since I was born.
But I am not a fanatic. I am not a fanatic feminist. I am not a fanatic Muslim either.
I found a good quote in one blog the other day:
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
A fanatic—in my opinion—just shows narrow-mindedness.
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