Feminism and Islam

May 22nd, 2007, in Society, by

Feminism is not suitable for Indonesian women.

Eny Dwiningsih, a professor at the Islam State University in Jakarta (UIJ), said in a seminar called “Developing Intellectual Interest in Womens’ Issues” at the North Sumatra University in Medan on 18th May that Islam rejected feminism.

Feminism was dangerous to Islam because it was infused with the spirit of secularism, opposed to sharia law, and based on false assumptions, she said.

The secularised capitalist nations of the world had for a long time been attempting to force feminism on Muslims, in the name of womens’ freedom, and they suggested that personal freedom generally was the answer to many problems, and that Islam was the source of the Islamic world’s backwardness.

Faithful Muslim women were confused today and had lost their self-confidence and belief in their special roles in the family and society, and this showed that the secular capitalists had partly succeeded in their mission: republika

This is the target of the movement, that is, to cause Muslims to lose faith in the ability of Islam to answer the problems that women face.

163 Comments on “Feminism and Islam”

  1. Ihaknt says:

    Cape ngomongin ginian. Bigots will always be bigots. One refuses to learn from the other. One feels more superior than the other. That’s what happens when pig-headed people willingly close their horizon and refuse to use their inteligence and common sense. The cycle will never stop.

    MK, unfortunately, no matter how well you recite the verses and how much it makes sense to understand these, some of us will only want to see their taken-out-of-context interpretation. Sad reality. If those animals are created by Allah and as a human we see them as ‘disgusting’, does it mean we see Allah’s creation as disgusting? Does it mean that it’s sinful to even think so?

  2. Achmad Sudarsono says:


    Cukurungan, Mohammed Khafi, and Aluang Anak, how about some coherence ? Brevity maketh the writing. The average reader, or at least those with IQs of above their shoe size will switch off after the 4th or 5th clause of incoherent rambling. (Those with less will switch off after one — maybe they aren’t so dumb).

    A communications tip: simplify, simplify, simplify. Break it down into simple sentences.

    As for you, Janma, once again, I recommend you attend the Dharma Wanita. It’s been scientifically established that 90 % of feminists have facial hair and suffered problems interracting with boys in high school. Many turned to lesbianism and feminism. Others grew more hair on their legs and armpits.

    If they ‘cook’ it is food like boiled sock and exhaust-pipe roasted newspaper. Yum, Yum.

    I thank you, Friend.

  3. Tomaculum says:

    M. Khafi,

    Please don’t spread lies about Islam, you would be lowering yourself to the level of Aluang Anak Bayang and Cukurungan.

    Sorry, with this

    Don’t you know, that to follow Islam means to abandon their own culture (beginning with the way to dress? 🙂 )

    I meant off course cynically the understanding of Islam of many, many Indonesian (look around: surban, baju koko etc, etc).

    A. Sudarsono,
    I’m again and again astonished by your wide knowledge:

    It’s been scientifically established that 90 % of feminists have facial hair and suffered problems interracting with boys in high school. Many turned to lesbianism and feminism. Others grew more hair on their legs and armpits.

    Would you mind to tell me your scientifical sources? 🙂
    Don’t you know, that it is scientifically proved, that nearly 99% of males, which are against feminism and which are telling such daffic things about it, have dominant mothers and are afraid of women as spitting images of those mothers? 🙂

    Peace my friend!

  4. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Pak Tomaculum,

    Please leave Momma out of this. My scientific sources are based on personal observation during University. Again and again emerged the beard and the hairy appendages. The fairer sex ? No way – it was the hairer sex, or rather sek.

  5. Parvita says:

    What is feminism? Definetely Professor Eny has different understanding on feminism than me, because I don’t see feminism is against Islam. Feminism is against manmade sharia, but not Islam.

    Feminism is not about women being equal to men. We are created differently, so there are certain things different about our function in the world. We have different hormones, we have a womb, we get pregnant and give milk to our babies. Our muscles are not build as strong as men. Our bodies are shaped to function as a mother. This is kodrat or takdir, something that cannot be changed, given from Allah. But this difference is not in any case a reason for women to be left behind. If any of you read the Qur’an, God only differs human based on their amal (dunno the english for this word!). In the Qur’an, sentences start with, “Hai, orang2 beriman!” (Those who have faith), or “Hai manusia” (people). Not “Hai kaum laki-laki” (Men!). So everything applies the same both for men and women. Both have to believe in God, be good to their parents and giving to each other. Both have to learn (or in this case, iqra’, which pathetically not all people do as I can see).

    Feminism is actually putting women where they are supposed to be. History has proven that there has been differences in obligation and ‘jobs’ between women and men. Not only in the eastern country but also in Europe and America. When were women allowed to vote in the west? Feminism is about making the most out of yourself, of ourselves as a women, without men bordering what we can do and cannot do. It is about us giving the best for the world, together with men. Equal opportunity. It is not about women taking over men’s world. It is about freedom to give (zakat is giving, not only money, but also your time, thoughts, and knowledge).

    Feminism is about freedom of choice. Women should not be restricted on whatever she choose to do. Because women also have brains and common sense. They know the consequences of their choices.

    Feminism, in my understanding, is actually an eye opener to women that they are not second hand citizens.

    Feminism was dangerous to Islam because it was infused with the spirit of secularism, opposed to sharia law, and based on false assumptions, she said.

    Tomaculum, I agree that Professor Eny doesn’t know what feminism means. As many of you here, she is in the same boat: mixing Sharia with Islam. Example: Wearing full-covered clothing like in Afghanistan is sharia. With that kind of clothing, there is no freedom to even move. How can a women give the best of her if her movement is restricted?

    This is the target of the movement, that is, to cause Muslims to lose faith in the ability of Islam to answer the problems that women face.

    Whatever movement shouldn’t make anybody lose faith in Islam if they believe in the Qur’an.

    I think Professor (anybody can be a professor these days, hmh) Eny needs to learn the feminism movement just like Achmad Sudarsono needs to understand the meaning of feminism. Probably learn from people like Gadis Arivia, Karlina Leksono, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana who are married and not lesbiansfor sure and even the lower profiled women who works to support their families. Tjut Nya’ Dien is married, and a moslem, yet she is feminist.

    By the way, lesbianism is not equal to man-hater, Achmad. And it is sad that you don’t go to the kitchen. Do you know that there are lots of men who are great chefs? Just to enlight you, Mr. Undercover Intel…

    Allah does not say that they are, he just tells us not to eat the flesh of pigs because it is contaminated,

    MK, is khinsir same as pig? Is there a pig in Arab? Khinsir is the word written in the Qur’an and I am not sure if Khinsir translates to pig. And are you sure because they are contaminated that moslems are not allowed to eat pigs? It is the 21st century and those ribbon warms shouldn’t be a problem anymore, probably anthrax and bird flu is more dangerous at this age! Eat, consume, take, adopt, if we say that these words are similar, we shouldn’t adopt the behaviour of pigs (or khinsir), who have intercourse with their mother, share their partner(s), eat their dung as they are halal…in short, make everything is ‘halal’? When you think about it, how many people that says they are moslem but they adopt the behaviour of pigs? Yet they don’t eat pigs but they adopt their behaviour…scary! Pigs are cute, same as dogs.

  6. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    [rude, boorish bit deleted by admin]

    Why get fixated on what’s considered halal, or some of the cruder expressions of Islam, such as historical taboos on pork or dogs. We all know such taboos have roots in practical higene practices in the ancient Middle East.

    There’s no need to be defensive, Parvita. We are all on this Blog seeking The Truth.

  7. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Mas Khafi,

    Aluang Anak Bayang, and Cukurungan are prime examples of why this country will never be great, both blinded to the views of others and cannot or will not accept that there is a place where mutual respect and tolerance will allow them both to live their lives as they wish.

    I am a realist. Tell me how I am blinded. Between me, you and Cuk, you are the blind one. You are avoiding real issue. You closed your eyes to the dung, and smell and hear no evil. You even discard the hadith, but still consider yourself moslem. I gave you an example of individual A, B and C. Cuk belongs to A, you are B.

    Since you side stepped the hadith, you knew it is a chronicle of evil. Otherwise you wouldn’t have discarded it in the first place. The rest of your co-religionists of the qu’ran-cum-hadith brand are disrespectful and intolerant. They can believe in fairies, flying horses and doomsday for all I care, but to force it down other’s throat is hardly respectful and tolerant. IM makes a very good effort in showcasing them. And yet, you are here telling us that we have misunderstood Islam, and explaining it in your non-conformist unislamic version.

    Please don’t spread lies about Islam, you would be lowering yourself to the level of Aluang Anak Bayang and Cukurungan.

    Next time innocent women and children are slaughtered to the chant of ‘Allahu Akhbar’, you have blood on your hand.

    A quick visit to Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and even many of the Gulf States would soon dissavow that idea. Please do not allow Wahabbism to win, by promoting their understanding of Islam.

    Who are you kidding? Why visit countries so far away from us? Why not visit neighbouring Brunei and Malaysia, and see what Islam has done to these 2 countries. I am sure you heard of Dr. Farish A Noor. Google search this name and read his article. Mas Khafi, no offence but I think it is time for you to wake up.

    I have a quick visit to those countries you mentioned and I’ve seen enough.

  8. Aluang Anak Bayang says:


    Remember that we are great descendants of “trahing kusumo trembesing madu” we don’t need to eat a disgusting foods like pork, dog and rat, even in Japan, pork meats is only for poor and low community people……

    You sneaky little weasel. You have a quick peep at your Arabian fairy book and slip in a page. Mind I remind you, you are herding sheeps, not camels.

  9. Parvita says:

    Achmad, I really don’t understand what you are talking about re: my comment. Anybody knows which part is defensive?

    If it is anything about this blog, it is far from seeking truth. There are some healthy discussions in it but most of the time it goes out from the subject.

    My question about whether khinsir is same as pig is just a question for thought, for some people that might want to dig into what you call the truth. Moreover, my question is for MK, not for you.

    Anyways, enough of the poor piggy, we are here to talk about feminism and it seems that there are different understanding of feminism in here. If I put bullet points, some thinks that Islam discourage feminism, one thinks lesbianism-feminism (which other people tries to straighten that wrong opinion, but he refused to accept it), some thinks that sharia is what’s against feminism, and some tries to show that in Islam, God sees women and men the same and they have the equal rights to enjoy the world and give the best to the world with their own capacity.

    Patung, did I miss something?

  10. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ibu Parvita,

    I was calling for brevity and clarity. The last paragraph is a humble attempt in this direction. But I’d offer the same advice I gave to others: I recommend you attend some classes at the Dharma Wanita to learn our Indonesian ways of femininity. The traditional Indonesian woman is full of virtue and the DW and Pancasila help to bring those values out.

    I thank you, Achmad.

  11. Parvita says:

    Pak Achmad and all that read this page, please clarify if I’m mistaken. And for foreigners, let me explain what Achmad means by Dharma Wanita.

    Dharma Wanita, group of women who’s husbands work as a civil servants, has been extinguished, same as KORPRI, since the fall of Suharto. I think I haven’t seen Ibu Ani Yudhoyono wear that DW brownish kebaya or costume, has anybody? Dharma Wanita is not an organisation because your position in the group is determined or depends on the husband’s position, not on the ability and skill of the person. From that point of view, Dharma Wanita is not a place where I recommend women to seek their existency as a person. For example, even if you have a master’s degree, if your husband is not the boss in the office/division, your husband’s boss’es wife who might only finished elementary school will be the head of the Dharma Wanita.

    Dharma Wanita has lots of activities and also sometimes used as a political vehicle for one ibu to influence her husband’s boss’ wife. Activities such as ikebana, cooking, visit to orphanage, putting flower at the husband’s office desk, I see nothing wrong with that. If one likes to socialize with their husband’s colleague’s wives during their spare time, that’s ok. (I’d rather go to the gym!) Dharma Wanita and also wives clubs like Ardhyagarini, to me, is like a group of people who gathers because they have similarity: husbands that work in the same place.

    Let me show you my example of a feminist.

    My father was a civil servant and my mother is a pediatrician. I remember my mother had no time for Dharma Wanita because she has to cure the sick children and she also has to teach in the Medical School, University of Indonesia, on top of taking care of the children and household. My father’s career was relatively OK, meaning he didn’t go up nor down due to the politics. We were brought up in a family where kissing people’s ass is not one of the curriculum, therefore when other people in my family said if my mother was more involved in DW, my dad could reach the top of his career. My Dad was happy with his position, we had a house, a car, though not the luxurious ones, and more important, we all finished school.

    So far, my mom is still practising, still curing sick children, even goes to the little villages for free immunization. She used to take her children to see what is going on in the kampongs and we, including my father, are proud that our mom is doing good to the community and also a good influence to the medical students. Yet, she is also a great cook, told good stories when we were small. She is 65 now, and still practising, has her own NPWP (tax payer number). And she has produces children that also work, financially independant, and pay tax to this country.

    I can only imagine how she was fighting other people opinion to reach her dream during that time: to become a doctor, when there are more people like you, Achmad, who believes that women should not pursue knowledge because at the end they will just cook. Compared to her, I get an easier path.

    So, I don’t have to go active in Dharma Wanita, I have seen enough of them from TV, and I hear from my sister about Ardhyagarini (she married an airforce person, and she is a manager in a multinational company, she attends some of the gathering if it is not during working hours, but more often she prefers to spend her time with her family during her spare time). I have seen a good example from my own parents.

    I hope this little story may enlighten you a little bit about the meaning of feminism. If you open your mind a little bit, you might find some of the posting here is useful for your development as a living person.

  12. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Mbak Parvita,

    But that is exactly why Dharma Wanita is good for women who have been polluted by Western feminism. It will teach them to obey their husband and overcome their egotism and make sacrifice for their family.

    I don’t mind if woman has a career in her spare time, as long as she attends to her duties in serving me first. Besides, the extra income can be useful. Sometimes I prefer to nongkrong with my friends instead of going to work and the extra money can help me do that.

    Also, if I have a second wife, one can be deployed to earn the money, like you said, and the other to performing home duties. That will take a lot of pressure off me and I can enjoy life, relax and nongkrong.

    But thank you, Parvita. Your english is very good, so I suspect your husband helped you with it ??

    Anyway, thank you. Merdeka !

  13. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    P.S. — also I note your earlier posts about caucasians not being able to compete. Thank you in joining the fight to put the White Man in his place.

  14. Tomaculum says:

    I’m sure now you are for feminism and against those misinterpretation of islamic (and other religions) teaching (and also against such generalising platitudes against the caucasians). You express it with your cynicism, ironism and sometimes sarcasm.
    Unfortunately such ways of expression are frequently misunderstood in Indonesia.

    The traditional Indonesian woman is full of virtue and the DW and Pancasila help to bring those values out.
    Your name is Sudarsono is javanese, so I wonder that you don’t even know the position of the women in the javanese society.
    Btw: there is no traditional Indonesian woman. There are many different cultures in Indonesia, so we surely just can talk about javanese or batak or aceh or papuan woman. And their position in the each society is also different.
    In former javanes is the feminism a part of the normal situation.

  15. Tomaculum says:

    Btw: what is for you “virtue”?

  16. Achmad Sudarsono says:


    I was discussing this with a beautiful Javanese woman called ‘Dewi’ who I met walking one night at Taman Lawang in Menteng. I said, ‘Dewi, you are unusually beautiful, but I what, for you, is virtue ?’ . Then she attempted to show me, but I won’t go into that. Unfortunately, friend, I am far from virtuous, so not really qualified to say what virtue is. But if it is the kind that Dewi showed me, it can’t be all bad ! 🙂

  17. Ihaknt says:

    Ono, your comments are so demeaning to women, I wonder if you have a mother and sister/s? So what if P’s english is good? Why does it have to be that her husband helped her? She is strong, she divorced her husband, who probably didnt deseve a strong woman like that. Why do you think that smart women need help from men? I hope you have a miserable life and your wife cheats on you.

  18. Parvita says:

    What do you call a man walking at a red light district talking to a prostitute? Yet he talks as if he is the best moslem?

  19. Mohammed Khafi says:


    Khinsir is the little finger, however Khinzir, the correct word, is more correctly translated as swine, any of various omnivorous, even-toed ungulates of the family Suidae, including pigs, hogs, and boars. I would suggest that the prohibition in Al Quran was based simply on the fact that the meat was contaminated, if that contamination (trichinosis worm) is removed, then I think there is no harm in eating the flesh, as that is the only thing which is forbidden, the flesh! Al Quran specifically states that if forced by necessity there is no sin in eating the flesh of swine, so the prohibition is not about anything evil it is purely for reasons of health.

    Personally I choose not to eat pork meat, but I think that if I did by mistake, I wouldn’t be too worried by it.

    Just to bring this back on topic, Parvita and Ihaknt, I believe that you both are supporters of feminism, as is my wife. You all give me home in the future of our beloved country, as long as we have women like yourselves, we have a future.


  20. Achmad Sudarsono says:


    Mbak Parvita — I think it’s mean for you to be accusing anyone of being a prostitute- let us not forget our President’s 3 don’ts, which include not slandering people.

    Divorce is acceptable in Islam – as long as the husband requests it 3 times, so Ihaknt, I think it’s mischevious at the least to suggest Parvita is not a good Moslem woman. In fact, as mentioned, I am seeking a second wife, and I will not let your comments influence my decision to seek a meeting with her !!

  21. Ihaknt says:

    MK, I support women’s equal rights, not necessarily feminism. I see women as Allah’s creation so why can’t we be as equal as men. We are different in functions but I see it as no less in value.

  22. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    ps – friend, just to be clear – I meant a ‘cyber’ meeting.

  23. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    PPS –very sorry to hear about Parvita’s divorce, but it sounds like she’s doing very well. Didn’t mean the comments to be personal.

  24. Ihaknt says:

    HEY ONO! You really get on my nerve. What makes you think (if you think at all) that I suggest that she is not a good Muslim? All I said that she is a strong woman and DOES NOT need a man to help her in anything, let alone in speaking English! Can you read properly first before making stupid comments??!?!?

  25. Ihaknt says:

    Ono, please note that what you just did is a slander against me and if you are a good Muslim you know it’s sinful to slander other people. READ PROPERLY!!

    And you said if the man asks 3 times. WAKE UP DUDE!!! Women these days can divorce men too! I read P’s blog and I love her style and her guts which earn my respect more. And as for you, I pity your closed mindedness.

  26. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Gee Achmad, I envy you. Sometime I wish my wife is more devoted moslem, so I can start scouting for extra partners to help with the household’s income.

  27. Achmad Sudarsono says:


    Hey…calm down, Islam is about understanding others and controlling our ego. It sounds like your temper needs a bit of work. I’m just trying to explain a little about women’s responsibilities, not just rights to some of these so-called feminsts. After all, this hairy-armpitted bra-burning has only been around since the 1960s. Islam’s been here since the 7th century. But most of all, this discussion, is focused on why feminism’s not suitable to Indonesian women. I respect you’re right to comment, Ihaknt, but Patung’s put alot of effort into this blog, and we should try to stay on the topic, without straying into personal slurs or slanders. I’m just saying this as a fellow Muslim. I’d be happy to explain some of the more subtle points of Islam any time…


  28. Abdullah Muhamad says:

    In future, I suggest you to ignore all achmad sudarsono’s comments. If you let his comment get into your nerve again, it means he is successfully meet his boss purpose to disturb your and others emotion. He is a devil’s instrument… the devil is achmad sudarsono’s boss.

  29. Tomaculum says:

    Congratulation Achmad Sudarsono,
    you’re successful again! 🙂
    As Patung wrote: you’re right entertaining!!!

  30. Robert says:

    Achmad Sudarsono,

    It will teach them to obey their husband and overcome their egotism and make sacrifice for their family.

    I don’t mind if woman has a career in her spare time, as long as she attends to her duties in serving me first.

    Are you talking about women or about slaves? The more I read your posts the more I fail to understand why you want to fight the white man. Because you sound like the re-incarnation of a Dutch colonial with his Indonesian servants. You must be glad that you can relive those days and use women as your servants.

    Also, if I have a second wife, one can be deployed to earn the money, like you said, and the other to performing home duties. That will take a lot of pressure off me and I can enjoy life, relax and nongkrong.

    Did you ever consider a career in the prostitution business? There you can indulge in “deploying” women for you own benefit. Must be heaven for you and suits your pimp mentality. Are you sure you wanna fight the white man? A lot of white people would embrace you and your – very white – ideas.

Comment on “Feminism and Islam”.

RSS feed

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-2023
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact