London, UK – The largest Muslim Women’s Conference in Europe took place on Sunday 23rd June 2013 in London, UK. “Seeds of Change”, organised by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA).
Giving some of the most influential Muslim women in the UK an unprecedented platform, this dynamic one-day conference – created by women for women – inspired, educated and energised 1600 attendees to change the perception of Islam in the UK and respond powerfully to the misconception that Muslim women are subjugated and oppressed by their faith.
Delegates heard from Director of “Seeds of Change”, Fatima Barkatulla, about Islam’s solution to Feminist objectives. She stated that it was a divinely-ordained solution and justice that women need and that Islam provides. She invited the women of Europe, including activists for the Radical Feminist group FEMEN who earlier this year called on Muslim women to take part in a ‘Topless Jihad’, to look at Islam with an open mind saying that millions of women in Europe were finding liberation in Islam.
Six non-Muslim delegates converted to Islam during the conference in emotional scenes both on and back-stage.
Broadcaster and Journalist Lauren Booth who converted to Islam in 2010, told delegates how Islam had enriched her life and why she left Feminism for Islam.
Journalist and ex-captive of the Taliban, Yvonne Ridley, motivated Muslim women to respond to the rise in Islamophobia in the wake of the Woolwich attack by positively engaging with their neighbours and colleagues. There were calls for Europe’s politicians to stop persecuting Muslim women who choose to veil.
International Life-coach and counsellor, Rahma Abdulatif, provided insight into creating the ideal family culture which is the bedrock of any cohesive society. The importance and value of motherhood and its role in shaping generations was also a key theme of the conference as was serving our neighbours and local communities in the spirit of humanity that the prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) lived by.
Chairman of iERA, Abdurraheem Green (formerly Anthony Green) who inspired a whole generation of Muslim women in the 80s and 90s, said that he believes women are absolutely indispensable in changing the current perceptions of Islam in our world. His message empowered the audience to share the message of Islam with their communities.
Eminent academic and scholar, Dr. Muhammad Akram Nadwi, responsible for a new awakening in Muslim female scholarship, encouraged women to become scholars as they had been in the rich and vibrant peak of Islamic civilization.
Ms. Barkatulla said “It was absolutely incredible to meet so many talented Muslim women, ready to be agents of change in Europe. The message was clear: we are intelligent, hard-working women who have chosen Islam and are proud to be Muslims. We are tired of negative media caricatures of us, everyone speaking about us and for us – but not listening to us. We have mobilised hundred of women, each representing a whole community, to positively share the message of Islam in Europe”
iERA is an international organisation committed to educating and informing humanity about, and inviting to, the truth and noble message of Islam.
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