Well, here is some good news out of Indonesia for a change. It seems there is a fairly effective feminist movement–i.e., a campaign for equal rights for women–in this world’s most populous Muslim country. The fact that these women feel the need to battle for increasing rights shows that their Islamist reigning ideology does not treat women well, as we hear the opposite from so many Muslim apologists. Of course, we can see the rampant woman-abuse within Islam with our own eyes, so this attempt at snookering us does not work in any event.
Feminism has found fertile soil in Indonesia, whose Islamic traditions are relatively porous, and whose traditional agricultural culture often had men and women working together in the fields , in contrast, say, to the segregated tribal customs of Arabia. It’s not that these ideas don’t find resistence: There’s a strong tradition of male authority in Indonesia, as well as a more recent trend towards fundamentalism, so feminists have to be careful to pick kyais who will be open to their teachings.