Saturday, 23rd August 2014

Women's Role in Social Development Encouraged in Islamic Awakening

Senin, 23 Juli 2012 13:56 WIB | 1.142 Views
Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - For the first time in the history, over 1,000 Muslim women from 85 countries gathered in Tehran, Iran, to discuss the women`s role and the Islamic awakening in a two-day international conference, July 10-11, 2012, organized by the government of Iran.

Indonesia was represented by around 20 delegates from universities such as the University of Indonesia, the University of Padjajaran, and NGOs such as MER-C Indonesia, in addition to two female journalists, in the World Conference on Women and Islamic Awakening held at Milad Tower International Conference Center in Tehran.

The meeting`s opening ceremony was impressive and moving as it was highlighted with beautiful songs praising Allah (the almighty God) and the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), and the screening of video clips on women`s involvement in the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation and the latest revolutions in several Middle Eastern countries called as the Arab Spring by the West, but seen as the Islamic Awakening by Iran.

The conference`s participants spontaneously stood and clapped their hands when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entered the room to give his opening speech.

The modest president having an ambition to make Iran as the leader of the Islamic world in his addressed stated that women play important and more lasting roles particularly in the social development.

"When women awaken, the whole nation will awaken," Ahmadinejad said. He praised women as the manifestation of perfection of God for women`s heart is compassionate and loving. Any successful man, first of all, owes his mother who had raised him with devotion, compassion and love, he noted.

"Any change needs women. We have seen that in Iran and other part of the world, such as in Egypt and Tunisia," he said.

He believed that the whole world needs to be changed or reformed and corrected for the better. All dictators need to be removed and replaced with absolute justice, he stated.

The common mission of the Islamic awakening is to join hand in order to liberate the entire humanity and to bring justice to the whole world, he noted.

Islam is universal religion which aims to save the entire humanity, and Qur`an is not only for Muslims, but for all human beings, he said.

God creates human beings to live in dignified, noble and decent life, not in humiliation, tyranny and oppression. Today millions of people live in poverty and they never experience the sweet taste of dignity, he added.

Earlier, Senior Advisor to the Iranian Supreme Leader for International Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati who is concurrently the secretary general of the Islamic Awakening Conference, said the current awakening in the Middle East is in response to the failure of the former regimes in protecting the dignity and independence of their nations.

Their peoples deserve to live in honor and dignity, Velayati told the Muslim women representing various countries such as Tunisia, Sudan, Belgium, Mali, Turkey, England, Argentina, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The participants discussed six major topics focusing on: Islamic thought, Islamic Awakening, revolutionary action; Opportunities, threats and solutions; Experiences, achievements, rights, and demands; International interactions and communications; Family and capacity building by revolutionary forces; and Future outlooks and developments.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei gave his speech before the participants on the conference`second day. Khamenei said the conference would pave the way for an effective and lasting movement in reviving the identity and character of Muslim women worldwide.

He said the western governments have made relentless efforts over the past 100 years to separate Muslim women from their Islamic identity.  "Endeavors of elite women in the Muslim World to revive their Islamic identity helped render a great service to the Muslim World, because the sense of identity, awareness and insight among the Muslim women made a breakthrough in the process of the Islamic Awakening movement and contributed to the prestige of the Islamic Ummah," he stated.

Hijab (known as jilbab in Indonesia) is considered a very important identity of Muslim women and the Muslim women are encouraged to promote hijab through various media.

He noted that Islam honors women for the special status they have in terms of taking care of new generations and also sees man and woman equal and sometimes gives woman higher status than man.

"The role of women in social developments, revolutions and the Islamic Awakening movement is decisive since any time women consciously partake in a social movement, the success and victory of that movement is assured," Ayatollah Khamenei added.

In their final statement, the participants believed that the Islamic Awakening or Arab Spring is characterized by nine major features which include widespread presence of men and women in the scene of jihad against tyrants, seeking Islam, fighting world arrogance and dictatorships, negation of Zionism, justice seeking, independence seeking, respect for human dignity, freedom seeking, as well as negation of ethnic, religious and racial differences.

The participants also noted that the strength of family and promoting the unique role of women in promoting educational function of the family were among the most important demands of Muslim women.

Strengthening the family institution and due attention by family members to goals of the Islamic Awakening were also pointed out as two important steps for confidence building and strengthening of the Islamic Awakening movement.

The final statement of the conference noted that "Muslim woman is entitled to live in line with her beliefs and faith-based lifestyle". Muslim women believe that attention to Islamic values will not prevent them from being actively present in political and social fields and will also provide them with necessary grounds for growth and development.

Before concluding the conference, the participants payed tribute to martyrs and veterans of the uprisings in various Muslim countries, in particular in Palestine.

Earlier, Indonesia`s Ambassador to Iran Dian Wirengjurit told ANTARA that Indonesia as the world`s largest Sunni nation and Iran as the world`s largest Syiah nation could together promote the friendly and tolerant image of Islam. He believed such cooperation would yield a significant and positive impact.

Currently around 350 Indonesian students are in Qom to study Islamic teachings under the scholarships from the Iranian government. Ambassador Wirengjurit said only 10 Indonesians students study science and technology in Iran, which is advanced in the scientific and technological fields. The ambassador said he would approach several Iranian universities to provide more scholarships for Indonesians to study science and technology in Iran. *
(T. f001/A/b003/B003)