For more on this topic, see Gender and Islam


Feminism, Human Rights, and Postsecular theorizing are three overlapping discourses that predominate our progressive social space. These approaches invite Muslims to interpret and participate in social life according to certain norms and values. This paper begins by defining feminism, human rights, and postsecularism in general terms, then attempts to expose their foundational assumptions about the human being, knowledge, and religion. At the heart of feminism, human rights, and postsecularism one finds the same project of modernity, the same secularizing impulses (what I call liberal epistemological trappings) that birthed Liberalism so many generations ago, albeit in forms consistent with contemporary conditions. The aim of this paper is to provide American Muslims with perspectives on feminism, human rights, and postsecularism that are intelligent (i.e., critical of the discourses’ secular premises), compassionate (i.e., inspired to forge creative and dignifying relations with those who espouse these ideas), and authentic to our faith (i.e., avoiding liberal epistemological trappings and wholesale compliance with ideas and norms that contradict Islamic belief and practice).


Theme I: (Secular) religion

Theme II: Knowledge and (un)certainty

Theme III: The human being and freedom

Conclusion: Religion as din