Norway: Koran should be reinterpreted

Norwegian Muslim Kadra is tired of women being kept out and says that it is time for the Koran to be retranslated.

In the magazine WHERE2GO, Kadra challenges the Islamic Council of Norway with a quite controversial challenge.

"There is the Koran's attitude towards women which should be interpreted. I miss a debate over which rights and obligations the Muslim women has," says Kadra to VG.

The 26 year old stresses that she still believes in much of the Koran. Yet she thinks that the time for an interpretation is getting nearer by leaps and bounds.

"There is little place for the modern women in the Koran. An example; When [Norwegian minister] Jonas Gahr Støre visited the mosque in Grønland for a lecture, there were only men in the hall. Only three women were in the mosque, but they had to stand in the gallery so that nobody could see them. We can't have that in 2007," says Kadra.

She's been met with a cold Muslim, male shoulder: spokesperson Gular Sarwar of Central Jamaat-e Ahl-E Sunnat in Oslo says Kadra can't decide what happens."

"We can't interpret the Koran or Islam due to her. We distance ourselves from her statements, she has nothing with insulting our religion," says Sarwar.

Central Jamaat is one of the central communities in the Islamic Council of Norway.

"She can say what she want, and is certainly nice and has a fine body but we can't change the Koran based on what a woman thinks," says Sarwar.

"The Koran is that which comes from heaven. That's how it is," he says.

Kadra became land-known seven years ago when with the help of a hidden microphone, exposed the imam's relation to female circumcision on the TV program "Rikets tilstand".

"I wanted to cause fear. I wanted people to think that if I circumcise my daughter, then I have done something dreadful and I can land in prison," says Kadra to WHERE2GO.

Even if Kadra wants an interpretation now, she believes this can be very difficult to carry out in practice.

"Women's position has never been brought up before. The few women who have tried to set this theme on the agenda have been labeled infidels. The Islamic Council should definitely take up this problem," but, she points out - all the people who sit on the Islamic Council are men.

Source: VG (Norwegian)

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