Sunday, February 25, 2024

Abortion Debate Strains Sections of American Islam

Islamist DissentAbortion Debate Strains Sections of American Islam

Amid U.S. national discuss about Roe v. Wade, the topic of abortion is increasingly debated across a growing section of American Islam.

One recent Al Jazeera article notes the variety of opinion within American Islam on the permissibility of abortion, ranging from the very liberal to the very conservative, and hints at deepening divisions within the community.

The liberal position is reportedly represented by Muslim American organizations that firmly support access to abortion, and which employ extremely similar rhetoric to that used by non-Muslim progressivist groups.

For instance, Aliza Kazmi, co-executive director of HEART, a national organization frequently criticized by Islamists and which focuses on sex education in the Muslim community, notes that:

“We know that many Muslim women are already being pushed away given how health inequities impeding abortion access exist and persist including due to Islamophobia, anti-Blackness, homophobia, transphobia, heteropatriarchy, Christian supremacy, etc. within the provision of health services.”

Another HEART official, Sarah Pirzada, expressed concern that abortion bans would impact the rights of “all Muslim with uteruses” and restrict “the religious freedom of Muslims given that Islam makes space for reproductive choice.”

Al Jazeera does offer a different point of view by quoting Islamic Studies professor Ihsan Bagby (a longtime ally of Islamist organizations), who argues that “the Islamic view is in the middle, and we should stick to it.”

Al Jazeera does not, however, present the full spectrum of Muslim views on abortion in the United States.

Indeed, hardline Islamists such as popular social media preacher Daniel Haqiqatjou insist that Islam is “pro-life” and denounce liberal views as un-Islamic.

Infuriated by HEART’s progressive positions, Haqiqatjou has previously accused the organization of embracing “the most extreme anti-Islamic agendas.” In his own piece on abortion published on Muslim Skeptic, he asks “why shouldn’t Muslims support the position that is more likely to reduce the rates of zina [fornication] and indecency in society?”

Even other Islamist voices are not safe from Haqiqatjou’s fury. Haqiqatjou recently denounced prominent cleric Zaid Shakir for consorting with “pro abortion” and “feminist” activist Linda Sarsour.

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