Qasim Amin

Qasim Amin. Qasim Amin (, ; 1 December 1863, in Alexandria – April 22, 1908 in Cairo) was an Egyptian jurist, Islamic Modernist and one of the founders of the Egyptian national movement and Cairo University. Qasim Amin has been historically viewed as one of the Arab world's "first feminists", although he joined the discourse on women's rights quite late in its development, and his "feminism" has been the subject of scholarly controversy. Amin was an Egyptian philosopher, reformer, judge, member of Egypt's aristocratic class, and central figure of the Nahda Movement. His advocacy of greater rights for women catalyzed debate over women's issues in the Arab world. He criticized veiling, seclusion, early marriage, and lack of education of Muslim women. More recent scholarship has argued that he internalized a colonialist discourse on women's issues in the Islamic world, regarded Egyptian women as objects serving to achieve national aspirations, and in practice advocated reforms that diminished the legal rights of women in marriage contracts.

Greatly influenced by the works of Darwin, Amin is quoted to have said that "if Egyptians did not modernize along European lines and if they were 'unable to compete successfully in the struggle for survival they would be eliminated." He was also influenced by the works of Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill who argued for equality of the sexes; Amin believed that heightening a women's status in society would greatly improve the nation. His friendships with Muhammad Abduh and Saad Zaghloul also influenced this thinking. Amin blamed traditional Moslems for Egyptian women's oppression saying that the Quran did not teach this subjugation but rather supported women's rights. His beliefs were often supported by Quranic verses. Born in an aristocratic family, his father was a governor of Diyarbekir Elayet, and his mother the daughter of an Egyptian aristocrat. Amin finished law school at 17 and was one of thirty seven to receive a government scholarship to study at the University of Montepellier, in France. It was said that there he was influenced by Western lifestyles, especially its treatment of women. This would soon be his role model in his struggle to liberate the Egyptian women. His crusade began when he wrote a rebuttal, "Les Egyptiens. Response a M. Le duc d'Harcourt" in 1894 to Duke d'Harcourt's work (1893), which downgraded Egyptian culture and its women. Amin, not satisfied with his own rebuttal, wrote in 1899 Tahrir al mara'a (The Liberation of Women), in which he blamed Egyptian women's "veiling," their lack of education, and their "slavery," to Egyptian men as being the cause of Egypt's weakness. He believed that Egyptian women were the backbone of a strong nationalistic people and therefore their roles in society should drastically change to better the Egyptian nation. Amin is known throughout Egypt as a member of the intellectual society who drew connections between education and nationalism leading to the development of Cairo University and the National Movement during the early 1900s. Provided by Wikipedia
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...قاسم أمين،, 1863-1908....
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...‏قاسم أمين،‏ ‏1863-1908....
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