Creating new perspectives since 2009

Qatar students call for dismissal of feminist lecturer

November 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Dr Hatoon Al Fassi (R), a women’s rights activist in Saudi, attends the Saudi International Affairs Department lecture in women’s studies. [@HatoonALFASSI/Twitter]

A lecturer on the role of women in Islam was suspended from Qatar University following calls for her to be dismissed for her overtly feminist views.

Dr Hatoon Al-Fassi, a Saudi International Affairs Department lecturer in women’s studies, had planned to give a talk about women in Islam on campus last week.

Soon after the Qatar University Debate Club announced the meeting a campaign against Al-Fassi was launched. There were also calls for her to be dismissed. The campaign against Al-Fassi was run mainly by students. Many were angry that her feminist attitudes and women’s rights activism is a threat to what they see to be “traditional Qatari values”.

Qatar University President Hassan Rashid Al-Derham explained that the lecture was postponed to ensure a more “comprehensive approach”. Al-Fassi is a fierce advocate for women’s rights and is known for what many traditionalists view as having a controversial persona.