By Adam Gonn MALAYSIA (The Media Line) July 19, 2009 - The Global Muslim Women's Shura Council meeting in Malaysia on Sunday launched an initiative called "Jihad Against Violence." 200 Muslim women from all over the world are taking part in the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) conference in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. The participants include women rights activists, religious scholars, lawyers and community leaders. The Global Muslim Women's Shura Council is an all-women's advisory council that aims to promote women's rights within an Islamic framework. "It is basically Muslim women striving for peace" Daisy Khan, Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and WISE Conference organizer told The Media Line. "We expect the campaign to be launched globally, because we believe that violence has become a human phenomenon that exists across diverse cultures and communities. It remains an ever-present reality in the lives of millions of women." Khan said. "We have launched the Jihad Against Violence in particular because we believe it's a clear injustice to those who suffer such indignation. It's also a violation of the teachings of Islam whose mantra is wrongfully used to justify violence." At the conference, participant Dilshad D. Ali commented on Beliefnet.com that "Instant polling on the first day revealed that these women felt that the biggest barrier to Muslim women's advancement was harmful religious interpretation." WISE says its aim is to address the current lack of women's participation in contemporary debates about the political, social, and religious concerns of Muslim women in the global community. "90 percent of the participants have signed the declaration on Jihad Against Violence. The few people that have not signed on because they come from conflict areas where they feel they have a right to self-defense and this is their only objection," Khan said. The status of women in Islam is a widely debated subject both within and outside the Muslim world. According to a recent survey in Jordan, 81.4 % of 5,000 women polled felt they were being treated unjustly due to existing traditions and customs. But only 14% held Islam responsible for the discrimination. Jordan is considered to be a more liberal and open Muslim country than Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive or leave their house without a male relative acting as a guardian. Bahrain's Supreme Council for Women recently announced the launch of a major campaign for equal nationality rights in that country. The organization is urging a revision of Article 4 of the Bahraini Citizenship Law, which does not allow equal nationality rights for women. Under existing law, women citizens of Bahrain married to foreigners do not have the right to pass on their nationality to their husbands or children, even if they are born on Bahraini soil. RELATED:WISE Conference 2009 International News at WLUML WISE Muslim Women in Malaysia Photos from Stuart Taylor of Demotix Women's Islamic Initiative in Equality and Spirituality Conference (WISE) at BeliefNet WISE Malaysia Conference Press Release The Muslim View ------ MAS Freedom's Aishah Schwartz, founder and director of Muslimah Writer Alliance and invitee to both the first WISE conference in New York (2006), and the July 2009 Malaysia conference, was unable to attend; however, as a former steering-committee member and Muslim woman, remains strongly committed to WISE initiatives.