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  1. Default Women in Islam

    Women in Islam

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    I have recently watched a talk by a British Muslim convert entitled “Women in Islam, liberated or oppressed?”

    I thought the speaker was well spoken, informed and articulate, even if I didn’t agree with the direction of her arguments. The three points that stuck out for me were: the media, which is dealt with in a sort of eye-rolling manner. She is not alone in thinking that the imagery and rhetoric in western media focuses relentlessly on the negative and the fundamentalists rather than moderate forward thinking Muslims, or any kind of positivity within the faith. She mentions the images that you get when you google “Muslim Woman” are mainly of women in full burka, protests, beatings etc. So the question is, is there an agenda within the media to demonize Islam, or does this come under the broader paradigm that bad news sells?

    The second point was that domestic violence and gender discrimination is not solely a Muslim issue. I always find myself patronised by this kind of defence, for me it coincides with that infantile old excuse “yeah but little Johnny does it all the time”… well that doesn’t make it right now does it.

    The third is scripture, which can be interpreted and infinite amount of ways, she points to the Qu’ran to gives reasons for why the Prophet honoured women and considered them equal.

    There is also the question of protest and exposure within media. Some members of the Muslim community grow tired of the images of women like Ayesha Bibi, and they say that by covering groups like Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda or the Taliban so constantly you actually add to their voice and demoralize those who can apportion a positive message to the faith. But why is Ayesha Bibi in the Times? To stand up to her oppressors and spread awareness about the violence perpetrated against women like her? – or to give voice to said oppressors and demonize Islam? Is it not fair to say that many Muslim men and women, very bravely, are writing and speaking out about issues within the faith and would want as much exposure from the media as possible. It seems counterproductive to say 'we don't want to see it'. But of course it is also our responsibility not to let that become the sole picture of Islam.

    P.S I can post the talk if anyone wishes, but it is about an hour long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
    Women in Islam

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have recently watched a talk by a British Muslim convert entitled “Women in Islam, liberated or oppressed?”

    I thought the speaker was well spoken, informed and articulate, even if I didn’t agree with the direction of her arguments. The three points that stuck out for me were: the media, which is dealt with in a sort of eye-rolling manner. She is not alone in thinking that the imagery and rhetoric in western media focuses relentlessly on the negative and the fundamentalists rather than moderate forward thinking Muslims, or any kind of positivity within the faith. She mentions the images that you get when you google “Muslim Woman” are mainly of women in full burka, protests, beatings etc. So the question is, is there an agenda within the media to demonize Islam, or does this come under the broader paradigm that bad news sells?

    The second point was that domestic violence and gender discrimination is not solely a Muslim issue. I always find myself patronised by this kind of defence, for me it coincides with that infantile old excuse “yeah but little Johnny does it all the time”… well that doesn’t make it right now does it.

    The third is scripture, which can be interpreted and infinite amount of ways, she points to the Qu’ran to gives reasons for why the Prophet honoured women and considered them equal.

    There is also the question of protest and exposure within media. Some members of the Muslim community grow tired of the images of women like Ayesha Bibi, and they say that by covering groups like Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda or the Taliban so constantly you actually add to their voice and demoralize those who can apportion a positive message to the faith. But why is Ayesha Bibi in the Times? To stand up to her oppressors and spread awareness about the violence perpetrated against women like her? – or to give voice to said oppressors and demonize Islam? Is it not fair to say that many Muslim men and women, very bravely, are writing and speaking out about issues within the faith and would want as much exposure from the media as possible. It seems counterproductive to say 'we don't want to see it'. But of course it is also our responsibility not to let that become the sole picture of Islam.

    P.S I can post the talk if anyone wishes, but it is about an hour long.
    Just today.. the Arab News from Saudi Arabia has announced that schoolgirls are playing basketball inspite of what goofy ideas some old cleric expresses.

    Read the Arab Newspapers .. There is an increasing shift towards moderation and modernity.. I have been watching it for 60 years.

    Culture and tradition is often threatened by change.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Margot View Post
    Just today.. the Arab News from Saudi Arabia has announced that schoolgirls are playing basketball inspite of what goofy ideas some old cleric expresses.

    Read the Arab Newspapers .. There is an increasing shift towards moderation and modernity.. I have been watching it for 60 years.

    Culture and tradition is often threatened by change.......
    Indeed, but it is Ironic, considering that Islam accorded more rights to women than was generally granted at its conception: that Muslim majority countries are way back from the forefront of this issue.
    Last edited by JohnConstantine; May 01 2012 at 07:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
    Indeed, but it is Ironic, considering that Islam accorded more rights to women than was generally granted at its conception: that Muslim majority countries are way back from the forefront of this issue.
    That's true, but cultures backslide sometimes into poverty and illiteracy.

    There is big difference between Islam and treatment of women in the wartorn rural outbacks of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Margot View Post
    That's true, but cultures backslide sometimes into poverty and illiteracy.

    There is big difference between Islam and treatment of women in the wartorn rural outbacks of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.
    Indeed, but then do you think the poor treatment of women is down to the situation or the culture? And where are the distinctions between culture and religion. Is Saudi Arabia dominated by Islamic culture... or a culture specific to them... or is that just arguing semantics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
    Indeed, but then do you think the poor treatment of women is down to the situation or the culture? And where are the distinctions between culture and religion. Is Saudi Arabia dominated by Islamic culture... or a culture specific to them... or is that just arguing semantics?
    I think they have a culture specific to them.

    For one thing .. they were strictly tribal until Ibn Saud..

    Until there was some prosperity, healthcare, clean water and education.. they didn't have any concept of work day or even of getting paid.

    In the early years.. they would simple wander off the job.. or lay down in the shade and just go to sleep.

    Some came in worked a day.. looked in astonishment at a small bag of Riyals and never came back.

    When I was a girl... everyone had smallpox scars or eye disease.. blind people everywhere..polio victims everywhere.. and raging Malaria.

    Most babies died before age two.

    I am not sure where I am going here.. except to say that comprehension of one's faith isn't on the forefront if you are sick and hungry. It simply isn't contemplated and nuanced.

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    Let me clarify a bit.. If life is so hard and the environment so harsh and punishing.. a woman is a beast of burden... but so is her husband.
    Last edited by Margot; May 01 2012 at 08:25 AM.

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    As I have posted on this forum before, 70% of all new converts to Islam are all female.
    Corporations enjoyed their highest profits since 1900 under President Obama ~ why don't the right wing media celebrate this TRUTH?

    November 2012 elections: A victory for America!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Truth View Post
    As I have posted on this forum before, 70% of all new converts to Islam are all female.
    Thanks for the info.

    Who are you aiming it at in such an aggrandised manner? I am under no illusions, and I certainly am not out to demonize any faith. There are, however problems within Islamic countries with regards to women's rights which are deap seated. Now I think there is no doubt an amalgamation of all sorts of issues, there is, the propensity of men in general to exert themselves over women. But there are practices inextricably linked to Islam which cannot be ignored: such as honour killing, facial and genital mutilation, forced marriages...

    'Women are not oppressed in Islam. Any Muslim man that oppresses a woman is not following Islam.' This almost discounts purportedly Islamic states as untrue to the faith. Somalia, Yemen, Jordan, Afghanistan and Iraq and however many more are all misrepresenting the faith. Then this is a massive hijacking is it not?
    I have said that islam in its conception made great positive leaps forward for women's rights (I am even touched by it in parts) at a time when women were being treated terribly.
     
    Citation: Women Rights in Islam
    Amidst this chaos in her status and exploitation of her personality, Islam came forward, declared and implemented over fourteen hundred years ago, a catalogue of rights in what is considered the most significant stride on her path to emancipation. First, it asserted that she is as much human as man is. They share the same organic origin (15:26) and human stock (4:1); both were created by God (55:1-3); went through the same embryonic development (23:12-14); each of them is responsible for his or her actions (74:3 for which they will be rewarded accordingly (17:97).
    Islam declared that she is not a property to be buried for any reason (18:31) or inherited (4:19) but has the right, as does man, to generate wealth (4:32), manage it wisely (25:67) and inherit it (4:7).
    In Islam she is no longer a devil but a human being that could attain the highest spiritual positions with endeavor and God’s guidance. God cited with all pleasure the exemplary cases of women who have attained such heights. He is most pleased with Asiya who stood against the insurmountable tyranny of Pharoah (66:11), and with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary worshipped God with all dedication and guarded her chastity so impeccably that she earned the fortune of the virgin birth (66:12).
    But this just emphasises the point that, at least in most islamic states it has dropped way back from the forefront of this movement.

    In Jordan women may be severely beaten, or even murdered, if they disobey their male family members or commit an act deemed "dishonorable," such as socializing with an unrelated man.

    Yemen - Yemen's Personal Status Law in particular, which covers matters of marriage, divorce, child custody and inheritance, gives women fewer rights than men, excludes women from decision making, and deprives them of access to, and control over, resources and assets. Women's access to maternal health care is severely restricted. In most cases, husbands decide women's fertility. It is hard for women to obtain contraception, or to take operation for treatment without a husband's permission. Women are vulnerable to sexual assault by prison guards, and there is a lower, if any, punishment for violence against women than men.

    Somalia - Violence and discrimination against women, including genital mutilation, is common. The rape of women by militia and bandits is a problem, and there are no laws against spousal rape.

    I could go on... this is not a fair representation of Islam, but more than enough to argue the point that liberation is not derived from it.

    So there is a discussion to be had on whether this has anything to do with Islam, or culture or both and also a fight which is going on in all of these countries to bring Islam back to when it saw women as equals to be cherished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
    There are, however problems within Islamic countries with regards to women's rights which are deap seated. Now I think there is no doubt an amalgamation of all sorts of issues, there is, the propensity of men in general to exert themselves over women. But there are practices inextricably linked to Islam which cannot be ignored: such as honour killing, facial and genital mutilation, forced marriages...
    None of these things are linked to Islam JC. They are cultural. 'Honour' killings for instance from a program on Turkey tend to happen in districts where people have no conception of the law and are extremely poor. Hence family is the only 'honour' there is. In the west this happens too though it is not called such.

    Facial mutilation, not sure what you mean here. Some societies may think that is beauty or has some meaning. FGM is very much an old tribal tradition which goes on mainly in African communities where people have not had the opportunity to question tradition and do not understand they are hurting their daughter. On a forum I met a woman from Somalia who came to the UK. She was about to have this done when the local Muslim community called a meeting and explained to the women it was not Islam to do this and very dangerous, never mind against the law. She said she is the first known girl in her family who has not had it done.

    Even with forced marriage - again tribal and in many societies. It is important to be aware that forced marriage and arranged marriage are not the same thing.

    All these things then come from tradition rather than Islam and in no way are only done in Muslim societies.
    Last edited by alexa; May 01 2012 at 12:30 PM.

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