Women and Islam

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Aedes
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:40 am
@ahmedjbh,
Caroline;98515 wrote:
In Iran women don't have hardy any rights.
I've never personally been to Iran, but I've known enough women from Iran with MDs and in leadership positions in their country in public health to know that your statement is simply incorrect.

Iran has one of the most highly educated and accomplished populations of women in the entire world, Muslim or non-Muslim. Certainly within predominantly Muslim countries, probably the only others with such a high proportion of women with graduate and professional degrees are Egypt and maybe Lebanon and Jordan. There are differential laws for women, including dress code, and this may be considered 'second class' legal status, but the law and the culture are completely asynchronous in Iran. Iran is famous for women who wear halter tops and miniskirts under their robes, and makeup under their burkas.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:47 am
@ahmedjbh,
Exactly under there burkas, they have also got clothes police on the streets driving around stopping women who show a bit of ankle.
Thanks.

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 12:48 PM ----------

And you say from Iran, are they still living there?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:50 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;98523 wrote:
Exactly under there burkas, they have also got clothes police on the streets driving around stopping women who show a bit of ankle.
It's not enforced tightly at all.

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 12:48 PM ----------

Quote:
And you say from Iran, are they still living there?
Yes. And serving in high government offices in some cases. I just went to a seminar at an international travel medicine meeting given by a woman who was one of Iran's highest ministers of health.

I suggest reading a book called "The Ends of the Earth", which has a long section on what women live like in Iran.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:57 am
@ahmedjbh,
It is getting better for women, they are gaining more rights but I wonder why they didn't have any in the first place, not that long ago they had no rights Paul, only now are they gaining the right to education but it's a fight, I can tell you, if you read about it you will see how bad it really is and was.
Thanks.

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 01:10 PM ----------

Ive also lived with women who have run from places like these because of the way they are treated.
Thanks.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 12:16 pm
@Caroline,
If you really want to know the true status of human dignity, look at amnesties records or reports. Iran is the country where they hang juveniles from cranes in public. It has two faces, one is forward and progressive, the other is something quite diferent. One half spend thousands on cosmetic surgery, the other half sells its organs for student loans or to avoid bankruptcy. It has religious tolerance and it has a record of outlawing certain faiths they consider blasphemous. It has an educated elite, that has no influence and a cleric that squashes any idea of progress. They are friendly intelligent and hampered by an archaic faith.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 12:26 pm
@ahmedjbh,
Not to mention female castration and needing four men as a witness to testify to a rape, that's if the police haven't raped the victims in the first place. It's all very well Paul preaching the good stuff but do you take note of the really bad stuff? Or would you like me to link you to a video on youtube or can you do the search yourself?
Thanks.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 12:32 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;98527 wrote:
It is getting better for women, they are gaining more rights but I wonder why they didn't have any in the first place, not that long ago they had no rights Paul, only now are they gaining the right to education but it's a fight
Caroline, you have it backwards. Until the Islamic Revolution in 1979 Iranian women had MORE rights than they do now. In fact it is probably getting worse in Iran for two reasons: 1) they are a very nationalistic people, and the posturing by George W. Bush made the conservatives in Iran more popular, and 2) the secular office of president has been corrupted and coopted by the Islamic office offices of the supreme leader and the courts.

Iran is famous as perhaps the most progressive, liberal, and educated populace of any country with an Islamic government. The culture is highly liberal. The laws are conservative. Because of this disconnect, people flee from Iran for political reasons, but the enforcement of laws in Iran is nothing like the Taliban-type state that existed in Afghanistan.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 12:36 pm
@xris,
xris;98508 wrote:
The point that you made was, i was bigot,

Here we go again. Stop right there.

I did not call you a bigot.

Go back and read my post - before misrepresenting me - AGAIN.

I tried explaning to you that a reason people might have been calling you a bigot - as you claimed they were in the other thread on the subject of Islam - is because you make no effort to check facts and spout prejudiced exaggerations instead.

Rather than reading and understanding that, you've just done it over and over again in this thread too.

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 01:40 PM ----------

Caroline;98532 wrote:
Not to mention female castration.

Female circumcision is, by and large, a north African tradition. It is one that apparently horrified Mohammed, who states in the Hadith (the Hadith is things that Mohammed allegedly said that didn't go into the Koran) that it should not be attempted and if it has to be at least the perpetrators should do it in the least severe manner. This is seen by some as permission and by others as prohibition. It should be noted that some of the worst genital mutilation occurs in Christian or tribal faith areas of North Africa (such as Ethiopia) rather than Muslim areas - that said a lot of north Africa is muslim and it's a shame Mohammed wasn't more emphatic about not doing it.

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 01:46 PM ----------

xris;98508 wrote:
...i think you should be calling them names not me.

You know the bit were I called them "sexist" - that bit - the bit I've pointed out to you three or four times already. That bit yeah? Did you get it? Because I've already pointed it out to you.

Can you acknowledge that, yeah? Rather than continually trying to paint me as something I'm not?

Did you get it Xris. The bit were I called them sexist?

Did you?

Honestly, it's like typing at a brick wall.
 
josh0335
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 12:55 pm
@Dave Allen,
Women are not considered second class citizens in Islam. Men and women are equal but they are not the same. This is an important distinction as in the West equality generally means having the same rights.

The link posted by Dave Allen is a fairly good one. A nice example given was: "For instance, suppose a person wants to undergo an operation for a particular ailment. To confirm the treatment, he would prefer taking references from two qualified surgeons. In case he is unable to find two surgeons, his second option would be one surgeon and two general practitioners who are plain MBBS doctors."

To understand the ruling, you must view it in the context of a functioning Islamic society. Men would usually be the breadwinners of the family and so would generally be better equiped to understand financial dealings. This does not make sense in a Western society, as women are just as exposed to financial dealings as men. But the society fashioned by the Qur'an is one where men and women have more distinct roles, and so legal precedings reflect that.

Just like the example above, it is not considered discriminatory.

Regarding the comments about rape, there is no difference between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim woman being raped in the eyes of the law according to Islam. You are confusing adultery with rape. You do not require four witnesses for rape. Unless you haven't already figured this one out, rape is usually witnessed by two people, the raped and the rapist. The problems of getting a rape conviction is just as problematic in Islamic law as it is in Western societies i.e. it's the word of the raped against the one being accused of rape. With advances in forensics, the chances of getting a conviction increases from the scientific evidence available.

Polygany is allowed in Islam for a number of reasons. Firstly, there will always more women than men in any society which has a military. I don't know the exact numbers but I know women outnumber men in the world by a significant margin. This leaves many women without partners and usually a lower quality of life. Thus Islam allows men to marry up to four women. There is a type of man who doesn't mind the extra responsibility of having more than wife and there is a type of woman who doesn't mind sharing a husband. There is no compulsion regarding this. The man must treat each wife equally.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 12:56 pm
@ahmedjbh,
I know it's in Africa too, but it does and has gone on in Pakistan too. And Paul we're not talking about Christians, that is off topic. I have no idea why you wish to defend your arguement with other examples outside the topic in discussion?
Thanks.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:05 pm
@ahmedjbh,
Quote:
To understand the ruling, you must view it in the context of a functioning Islamic society. Men would usually be the breadwinners of the family and so would generally be better equiped to understand financial dealings. This does not make sense in a Western society, as women are just as exposed to financial dealings as men. But the society fashioned by the Qur'an is one where men and women have more distinct roles, and so legal precedings reflect that.

Well, I'm glad someone bothered to read my post properly.

Now, to my mind this is a sexist set up - because the aim of the feminist movement, to my eyes at least, is to propagate the idea that women are as capable of success in all fields that men are, and that notions that women are less capable in certain fields than men is simply a construct of culture.

Therefore preconceived notions of what a woman is good or bad at should be set aside.

In this sense the way women are treated under Sharia is a vicious circle - the fact that women do not tend to adopt postions of expertise in the financial sector is then used to justify why they shouldn't be trusted as financial advisors and hence leads to them not being employed, or seeking employment, in the financial sector (as a general rule).

This would seem sexist to me, because it declares by fiat that women are less able in a given area (a fact not bourne out by the experience of cultures that allow them to practice with less prejudice) and of course that will feed back to their ability to get along in such an environment.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:08 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;98542 wrote:
I know it's in Africa too, but it does and has gone on in Pakistan too. And Paul we're not talking about Christians, that is off topic. I have no idea why you wish to defend your arguement with other examples outside the topic in discussion?
I wasn't talking about Christians either. You're picking on a mere phrase, not even a full sentence, in a long and detailed post. You said "realm of Islam" and then tell us that by that you meant Iran. I have been taking great pains on topic to illustrate that the phrase "realm of Islam" is illogical, just as the phrase "realm of Christianity" might be.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:11 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;98542 wrote:
I know it's in Africa too, but it does and has gone on in Pakistan too. And Paul we're not talking about Christians, that is off topic. I have no idea why you wish to defend your arguement with other examples outside the topic in discussion?
Thanks.

I mention Christians in my post on the subject only to highlight that Mohammed actually said genital mutilation of women was displeasing to Allah - whereas Jesus was silent on the issue - and a result of this is that female circumcision is as prevelant in Christian societies in the same sort of region as Muslim societies - if not more so.

So laying female circumsicion at the door of Islam is not fair. Female genital mutilation of this sort is a tradition older than Islam, there's nothing in Islam that condones it, and all Mohammed said about it was that Allah didn't like it and if people were to do it they were to do it in the least invasive manner.

I wish he had said "it's horrible, don't do it at all, don't do it to boys either" - but of all the religious leaders he is the only one I know of to express some distaste at the notion.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:22 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;98546 wrote:
I mention Christians in my post on the subject only to highlight that Mohammed actually said genital mutilation of women was displeasing to Allah - whereas Jesus was silent on the issue - and a result of this is that female circumcision is as prevelant in Christian societies in the same sort of region as Muslim societies - if not more so.

So laying female circumsicion at the door of Islam is not fair. Female genital mutilation of this sort is a tradition older than Islam, there's nothing in Islam that condones it, and all Mohammed said about it was that Allah didn't like it and if people were to do it they were to do it in the least invasive manner.
That's right. In Africa both female circumcision and polygamy exist in Christian, Muslim, and animist / traditional societies. They were there before either religion took hold, and therefore it's absurd to blame it on one or other of the religions.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:26 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;98541 wrote:
Women are not considered second class citizens in Islam. Men and women are equal but they are not the same. This is an important distinction as in the West equality generally means having the same rights.

The link posted by Dave Allen is a fairly good one. A nice example given was: "For instance, suppose a person wants to undergo an operation for a particular ailment. To confirm the treatment, he would prefer taking references from two qualified surgeons. In case he is unable to find two surgeons, his second option would be one surgeon and two general practitioners who are plain MBBS doctors."

To understand the ruling, you must view it in the context of a functioning Islamic society. Men would usually be the breadwinners of the family and so would generally be better equiped to understand financial dealings. This does not make sense in a Western society, as women are just as exposed to financial dealings as men. But the society fashioned by the Qur'an is one where men and women have more distinct roles, and so legal precedings reflect that.

Just like the example above, it is not considered discriminatory.

Regarding the comments about rape, there is no difference between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim woman being raped in the eyes of the law according to Islam. You are confusing adultery with rape. You do not require four witnesses for rape. Unless you haven't already figured this one out, rape is usually witnessed by two people, the raped and the rapist. The problems of getting a rape conviction is just as problematic in Islamic law as it is in Western societies i.e. it's the word of the raped against the one being accused of rape. With advances in forensics, the chances of getting a conviction increases from the scientific evidence available.

Polygany is allowed in Islam for a number of reasons. Firstly, there will always more women than men in any society which has a military. I don't know the exact numbers but I know women outnumber men in the world by a significant margin. This leaves many women without partners and usually a lower quality of life. Thus Islam allows men to marry up to four women. There is a type of man who doesn't mind the extra responsibility of having more than wife and there is a type of woman who doesn't mind sharing a husband. There is no compulsion regarding this. The man must treat each wife equally.
The proposed intentions are not the realities. I will not go down the route of links, if i can help it, but just look at the practical examples of sharia law in operation and it ain't pretty. The law states that a woman's evidence is not the equal of mans and that gives certain communities the legality of convicting a women who has been raped, of being an adulterer, Pakistan is a prime example.

Telling me a women is less able that a men in any sense is never going to convince me Islam is not sexists. Its not just that it was possible the case a thousand years ago but it is protrayed even now in many Muslim households, the men use it as authority.

i find it an insult that the excuse of too many women in society qualifies a man to indulge his sexual fantasies. If he wants to be charitable he does not have wed and bed them. Funny they are never grannies , more like virgin teenagers with every oppertunity to wed. Is it the opinion of the Koran, if society finds by disease women are at a premium, it could be considered women have four husbands?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:29 pm
@ahmedjbh,
I don't think your getting my point at all Paul.
Thanks and goodnight.

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 02:36 PM ----------

My point is, again I repeat myself how does Islam regard women in Iran and Pakistan, is that clearer to you Aedes.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:46 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;98550 wrote:
My point is, again I repeat myself how does Islam regard women in Iran and Pakistan, is that clearer to you Aedes.
And my point to you is that in practical terms women have educational and professional opportunities in BOTH Iran and Pakistan that cannot be explained by the attitude of Islam. The limiting factor on a woman's achievement in both countries is poverty, not Islam. Which goes to show that Islam can be interpreted in ways that are fully supportive of women's personal and professional equality, at least in certain domains of life.

By the way, it is a bit difficult to compare Iran and Pakistan. The overall ethnic makeup and history of Pakistan is much more closely related to India than it is to Iran. Iran has a hybrid Islamic/Secular state, while Pakistan has a secular (but recently military) state.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:49 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;98534 wrote:
Here we go again. Stop right there.

I did not call you a bigot.

Go back and read my post - before misrepresenting me - AGAIN.

I tried explaning to you that a reason people might have been calling you a bigot - as you claimed they were in the other thread on the subject of Islam - is because you make no effort to check facts and spout prejudiced exaggerations instead.

Rather than reading and understanding that, you've just done it over and over again in this thread too.

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 01:40 PM ----------


Female circumcision is, by and large, a north African tradition. It is one that apparently horrified Mohammed, who states in the Hadith (the Hadith is things that Mohammed allegedly said that didn't go into the Koran) that it should not be attempted and if it has to be at least the perpetrators should do it in the least severe manner. This is seen by some as permission and by others as prohibition. It should be noted that some of the worst genital mutilation occurs in Christian or tribal faith areas of North Africa (such as Ethiopia) rather than Muslim areas - that said a lot of north Africa is muslim and it's a shame Mohammed wasn't more emphatic about not doing it.

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 01:46 PM ----------


You know the bit were I called them "sexist" - that bit - the bit I've pointed out to you three or four times already. That bit yeah? Did you get it? Because I've already pointed it out to you.

Can you acknowledge that, yeah? Rather than continually trying to paint me as something I'm not?

Did you get it Xris. The bit were I called them sexist?

Did you?

Honestly, it's like typing at a brick wall.
So you would not call me a bigot on the evidence you have found that qualifies to call me one? O what webs we weave .. So you call it sexists having two as my opposed to saying four. Is this it, I qualify as a bigot because i claimed four instead of two...
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:49 pm
@xris,
"Of all the Qur'anic passages about men and women perhaps the one most often misunderstood or misused by both Muslims and non-Muslims is verse 34 of Surah an-Nisa. The English translation of this verse reads as follows:
"Men are (meant to be righteous and kind) guardians of women because God has favored some more than others and because they (i.e. men) spend out of their wealth. (In their turn) righteous women are (meant to be) devoted and to guard what God has (willed to be) guarded even though out of sight (of the husband). As for those (women) on whose part you fear ill-will and nasty conduct, admonish them (first), (next) separate them in beds (and last) beat them. But if they obey you, then seek nothing against them. Behold, God is most high and great. (4:34)"
A Commentary on The Quran, Sura 4 Verse 34 by Dr. Ahmad Shafaat

This is an interesting article about Quran verse 4:34. I also found a good book: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Islam. It explains that in the 7th century men sometimes killed their wives, so admonishing them to beat their wives was actually a step in the right direction.

And of course the Islamic realm doesn't have simple political boundaries. And all good wishes to every Muslim woman who is cherished by her family and community. May women everywhere be so.
 
josh0335
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 01:58 pm
@Caroline,
Dave Allen;98543 wrote:
Well, I'm glad someone bothered to read my post properly.

Now, to my mind this is a sexist set up - because the aim of the feminist movement, to my eyes at least, is to propagate the idea that women are as capable of success in all fields that men are, and that notions that women are less capable in certain fields than men is simply a construct of culture.

Therefore preconceived notions of what a woman is good or bad at should be set aside.

In this sense the way women are treated under Sharia is a vicious circle - the fact that women do not tend to adopt postions of expertise in the financial sector is then used to justify why they shouldn't be trusted as financial advisors and hence leads to them not being employed, or seeking employment, in the financial sector (as a general rule).

This would seem sexist to me, because it declares by fiat that women are less able in a given area (a fact not bourne out by the experience of cultures that allow them to practice with less prejudice) and of course that will feed back to their ability to get along in such an environment.


I understand your point. However, Islam acknowledges the biological differences between men and women, and the laws and practices of society are built upwards from this fact. Women biologically give birth and are better equipped than men to care for a child, especially in its infancy, and so their roles as mothers are encouraged and allowed to flourish by declaring it compulsory for men to work and provide for their wives and families. Women can work if they wish and anything they earn can be kept for themselves. But first and foremost, their roles as mothers are given great importance, as it is the mother who shapes society. Almost every social ill in the Western world can be traced back to the breakdown of the family unit. So Islam is setup so the family unit is kept strong through each individual playing a certain role. I understand the role of feminism but I strongly believe that there is nothing demeaning or lowly about being a dedicated mother and not chasing after a career. With this in mind, it is a natural result that the average woman may not be as confident in matters of finance as the average man. A woman in Islam could become the MD of a financial firm if she wants, but this would usually be an exception, not the rule. So yes, I agree when you say women will be less capable than men in certain fields due to construct of culture, but I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. The same can be said of men in relation to women.

"In this sense the way women are treated under Sharia is a vicious circle - the fact that women do not tend to adopt postions of expertise in the financial sector is then used to justify why they shouldn't be trusted as financial advisors and hence leads to them not being employed, or seeking employment, in the financial sector (as a general rule)."

You are right to a degree, yes. But women in Islam hold just as important position in society as men. They just occupy different positions.

"This would seem sexist to me, because it declares by fiat that women are less able in a given area (a fact not bourne out by the experience of cultures that allow them to practice with less prejudice) and of course that will feed back to their ability to get along in such an environment."

The same can be said of men. Is a man being discriminated against because he has to go out and work? Or because he has to go to the mosque five times a day whilst his wife can pray in the comfort of her home? I don't really see it as sexism when you look at both sides although I can see why it would seem so to you.


xris;98549 wrote:
The proposed intentions are not the realities. I will not go down the route of links, if i can help it, but just look at the practical examples of sharia law in operation and it ain't pretty. The law states that a woman's evidence is not the equal of mans and that gives certain communities the legality of convicting a women who has been raped, of being an adulterer, Pakistan is a prime example.

Telling me a women is less able that a men in any sense is never going to convince me Islam is not sexists. Its not just that it was possible the case a thousand years ago but it is protrayed even now in many Muslim households, the men use it as authority.

i find it an insult that the excuse of too many women in society qualifies a man to indulge his sexual fantasies. If he wants to be charitable he does not have wed and bed them. Funny they are never grannies , more like virgin teenagers with every oppertunity to wed. Is it the opinion of the Koran, if society finds by disease women are at a premium, it could be considered women have four husbands?


There are no countries in the world which rule through sharia law. Not Saudi Arabia, not Iran and certainly not Pakistan. The instances you speak of are typical of oppressive societies and have nothing to do with the teachings of Islam.

I don't know how many Muslim households you've been in and studied but from my friends and family I see much mutual respect, love, compromise and co-operation between men and women.

All the wives of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) other than Aisha were widows, some who were older than him. The example he set was to take care of women who were not really going to be able to find a husband, as men usually got married very early. Can I ask you a personal question - are you married? Having a wife is hardly a sexual fantasy (no disrespect meant to any women here, but you ladies are pretty hard work!) A wife means exactly that, wife! Not prostitute, girlfriend, or booty call. A wife must be cared for, she has rights over you, she is entitled to inheritance, as are any children you have with her. When she complains that the washing machine isn't working you're going to have to buy a new one. And when your second wife tells you the broadband connection is too slow and needs to upgrade to a higher speed your going to have to do some overtime my friend. And when you get on abit and you find that you don't have the sort of energy you used to, you're going to find that sex is not really that appealing.

Whether you like it or not, there is a wisdom behind such a set-up. Women are not obliged to marry a man who has other wives, but where a woman wants to why should she be denied?
 
 

 
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