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Islam is the only one who gave women rights!!!

Reader comment on item: Did Michael Jackson Convert to Islam?
in response to reader comment: know more about islam before judging us

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Jul 24, 2011 at 16:48

Dear Dr Pipes:

I have gotten tired of people who say that Islam was the first religion to give rights to women. I will explain why. Rights are not something that is given once for all times to come. Rights are principles that humanity is discovering every day. New rights are being added to the old ones and old rights are being redefined. Consider slavery. That a human cannot be sold or bought was not a right in many societies 500 years ago. Today human beings cannot be bought or sold. In most countries of the world the right to vote did not exist till a few decades ago. In Islamic countries it is still not granted. But many modern countries are discovering and accepting the right for citizens to vote. That you can pray to God according to your belief is a right allowed in many countries. Muslims love to excercise this right when they live in non-muslim countries but do not want to grant this right to non-muslims in Islamic countries.

So it is meaningless to say that Islam was the first religion to grant rights to women. Did it go far enough? Why did it stop? Is sharing a husband with three other women a right? Is having 1/4th of a husband below dignity? When is Islam going to grant the right one full husband to its sisters? Is there a reason to believe that woman's testimony should count less? When will Islam grant the right of equal weight of testimony to its sisters? Once these rights are properly served, we can discuss some more advance rights (by Islamic standards) like the right of equal education, right of equal inheritance, and other such rights. The problem with Islam is the belief that the set of rights can be frozen at a given time (that was 1400 years ago) and need not be changed there after.

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