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Hesham: More opinions

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?
in response to reader comment: Reply to Viking Woman

Submitted by Viking Woman (Kuwait), Apr 30, 2008 at 02:05

I will agree with you on the hijab issue, because quite frankly I think this is a personal right, except in cases where identity is required. The niqab, or face veil requires more responsibility when identity is required.

I also believe in freedom of choice. Meaning she should wear it because she believes in it, not because a man forced her, hence the freedom of choice is missing. My only objection is to those women who like Sultana Freeman who run to the ACLU for their right to have a veiled face on a driving license in Florida. I think she should have been denied a license--period.

Seriously now, they don't allow this in Kuwait for obvious reasons. It can hide the identity of anyone, including a criminal. Using the U.S. to fight for rights that are not allowed even in Muslim countries causes dissension, and is not a good image for Muslims. Sadly, the moderate Muslims are not heard enough.

As for polygamy, it was definitely an "exception" rather than a rule. Sadly, we now have other so called "marriages" such as misyar, and orfy. When Saudi accepted the "misyar" marriage this set a precedence for other countries, and it is now practiced in Kuwait. In my opinion, this is a legalized form of having a mistress. So is "muta'a" which is for Shi'ites. There is nothing sacred about signing a paper to spend an unspecified time with a woman/man for pleasure. It lacks commitment, to say the least.

As for mistresses, there are plenty in the Middle East as well. In order for people to evolve and question issues logically, you have to admit to the issues in your own backyard. You can simply read the local newspapers to see there are mistresses in the Middle East.

The difference being, in polygamy the other wives would have inheritance rights, rotating days rights, and their children would have rights. This is the main reason it overides a mistress. I won't even get into the emotional aspect of this. Until women are allowed to speak out and add their opinions on these subjects, polygamy will remain a hurtful thing for most women. Malaysian women are now speaking out. There is no court of law that forces the man to dislcose his income before marrying other women. No proof required to prove you can't afford another wife, or numerous children.

The difference between a wife and a mistress is: the mistress has no rights legally. She cannot demand her days with the man. Her children have rights in the West though, through the judicial system for financial support. Basically, she loses.

I am going to have to differ with you on the "shahada" or declaration of faith in Islam. Unless their is a new law implemented, reciting your shahada does not require a course of study, or proof of knowledge.

In fact, I am very determined to change the policy on this and am speaking out. I've seen hundreds of women take their "shahada" without even one question. It goes on in the West, too. The general attitude seems to be it is so easy to convert, you simply recite the shahada. This is incredibly wrong and irresponsible. I will check with the new rulings in Kuwait to see if any of this has been changed, but I have never seen any woman take a shahada and be required to have any knowledge of this commitment. The long standing attitude has been, "it's so easy to convert or revert, simply recite after me."

Let me compare this with Catholicism or Judaism. It requires a course of study. In Catholicism one would have to be baptized, study Catechism, take their first Holy communion, then their confirmation. Then and only then can they take communion and be considered a Catholic.

Since many born Muslims claim converts are confused since they cannot read Arabic, and thus translate the proper laws, I would say that learning Arabic would be a priority, then a study of Tafseer, then Tajweed, then the Hadiths.

Doesn't this make sense to you? How else can someone say they are Muslim when they know nothing of the religion?


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