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What about women in Islam?

Reader comment on item: [The Search for Moderate Islam:] A Reply to Lawrence Auster

Submitted by Susan Chapman (United States), Jan 28, 2005 at 16:25

Thank you for your continued study of and your articles about Islam and the difficulty in dealing with a "holy war" in which the militant muslims recognize only 1 law, and that is Islamic law.

But I must disagree with your comparison of living with a moderate Islam to living with Germany, Italy, and Japan after WWII. I ask just 1 question, and it is this: how can Islam become moderate when the faith is based so heavily upon the INEQUALITY of the sexes? Women are protected under Islamic law only in a secondary position to men. An Islamic husband may be benevolent, but he is still a despot in the marriage relationship. Look at Pakistan's new law established to protect Islamic women. It is now more difficult for a man to justify killing his wife, but he still may do so and then his sentence is to pay a financial penalty to her family if it is judged that they are harmed by her killing. Mr. Pipes, do you have daughters? I do. How do I feel comforted by moderation in a belief system that has as its roots the domination of women and reduction of women's innate worth? If the treatment of women were based only in practice I could have hope. But it is not limited to practice. It is set forth in the Qu'ran. In fact, as I read the Qu'ran, the only crime of murder is the unjustified killing of an Islamic male. I hope that you can prove me wrong, but I do not have much hope that you can.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I would love to read your opinion on this aspect of Islam.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

No doubt that the treatment of women is one of the most important changes that need to take place in the Muslim interpretation of Islam.


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