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To Donald

Reader comment on item: Female Desire and Islamic Trauma
in response to reader comment: Response to female desire letter in Islamic world

Submitted by Reema (United Arab Emirates), Aug 7, 2006 at 09:01

Dear Donald,

Very interesting points there. However, the way you see or hear men treating women in certain Muslim countries has nothing to do with Islam. In fact, if you go back to the days before Islam was introduced, and I will speak about the Arab world here because that is what I know, it was always a male dominant society and the acts taken against women can literary raise the hair on the back of your neck.

However, many of these acts were eradicated by the introduction of Islam. But let's be honest here, how many Muslims really understand Islam and follow its teachings? What you see of men treating women– oppressing them from living– is not Islam. In certain societies women has always been considered second class citizens, even worse. However, Islam literary gave women their dignity and rights back. You are talking about women walking around with a veil and asking permission from women to do anything. Who said that wearing a veil is oppressive? I am not talking about the covering of the face and all that you actually can't see anything from the woman. I am talking about the simple hijab. Of women not wearing revealing clothes and covering their hair leaving only their faces and hands showing.

You are talking of progressive women asking them to stop kidding themselves. Can I ask you, does the way a Muslim woman look take a way from the way her mind works? I have friends who are intellectuals who wear the veil. Are they oppressed? No. In fact they are liberated more than you can imagine. As for asking permission from men… who said that Muslim women go around asking for permission from men. I am not married and I live away from my parents, do you think I call my father every time I want to do something to ask for permission? What happened to trust? To the fact that these parents raised me up and know what kind of a person I am? What happened to the fact that I know what's right and wrong?

Muslim women are intellectual enough to know what is right and wrong. As for asking for permission, you might see it as a big issue – and I respect that– but I don't feel oppressed for asking my father's permission to travel somewhere. (It is family bonds and please don't take as I am insulting Western families, because I am not). There is a certain Hadith or saying by prophet Mohammad that says Men are guardians of women. This is misinterpreted as "man rule woman" and many men think that and I have heard it when in fact it means that men has a responsibility towards women… to provide for them. It is a man's responsibility to provide for his wife and family, even if the wife is working. If a wife chooses to contribute that's her choice. That's what it means.

Submitting....

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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".

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