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Reader comment on item: How to End Terrorism:
in response to reader comment: only misery in muslim countries

Submitted by phonetics (Indonesia), Dec 21, 2006 at 04:40

1. What do I care to be first of a queue of muslims that believe in a book that says that the woman have half a brain of a man?...

The Arabs had a very strong tradition that one who can smite with the spear and can wield the sword would inherit (this is in the time before the Prophet). But Islam came as the defender of the weaker sex and entitled women to share the inheritance of their parents. It gave women, centuries ago right of owning property, yet it was only 12 centuries later , in 1881, that England, supposed to be the cradle of democracy adopted this institution of Islam and the act was called "the married woman act", but centuries earlier, the Prophet of Islam had proclaimed that "Woman are twin halves of men. The rights of women are sacred. See that women maintained rights granted to them." (Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao-Non Islamic)

Then if we turn to the Qur'an, we find an image of Godhead apophatically stripped of metaphor. God is simply Allah, the God; never Father. The divine is referred to by the masculine pronoun: Allah is He (huwa); but the grammarians and exegetes concur that this is not even allegoric: Arabic has no neuter, and the use of the masculine is normal in Arabic for genderless nouns. No male preponderance is implied, any more than feminity is implied by the grammatically female gender of neuter plurals.

Muslim women who have reflected on the gender issue have seized, I think with good reason, on this striking point. The gratefulness that their first ideas of God were formed by Islam because they were able to think of the Highest Power as one completely without sex or race, and thus completely unpatriarchal . . .We begin with the idea of a deity who is completely above sexual identity, and thus completely outside the value system created by patriarchy.

Another case study. If in Judaism, women could not approach the Torah, while in Christianity they found themselves excluded from administering the Eucharist, does the new dispensation of Islam restrain them analogously? And so Islam conveys its feminizing of sacredness. For the Shari‘a, the word made Book is open to female touch and cantillation. Symbolically, the custodianship of the first Qur'anic text was entrusted to the Prophet's wife Hafsa, not to a man. And you claim Islam thinks of women as having half a brain? Strange.

Closing point being the most recent study of Muslim female academicians, by Ruth Roded, charts an extraordinary dilemma for the researcher:

‘If U.S. and European historians feel a need to reconstruct women's history because women are invisible in the traditional sources, Islamic scholars are faced with a plethora of source material that has only begun to be studied. [ . . . ] In reading the biographies of thousands of Muslim women scholars, one is amazed at the evidence that contradicts the view of Muslim women as marginal, secluded, and restricted.'

2. "Let's take turkey. Ruled by army but with muslims insurgence. It is ok to practice honor killing on females defaming the family. But since they put a mild punishment for the offenders, the family now forces the girl to suicide, so they won't get guilty.

BATMAN, Turkey (July 16) -- For Derya, a waiflike girl of 17, the order to kill herself came from an uncle and was delivered in a text message to her cellphone. "You have blackened our name," it read. "Kill yourself and clean our shame or we will kill you first."

This is laughable, since the Qur'an has written allover the fact that suicide (or killing of self BY self) is considered to be among the ultimate sins. And the only thing that you are telling me is that there is a family in Turkey that is crazy and should still keep learning about what Islam is. Especially when the Prophet was the one that brought the message of God that banned the killing of female children during the Jahilliyah period, because during that time women were considered to be dishonorable (mainly because rape and orphaned children born out of wedlock were running rampant during those years).

3."Regardless of these developments, the Personal Status Law remains largely discriminatory, authorizing polygamy and yielding most of the power to the husband in case of divorce"

Men are biologically designed to desire a plurality of women, and, unless we can carry out some radical genetic engineering work, they will always do so. And when a man has two simultaneously, the law may either deprive one of the two women of legal rights and social status, as in the modern West. Or it can recognise both as legitimate spouses, as in the Shari‘a. Muslims regard as an absurdity the present arrangement in the West where consensual relationships of all kinds are allowed and even militantly defended: homosexual, lesbian, and so on; whereas a consensual ménage a trois is still regarded as immoral. The last hangover of Victorian morality? In fact, a menage a trois is perfectly acceptable in modern Western law, as long as the parties to it live ‘in sin' and do not attempt to marry. The absurdity of this position requires no comment.

Then of course there is the fact that:

While men are allowed to marry up to four wives, they are also commanded to meet the preconditions of being able to financially support them. They must also deal with each wife justly and fairly with respect to marital and economic obligations. Qur'an (translation),

[4:3] If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.

Moreover, women can reject any marriage proposal made to her by prospective suitors, thus if she does not feel she can abide by the rules of the Qur'an and Sunnah if she marries a certain person, she can reject his proposal. While it is irrelevant to Islam, it is worthwhile to note that both Judaism and Christianity allow polygamy. The idea is not as foreign to the non-Muslims as is often claimed.

And then there is the legality of Domestic chores, for instance, appearing as an aspect of interior sociality, but this is not identified with purely female space, since they are regarded by some madhhabs, including the Shafi‘i, as the responsibility of the man rather than the wife. A'isha was asked, after the Blessed Prophet's death, what he used to do at home when he was not at prayer; and she replied: ‘He served his family: he used to sweep the floor, and sew clothes.' (Bukhari, Adhan, 44.) On this basis, Shafi‘i jurists defend the woman's right not to perform housework. For instance, the fourteenth century Syrian jurist Ibn al-Naqib insists: ‘A woman is not obliged to serve her husband by baking, grinding flour, cooking, washing, or any other kind of service, because the marriage contract entails, for her part, only that she let him enjoy her sexually, and she is not obliged to do other than that.' Islam's theology of gender thus contends with a maze, a web of connections which demand familiarity with a diverse legal code, regional heterogeneity, and with the metaphysical no less than with the physical. This complexity should warn us against offering facile generalisations about Islam's attitude to women.

And this "slides" me in to another point. Divorce. Talaq (Divorce) can be done when the man has claimed Talak three times and over different periods of time. And then there is the divorce by a woman that is something that only has to be claimed once, in evident cases such as not being sexually satisfied upon marriage, or not being financially aided for a period of six months, etc. There is no power in the Husband, especially when he has to have reason behind each and everyone of those Talaq's. But divorce isn't really something that any religion would adhere to, just ask the pope whether he has agreed to any divorces lately. The reason being that every religion constitutes marriage as being the holiest bonding of humans and breaking such a holy bond is irrepairable for both men and women.

4. While a man may divorce his wife simply by telling her three times, "I repudiate you," women may divorce only through court proceedings where it often takes several years to be granted a divorce.

This being an extension of what i have said before. "I repudiate you" is not so simple (Read above). Whether or not the court proceedings take several years or not is hardly something that can be blamed on Islam, since christians or Jews in the west also have long court hearings when it comes to divorces. And as for the whole "pre-nup", Islam does not grant such a thing, if you enter into marriage then you enter into it with trust. Fairly basic, you'll find it in any Holy Book and Religion.

5. Sarah Leah: You are working in a system where you are not really free to leave your job. You actually need employers' consent to change jobs. You're working in a system where your passport is withheld. And really, if you displease your employer, you are going to find yourself on a plane right back to Sri Lanka or Bangladesh or India. Most of the workers live in labor camps an hour outside the city in the desert, in a place called Sonapaur, which means city of gold. There's little gold to be found here. The men putting up the world's finest buildings live six to eight, sometimes 12, to a room.

Are you reffering to Sarah Leah Whitson or Chase? Whichever, both cannot have a good light of what is really going on in Dubai, since one is partial and the other more into cooking. And besides, I don't care what she is saying, because it goes against everything I have seen and heard in Dubai, and that for me is more promising than any allegation or claim. Besides, if they were "The men putting up the world's finest buildings" wouldn't they at least have common sense and education to not work on underprivileged and "plain rotten" jobs? it's that simple. Afterall they must have some education to have the ability to put up "the world's finest buildings"shouldn't they?


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