cybik: (shadow)
[personal profile] cybik
This piece by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown about being female and Muslim I thought was interesting.

She mentions this, which is the news that a young woman has been executed in Iran despite being granted a 2 month stay of execution. She also mentions this case of an eight year old girl divorcing her 50 year old husband.

She could have talked about Saudi Arabia, where women aren't allowed to drive. The US Department of State points out that women and children of Saudi families are considered property of the male head of household and need to get permission from him to leave the country. This applies to foreign born women who married Saudi men but retain their original nationality (it's changed now, but it's not retroactive: if they were married before 2008 they still need permission).

A married American business woman was arrested for sitting with a man in a coffee shop. In the comments section of the article in the times, there is a man who writes: "she knew the rules there and she love it otherwise she wouldn't be there i was working in saudi for 7 years they r very friendly and kindly if u respect their religion and culture and they treat their women very very well. and if she doesn't like saudi so why she still there??" I'm not sure how he can justify saying they treat their women well. What about the woman who was sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 years in prison after being gang raped because she'd been in an unrelated man's car? What about the fact that women aren't allowed to vote? Or testify in court unless it's about something that happened out of the sight of men? (the Wikipedia entry on Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.) [Edit - apparently this article is not quite true: see Typical's comment below.)

And let's not forget the Taliban, that group of ultra-right-wing, misogynistic religious fundamentalists. The fact that Pakistan, which has had a female Prime Minister, has decided to allow the Taliban to take over portions of the country (and appear to be granting them ever more ground) disgusts me. A Taliban representative has been quoted as sayying: "the face of a woman is a source of corruption for men who are not related to them". That is to say that a woman is responsible for a man's feelings.

Rape is legal within marriage in Afghanistan. It affects the Shia population (about 15% of the population). Women who protested had stones thrown at them. Women who are raped are often imprisoned.

I don't hate Islam for what it is. I hate what fundamentalists make from it and I hate what fundamentalists seem to be able to make from any religion. Words can be twisted to have very different meanings from what was originally intended. I haven't read all of the Qu'ran, only a couple of verses. I have read the Bible, though - and I've seen how people will pick and choose which pieces to follow. I've read articles by liberal Muslims like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown who despise the way their religion is used to justify rape, murder, beatings and pretty much every evil of which humanity is capable. Usually the victims of fundamentalism are women.

There are a hundred other countries where terrible things happen to women, as well. For example, a quarter of women in South Africa are raped by the time they are 16. A woman is raped every two minutes in the US.

Of course, women aren't executed just for being female. People are for being gay (or lesbian or bisexual).

Date: 2009-05-04 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A great collection of links, and commentry.

It is appalling that this can be allowed, condoned, and given tacit approval by the world.

Date: 2009-05-04 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

It angers me that a lot of people seem to think there's equality. There isn't. Even in our country there isn't equality (men still get paid more, women are still blamed for rape, etc.). Some of the things I have read recently (stuff about genital mutilation, reports about rape in war zones and other horrific things) makes me want to turn away and block them from my mind because I don't want to hear the horror. But I make myself read them because to not do it is just burying my head in the sand.

Date: 2009-05-04 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree entirely.

The worst thing is the realization there's very little you can do. I entertained the brief fantasy of going over there, getting married to a woman, bringing her here and letting her be "free".

But that'd never work, and even if it did it isn't practical.

I guess any solution has to come from within, but given the religious "cause" its hard to see how that can happen. The recent reforms with regards to education are a step in the right direction, but it really is a case of too little too late.

Political sanctions, as used on South Africa, might be one way to gently encourage change - but realistically that's never going to happen because it would kill OPEC relations overnight.

I guess in conclusion its all a sorry sorry mess with no easy answers. It puts "postcode lotteries" in a whole new perspective though. Nevermind what kind of NHS care you get in different counties, just see what treatment you can expect if you're born in the wrong country.

Date: 2009-05-04 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, er, hello from Saudi Arabia.

I won't say much, though women certainly can testify in court (though their testimony carries half the weight of a man's). In fact many of the details in that article are wrong. It takes a typical Western viewpoint of "this is what the law says, so this is what happens". Saudi doesn't work like that.

FWIW, there was much debate here about the rape/lashing case. Albeit too many voices saying "this shouldn't happen because it makes us look bad", and not just "this shouldn't happen" :(

Date: 2009-05-04 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interesting. I'm very glad it's not quite as bad as it's made out to be by our press. I still don't agree with laws being there in the first place, of course. If things are allowed in general society then why are laws against them still there? And there are cases when laws can be used against women - yes, I know she was pardoned, but rape/lashing case is still a good example of what shouldn't happen under any circumstances.

A woman's testimony being less valued than a man's is still bigoted nonsense, though..

People who say "this shouldn't happen because it makes us look bad" are very nearly as bad as the people who do it in the first place. Although perhaps the fact that they are aware it makes them look bad means they understand that it's something to be ashamed of, and that's better than "damn straight, it's what she deserved", though it's still a reprehensible attitude.

I'm not changing my stance of "the world is rubbish" though. :(

Date: 2009-05-04 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It just amazes me, amazes me, that sexism is still kicking around. I can accept -chivalry-, but anything that devalues anyone is well out of date.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-05-04 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you're reaching here. Surely there's no place for sexist shite, particularly on the level Sana's talking about, in todays World of Tomorrow?
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-05-04 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Anything can be twisted. I think religion tends to get twisted a lot because the core texts are usually full of contradictions anyway..

I call myself a feminist because I want women to have equal rights.

Equal, not better.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-05-04 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, yes, that's what I mean. They couldn't have equal rights if they had more. Because that'd be more, not equal. ;)
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-05-04 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I want everyone to have equal rights.

Date: 2009-05-05 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Missed out on both reasoning and argument in school, did we?

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