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).