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Persian Journal
Women
The Status of Women in Islam
Hikmat - Persian Journal
Sep 30, 2006, 04:40

No two Individuals are similar in all respects. Equality means equality before law and equal opportunity to all irrespective of gender, race, color, creed etc. Are Moslem women really getting equal opportunity?

 Being born and brought up in a traditional Moslem family and faced all the disadvantages. We are not allowed to study in a co-education schools and colleges and if separate college for women is not available we have to discontinue our studies. We are neither allowed to talk to men (other than close relatives) nor allowed to participate in social gatherings. Even when we go out occasionally and we have to observe 'PURDAH' system (Covering our entire body with special black dress). All in the name of Islam and Allah.

Still, I could not understand the logic behind all this. If it is a sin for a woman to talk to a man then it should equally be a sin for a man to talk to a woman. But, there seems no restriction for men. Why should a woman observe purdah system (veil, hijab)? Is it to prevent men from looking at her with evil intentions? If looking with evil intention is a sin then the sinner should be punished not the victim; or is it devised to save men from not committing the sin? Then what prevents these men from looking at non-Moslem women? If some men have evil intentions, they will have it regardless of we wearing purdah or not.

It would be more reasonable to declare that having ?Evil Intention' is a Sin and if anyone commits it he should be punished instead of asking women to wear purdah. If a woman talks to a man (who is not a close relative) can?t it be other than a physical relation? Isn't it degrading for women to be treated like a sexual object and not as a person? Are Moslem women dedicated to their kitchens? Can?t they work outside? Can't they have their careers? Why shouldn?t they mingle freely will classmates, colleagues or for that matter any outsider. Can?t Islam distinguish social gathering of men and women from sexual relations? Then why is the prohibition for social gathering of men and women?

Some Moslems confuse the absence of purdah with indecent exposure. In fact both are totally different issues.

Islam cannot treat men or women equally on the basis that women are less intelligent. Even if we agree that women are less intelligent, for argument sake, why should this make her 'less equal'? Then it is discriminating against intelligence (In the past, same argument was extended to justify slavery stating that some races are more intelligent that other races hence entitled for less rights). As per Islam the testimonies of two women is equal to one man (Even though the woman is a University Professor or a Doctor still she is considered less intelligent than an illiterate male!!). The criterion here is not intelligence but gender.

See the thread of logic. First argument is 'Less legal rights to less intelligent people' Second argument is 'Woman is less intelligent than man' therefore she should have fewer rights than man. Many Moslem fundamentalists state that even 'Scientifically' an average women is less intelligent than average man, so are average person of a particular race is more intelligent than average person of another race, average person of a country is more intelligent than average person of another country. The idea of average intelligence can be applied to gender, race, color, country, region etc. to justify any garbage.

The less we talk about polygamy the better. No sane person considers this as an equal treatment to women. If many Moslems think that social gatherings of men and women, absence of purdah, equal legal status to men leads to wide spread immorality and indiscriminate sexual relation, nothing is more foolish than this. If these people talk of morality, in what way 'Temporary marriage' of Islam is different from prostitution.

Last but not the least where is the equality when a woman is not allowed to go to the place of worship along with her family even with the so-called purdah!!!

The ultimate pity is that the Moslem women are made to accept all this in the name of Islam and Allah.

 

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