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Arab and Muslim women Issues! Part Two

Hasan A. Yahya, Professor of Sociology

There are certain points related to Arab and Muslim women. We covered three of these points in previous article, here are the rest examples:

4. Parenting In the Arab and Muslim world: In the Parenting an Arab and Muslim girl, parents give girls everything they wanted. They treat them sincerely and kindly. And when they were at the right age, the family chose a good husband for her, in what called in sociology, arranged marriages which is popular in the Arab and Muslim world. a good man, the family knows. But some young ladies had ideas of their own. Therefore, they rebelled. They have choices: one is to refuse the proposed person. And deny fulfilling the marriage contract. Or for other reason such as going to complete their education at the university, in local or far communities. May be other countries differ from the place of origin. If they are married, they usually did not love the selected husband who was forced on her at the beginning. In Saudi Arabia, and many other Muslim and Arab countries, woman still should not be allowed to raise her voice. They call it "Awrah", a "shameful act" by women to raise their voice when men are present. A woman is considered of a "lower, inferior sex" by choice, some say, because the Islamic culture promotes certain ethics in terms of women behavior. That she should not act like a man. The man is the master, or the over hand in marriage or in the family, a young brother can control his elder sister, this is common in Arab and Muslim countries. As she's the wife, not the slave as some people like to say. Soon after a woman marriage she usually live in the extended family, but these days the newly married couple have their own house. They may leave to other community as we said, and fell in love in that different environment. No girl or boy may fall in love "deliberately." Even a veiled woman, but women usually conceal their love from family. It is sometimes told to close female friends. Lover in Arab and Muslim world become in danger position, some people consider love as illegal and forbidden. But lovers may die for their love. They may sacrifice themselves for the lover safety.

5. Islam, Divorce, and Human Rights: Does Islam allow divorce, equal rights for the women and men? For any reason at all!! Well, the habits vary from one place to another. That's why adultery for married or spouse is punishable by death. But under certain circumstances, for example, if she or he confessed or 4 male witnesses witnessing penetration (actual sexual act-as explained in the text). Still in some close societies cultures press the fact of protecting honor of the girl. In some cases, in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Kuwait, and many other communities the father or elder brother takes charge to kill the girl. The culture usually sympathizes with honor offenders, and sometimes the court itself, give less penalty in these cases. Many women feel that this is absurd ruling, and should not be practiced. And human rights have to be preserved for both men and women.

6. Arranged marriages for some critics are absolutely silly to hear about , the argument that a woman committed adultery, because she was not asked who she wanted as a husband In Islamic lands where the woman cannot even decide that, and consider that act as ridiculous to even mention it. They think of that as an Islamic Virus to be fought. But to eradicate such practice and to give valid assumptions, women today, in the crowded and high density cities, women do not marry by traditional arrangement. This habit is decreasing rapidly. The opposite of this image, is far from true.

7. Stories of horror: It is all over in the news, until very recently we have no law that would protect a husband who murdered his wife and her lover when he found them in flagrant delicate situation. There is not so terribly much difference between Western and Middle Eastern cultures on this point, really. I feel sorry when I hear such stories against young couple, but they, just like us, live in a society of laws and knew what the laws were to be followed and obeyed. Penalties for crimes is simply understood, but sacrificed sometimes by emotional mis-control.

8. Religious or Cultural Practices: No government or official law on human rights are respected or secured in love cases leads to adultery in the Arab and Muslim world. So it might be excusable for ancient people to act like as they did. Love is blind as they say, but temptations to commit adultery is punishable. Old storis of Romeo and Juliet, Antar and Abla, Qays and Laila, many centuries old stories of history these days. In the modern world with a high tech civilization, and interaction through media and education and cultural diffusion, it is not excusable to do it according to Arabic and Islamic ethics. A Saudi man do not allow women to have a freedom, negates cultural norms. Some women's activists call for women in Saudi Arabia the right to drive their cars alone. What do you expect from a culture respects honor and perceive women as weak persons, need always men or familial protection? In Saudi Arabia, if a woman is not allowed to drive, or to vote, or to go outside alone, or to talk with unrelated men and etc, it does not mean that they prohibit them from loving each other, no one can stand in the face of love, because love is incited by God, and God makes people love each other, but when love became illegal love, negate cultural norms, then killing people who love each other and committed adultery is suitable punishment, culturally. There is no dating as Americans way of life. These adultery activities are prohibited in both Arab and Islamic countries. Saudi like to watch the execution of such penalties, they often come from far away just for seeing these acts. In these days, westerners do not admit such acts and describe them as just uneducated savages actions against human rights, but not modern people who call themselves Muslims their families appreciate such acts. (1084 words)

Dr. Hasan Yahya is a professor of Sociology, and columnist at wfol.tv Malaysia and TINA International News Agency, Chicago, USA. www.hasanyahya.com

Tagged with: Arab, Issues, Muslim, Part, Women

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