Saturday, August 16, 2008

Women in Islam

As always, I highly recommend you stop by now and then (she is on my blogroll for ref) and read Mona Eltahawy. She provides a clear, precise insight into one of the most silent voices in the modern world; women in the Muslim world. In this case, Egypt, where the fruits of misogyny and sexual dysfunction and dislocation warp an entire culture.
... when I read that the majority of the more than 2,000 Egyptian men and women that ECWR surveyed blamed women for bringing on the harassment because of the way they dressed, I honestly thought my countrymen and women had lost their minds.

In Egypt today, up to 80 percent of women wear one form of veil or another — be it a headscarf or a full-body veil that covers the face too — so you would think it was obvious that sexual harassment had nothing to do with the way a woman dresses.

So what is it that drives such a stubborn wish to fault women?

The answer lies in perhaps the saddest of all the Centre’s findings. Unlike foreign women, most Egyptian women said women should keep their harassment to themselves because they were ashamed or feared it could ruin their reputation. That’s when I was taken back full circle to the time I was groped on the Haj.


This shame is fueled by religious and political messages that bombard Egyptian public life, turning women into sexual objects and giving men free reign to their bodies.

In 2006, It was the well-publicized episode of the mufti of Australia comparing women who didn’t wear the hijab to uncovered meat left out for wild cats. He was educated at al-Azhar, the religious institution in Egypt that trains clerics from all over the Sunni Muslim world. He was suspended, but his reprehensible views are very much at work among many other clerics. Today, as two bloggers in Egypt reported recently, there are email and poster campaigns with a message that uses candy to tell women that if they cover they will be safe from harassment, as covered candy is safe from flies.

When did Egyptian women become candy and when did Egyptian men turn into flies?
...and judging by the comments and attitudes of the Egyptian, Bahraini, Kuwaiti, Omani, and Saudi men I have spent time with; she has it mostly figured out. The phrase, "A boy for pleasure, a woman for children, a goat for relief" sheds more light. That is just a colloquial phrase, the core of Islam sets the tone though,
The Aqīqah is a strong Sunnah and many scholars regard it as an obligation upon the parents and it is the slaughtering of two sheep or goats for a boy and one sheep or goat for a girl preferably on the seventh day. The Prophet ( sallallāhu alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have said:

“The Aqīqah is a right (upon you). (Slaughter) for a boy two compatible sheep, and for a girl: one”.
Half as valuable gets treated as such. Sad. Compare to this.

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