Oppressed Women in Islam
(The author acknowledges that there are several women in Islam who enjoy liberty although not comparable with other religions. Such instances are more of an exception than a rule. However, the stereotypes described in this article represent the majority of them)
In modern times when International Human Rights and Gender Equality is trying to adopt a progressive outlook towards women, Muslim women are somewhat left behind. This is because the Islamic nations have adopted a perverted form of Human Rights in their Cairo declaration to suit their male-dominant, patriarchal, women-oppressive, radicalism-promoting society. As a result, Muslim women from Islamic nations as well as Muslim-dominated other nations bear stark differences from those in Europe/America/Australia. The anti-women attitude of radical Islamists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria and recently in Iran has been oppressive to say the least. Barring few exceptions, Muslim women in those nations are described as shy, secluded, docile, subdued, captive, objects of sex, denied modern education and brainwashed to follow whatever their male-folks/clerics dictate. They have been told to remain content with whatever is offered to them. As a result, they give up to their fates and seldom complain.
Women in Islam remain oppressed lot right from the days of its foundation. In the recent few decades, Islam has become highly repressive against their women in several nations like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and so on. The radical Islamic groups see red if their women have choice to dress, venture out of home, educate to become professionals and work for financial independence. They fear that by doing so, their women will indulge in infidelity. Of late, In the advanced nations too, Muslim women are increasingly denied liberty. Burqa was imposed in several nations after radical/ISIS ideologies started getting imposed. This is why radical attires incl burqa/hijab are banned in France, Germany, Switzerland and so on (read “Veils go off in Switzerland” https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/veils-go-off-in-switzerland/).
One must understand there is no particular stereotype of a human whether men or women. Each man or woman is an individual in oneself having many unique peculiarities. These attributes are founded and influenced by one’s upbringing, parenthood, elders, siblings, religious and social customs, schooling and education, friends & environment, events & happenings around…and some other factors that shape one’s persona and individual characters. Thus human behavior is vastly influenced by numerous familial-socio-cultural parameters. Some of the common behaviours do render a semblance of predictability on one or the other parameters. One’s faith and religion also tend to make a distinct identity but there is no stereotype.
Indian Muslims have in general, been a reflection of their origins from where they converted, be it Hindu, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews or Christians which consider their women at par with men. However, Islam takes them to a different path (Read ‘Muslims of India, Parts 1, 2 & 3’ https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/muslims-of-india-part1-what-is-hindu-muslin-divide/; https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/muslims-of-india-part-2-why-the-hindu-muslim-distrust-and-gap/; https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/muslims-of-india-part-3-how-could-hindu-muslim-divide-be-narrowed/). In Islam, women do not have their freedom and are considered as objects of their men…always fearful of various forms of Talaqs that their men traditionally wield against them. Muslim women accept their existence within the 4-walls of the home, not venture out without their men in company and do nothing against their wishes.
Islam authorizes polygamy, female genital mutilation (FGM), compels burqa/hijab (which most women hate) and brainwashes to silently follow patriarchal norms dictated by their men. Domestic violence against women is worst in Muslim communities as compared to the others in those states…and the worst, they tolerate it mutely. Their weaker built, weaker position in the family, a total dependence on others makes them vulnerable. Women liberty whether it pertains to education, freedom, attire, ambitions, jobs, entertainment, marriage…or for that matter anything and everything…are at very high premium in Islam. All these ill-treatments are often justified by their clerics (Mullahs/Imams) in the name of their Allah, advising them to remain submissive and silent. Islam mandates them to have blind faith in their men and clerics. One word of a mullah, most of them will serve whether to protests (like the Shaheenbaghs), become sex-slaves for jihadists or brainwashed to become a tool of jihad (mostly suicide bombers).
Exceptions have been far and few but there have been some very strong Muslim women, equally dominant, with resemblance to their male-counterparts. Muslim women in Europe or America are slightly different as they enjoy a common civic code enjoyed by women of other communities. Their male-folks are barred by law from committing atrocities in the many forms, gradually evolving the mindset of being liberal, even if partially.
Women in most of the Islamic nations have been at the receiving end since Mohamed’s time or even before. In the ancient Arabian Tribes in 6th and 7th centuries, women lived in insecurity. They lived as nomads in temporary or regularly shifting shelters with their women and children. Feuds and greed made them to grab others’ properties, assets… that included women too…to submit to their new masters. In Mohammed’s time these loots were redistributed among his mercenaries and some other influential people (read https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/islamic-intolerance-bigotry-fascism-global-caliphate/).
The young women were assigned to the fighting mercenaries at the battlefront itself to use as sex slaves. Mohamed created their separate camps with a special flag where they were compelled to serve sex to the soldiers/mercenaries. Those refuging were flogged, kept without food & water, tortured and in many cases killed in the presence of others…to send a stern message, don’t disobey, or else… Thus the fate of women became subservient, meant to obey their masters whether right or wrong. This dictum was also put in Quran (in fewer words) and remains effective in radical Islamic society even today…that further worsened in recent decades as witnessed during ISIS using the Yezidi women as sex slaves (read ‘The Truth of Islam as faith and Muslims as citizen’. https://thecounterviews.com/issue_02_07). A similar trend could be seen in recent years in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Syria, North African nations and so on to name a few. Its highly condemnable why the UN/UNHCR/International women bodies still remain silent on the public flogging/stoning of women (to humiliation and death) under sharia law.
The extent of making the women obeisant varies in different countries depending upon the culture of their original faiths from where they were made to convert. Leaving exceptions, people of Indian Religions have been peace-loving and treating their women with respect. Veda, the foundation of humanity gives women the same status as that of men. In the specific roles of mothers, women have even higher socio-spiritual status. It was much later when some basic rules of introducing discipline for women were incorporated that we find in the ‘Manusmriti’ too. Islamic teachings give the patriarchy the authority to discipline or even beat their girls/women if disobedient. Over 600 years of Islamic atrocities in India introduced several ills in the social upbringing and discourse of women. Some of the stereotypes of Muslim women have been also visible in Hindu women too in recent centuries. Ramcharit manas written by saint Tulsidas during the Islamic period in India shows degradation in the social fabric when manhandling was subscribed against women especially in disciplining them, safeguarding their modesty in own interest: -
However, Indian socio-political equations have been progressive and dynamic. The current laws forbid such hostile acts with significant punishments; but Islam has resisted any such amendments siting ‘Personal law’. Men belonging to Indian Religions or Christians have the basic elements of respect for women even after conversion, according mutual freedom. Their forefathers must have lived with their wives like life-partners which seldom existed in the ancient Arabian culture or Islam, where women have largely been the matter of object for grab. Islam also has a very weak institution of marriage. In fact, marriages in Islam are contracts between the two, often fragile…at the mercy of ‘Talaq’ even for trivial reasons. After Talaq, it must be really difficult for divorced women to remarry and be at mercy of another man. Author again cautions against making any stereotype. In the societies where the converts are of Indian Religions, Parsis or Christians, there are mostly long stable marriages despite the ‘Nikah’ been contractual.
Rapes by Mullahs in the name of “Halala” is horrifyingly legitimized. Lives of numerous women have been ruined by the Mullahs the world over by brain-washing and sending them to serve free sex to ISIS terrorists in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. This is a draconian rule in Islam legalised through Quran/Hadith to serve sex to the radicals & terrorists at the battlegrounds itself in the so-called ‘Jihad’. The other forms of rapes have been going on through ‘Nikah mut'ah’ for centuries under paid contractual marriages. All these are happening in the 21st century and the ‘greatest’ international agency called “United Nations and their Human Rights Panel” have been turning blind eyes to their plights. Think of the indignity to those women. In Afghanistan, Taliban has asked all families to offer their unmarried, widowed or divorced women of 15-45 yrs to their sex-starved terrorists. This is atrocious. These may be some of the reasons why Muslim women in recent decades are increasingly marrying non-Muslims to migrate from repressive Islam.
Muslim Women are invariably obsequious for numerous reasons, some mentioned below: -
Muslim women suffer from the lack of legal rights over paternal, maternal or spousal properties. This makes them over-dependent on their male caretakers…be it father, brother or spouse. The religious dictum in Quran compels them to be ever obedient to the patriarchy, failing which she will be made to suffer on all fronts. Accordingly, she will be brought-up the way her father/brother wants. She will be denied the education that makes her independent…else the patriarch will lose hold on her. Her attire, mixing-up with people will be dictated by her master, the patriarchy. In recent decades, some progressive parents have dared against the religious dictum…but those are far and few as exceptions. As a rule, she is a weak, obedient, docile, scared woman within the four walls, exploited liberally by her masters. Often, after she attains the age of 9 yrs, she will be married off to someone that her patriarchy wants. In her new role too, she is supposed to an obedient wife in the service of her new master. This concept of “पतिपरमेश्वर”is also among Hindus but only to a limit, the sword of “Verbal Talaq”, of being abandoned, is not hanging over her and secondly, there is no contractual or religious offering of sex to the strangers. The majority of Muslim women around the world today are those facing poverty, illiteracy, political repression and patriarchy. There are however, some exceptions too, mostly as aberrations.
Islamic institutions of marriage are extremely biased against women and flawed. Islamic law allows a man to marry more than one wife. Consequently, most Muslim men are polygamous making the previous wife insecure, submissive and more dependent. Polygamy leaves fewer women in the community thus compelling Muslims to get women from other communities by hook or crook and this is largely being seen as ‘Love-Jihad” in India (read ‘Combating Love-Jihad’ https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/love-jihad-muslims-radical-hindu-religious-demography-kerala-conversion/). Muslim men are also permitted to marry temporarily for pleasure. On the other hand, Muslim women have no choice. She has to marry whom the patriarchy mandates, even if impotent. Her sexual desires must have been killed by FGM and she is will be stoned to death or whipped 40 times in public for any temptations to adultery.
Many of Islamic and almost all non-Islamic nations had much freedom for Muslim women till 1970s and 80s. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the far-east, Europe, Australian and American continents used to be largely liberal. However, after 1990s, radicalism started getting overt when most men started sporting beards and women draped in burqa on the advice of the Mullahs, mostly from radical countries, preaching radicalism. Those who do not fall in line, are in for rough treatment in the hands of their own men, radicals and jihadists. Having mentioned the above, it will be wrong to assume that all Muslim women feel oppressed. No, they don’t. A few Muslim women voluntarily drape in burqa, to be seen as distinct, having Islamic identity. Many also follow the century-old Islamic traditions willingly.
Not that the skirts, mini-skirts or jeans in the non-Islamic nations are any better than the traditional Islamic dresses but it does indicate the mindset…of being part of the crowd. The challenges of the progressive Muslim women of Afghanistan are plenty. Pursuing professional careers are out of bounds for them. The Taliban will oppose tooth & nails. Many such women have already been killed by them and they have already issued the dictum, ’go back to your homes’. They are highly intolerant to them being educated, as administrators. The first women governor in Afghanistan, Salima Mazari was abducted and killed by Taliban.
Muslims of the world may be reluctant to accept that their women are largely oppressed. Leaving exceptions, they lack freedom and liberty enjoyed by women of other religions and faiths. In modern times, all these restrictions have been put willfully by their masters who have even bulldozed the UN Human Rights body through a flawed and perverted Cairo declaration. Time has come when they have to be imparted some freedom and liberty lest the Burqa/Hijab fire of Iran or processions for women education taking place in Afghanistan, will continue happening. While Iran has been burning in Burqa/Hijab fire for months instigating similar fires in several nations, Indian Muslim women reflect blot on the movement by not only remaining quiet on the subject but actually supporting Hijab (possibly voicing their mullah's/masters' concerns).