Oh yeah, this is going to work. Forget about the Qur'an's anti-woman passages.
The Qur'an likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills: "Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will" (2:223).
It declares that a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man: "Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her" (2:282).
It allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls also: "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice" (4:3).
It rules that a son's inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter: "Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females" (4:11).
Worst of all, the Qur’an tells husbands to beat their disobedient wives: "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them" (4:34). It allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” (65:4).
But never mind all that. Islam and women's rights are compatible! The State Department is on the job: "State Dept. Trained 450 Imams on the ‘Compatibility of Women’s Rights and Islam,’" by Elizabeth Harrington for CNS News, August 16 (thanks to David):
(CNSNews.com) – As part of its effort to combat “gender-based violence,” the U.S. State Department has trained 450 Muslim leaders (imams), using a curriculum focusing on the “compatibility of women’s rights and Islam,” according to a report released on Friday.
The report, “United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally,” was released by the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Aug. 10, after President Barack Obama issued an executive order instructing government agencies to come up with a “multi-year strategy that will more effectively prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally.”
The report cites “anecdotal evidence,” gleaned form interviews and focus groups, to show how the imam training has helped, as follows (verbatim):
-- One religious leader from Herat (Afghanistan) explained that since participating in project trainings, when he presides over marriages, whether he officiates the wedding ceremony or not, he asks the age of the bride and for proof of her consent, and he uses the opportunity to publicly discuss the importance of the bride’s consent to marriage. He even reported stopping a marriage when he found out that the bride had not given her consent.
-- Focus group participants agreed that since their local imams have started discussing women’s right to education in Friday sermons, the barriers for women going to school have been reduced.
-- Several focus group participants recounted stories about women’s families providing them with a fair share of inheritance after the imams in their communities were
influenced by the curriculum and trainings.
-- Community members in the focus groups agreed that most imams have been speaking out about women’s rights in Islam, women’s inheritance rights, and condemning violence against women.
-- In some communities, wives of imams trained in the curriculum were using it to educate women in their communities of their rights.
The U.S. government defines gender-based violence as violence that is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex, gender identity, or how a person is perceived to follow socially defined norms of masculinity and femininity.
The State Department says such violence includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; threats; coercion; arbitrary deprivation of liberty; and economic deprivation.
Millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are poured into the effort: For FY 2013, the State Department and USAID requested $147.1 million for programs addressing gender-based violence worldwide, an increase of approximately $30 million over the FY 2012 request of $117.2 million.
In many Muslim-majority nations, the harsh and unequal treatment of women stems from strict Islamic (shari’a) law.
In its 2011 report on Human Rights Practices for Afghanistan, the State Department noted that “endemic violence and societal discrimination against women and girls” remains one of the country’s most significant problems.
The human rights report cites forced marriages, child marriages, the practice of exchanging women to settle disputes, forced isolation, and honor killings as “customary practices” in Afghanistan.
Some observers point to verses in the Koran that justify discrimination against women in society. For instance, Sura 4:3, sanctions polygamy, saying men can have up to four wives. “And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four,” the Koran states.
Another verse, Sura 2:282, indicates that a woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man: “And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her”...