Longtime Jihad Watch reader DC Watson considers women’s rights in Islam:
How the women of Islam are treated continue to be a heated topic. What exactly are their rights, and their actual roles?
All we know is what we know. Since the controversy over the treatment of women inside the Islamic faith continues, perhaps the most effective approach toward the truth can best be delivered in the form of the attached links to information. These links provide data that can answer questions that are often danced around by those who feel that they are required to hide the truth from their neighbors, coworkers, and in general, the societies in which they live.
Sadly, critics of Islam risk their own wellbeing when they openly challenge the ways of this religion. For example, Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker had produced a documentary about this very issue titled “Submission,” which was critical of domestic abuse of Muslim women. On the morning of November 2, 2004, while riding his bike to work in Amsterdam, Holland, Van Gogh was murdered. He was shot, stabbed, and nearly decapitated by a Muslim male threatening Jihad in a five-page letter, written in Arabic, which he fastened to Van Gogh’s chest with a large knife. Did Van Gogh deserve to have his life ended for producing a short film that happened to be critical of the “religion of peace”?
Since this particular filmmaker will obviously be unavailable to continue the exposure of how Muslim women are treated by their male counterparts, will anyone pick up where he left off? The issue of Islamic women must be brought to center stage. The examples to follow represent certain facts about women in Islam. Draw your own conclusions and form your own opinions.
Mogadishu, Somalia, October 1993: American troops find themselves in a citywide gun battle with members of the militia loyal to General Muhammad Farah Aideed. During the fighting, women were used by the militia as human shields: they were placed between American troops and the militia.
Darfur, Sudan, February 2003-present: The Sudanese Arab militia, the Janjaweed, has committed numerous rapes of women between ages 8 and 80 “” some in public. The Janjaweed has also resorted to breaking bones and torturing their victims so that they cannot flee to avoid being raped.
Women’s rights under Islamic law (Sharia):
In Sharia court, a man’s testimony is equal to that of two women.
A man’s inheritance is equal to twice the amount of a women’s inheritance. The reason given for this is that the man has to provide for his family.
Sometimes, with regard to rape cases, an alleged rapist is found not guilty because his involvement cannot be proven. But if an unmarried woman becomes pregnant, she can be assumed to be guilty of extramarital sexual activity and can be executed. If she claims that she was raped and is unable to prove her case, then she will probably receive severe punishment, because she would be presumed guilty of making a false accusation.
Compensation for the murder of a woman is equal to half of the compensation for the murder of a man.
Fathers may marry off their daughters as young as age 9, even if the mother disapproves of the marriage.
Muslim women are forbidden to marry outside the Islamic faith. Muslim men are permitted to marry outside the Islamic faith, as well as marry Muslim women, and may marry up to four wives.
Qur’an: “Men have superiority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because men spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those among you who fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart, and beat them.” “” Sura 4:34
Related issues: Stoning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning
Honor Killings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing
While the Bible also contains violent commands, Christianity and Judaism have refrained from taking them at face value, as society and their understanding of their scriptures have changed over the past 2500 years. But literalism still dominates Islam. While some Muslim nations, notably Turkey, have abandoned the Sharia in favor of a European based legal system, other Islamic nations maintain, in whole or part, Islamic law based on the Qur’an “” which Muslims consider to be the word of Allah “” and the Sunnah “” the words and actions of the Islamic prophet.
Only time will tell us whether the rights of women under Islamic law will change, or ever equal the rights of men. But there can be no doubt that there is not even a semblance of equality now, and this inequality is deeply rooted in Islam.