The never-ending quest to find something, anything, anything but Islam, to explain Islamic violence, Islamic supremacism, and — in particular here — the oppression of women in Islam continues. This one is particularly egregious: it’s all about oil, you see, which is why Texas oilmen all have their women in burqas. It was oil that led all this and more to be written into the Qur’an many centuries before oil was discovered in Arabia:
1. 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).
2. The Qur’an also 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).
3. 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).
4. 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).
5. 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).
6. 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 it’s all because of oil, you see, and that’s why wife-beating and child marriage are legal in Texas also!
“Study: Oil, not Islam, responsible for oppressed women,” by Nick Juliano in The Raw Story (thanks to all who sent this in):
A new study upends the prevailing belief that women in the Middle East are oppressed because of their societies’ adherence to hard-line Islamic teachings. Far more significant in predicting how women will fare in a given country is that nation’s oil wealth.
Political science professor Michael Ross argues in a new paper (.pdf) that oil booms put more men than women into the workforce and decrease women’s political representation.
“As a result, oil-producing states are left with atypically strong patriarchal norms, laws, and political institutions,” writes Ross, a professor at the University of California Los Angeles.
Ross argues that strong oil economies put women at a disadvantage because the sectors most in need of employees, especially construction, favor men, while textile and other manufacturing industries that traditionally preferred female employees become less vital in the import-rich nations. Ross’s paper, “Oil, Islam, and Women,” was published in February by the American Political Science Review. The Washington Post reported on the paper Monday:
Ross’s insight is that this realignment punishes women, because low-wage manufacturing jobs — especially in the textile industry — have long been the entry point into the workforce for millions of poor women across the world. Oil booms cause these jobs to vanish. By contrast, the boom in construction helps men, because the industry is heavily male-dominated. Oil booms do create retail jobs, but in many countries these are also closed off to poor women, either because they are uneducated or because traditional mores frown on women interacting with strangers.
The loss of jobs has profound consequences on women’s political engagement and power. Several studies show that across the world, leaving home and entering the workplace produces greater political awareness and participation among women. These, in turn, help produce egalitarian family and inheritance laws, and increased voting, economic and legal rights.
“Patriarchal norms are often very deeply embedded in society, and it takes a very powerful force to begin to break them up,” Ross said. “Women’s employment in these industries has historically been that powerful force, that foot in the door, that first rung on the ladder.”