In a word, no.
Various naÃ¯ve parties, abetted by a dhimmified and (at best) ignorant media apparatus, are nearly certain to happily go along with the idea that Malaysia has somehow conjured up a ‘moderate, modern’ Islam by allowing a handful of women into the ‘male dominated’ bastion of Islamic preaching. From “In Malaysia, Muslim preachers now wear tudung”, by Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider, 27 November 2011:
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 “” Already accounting for more than 60 per cent of undergraduates and over half of civil servants, Malay-Muslim women are now breaking into the male bastion of Islamic preaching.
In a New York Times (NYT) article published yesterday, it was reported that two local new reality TV programmes are shining a spotlight on the rise of women in the male-dominated arena of religion.
The reason for this phenomena, the paper appeared to suggest, was
because there was a significant gender role in Islam that could only be filled by women.
“We need women preachers, rather than men,” 21-year-old Siti Adibah
Zulkepli, 21 a contestant on the reality TV show “Solehah” (translated as “pious” in Arabic) was cited as saying by the NYT.
“Because they don’t face what we are facing “” health problems, how
to manage the house, how to manage the children. The woman knows
better,” she added.
It also cited Greg Barton, acting director of the Center for Islam and the Modern World at Monash University in Melbourne, as saying it would be a mistake to dismiss the significance of Malaysian women’s expanding engagement in Islamic education.
Both “Solehah” and “Ustazah Pilihan”, which the newspaper translated
as –˜ideal female preacher” in Malay” are burnishing the image of female preachers here and show how women “can shape and nurture potential leaders of the future”, the paper said.
Citing Zaleha Kamaruddin, the first female rector appointed to head the International Islamic University here, the NYT said Malaysia was carving a new path for women in Islam.
“I think Malaysia has started to break the glass ceiling and is trying to be one of the modern Muslim countries,” she was reported saying.
Despite the massive headway, the NYT observed that Malaysian Muslim women were still barred from leading prayers.
The existence of these women ‘preachers’, of course, does absolutely nothing to negate Islamic ideology’s degradation of women. It does nothing to change Islamic law’s overall stance towards women as, in essence, second class citizens and as virtual property of their male relatives. It does not change by one iota these women’s ‘rights’ under 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 woman’s inheritance
A few, or even many Malaysian females preaching Islam does not negate the fact that over 90% of honor killings are conducting by Muslim men, who face little to no punishment for their crimes in most Muslim-controlled countries.
And consider these Quranic verses:
Quran 4:34: “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.”
Quran 2:223: “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will…”
Do Malaysian women peddling Islamic Da’wah or articles in the New York Times somehow cancel out these verses? Or other similarly-minded Islamic teachings?
By grasping at straws and lending credibility to ultimately meaningless window-dressing such as this story, non Muslims and the media like The New York Times are doing no favors for free societies. In fact, they only add impetus to those who wish to strengthen sharia and Islam’s influence everywhere.