Feminism and Islam (76)

I have been shocked by a small minority of Islamic women who have supported slavery and believe the restrictions an Islamic government would place them under are liberating, even intelligent white female converts to Islam. What follows is an extract from another page on this web-site, “Islam and Confusion”

A writer to the The Independent Letters column on 31st October 2009 wrote “You quote Professor Abdel Saleem as saying that the Koran gives "equal standing to women". In fact, it does the exact opposite.
Chapter 2, verse 228 says, "Men have a status above women". Chapter 4, verse 34 says, "Good women are obedient ... as for those from whom you fear disobedience ... beat them". Chapter 2, verse 223 states, "Your women are your fields, so go into them as you please".
Chapter 4, verse 11 says a woman may inherit only half as much as a man. Chapter 2, verse 282 says a woman's witness is worth only half as much as a man's. And so on.

Taking three other translations of probably the most contentious of the above Chapter 2 verse 223:
YUSUFALI: Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.
PICKTHAL: Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad).
SHAKIR: Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.

Whichever translation one takes it seems somewhat short of egalitarian values. Perhaps Pickthal’s is the best excuse in that it entreats men to cultivate their wives perhaps as in the musical “My Fair Lady”. However, reality is, of course, that it implies that she is less educated in the first place, which only encourages the scum of the Taliban and followers of extreme Saudi Arabian beliefs about women, to not allow women an education in the first place. At worst it implies the male cultivates the female by taking her sexually as he pleases. I have known plenty of girls who like being ‘taken’ or a bit of ‘slapping around’ but that is surrender by consent because their imaginations can run wild and the man can let go imagining himself an animal perhaps, like images on Greek pottery. It is nothing to do with non-consensual sex and there is no implication that in work, ethics, morality, social mores and law, egalitarian principles do not apply.

There is a passage in the Koran (4:78), which includes “If a good thing visits them they say ‘This is from God’, but if an evil thing visits them they say ‘This is from thee’, say ‘ Everything is from God’.”

While I would have to admit that it has been the reaction of many, in my life that, when sensing something is changing they do not like, they blame me, in a sense the statement is ‘hoisted by its own petard’, because it means those who did and said the things they did were doing it because Allah/Jehovah wanted it and that means Christ’s statement “Woe unto he that leaves my church”, was being effected again (see the Omega course for more on this). In this context I quote it to illustrate that if a Muslim says to you that the Koran quotes above about women are the basis of much good in the world, my advice is to say to them “No thanks, I prefer the very human United Nations Declaration of Human Rights”.

As stated elsewhere on this web-site, the Buddhist approach of Buddho-Darwinism to feminism may be Tantric i.e that women have wisdom where men have complementary compassion as their ideal achievable states. The Darwinist is at worst, whatever it takes to survive and reproduce. Also in modern practical terms, as described in the paragraph above, consensual, not necessarily reproductive anything goes.

As a footnote, concerning the paragraph above which mentions the Omega Course. Those who have read much of this web-site may have realised that what is given as the words of the God of the Middle East,(Allah/Jahweh), is in reality very thematic on a principle which could be described as much like an attempt to drive mankind up a cul-de-sac where belief can be forced and escape from belief to truth can only bring pain.

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