Thursday, May 14, 2009

Go Ahead - Slap Me!


S peaking at a recent conference in Jeddah on domestic violence, of all places, Saudi Judge Hamad Al-Razine spoke out in favor of a husband's Islamic right to slap his wife around in instances, like when she spends money lavishly on frivolous items.


"She deserves that punishment," the judge stated, citing possible excuses explaining the upsurge in reported domestic violence cases within the Kingdom.

Al-Razine tried to reason that women are just as responsible for the domestic violence they bring upon themselves and he whined that "Nobody puts even a fraction of blame on them (women).”

Women in the audience were stunned and outraged by the judge's remarks and many cried foul.

Like in the West, many cases of domestic violence still go unreported. But women here are beginning to come forward, accounting for the steady increase in reported cases of domestic violence.

My question is, why is a man with views like this in such an authoritative position in the first place?

And the answer would be that because Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state, and Islamic law permits it here.

Yes, a man can beat his wife and his children and he is perfectly within his legal rights to do so.

My understanding of Koran verse 4:34 interpretations by Islamic scholars (and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) basically states that men are superior to women and that men should provide for and protect women. Women should be obedient and keep their private parts hidden from other men. And if the woman disobeys, then a man should scold her, deny her sex, and then if all else fails, it's okay to beat her.

Noted Saudi women's rights activist, Wajeha Al-Huwaider has said, "They've (Saudi men) been raised in a culture that tells them it's okay to raise your hand to a woman, that this works."

Now of course, fortunately the majority of men in Saudi Arabia would never raise a hand to their spouse.

But what about those who do?

There is no recourse for the wife. She is not protected under the law and her husband can abuse her all he wants (all right, well maybe not ALL he wants) and nobody can do a thing about it.

A woman's value in Saudi Arabia's misogynistic society has always clearly been less than that of a man. In court, a woman's testimony does not carry as much weight (only half actually) as that of a man's. While men are free to do such things as travel and go to school for higher education, women cannot do so without the approval of their male guardian - and every woman in the KSA has to have a male guardian. Women here are required to cover up all but her hands and face (yet most women here DO cover their faces AND wear gloves), while men are only required to cover from their waist down to their knees. In marriage, women can only have one husband, while men are allowed up to four. To this day, it is far easier for a man in this society to divorce his wife than for a woman to obtain a divorce from her husband. As far as inheritance goes, women inherit far less than men. All this leads me to believe that this country's interpretations of Islam are not really fair to women.

But then again, many passages in the Bible also encourage inferior treatment of women as well. No wonder I'm so turned off by organized religion!

Other countries have clear laws against such abuse. Other countries even have clearcut laws against abusing animals.

I think we can all agree that wife beating is a far more serious and urgent matter than women being denied the privilege of driving here in the KSA or by the alleged appearance of oppression of women by having them wear black cloaks and veils.

In his defense, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has indeed taken a stand opposing domestic violence and against renegade old school religious clerics who have issued their own hideous interpretations of Islam which keep the country stuck in a socially oppressive time warp lateral to that of the Dark Ages.

But still it seems that this type of behavior will continue until real change takes place - when Saudi Arabia steps up to the plate and says enough is enough - that beating women here is unacceptable and wrong no matter what the reason and puts in place measures to enforce it.

But when will that happen? When will Saudi Arabia recognize the value of its women?

113 comments:

  1. so sad for the women that have to live through all this with no one on their side...

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  2. COME HOME! Oh my God this is so infuriating to me. I am sorry, I know your husband would never do that to you. This is so inhumane, so degrading, so disrespectful.

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  3. yeah, I know I am biased and probably ignorant of everything there is to Islamic culture, but I certainly wouldn't like to be a woman in Saudi Arabia.

    Not that in my own country is that ahead in matters of gender equality as there is also a quite male chauvinist culture here and domestic abuse cases are not all that uncommon, but still, I really can't imagine living as a woman in Saudi Arabia ...not being able to drive, having to wear a black cloth when in public, pledging obedience to my 'male guardians' or 'being punished' for not doing what they think is right ...that seems just wrong to me.

    I would rather marry an intelligent, interesting, independent woman than an submissive, docile, obedient one ...but then again, maybe it's just me.

    I'm also with you in that I don't hold organized religion in very high regard, so maybe I'll go to hell for that ...would that be Catholic hell (since I was baptized Catholic) or Muslim hell or some other kind? ...I could never get my head around that kind of stuff. :p

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  4. Hi susie,


    your post really makes it seem like women are being beaten opressed and slandered right, left and center.

    By now from your own experiences with your mother in-law and relatives you should start noticing that the woman in saudi culture is the queen of the house. from what i've seen men are more frightened of women let alone slap them!

    As you said, the man speaking of slapping women is a joke and can only be taken seriously by uneducated peons (which sadly the world has alot of).

    As for the Islamic verses, this is where language and translation come in. The word used in the quran comes from the word "Darb" which is a form of boycott (in proper arabic), as in "dont speak to them" which is generally the case when spouses are upset with each other. The word "darb" in current saudi dielect is "hit" which is where these clerics get thier ideas from. There is alot of debate among scholars about this specific verse and what it represents as some would say "just poke them gently or something like that" what i'm 100% sure of is that hitting another persons face whether male or female is forbidden. (sadly people find it easier to get into a rage with fists flying)

    As for inheritance, the man has to support his family 100% while a female expects to be supported 100%
    so when a man inherits this money it will go to support his wife, sisters, etc... while women get to keep thier inhertance to do with as they please. (Sadly people will sometimes be too greedy)

    As for marrige of four, men around the world have issues. the ratio of men cheating on wives far surpasses that of women cheating on husbands in the world. In islam thier is a rule to marrige of more than 1, that they all be treated equally in both emotion, and financial support. (this is almost impossible to do but sadly men choose to ignore this)

    The problem with religion is not the religion itself but the people who practice it. Religion sets guidelines and expects more of people.

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  5. When will change come for these women? When will someone champion their plight?

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  6. No wonder organized religion sometimes gives me a headache! Too bad religious texts are not written like DVD player manuals or the like, because then maybe people would not twist this stuff around to justify stupid acts such as this (but then, maybe not - I know quite a few people who can't follow a DVD manual either ;)). Speaking as a soon-to-be high school biology teacher, it would be nice (why did I have to pick a controversial career?!)

    I had a prof recently who gave us that often repeated quote from the Bible about women submitting to men as they would to the Lord to "chew on" before Thanksgiving break (with a smirk). We then came back after the break to him giving the other quote about men honouring women that seems to be often forgotten about :) That was a fun class - it was a class on science and religion. It was very clear in that class that interpretations of scripture are ridiculously wide.

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  7. @ Simple Saudi

    The judge was speaking at a conference on domestic violence, his words were not a joke, it reveals that he sees women like children who need to be punished and disciplined. Please do not make light of it. Susie might have wondeful in laws and husband, but millions of women cannot rely on the good nature of parents, husband, in-laws. We need laws to protect our rights and it is not being recognised.

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  8. The best way to make the other gender sit up and take notice is to simply go on strike.If many women united and said enough is enough I'm sure things could change.

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  9. Wow. This is shocking. I have never heard of anything like this. Thanks for the post.

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  10. One think that I don't really understand i why women in Saudi keep on educate they male children in the same way they were educated 20, 200 years ago. I mean why women doesn't teach their children that men are women are created equal? With this I don't want tu put any blame on women since i reckon they are raised from childhood with the idea that they are less than men. To resolve the millions of pronlem regarding how women are treated in KSA and in many more muslim country it will be a very long haul since they must change 180° the mentality of men (and some women as well)

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  11. What you are witnessing in Saudi Arabia is Wahabism, not Islam; there is a significant difference between them. Add to the mix the stagnant and isolationist nature of Saudi culture, and you've got a fine mess. Visit places like Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, or Indonesia to get a more balanced perspective.

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  12. An excellent comment on this conference pronouncement, by Dr Qanta Ahmed, a woman MD intensive care specialist who worked in Saudi, and has written a book on her experience there. Her special article to CNN on the topic also includes testimony to the abaya serving in the current context to liberate women to be able to work in high end jobs, and points out that 40% of Saudi wealth is owned by women:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/05/12/ahmed.saudi.women/index.html#cnnSTCText
    The accompanying video also makes excellent points on the mechanisms for change in Saudi:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/05/12/ahmed.saudi.women/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

    Dr Qanta Ahmed’s book and her own interview with CNN on this topic
    http://www.sourcebooks.com/spotlight/in-the-land-of-invisible-women.html

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  13. you distorted that quranic verse
    i am in no position 2 translate quranic verses as you need to be a scholar to do so corectly but
    if you wanna knw wt it reali says
    go on the internet and find the true unbiased and distorted version
    you just quoted what those infuriating fake sheikhs like the one you are supposed to despise
    misquoted to twist the relgiion of Allah in their favour
    people writing quotes like that is the reason muslim women in some parts are opressed
    think about what you are doing
    salaamz
    naz

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  14. i agree totally with simply saudi when they posted that its not the religion that is the problem its the people that re practicing the religion. im am a convert to Islam and i am 23yrs old and married to a born muslim man. i have been studying Islam and arabic for awhile now and i can tell you that when you read this stuff in the Quran you have to go to the Sunnah as well and things arent always what you read on surface level.

    verse 4:34 doesnt say men are superior to women. it says "men are the protecters and sustainers of women"( this is taken from the Yusuf Ali english translation which is considered a very good english translation)and while it does say beat the women lightly at the end of the verse. according to the Sunnah(correct me if i am wrong) it says you cant hit her on the face or leave any marks anywhere and it should be with something that is no harder than a mishwak... which back in the prophet 's(pbuh) time was a small soft stick used to brush their teeth.

    i cant find my book with the information explaining the testimony of the woman compared to the man so inshallah someone else will take care of that.

    women are required to cover all except their face and hands in Islam and you cant compare it to the covering of a man ......even in western society(and im from florida too) if a man is covered from his waist to his knees and the women is covered from her waist to her knees the women is getting arrested!! so even in the west women are expected to be covered more than man. now as much or as little as women want to wear is up to them and Allah....but me personally being born and raised in florida and living in miami beach have no problem covering up everything even in the worse heat because i do what god asks of me and it is better than the hellfire.

    as far as marriage goes again lets be realistic ok .men are responisble finacially for women and he must maintain her and their kids.the women is not responsible in any way shape or form for maintaining herself. if a husband has four wives he must maintain them all exactly the same in everything. if he gets one a house he must get all of them a house etc. the punishment for treating one unfairly in the judgement day is super serious. now on the other hand if a woman has four husbands she will have four men finacially sustaining her(which is unfair to the man)he has to sexually satisfy four men, and if she is a good wife she would cook and clean and emotionally be there for all four men.... not to mention how many kids she may end up having.....this is not in any way fair to a woman lol i dont wanna cook and clean for 4 men and thats way to many babies for me to think about. we have widows, old ladies, and those who are unable to find husbands. their are plenty of women in this world there arent plenty of men.(meaning that are able to support a family )

    divorce isnt hard not in my eyes. yes you cant divorce while on your period or pregnant but other than that its pretty easy. yes a man its easier but he also has to maintain you finacially for three periods when you get divorced. and longer if you have kids togehter the women doesnt have to give the man anything

    same for inheritance yes the women gets less. but the woman's money is for her only. if we gave everyone a equal share it wouldnt be fair to the man because he has to share that with his sisters, wife etc.
    in a non islamic society we have wills where you can leave your money to anyone or anything you want. some people dont even give to their kids or screw one kid, and remember the lady that left millions to her dog?! in Islam there is no will you give how it says to give.

    i dont think Islam is unfair to women. but i also think you cant compare Islam to a western society they are not the same. and the problem is western women look at Islam from a western point of view and say oh no this isnt freedom poor oppressed ladies. because they look at their freedoms as being superior. yes women can work freely and all this stuff. but she also doesnt have the option to say hey no im not going to work anymore and i am going to keep all my money for myself(if she is married)and my husband will support me.....unless you marry rich and he agrees to it. i dont ask my husband to go to school and i am about to finish my 2&3 bachelors degree's. i know many women in my community all who stay at home and have never worked who have master and phd's they could work but they rather stay at home.

    women in Islam have rights and freedom. just alot of people in different society have been led to believe that certain things are equated to freedom and anything else is oppression

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  15. Susie--thanks for your overview including King Abdullah's initiative.
    My understanding of the Quranic verse is that as a last resort, strike with toothbrush-like twig to shock the wife more than to harm. Given that in much later centuries Catholic priests were trying to curb domestic violence by suggesting using a stick only 1 inch in diametre (hence the expression "to beat within an inch of one's life"), one must consider all such holy texts' injunctions as relative.

    Simple Saudi--I agree with much of what you said, and didn't consider you were making light of the matter, but only trying to put it in context. As you pointed out, people are often not up to the religious guidance offered. I would add that this is where the law comes in, and thus King Abdullah's initiatives are of paramount importance.

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  16. verse 4:34 doesnt say men are superior to women. it says "men are the protecters and sustainers of women"( this is taken from the Yusuf Ali english translation which is considered a very good english translation)and while it does say beat the women lightly at the end of the verse. according to the Sunnah(correct me if i am wrong) it says you cant hit her on the face or leave any marks anywhere and it should be with something that is no harder than a mishwak... which back in the prophet 's(pbuh) time was a small soft stick used to brush their teeth.


    THE HIT IS A SYMBOL AN ACT OF SYMBOLISM
    NOT A FLAMIN BEATIN

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  17. Sorry, the links seem not to have come out in my first comment.
    Dr Ahmed's Commentary: Wife-slapping not OK in Islam

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/05/12/ahmed.saudi.women/index.html#cnnSTCText

    a video on the issue:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/05/12/ahmed.saudi.women/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

    A reference to Dr Ahmed's book and her own interview on the topic with CNN

    http://www.sourcebooks.com/spotlight/in-the-land-of-invisible-women.html

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  18. Hmmmm. The links are worthwhile. I also left them on Achelois', and Nzingha's posts on this topic, if anyone is interested and having trouble. Thanks again, Suzie. This topic is so important it bears comprehensive discussion.

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  19. the bible does not encourage inferior treatment of women. God made man in his image, meaning mankind. Men are half of that image and women are also half. Eve came from Adam's rib, to stand by his side, not behind. If you want to make such a general accusation you should back it up with examples. I cannot think of a modern christian religious figure or government excusing physical abuse against women.

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  20. Anonymous - the Bible may not say so, but there are people out there who interpret it to say they have every right to subject women to abuse if they are not submissive. I think with any religious text you're going to run into this interpretation problem.

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  21. Anonymous--I'm not sure to whom your comment was addressed but re: the Bible, on women's inferiority, Genesis contains 2 versions of the creation story, and in the 2nd woman is subordinate to man (not to mention Eve's sinning) and on women as property (of the father, and then the husband) and to be treated as such:
    The 10th commandment Exodus 20:17"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

    On how to treat a bride who proves not to be a virgin
    Deuteronomy 22: 21: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."

    The Bible of course has passages more favourable to women, but my point was that people do not live up (or down) to their religious texts.

    Mel-agreed.

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  22. I was reading the different reply and i must admit what makes me more angry was the following

    "erse 4:34 doesnt say men are superior to women. it says "men are the protecters and sustainers of women"( this is taken from the Yusuf Ali english translation which is considered a very good english translation)and while it does say beat the women lightly at the end of the verse. according to the Sunnah(correct me if i am wrong) it says you cant hit her on the face or leave any marks anywhere and it should be with something that is no harder than a mishwak... which back in the prophet 's(pbuh) time was a small soft stick used to brush their teeth."

    my question is WHY the men are the protectors? I don't so versed in the bible but in the western country the women had always more rights compared to Saudi (for sure you never saw a 8/9 yrs. old married off to a perverted that could have been her grandfather)...I think Saudi (and other muslim countries) could be a mix betwenn culture and religion. And why the women in others muslim countries nowadays covered themselves up more compared to 20 years ago....

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  23. The problem here isn't one of interpretation of texts (and an outsider like me would assume a Saudi cleric knows the texts better than most people and that he understands classical as well as most people). It is the fact that all interpretation is done by men and there is no consultation with half of the adult population.

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  24. "and that he understands classical "

    I meant "and that he understands classical Arabic"

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  25. The thing that's "funny" about that whole submission thing in the Bible is that men are instructed to love their wives "as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it." (The Church being the Christian ummah if you will.) Really amusing how men want to browbeat women into submitting (ain't happenin'), but conveniently forget the really high standard THEY are supposed to obey. Ahhhh, men! Well, thankfully, I know some really great ones, but the ones who forget this tidbit really irk me.

    Great post, Susie!

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  26. I have a feeling the comment section is gonna be reaaaallllly long now, haha. I was wondering when you were gonna post this, Susie :-p

    Don't you just love the interpretations of the Bible and Qur'an? Interpretations not just by SUPPOSED learned scholars but also the average Joe who dispenses "armchair religious advice" on a daily basis in order to prove not just to others, but themselves that it's ok, it's alright, it's......God's Will?

    Someone stated something once that I rather think is true. God must be a lawyer, b/c only He seems to understand what's really written in those "holy books"....no one else has a clue about the divine jargon. One part says to honor women, another part says to beat them.....one part says they should be respected, protected, honored....the other says to murder them if they disobey the laws. I remember reading an article not long ago of several men and women being executed in Iran for adultery. The method supposedly outlined by Islamic clerics was that men be buried to their waists and women buried to their necks....and if they can escape before they are stoned to death, then they are free to continue living and all charges are dropped. The article states supposedly two men managed to escape. What I want to know is......why are women buried to their necks and men to their waists if they commit the same crime of adultery???? The men have more of chance at escaping than the women. For women it's almost impossible if you are buried up to your neck in a hole!!! This wasn't outlined in the Qu'ran (as far as I know)! Where the hell did that reasoning come from?????? Just like with the whole women not driving in Saudi Arabia. How corrupted has Islam become b/c of culture?

    Every time I hear the phrase "women are jewels that need to be protected and honored"....or that women need to be "protected and sustained" or that "women should submit to their husbands who are the head of the spiritual household" makes me feel really uneasy, whether it's from a pastor at a Southern Baptist Convention or an Islamic Judge.

    Using those statements reduces women to nothing more than inanimate objects.....definitely a jewel alright. A jewel sits there and has no thoughts, emotions, willpower...unthinking, unresponsive in every way. A beautiful inanimate object.....that's a jewel alright in every sense of the word!

    Women are not jewels. Women are human beings perfectly capable of caring for themselves, deciding for themselves, taking initiative themselves. There are women, of course, just like there are men that aren't able to do that b/c of financial, emotional, mental, physical obstacles. But I've seen cases where if you give them that chance....that extra money they need to pay off a mortgage or buy clothes for their kids, give them that shoulder to lean on or the support and encouragement they need when emotionally and mentally anguished, or give them that cane or wheelchair or miracle surgery to recover physically....men and women will take it, and jump at that opportunity to be independent and make the most of their lives and the lives of their loved ones. But not everyone is given that opportunity unfortunately. It doesn't mean they (especially women) are "incapable" though and need a "guardian" or "supporter".

    I can understand the Qu'ran in all its detailed instructions on daily life wanting to make sure a safety net is created for everyone, especially in those long gone times.....but cultures, scholars, religious leaders, and the average joe have not created a safety net...more like a smothering blanket to suffocate people, and sadly, women especially.

    I've seen domestic abuse before. Women beaten by their husbands and in some cases even their own grown sons!! Lax law enforcement of domestic abuse laws. Indifferent judges and lawyers. I'm from South Carolina and only just a few years ago did they finally pass an overall domestic abuse law....of course, while they were discussing it the legislators, "good old boys" that they are, made a couple of jokes about the "popping her" and "pop her again"....no comment further with that.

    Western society should be looking at itself and its problems before pointing fingers at other societies. But those societies need to reflect more on their actions as well and not shrug and simply say "It's God's Will....or so I was told in the religious class or sermon the other day"....

    Chiara: I read some of Dr. Qanta Ahmed's book! I was delighted to find out that she now works in the same city I am living in and did a book signing at the local bookstore where I visit frequently. I haven't purchased the book, but whenever I am there I grab it and read as much as I can. She is Pakistani Muslim (western raised), but even she was taken aback by the different mindset of the Saudis. One Saudi friend said his family insists that he should never marry a non-Saudi girl. Even if she is an Arab Muslim girl from a neighboring Gulf country, she would never understand the "Saudi mindset" so they've told him. So every time he comes home from America for the summer, they "remind" him.

    Hijabis on a Ranting Tour: The beating is a symbol. Yes, I can see that. And it's sad to say that so many people use it as a reason to outright produce a "flaming beating" on women. One Saudi friend and I were in such a heated discussion he at one point just said in frustration "God gave me the right to beat my wife left and right if I want to!" Interesting b/c every part of his personality, he is a very good guy. I seriously doubt he would EVER hit his future wife. He said he never would but that he has that right regardless. He used to talk about his father's huge temper, but he made note that not once in his life has his father ever laid a hand on his mother or any of the kids. Yells, rants, and curses a lot (which falls into verbal abuse, just as damaging and wrong in my opinion...and a lot of psychologists' opinions too). So yes, a lot of men don't fall into that category. They would never dream of hurting their wives and children. But the fact that they think it's still acceptable for other men to do it and that the "right to do it is still there"? And even if it's a symbol...."oh, just tap her with a wooden stick".....um, is the wife a CHILD to be disciplined???

    Susie: I doubt if you can even buy the book there....but there is an interesting book I had to read for a college class called "Quran and Woman:Re-reading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective" by Amina Wadud. The copy I got is a newer edition with a forward by her and her experiences with negativity from people while she was writing it. Have you read it? If not and you can't find it, I can send you my copy. Just let me know. Is there an e-mail I can reach you by?

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  27. Religion has nothing to do with it, it is never acceptable to hit a woman, a man or a child.

    It is not okay to use or to threaten physical violence, symbolically, or verbally or literally. It is not okay and it will never be okay.

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  28. I'm feeling uncomfortable, why?
    Because it is always the same, some creepy long barb take a microphone and says Islam says this and that and everybody ...says yeah yeah Islam says that...
    Sometimes every single word of some ramdom shaikh could take in the wrong way and people start to say...oh if this men say so...must be like that.
    A good muslim don't beat a woman! Islam don't say that! the Prophet sws says: "The best one of you is the one who is the best with his women" (BTW I'm a bad translator so sorry). So how could it be OK for Muslims?
    Pleaseee because some regions has some cultures that doesn't make it from the Din.
    And also i don't think all Saudis think like that because I meet many of them, they aren't like that, i meet very happy marriages.
    Any way that was a challenging post!

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  29. Saudi Arabia needs to have a complete legal code. Right now so much is an interpretation of a judge. Just look at how the hue and cry againt child marriage has been tackled. There is always a judge who will find example from the 7th century and allow some man to trade his young daughter to an older man for his debts. Law must be codified, even if some legal scholar demurs.

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  30. I'd like to make a comment on those who mentioned inheritance for men and women, while it does state that the man gets more than a woman, it is not fair as in my own case, when my husband died his parents took their share then my children and I as the wife (and now provider) got the least share. so now as sole provider to two kids I have not enuff money to bring them up put them thru school and meet their needs. So it is not always the man who is the provider. Maybe in an ideal world, but for those widows with children, it certainly isnt.

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  31. Your brave to move to the KSA Susie!

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  32. "Religion has nothing to do with it"
    -
    I beg to defer. Far too many evils and crimes have been committed in the name of religion. It continues today in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Africa. Remember, even the Taliban are acting on their interpretation of religion. When the 34th verse of Quran's chapter entitled "Nissa" (Ironically meaning women) allows a husband to beat his wife, I am sorry but we have a case for legalized abuse. Let's not ignore the fact that millions of people have died in the name of religion and all three Abrahamic religions don't exactly glorify women.
    Kind regards,
    A former believer and a MAN.

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  33. OMG I have the feeling this is gonna be another comment/debate section!!

    Well Susie, it's Friday and so you know that today is important day for worship, gathering with family etc.

    I'll be back later to leave my piece of mind, God willing :-)

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  34. This is all frightening to me. So much is done in the name of religion and how man interprets what he thinks God says.

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  35. Hi Aunt Susie... I read in one of your posts that Islam is not fair with women in having one husband but men can have more wives... just want to tell you that:

    Question:
    If a man is allowed to have more than one wife, then why does Islam prohibit a
    woman from having more than one husband?

    Answer:
    A lot of people, including some Muslims, question the logic of allowing Muslim
    men to have more than one spouse while denying the same ‘right’ to women.
    Let me first state emphatically, that the foundation of an Islamic society is justice
    and equity. Allah has created men and women as equal, but with different
    capabilities and different responsibilities. Men and women are different,
    physiologically and psychologically. Their roles and responsibilities are different.
    Men and women are equal in Islam, but not identical.
    Surah Nisa’ Chapter 4 verses 22 to 24 gives the list of women with whom
    Muslim men can not marry. It is further mentioned in Surah Nisa’ Chapter 4
    verse 24 “Also (prohibited are) women already married”


    The following points enumerate the reasons why polyandry is prohibited in
    Islam:
    1. If a man has more than one wife, the parents of the children born of such
    marriages can easily be identified. The father as well as the mother can
    easily be identified. In case of a woman marrying more than one husband,
    only the mother of the children born of such marriages will be identified and
    not the father. Islam gives tremendous importance to the identification of
    both parents, mother and father. Psychologists tell us that children who do
    not know their parents, especially their father undergo severe mental
    trauma and disturbances. Often they have an unhappy childhood. It is for
    this reason that the children of prostitutes do not have a healthy childhood.
    If a child born of such wedlock is admitted in school, and when the mother
    is asked the name of the father, she would have to give two or more names!
    I am aware that recent advances in science have made it possible for both
    the mother and father to be identified with the help of genetic testing. Thus
    this point which was applicable for the past may not be applicable for the
    present.
    2. Man is more polygamous by nature as compared to a woman.
    3. Biologically, it is easier for a man to perform his duties as a husband despite
    having several wives. A woman, in a similar position, having several
    husbands, will not find it possible to perform her duties as a wife. A woman
    undergoes several psychological and behavioral changes due to different
    phases of the menstrual cycle.
    4. A woman who has more than one husband will have several sexual
    partners at the same time and has a high chance of acquiring venereal or
    sexually transmitted diseases which can also be transmitted back to her
    husband even if all of them have no extra-marital sex. This is not the case
    in a man having more than one wife, and none of them having extra-marital
    sex.
    The above reasons are those that one can easily identify. There are probably
    many more reasons why ALLAH, in His Infinite Wisdom, has prohibited polyandry.

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  36. To every one...
    prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him)said that in Islam it is forbidden to slap any one... even your maid!...so you had a very wrong information...the person who told that you can slap your wife was wrong!....if any one told you any thing about Islam..ask wise people first....

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  37. If you don’t want your woman to spend more, cut her the visa credit or the monthly pay, or ask her daily for expenses tickets if you want, there are always lots of ways to find out instead of beating.

    Beating is never an option.

    This post shows a serious issue, as who states that she deserved the punishment is a judge, a well educated person, not a simple peon.

    In fact is not just a KSA problem, it’s a worldwide problem. The difference is than in most parts of the world, when that happens, male are pleaded guilty of physical abuse and go to jail, not encouraged and acquitted.

    I agree with countrygirl, as change starts or can start at home. My father and his generation partners were raised as the kings of the house, never gave help to woman, hey there were males; but my mother treated all us as equals, but even more than that, to be independent, and now my brother is able to cook, iron, clean…and he knows how hard this jobs are. And most woman have done, and still do, educate all kids equal, so new generations of man are so polite… unless we spoil them!

    Is it really common sense the less common of all senses?

    How can someone these days even think that beating a woman or a kid, no matter what the circumstance is, can be ok? The answer is not just in religion in this case, if its written or not, is in common sense, it is in the fact of being a person.

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  38. assalamualaikum
    it seems that you have so much things that dont satisfy you about islamic law. firstly, when we extract quranic verse , we should be extra carelful when comprehending it because some of the verses have a deeper meanong to it and not literally the exact meaning. for this case, yes. Allah allows husband to beat his wife but when we speaking about beat, tat does not mean that he go give a you a slap ot anthing that you think hurts a lot. i just read the quran and this is the translation, when ones wife is being insolent to her husband, there are three things that the husbands should do. firstly, if they are being insolent, ADVISE them not BEAT them. but if they still dont listen to you, then separate her from your bed means that you dont sleep with her. not BEAT her. but, if she still insists on not listening to you for the third time, then Allah said beat her. but beat her in a way that does NOT HURTS. not like slap her or kick her or punch her. what ever you think that might hurts. beat in a way that ir reminds her of her mistake. then lastly Allah said that if your wife has listened to you, then you shouldn't find fault with them. see??? get what i mean?? i dont want to comment bout da saudi judge comments but based on the quran. what Allah said. Allah knows best as he is Ar Rahman. also just look at Rasulullah. the way he treated his wifes. full of oves and respect and followed the islamic law fully. the way you said it as if you have doubts about Quran.. and Islam and Allah. be careful with your words ok. you might just give the wrong message to the non muslims here. and they will think that Islam is violent.again, be careful with what y ou write which concerns islam and Quran.

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  39. Hi Susie,

    For the verse 4:34 there are two articles here:

    http://iqrabismirabik.wordpress.com/2008/02/06/verse-434/

    http://iqrabismirabik.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/beating-women-or-beating-around-the-bush-or/

    I think we should all note that although the "judge" was in KSA and is Muslim, he did not justify his insane statement by saying that religion allows it.

    There is very little that is truly Islamic in many households in KSA although their every stupidity is blamed as Islamic.

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  40. Hi Susie,
    This is shocking and insane.
    Jessie

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  41. Hi Deb - Thanks for your comment. I agree, it's very sad.

    Hi Yoli - My husband is a good guy and would never hit me. I do know personally of a case where a husband beat his wife because she wanted him to take her shopping for gifts for the family (for a holiday), and he got upset because he didn't have the money to take her. Now I was told by a Saudi woman that she was being a real nag, but even so, this still does not justify the husband's violence toward his wife. Surely there were other ways for him to handle the situation than resorting to violence.

    Hi James - Domestic violence is a worldwide problem, but most other places have laws to protect women against it. Having a judge here come out publicly in favor of such abuse sent a chill down my spine. Thanks so much for your comment.

    Hi Simple Saudi - My post did not imply that "women are being beaten oppressed and slandered, right, left and center." My concern is for those women who are, when there are judges - educated men in positions of authority - making decisions that support domestic violence towards women. Nowhere in my post did I say that this judge is a joke - where did you get that from? We DO need to take him seriously because he is a judge in the court system here!
    I wanted to point out that there ARE many varying interpretations of verses in the Koran - and many of them disparage women.
    I understand about the issue of inheritance, but every case is not decided on its own merit and many women do get screwed and are NOT taken care of by the family. A case in point is a foreign wife who is widowed.
    No matter how many times someone tries to convince me that a man having 4 wives is a good thing, I will never be convinced - sorry.
    I totally agree with you on your last 2 sentences - Thanks!

    Hi Keats - Many Saudi women have very good lives here and are happy to keep quiet and not to rock the boat while their sisters suffer. Until more women here have had enough and get organized, change will not happen.

    Hi Mel - That class sounds fun - combining science and religion sounds very interesting. Thanks for your comment!

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  42. @ Mawaddah

    Assuming you are an adult woman, does beating from your husband makes you listen to him? Do you know any other women who get a light beating and they accept it without creating resentment and animosity in the relationship? Once you start to justify any sort of beating, you have no control of where it is going to end. In theory your comment might seem fine to you, but in real life men hit women to hurt them whether emotionally or physically. There is no such thing as a beating that does not hurt.

    If beating is not a slap, kicking and punching, then what is acceptable to you? Pushing and shoving maybe.

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  43. Hi Kalimaat - Thank you - I totally agree with your comment.

    Hi Always - I think many women are scared of repercussions if they were to organize. Dissent is not acceptable here per the Saudi government.

    Hi Alexa - And thanks for your comment.

    Hi CountryGirl - I know that most women here DO teach their sons to value and respect women. But male influence is dominant. You're right - there is a long way to go...

    Hi Carleen - Yes, KSA is much more extreme than other Muslim countries, and though I don't know that much about Wahabism, I'm sure that it plays a large role in the way things are done here. Thanks for commenting.

    Hi Chiara - Thanks for the links - great stuff! Much appreciated.

    Hi Hijabis - The problem is that when one goes looking for explanations, this is the type of garbage that comes up! Obviously if this judge was asked to speak at a conference on domestic violence here in KSA, what he says carries some weight. He's not the only sheikh who feels that way and this is cause for major concern. Discussing it and voicing our outrage at such barbaric men behaving badly is what needs to be done. Thanks for your comment.

    Hi Amirah - Women's issues in KSA seem to be one of those hot buttons. Many people disagree with your views. I've already addressed some of your concerns in my response to SimpleSaudi.
    The fact still remains that even though many women here in KSA do get college degrees, the vast majority of them will never work a day in their lives - some fortunate ones by their own choice; but many because their husbands will not allow them to work outside the home - NO choice for the wife. It's wonderful to hear that many women in your community who have degrees stay at home - but by your own words, this is THEIR choice.
    Women in Islam do have rights, but unfortunately men in KSA have been stripping away at those rights for many years now.

    Hi Chiara - I didn't know that about the Catholic priests! So in trying to "curb"domestic violence, they were actually advocating it... hmmm, interesting. Always good to hear your comments!

    Hi Hijabis - Thank you for Ali's translation. Unfortunately many men do not interpret the word "hit" as symbolic...

    Hi Chiara - Thanks again. And I totally agree that this topice needs to be discussed openly, especially in view of that judge's comments.

    Hi Anon - I don't have a Bible here with me because I could get into trouble for having one here, but there are many verses in the Bible that refer to women as harlots, whores, unclean, filthy, and as property, among other things. Very degrading stuff. The Bible also tells women to be submissive to men, omits women from being counted in censuses, and there are cases of rape and incest in the book as well. To me, this all encourages inferior treatment of women, but maybe to you it doesn't.

    Hi Mel - Thanks! I think my biggest problem with religion is that it is ALL written AND interpreted by MEN!!!

    Hi Chiara - Thank you for the specifics - I don't have a Bible here!

    Hi CountryGirl - And I guess my problem with that reply is that ANY form of hitting, no matter how "light," is still abusive toward women. And you are right - there is such a big blur in this country between the religion and the culture that it is impossible to differentiate one from the other.

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  44. Humble athiest: I'm taking the Devil's advocate approach. But whenever I hear people say "religion is the cause of so much trouble or they think it should be banned" I always wonder why they don't apply it to everything else. Guns, politics, and even science have been used in the name of evil. One of the worst atrocities committed in the 20th Century (The Holocaust) had nothing to do with the 3 Abrahamic faiths and all to do with the evil, twisted power hungry Nazis. So why is religion targeted so harshly when just about everything else in the world has been used in some perverted way by people? I don't think it's religion that is the cause of evil, it's the people that have used them for far too long for their own agendas.

    Rawan: I still have trouble with those interpretations. #1: I can understand the reasoning behind it, and as with your last sentence b/c of science and technology today it may be not applicable to today's standards. But while I read it, it made me wonder, why would God, being all powerful and all knowing, really care to set such stringent rules. Wouldn't God prefer that all men and women be concerned more about helping each other, being a world family instead of being so caught up in "whose child is this" mentality? That sounds more like the fears of a patriarchal mentality than a divine mentality.

    #2: I think it's such a cop out to use that argument. Men by nature are more promiscuous and desire to "spread their genes"??? Why was the institution of marriage even created to begin with then? If God created men to be that way, why set up rules about how many a man should marry...isn't that contradictory? And I think it disrespects men in generally using that argument.

    #3: I don't quite understand this point. Biologically it's easier for men to perform duties? What duties? Sex? And I am amazed at how many people seem to think that women are incapable physically and mentally once a month...if that was the case, I could stay at home for a few days every month and not go to work! I can't do anything after all!

    #4: This is contradictory too. If a woman has more than one husband, she spreads STDs to them, but a man that has more than one wife can't? If all are sexually healthy and clean, AND only have sex with each other (no cheating)....then STDs don't magically pop up out of nowhere. God forbid.

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  45. Hi Jerry - Right on!!!

    Hi Susanne - Good points. Thanks for commenting.

    Hi EasternReflections - Obviously your example of punishment for adultery in Iran means that men have determined that women are far more guilty and responsible for adultery than men! Thanks for your comment and the book suggestion. I'm adding it to my list of things to get in the states when I go this summer! My email is:
    susieofarabia@gmail.com

    Hi Jerry - Totally agree! I also believe that there are problems here because many of the "laws" are not in a legal code, but are from the religion and are therefore open to interpretation by MERE MORTAL MEN.

    Hi Anon - Your case is a perfect example of how unfair the inheritance laws can be here - thank you for speaking up!

    Hi Hijabwoes - I don't feel brave, but I do know many American women who would not have agreed to come here as I did...

    Hi Humble - You are absolutely correct. Religion has been the root of many wars and countless killings - all in the name of God. Thank you for commenting.

    Hi Aalia - Looking forward to it...

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  46. Hi Kay - So true - thanks for your input.

    Hi Rawan, my dear niece! Thank you for citing the reasons for why men are allowed 4 wives in Islam. I still do not agree with the principle.
    I really think #2 is just a lame excuse. #3 - I think that a very small segment of the female population is rendered incapable of performing her wifely duties due to her menstrual cycle, and if a man has so little self-control that he MUST have sex while his wife is on her period, well, that doesn't say much for the man, does it, or of his love and consideration for his wife? Again, it's just an excuse. On #4 - Many men have sex outside of marriage and have spread sexually transmitted diseases to their wives here in KSA.
    By the way, I am NOT in favor of women having more than one husband either, and if I gave that impression, I'm sorry. I'm just against a man being given that right because it doesn't treat women fairly. And I know of men here who have kept their 2nd wives a secret, which I think is wrong. Because to me it shows that they KNOW they are doing something wrong, which will hurt the 1st wife and those children, and inevitably it DOES when they find out. IT HURTS THE 1st WIFE AND HER CHILDREN!!! And I think this is wrong.
    About the slapping - a Saudi Shariah Judge is the one who publicly said it is ok for a man to hit his wife. Many people listen to this man.
    And I thank you so much for your comments - this debating is fun, yes?

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  47. Hi Susie,

    Re your question: When will Saudi Arabia recognize the value of its women? Sadly, from what I have observed, not anytime soon.

    However, I don't think the fault lies only with the men. I believe that, even in Saudi Arabia, women have power but, in my opinion, they will never be valued until a majority of women want it enough to do what it takes to get there.

    How might they get there? Women must want to be independent and self-sufficient, then they need ambition, drive, determination, perserverance and also be willing to really work hard.

    nola

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  48. So much to say... but just a few points.

    Polygamy (polyandry actually) is very common in many parts of the world, not only among Muslims - and it has been throughout history. Islam restricted it and demands that the wives be treated equally.

    In many ways, Saudi is an exception among Muslim countries. But even so, I don't know ANY Muslim anywhere - scholars or laypersons with even a little Islamic knowledge - who would argue that Islam allows a man to slap his wife on the face for spending frivolously.

    Amina Wadud is not reliable. She's made her name by going around and leading men in prayer, which is not allowed and not something that Muslim women have any desire to do.

    I would suggest that you read Dr. Jamal Badawi's "Gender Equity in Islam" for more reliable information about the stauts of women. You might still disagree with some of it, but at least you'll be dealing with accurate information. You can find it on the Internet, at http://www.jannah.org/genderequity/ and other sites.

    In Islam, one of a woman's rights is to be supported financially. I don't want people to insist upon my "right" to be self-sufficient, which essentially means that I'm responsible for my role and then have to take on a man's role, too, but without decreasing my other responsibilties any. I do realize that the society today is not always set up to take care of women who need help, and that's what should be changed - not changing the society to make sure that women have to go out and work to support their families when they don't want to.

    Is a man actually "perfectly within his legal rights" to beat his wife and children? I don't know the law in Saudi, but this is certainly not true in other countries.

    There is nothing in Islam about stoning adulterers but letting them go free if they can run away.

    Another anonymous

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  51. Hi Puca - Bravo to your mother for treating you and your siblings equally. Thanks for your input - I totally agree with everything you wrote.

    Hi Mawaddah - Sorry, but I do have a problem with anything that says it's okay to beat your wife. There are too many open interpretations for this and none of them are okay. What I wrote is from information that is out there - I did not make it up. I am saying that the men who have interpreted these verses from the Koran are wrong. My God would NEVER say it is ok to hit a woman. Thank you for expressing your opinion.

    Hi Suroor - Thank you so much for those great links. Very logical and explained very well. I really loved Edip Yuksel's essay, but I still have trouble with that word "beat." It can mean so many different things to different people, and this is the problem. I wish it weren't used at all! From what I understand, the judge is a Shariah judge, which implies that his belief comes from the religion.

    Hi Jessie - I know!

    Hi Kalimaat - Exactly right.

    Hi EasternRef - Many very good points. Thanks.

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  52. "Amina Wadud is not reliable. She's made her name by going around and leading men in prayer, which is not allowed and not something that Muslim women have any desire to do."

    How is Amina Wadud not reliable? Because she leads men in prayer? Have you actually read her book? Is there a Qu'ranic verse that explicitly states women can't lead prayers for mixed groups or for men? Sounds just like the arguments used by Catholicism and other Christian denominations that women aren't allowed to lead. If Islam is about women and men being equal (if not identical)....and both spiritually accountable to God, why is it that men are deemed more "fit" to be spiritual leaders? Men can lead mixed prayer groups but women can't?

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  53. A humble dweller of this costal metropolis dubbed “Jedda”May 16, 2009, 2:41:00 AM

    Good evening all.
    This one is exclusively for Susie...
    You post this time again arouse my curiosity, so I found it imperative to post in my impressions.

    There is a Qur'anic verse you misquoted in your post. I'm about to present the Saheeh International Translation of this verse. Please notice the profound difference in meaning compared to that you portrayed in your post:

    004.034:
    {Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.}
    Source:
    http://allahsquran.com/read/verses.php?ch=63By the way, the Saheeh International Translation of the meanings of the Holy Qur'an into English was prepared by two American ladies living right here in Jedda. Refer to Dar Abul Qasem bookstore in Sahafa street just off Palestine street where you can meet the lady herself, Amatullah Bantley. I tell you this for sure, this is one lady who's surely profoundly informed about Islam, being a convert herself, and to my standards she is fully eligible to answer all your inquiries regarding Islam. She's even got her own blog space, I think, just I can't trace the link at the moment. Anyway, it's easier to catch her on her mobile telephone: ***-***-****
    And perhaps her email address too: ajbantley [at] hotmail [dot] com

    And about the four wives bit, I invite you to see the answer brought to you by Texan scholar, former Christian preacher, revered Sheikh. Yusuf Estes, who also pays regular visits every few months to this costal city we all know well called Jedda:

    http://www.youtubeislam.com/video/3233/MailBag-four-wivesRegarding this specific incident involving the judge, I am not in a position to comment about it because this is the first time I hear of it, so I’ve got to do a bit more investigation to verify all the details, since you did not provide us with any reference like a weblink or such. However, I totally agree with you in opposing domestic violence, namely beating one’s wife (or the unlikely case of a wife beating here husband, since I’ve heard about a very few incidents of the sort). Beating a woman is a cowardly action which our dear prophet Muhammed PBUH didn’t even attempt to do throughout his life, as recorded and narrated by one of the Prophet Muhammad’s wives, Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, in a hadeeth I cannot recall at the moment.

    My advice to you Susie is to take Islam from its sources. What are its sources? Not the Western media broadcasters, not the papers, not what this judge or that official said, but from the well-versed trustworth, converts who wholeheartedly embraced Islam, such as the likes of Texan scholar Yusuf Estes, or reputable historian and orator Abdul-Raheem Green. You’ve got Abdal-Hakim Murad, Ammar Ammonite, Hood Bradford, Abdullah Brown, Khadeeja Watson, along many others, many of whom regularly visit or even live in this costal metropolis or some city near by from it. The point is they’re here in the Kingdom and they’re plentiful, so there is no reason to learn about Islam from some distorted news report directed only to create confusion, not expose realities. Jedda and near-by cities are full of Western expatriate Muslim convert scholars, man and women, who are more than eager to answer all your questions.

    One last comment about a photo you used in your post. It’s the one where a line of abaya-clad women are trailing behind three men, one wearing the national garb called the thoub, and the other two towards the left are wearing the pilgrimage towels called ehram. I just wanted to point out that the skin colour of the men is dark brown (i.e. Arab or perhaps Indian), while ladies behind those men are most likely African (notice the exposed parts of their feet), hence they have absolutely nothing to do with those men whatsoever. I assume, and my assumption is probably true, that this picture is being used in this context to symbolise or to suggest to the reader that they are ‘following’ their men leaders, in order to further justify and stand as evidence that what is being mentioned in the post is indisputably true. While I don’t deny that there are scenes in rwal life here where a flock of ladies are staggering behind their men, this specific picture is irrelevant to the topic being discussed, thus inappropriate to symbolise the meaning being portrayed. That’s my personal opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

    Right, I need some rest, it's well past midnight.
    Wishing all a good night.

    Pardon me once again Susie for my over-enthusiasm.

    Written by a humble dweller of this costal metropolis dubbed “Jedda”

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  54. She goes n tells her uncles to slap his a$$, is what she does! I can't believe he had the nerves to say something like that! If I were there, i'd show him who is misbehaving that ....

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  55. Hello Susie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6sW9Mt2axc

    I am sure this video will explain many things, or not.

    Just to show you that everything is open to interpretation... but that woman nailed it on the head.

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  56. So many wrongs done in the name of religion. Another very good post Susie. How do you stand it?

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  58. Eastern:
    Thanks for your post, much appreciated. My response is simple: science is necessary and full of enlightenment. It continues to evolve instead of holding on to ancient values which hold no value today. It is fundamental to human evolution, education and enlightenment. It saves lives and helps us understand our universe.
    On the other hand, religion does not offer any positives on a social scale. It is a personal agenda with the ultimate objective of being successful in a second life, no matter how selfless we pretend to be. Please understand that I do not blame everything on religion. I feel, from my experience as a believer and many years of studying scripture, that organized religion is an impediment in the way of enlightenment. When you "moral standard" is one that cannot be questioned, it hampers THINKING. Sadly, most religious practice is INHERITED from father to son, mother to daughter. Walk into the average mosque and tell me how many people out of the 300 who are there to say their Jumma prayer have read the entire Quran? As I said, religion is inherited (generally); my experience was that the moment you start studying, pondering, questioning and introspecting, you realize these texts are a natural road to atheism.
    Cheers.

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  59. Humble dweller:
    Thanks for your post and I am sorry to barge in as it wa smeant primarily for Susie. No matter how much you twist the meaning and apply layers of liberalism to the translation, the bottom line is that these texts assume male superiority. Even if it is a last resort (hitting), why does the man get superiority in all conditions? Presumably because these books were written by men. That's just my view and I have always disagreed with the principal that we men are somehow superior than women (something the Quran clearly suggests).

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  61. Humble Atheist: Thank you for the response. I would discuss this further with you, but it'd be hijacking Susie's topic even further. I disagree though that studying, pondering, questioning, and introspecting will lead to atheism ultimately (Many people don't know that the concept of the Big Bang was proposed by a Belgium Catholic priest). But I do agree with what you said to Humble Dweller that the texts give too much power to men.

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  62. Humble Dweller--I am surprised that you would recommend Western converts as the best sources on Islam. This is a first for me. Most recommend the Quran. We also seem to differ on whom we consider a scholar. On the other hand, I do hope to visit your coastal metropolis!

    Daifuku--thank you for the reminder that Arab culture has responses to domestic violence, namely the male members of the woman's family respond to the offending spouse. Unfortunately this is not always exercised, and like domestic violence everywhere all responses (legal, social etc)are mitigating only. This is one of the reasons to keep advocating changing attitudes as a preventive, both in raising children (men don't hit women, women leave men who do)and in recommendations from religious and social leaders.

    The Quran is a rich text, and emphasis could rightly be place on the surah that advocate treating women equally and well.

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  63. Hi Susie!
    I have only glossed over the other comments but I have to say this post surprised me. Like one of the commenters said, the fake shaykh and people who listen to them stuff is kinda old. When I converted to Islam, the shaykh I studied under said that slapping in the face was specifically forbidden (no jokes from the peanut gallery about how slapping elsewhere is ok). I know it is at least in a hadith.

    Amongst my North African friends, even those who have had domestic violence issues, face slapping does not happen. It is the ultimate insult because of the specific disallowance of it in that hadith. I'm not saying it is all sunshine and rainbows with them, but this is honestly the first time I have heard a Muslim say face slapping was ok. Enlightening!

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  64. Eastern:
    My pleasure. And just to wrap up, my point that study and analysis leads to atheism is my experience and I would not apply it to mankind as a whole.
    It was nice exchanging notes with you!

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  65. Actuallly, humble atheist, I also used to be an atheist, but like many others Westerners, I came to Islam because of a lot of questioning and study.

    And science is not at all incompatible with Islam. The Bible is full of scientific inaccuracies and contradictions; the Quran is not.

    By the way, Amina Wadud is not reliable because she is not a scholar of Islam, and many of her views are simply wrong, no doubt about it.

    Another Anonymous

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  66. Susie, can I assume from your psosts that you consider yourself a Christian? I remember you saying that you prayed in front of your husband's family, and that you wanted to go to Makkah... I'm sure you know that only Muslims are allowed in Makkah, so even if you can technically get in, please don't engage in that deception.

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  67. DP--
    The problem here is not a fake sheikh but a respected member of society speaking at a conference on domestic violence.

    I agree that slapping across the face is the highest form of insult in a number of cultures. 2 4-year-old South Asian boys in my sister's kindergarten class demonstrated this ably.

    Unfortunately North Africa has a major problem with domestic violence, and this one exception is cold comfort, especially since there are many other ways to humiliate a spouse. Men usually being stronger than women should desist, on those grounds alone (let alone all the others), and if determined to be violent should pick on someone their own size (most bullies don't of course).

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  68. I found your blog by chance while looking at photo blogs. I have a new Nikon D40 and trying to improve my photos. I started a blog and hope to get better photos, but I for sure will come back to read more of your posts as they seem so interesting. I went to Dubai years ago and had a great time with my friends, women from Dubai who were very happy. You can look at my blog if you like at http://avagabonde.blogspot.com/

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  69. Religion isn't the problem, it is the people practicing them. Think about cars - it would make sense banning cars because of all the accidents they cause, all the road rage, and so on. However, there are excellent drivers out there who follow the rules, and driving is extremely important in Western society for the economy to run. Religion (or lack of it, atheists don't get off the hook here!) is the 'vehicle' for our life's journey. There are bad drivers, in this metaphorical case as well. Would we always blame the car itself in accidents on the road, or would we blame the individual behind the car? The idiot judge who suggested that women should be slapped by no means made me think of Islam any less; it just made me think the judge is a complete tool.

    This cars/religion analogy is weird but it works with my own philosophy towards religion. I won't get into it, but let's just say that I'd rather drive a Jetta TDI on the road than a Dodge Ram longbox truck as the latter is huge, bulky, not very green (v. important to me), and this may reflect on how well I drive on the road...

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  70. Anon: We will have to agree to disagree in regards to Amina Wadud.

    Chiara: From what I've heard, Tunisia is a very progressive North African Muslim country that's passed a lot of laws favoring women. I think it's the most progressive of the countries. Even in Lebanon where it's considered more modern, Lebanese women still face some of the oddest laws against them (i.e. Lebanese men who marry foreigners, citizenship extends to the foreign spouses and the children, but Lebanese women who marry foreign spouses, citizenship is not granted to them, nor the children). This is in other countries too.

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  71. Humble atheist: 'That's just my view and I have always disagreed with the principal that we men are somehow superior than women'

    Ahhh,a truly enlightened man! Would you also agree that there is a VERY good chance that the woman is even just a tad superior to men? Or is that pushing it? LOL

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  72. The Queen: Ahhh,a truly enlightened man! Would you also agree that there is a VERY good chance that the woman is even just a tad superior to men? Or is that pushing it? LOL


    Men commit the majority of the violent crimes, start all the wars, and while there is an organization called "Kids In Distress" and one called "Women in Distress" to help victims of abuse, there is no "Men in Distress." Therefore I think the Queen might have a valid argument.

    It's what I tell my daughter anyway.

    Might does not make right.

    Linda D.

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  73. Eastern Reflections:
    Experts in women's issues in North Africa seemed until recently to agree that the laws in Tunisia are better than the practice, whereas the practice was better in Morocco although the laws weren't as good. Morocco recently changed its family law towards marked improvements for women. Libya has excellent educational and health opportunities for women. Contemporary Algeria, I know less about.

    Serious problems with domestic violence (as identified by human rights groups) remain throughout North Africa. My friends from various North African countries would agree about this, although attitudes among the young are changing, and somehow the fathers who beat their wives don't want their daughters beaten.

    Of course there are serious problems with domestic violence in alot of places including those with excellent laws, but at least the laws, which form the lowest social common denominator, provide some protection, and attitudes change as a reflection of the laws.

    That is part of the problem with Al-Razini's comment. He is not only a lawyer but a judge, whose judgments affect people's lives as well as jurisprudence, and also an invited conference speaker, meaning he is held in considerable esteem (or was) in the society in general.

    Thanks for the opportunity to expand.

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  74. Hi Chiara:
    "Unfortunately North Africa has a major problem with domestic violence, and this one exception is cold comfort, especially since there are many other ways to humiliate a spouse."

    I didn't say there wasn't a domestic violence problem in North Africa, that is what I was alluding to when I said "I'm not saying it is all sunshine and rainbows with them," I am fully aware that human beings across cultures are capable of violence.
    I was making an isolated observation about one small part of this post. Nothing more. :)

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  75. Tunisia protects women's rights?!? Not if the woman wants to wear hijab, in which case she can't get an education, work in many places, or often walk down the street in public. It's worse than France or Turkey! But people who worry about women's rights usually have a pretty narrow and cultural-driven concept of what rights they think women should have. The right to have an abortion, the right to marry another woman... You don't see them fighting for the rights of women to get an education and work while wearing hijab. You would think that if they consider these girls oppressed, they'd be against kicking them out of school and denying them the education they want.

    Another Anonymous

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  76. Another Anon: No one said that Tunisia "protects women's rights". It was just an observation of comparing laws. Chiara had a really good post about the issue in North Africa overall. I don't agree with a government dictating what any woman should wear or not wear. Period.

    I was told by an Omani friend a while back that the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman has a policy where anyone with high marks (female or male) are allowed in the University...BUT women can't cover their faces. They can wear hijab, but not a niqab or anything covering the face. Interesting policy. If they think that it would prevent radicalism, it kind of works backwards. If a girl is very religious and wears the face veil, she may just refuse to go to the best university in the country even though she's qualified. But at the same time, her family may refuse for her to go to begin with.

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  77. So incredibly barbaric and sad...as I was raised in a home where the man felt it was his right to beat the shit out of the woman and the children. We were blamed by him when we were beaten, broken, bruised and abused. If we hadn't done 'it', he wouldn't have had to beat us. Hospital visits, casts, stitches and shot dogs....all pieces of my childhood...in Ohio. My father would have made a wonderful Saudi 'Man'...

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  79. velvet brick, I am so sorry for the experience you had to go through. No one deserves to go through that, not even witness it. I saw domestic abuse happen before when it happened to my stepsister who was married to a very horrible man. Keep in mind though that not all Saudi men are like this. Just like all men in the U.S. or not like the man that abused my stepsister, his wife. I have several Saudi male friends that would never dream of hurting their loved ones in such a way. The issues discussed are about laws (or lack thereof) and the "teachings" by supposed learned judges and scholars that accept, if not out right encourage, domestic abuse.

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  80. Hard hitting post! Well done for raising what is a problem in many parts of the world. It sounds like Saudi Arabia certainly appears to have a very long way to go before women there can feel protected by their legal system.

    As an Australian, I would like to point out that many western countries also have a long history of failing to protect women and children from family violence, even though it's improving in my part of the world. It is a global problem, requiring all of humanity to address it.

    In Australia, until the 1980s, rape was not unlawful within marriage and there were notoriously unfair and tragic outcomes as a consequence.

    In 1993, an infamous South Australian Supreme Court judge, Justice Bollen made the awful comment that‘a measure of rougher than usual handling’ may be used by a man to obtain his wife’s ‘consent’ to sex. This sparked an outcry within the media, demonstrating that cultural change needs to happen in many places! I guess the difference in the context of Australia and Saudi Arabia is that the Australian media has the capacity to really challenge the government when people in the community consider that more needs to be done to address inequality.

    Regards

    Kristina

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  81. Hello All,

    I just have to make a correction to my last email - in Australia, there is a difference between states regarding when rape in marriage was made unlawful. For example, in South Australia, it was made a crime in 1976, but not until later for other parts of the country. My apologies for the inaccuracy!

    I think it is important to emphasise the message that Susie was giving us - that we all deserve to be treated with respect by our partners and protected by our legal systems. We (children, women and men - who are sometimes abused too) need to feel confident that lawmakers and leaders will uphold our human dignity.

    Regards

    Kristina

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  82. Just for the record, the U.S. is the same. In 1976, no state had a law against marital rape, and it was 1993 before all 50 states had such a law.

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  83. could saudi arabia get anymore worse for women?? seriously even camels have more rights there! u better get out whilst u still can!

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  84. Hi Susie

    Mistreatement of women is an issue world over the only difference is that in some places its worse than others. The only thing that might just stop this violence is that the women start protecting themselves and not wait for their governments to make rules pass lawa etc etc. I say just beat them black and blue ladies!
    lol Its just like the school bully situation once you start standing up for yourself and returning a wack or two the guy might think twice before lifting a finger let alone a hand.

    Regards
    Sameera
    sabsamah@yahoo.com

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  85. So many comments...sigh.

    To the person who equated with doing away with politics etc as well since all those could cause harm...none of those use God as a the guiding light and backup excuse when it comes to causing harm...except maybe Bush...hes a whole other story.

    Muslims apparently get their permission to strike women from the Quran...thus...if they read violence in the Quran...then they already have violence in their hearts and dont need God or anybody else to give them permission. It is sad they believe in a God that would treat women as punching bags etc...but then again...we do tend to make God in OUR image...not the other way around.

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  86. DP--no worries, I understood your point, but thought it worth expanding on, and then again when Eastern Reflections raised the issue.

    It is worthwhile to compare other Muslim countries (which usually have Sharia family law, even if no other aspect of Sharia) and Arab ones to relativize the religious or cultural "necessity" of resorting to violence against women. In other words, Saudi could choose to enact Islamic family laws that would help prevent domestic violence, or at least not revictimize the abused spouse.

    Thanks for raising that aspect of the discussion. :)

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  87. Anonymous/Sameera

    I agree that a bully continues as long as s/he can get away with it, but would advise against a woman hitting back except strictly in self defense. Most women come off the worse from a fist-fight with a male.

    There are of course other ways to fight back, which is perhaps what you meant. This is where family, society, and the law come in, and where spreading attitudes like that of Al-Razini becomes the most dangerous.

    In the immediate, physical violence phase, my understanding of Arab culture is that male family members if anyone handle the physical retaliation/ prevention of further abuse. Not everyone has male family members available or so inclined. Again they would probably be better advised to remove their abused loved one from the situation, and provide social and legal support to the extent available in the country.

    I appreciated your comment for how it emphasized this aspect. Thanks

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  88. Hey Susie, am back after a long but enjoyable weekend!! How was yours? Well I did a topic about this very issue a few months back, so am just gonna copy & paste it here :-)

    Thirdly, some commentors such as Megan who are curious & have asked about the verse in the Quran that supposedly says a man may BEAT his wife if she disobeys him. The verse in question is 4:34 and after I researched some of the scholar's opinions... Well, I am not scholar but some of what the `ulema say makes me wonder??? For example, one Shaykh from IslamQA says it's haraam for a woman to go out of her husband's house for no reason without her husband's permission? Maybe according to one madhab (not sure which one but would love to know)... Here is an interesting statement from one of my favourite and prominant Shayookh, Sh. Salman Al-Oadah. He says: "Many people perceive Islam as a chauvinistic religion that belittles women. They cite the condition of women in some Muslim countries to prove their point. Their mistake is that they fail to separate the culture of a given people from the true teachings of the religion that they profess. Women in many third world countries live horrible lives. They are dominated by men and denied many of their basic human rights. This does not apply to Muslim countries alone, nor does it apply to all Muslim countries." And he is right. If we look into the Punjabi culture which includes the Sikh religion, it's not uncommon to hear about a woman being beaten by her father, brother or husband. Even in Canada, especially in the lower Mainland (where I lived) there were girls who were killed by their fathers or uncles for going against the family "honor". But would it be fair to say that Sikhism is a religion that abuses women and commands its followers to do so? Um, NO!

    My husband and I have had a few heated arguments but it never got physical. He quotes the Quran and many examples of Rasool-ul-Allah (sallalahu `alayi wa salaama) which say that Muslim husband must always have mercy & patience towards his wife. Maybe it's acceptable in some cultures for men to beat their women BUT IN ISLAM IT IS FORBIDDEN. HARAAM. I challenge ANYONE to show me where it says a man may abuse his wife, by using verses from the Quran or an authentic hadith. If I had a penny for everytime someone claimed that Islam gave a man the right to hit wife...

    For the time being, here is a paragraph I made briefly describing the misconception and where it comes from. You will see that the only ones who say it's permissible for men to beat their wives according to the Quran are the wife-beaters themselves who already follow Satan's foot-steps, ignorant people or the Islam-bashers who are not even Muslim themselves to know what Islam actually teaches. I am a Muslim woman married to a Muslim man so I have the right to talk about this issue, as opposed to some Joe Somebody who watches "Not Without My Daughter" for the first time.

    BTW, feel free to copy & paste this information the next time you see someone spreading lies and false facts about Islam:

    It is not generally permitted to hit one's wife, and the overwhelming instances of hitting that take place in marriages are not only HARAAM but entails abuse, wrongdoing (dhulm), and going away from the example of the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu `alayhi wa salaam), who often instructed his companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) not to hit their wives, and who said, when he heard about men who hit their wives, "The best of you are the best to your spouses, and I am the best of you to their spouse." The wives of the Prophet, including A'isha (Allah be pleased with her), relate that he never hit any of his wives.Narrated Mu'awiyah al-Qushayri: "I went to the Apostle of Allah (sallalahu `alayhi wa salaam) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2139)"

    Another example of what the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu `alayhi wa salaam) said, "Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?"

    Ya know, I can find most of the whole "Islam says a man can beat his wife" thing on Islam-bashing websites. One of the many "techniques" of Islam-bashers is to take the opinion of some Imam or Shaykh noone has heard, like in the example of that British Muslim lawyer (LAWYER, NOT SCHOLAR) who said it's permissible to bring "jihad" into a country that is not of "dar al-harb". I am sure on Youtube you can find his video being used by the Propagandists with the message that Islam says we can kill non-Muslim anywhere in the world. (Me wonder why this certain lawyer wannabe scholar has not been arrested on INCITEMENT OF TERRORISM charges...??)

    Anyways... another quick point I wanna say is that the Quran was written in the most classical form of Arabic. English translations do no justice to the majestic wording of an Arabic Quran, and even the ettiquettes of handling an English copy and Arabic one are different. That being said, the word used to imply "beat" is from the root word "daraba" and is not the same as the English definition. I bet someone is going to say, "well, what about the hadith that says that Muhammad (sallalahu `alayhi wa salaama) hit Aishah (radhia Allah anha)?" Number 1: This hadith has been misquoted by many including Muslims & Christians alike. Number 2: This hadith would contradict when Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, "Allah's Messenger (sallalahu 'alayhi wa salaama) never hit anything with his hand ever, except when fighting in the path of Allah. Nor did he ever hit a servant or a woman."
    OKay gotta take my son to McDonalds for a HappyMeal now LoL!!

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  90. ***oops sorry for double-posting ;-)

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  91. @Aalia said...

    However badly the Koran is translated into English the article in question quotes an Arab who is supposedly a scholar (aren't Islamic judges scholars?) who says slapping a wife is ok.

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  92. PS to my comment above: people are at greatest threat of harm when their abuser suspects they are leaving, so take precautions accordingly.

    Aalia--a nice distinction between the Quran's statements and abuse.

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  93. A humble dweller of this costal metropolis dubbed “Jedda”May 17, 2009, 8:49:00 PM

    Well done Aalia. I found your post quite enlightening.
    Once again I'd like to quote the Saheeh International Translation of the Qur'anic verse being discussed; a translation prepared by a team of well-versed ladies here in Jedda, headed by prominent daeyah Amatullah Bantley:

    004.034:{Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.}Source:
    http://allahsquran.com/read/verses.php?ch=63

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  94. What does the Quran say about disobedient men and infidelity or them spending money lavishly?

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  95. Aalia: Thanks for that clarification. I remember watching a youtube video of a girl breaking the verse down and explaining it in a very informative and insightful way. Unfortunately I can't find it online now. Too many people pervert interpretations and use it to justify their behavior. I would discuss further about other problems I have with "interpretations" regarding women in Qu'ran, but this topic touches specifically on wife-beating, so that's for another day.

    coolred: I didn't say that politics should be done away with as an example. I just made note that some people often say "religion is the greatest cause of trouble/evil" in the world...and I think that is a weak argument b/c so many things in human history have been used to justify wrong doing and horrendous actions regardless.

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  96. On one hand we are admonished from coming to our own conclusions or self interpreting ayats for ourselves etc...we are told time and again to "ask an imam or sheikh", but then when one of those mysoginistic woman hating imams or sheikhs come along and spout out such abusive allowances...we are told to ignore them.

    I, for one, am seriously wondering when someone will make a list of just which sheikhs and imams are bonafide and which are just assholes not worthy of our time...from where Im standing...more of them fall into the asshole category then the bonafide...but thats just me.

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  97. To Chiara from Sameera

    Thank you for your comments but unless a woman starts to defend her self without waiting for help to come from outside the violence towards women will continue. Women need to learn the art of protecting themselves and if that means getting physical in return then so be it. More than half of the women don’t even know what rights Allah has given then and go on bearing whatever the men throw their way. Physical violence doesn’t always come from a husband, a father or a brother can be equally brutal towards their female relatives. My point is why does a women need to wait for help from outside which in some cases might never come. Why should a woman have to tell her personal story to the world so that they may or may not decide in her favor? If a woman is capable of solving her problems right there and then what is the need to involve those who might in the end decide she is the one that was wrong even after being beaten badly by a male relative. I think Islam has given each human being the right to defend him or her self and if a women has to fight back physically to defend herself then there is nothing wrong in it. If she fears being beaten worse than being able to beat back then she should learn karate boxing etc. in fact the mothers should take it upon themselves to teach their daughters an art which will protect them from being beaten up when a male relative chooses to.

    And since this is a worldwide problem it should not be just limited to Middle East or Muslim countries this is an issue which plagues the most liberal and advanced nations and followers of all other religions too. So be fair people.


    Regards
    Sameera

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  98. Hello again fellow bloggers,

    Why don't we just recognize that this is an urgent human rights issue that goes beyond religious background?

    The right for us all to be free from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is a fundamental human right that cuts accross all backgrounds, potentially affecting us all, regardless of race or religion.

    Unfortunately, it is clear that perpetrators of family violence exist in all cultures, profess to be a diverse range of religions or do not have a belief in religious teaching. Irrespective of what else we believe, one truth remains: we are all deserving of the right to a peaceful and safe home.

    Regards

    Kristina

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  99. Sameera--thanks for your comment.

    I think we are in agreement regarding immediate self-defense, and the need for women to take action to help themselves. Unfortunately since violence usually escalates, defending oneself and then leaving are usually the best options. A Muslim woman living in a country where she would lose her mahr by "abandoning the household" should return with help be it familial, or social, or the police, to force the man out if need be.

    As a psychiatrist, I have often dealt with potentially violent patients. I always "defend myself" by verbally calming the situation, and returning with appropriate muscle in the form of male psychiatric assistants/nurses, or the police. In this I am following standard procedure for all male or female professionals.

    Women should defend themselves by being educated on their rights, know what resources are available and how to use them, and making it clear before marriage that violence will not be tolerated, then acting on that. Women collectively do need to speak up, provide social supports to others, and advocate for legal, social and cultural change. Fortunately there are women in Saudi (since this is the topic of the post) and in the Arab/Muslim world who are doing that and with positive effect.

    Of course the problem is worldwide, but worse in areas where men and women accept it as the norm and where society turns a blind eye or defends it.

    You might be interested in the World Health Organization's study and report of 2004 available online with an excellent summary in Chapter 10:
    http://www.who.int/gender/violence/who_multicountry_study/en/

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  100. Kristina

    I agree with much of what you have said, but there is no doubt that partner violence against women is in peacetime the greatest threat to them (not stranger violence). Also there is no doubt that rates vary, and are worse in areas that have a patriarchal culture, and accept spousal abuse as normal. The WHO study referenced above has very interesting findings you might be interested in.

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  101. Even in western countries women are killed or physically harmed when they do try to leave a violent spouse/partner even with a support network set up for them by the city and/or family/friend group. But they have better chances than a woman in a society that turns a blind eye to the problem or have "she was a nagging wife" mentality. Are there any groups that offer shelter and support for women in Saudi Arabia trying to escape abusive households? Is there any way to find out? or possibly start one?

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  102. Im always amazed when we discuss "rights" of women and that they should be aware of their rights...its a sad state of affairs when a woman has to learn or be aware that nobody has the right to physically harm her....not even her husband. That shouldnt have to be something she reads in a book...religious or otherwise..it should be a given.

    Human beings certainly are NOT the epitome of what civilization is all about.

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  103. Rights education begins in the home with girls being taught not to tolerate abuse no matter what the excuse, and then receiving the education that would allow them to support themselves and children if necessary. Boys should be taught that abuse is not acceptable behaviour and prevented from physically reprimanding sisters, and other female relatives. The same goes for female abuse of males.

    One of the "salient findings" of the WHO report on 10 different countries was that abuse was highest where women believed it was acceptable (the men weren't interviewed but presumably believed it as well).

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  104. I'm way behind on my replying to your comments, so please accept my gratitude for your taking the time to comment and participate in the discussion, and forgive me for not addressing everyone's remarks individually.

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  105. So much to comment on, but I don't want to be a blog hog.

    first, humble aetheist: ever heard of a little country called the Soviet Union? They were also convinced that religion was the root of all evil...in their efforts to exterminate it, they killed more people than the holocaust.

    Second, rawan, wow! your arguments are so full of holes, I cannot even dignify them with a full rebuttal.

    Third, DV happens all over the world, however, the Quran Does undeniably state it is ok to strike your wife. What kind of strike that is, with what kind of instriument, or what kind of justification, is another question. Moreover, as Aalia pointed out, there are other contradicting sura and hadith that condemn it. people will just choose whichever sentence justifies their needs. Look at the whole homosexuality debate within Christianity. If you take everything literally, you cannot deny that the Koran says both, but then it trips folks up. Same with any other religious text. Best idea is to take the passages with the most compassionate enlightened interpretation.

    4, also really agree with folks who say law needs to exist above and beyond religious guiding

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  106. ps - i think the problem is that outsiders don't know which voices are most authentic. for instance, most outsiders think Americans are fundamentalist bible Christians who dress like skanks. But, this is not true at all....or at least, for the most part ;-)

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  107. There is really no excuse in this day and age to allow men to hit women or children.

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  109. Suzie:"All this leads me to believe that Islam is not really fair to women."

    Then perhaps you should deeply research with Authentic sources and actaully read Hadith and meaning of Qur'an and Hadith and try to learn about each of these subjects instead of saying the above encompasing idea, that is not fair to Muslims who every day try to show just exactly how happy they are in Islam and how much better they feel since joining Islam than they were before living in Western societies.
    Most of them Women. Please feel free to browse my ALL MUSLIMAH BLOG DIRECTORY http://allmuslimah.blogspot.com/ and read more about our daily life. Sure we may struggle in some thigns as all women do and a few are mishandled by idiot disobediant to god men, but the majority are very happy within Islam and this comment you made above, although your OPINION, hurt me Suzie. You started off in Saudi very open minded and it seems like with passing time you're becoming the opposite. Perhaps you've seen more than you wanted to about the failing of Humans.... but God is Just and he created for us a JUST religion. Perhaps this post was part of why your blog got blocked?

    I KNOW you have the right to your own opinions but perhaps your Opinions need to better researched.
    Sorry I am being blunt but you stated Your opinion so I stated mine.

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  110. Hi sister..When I read "Go Ahead slap me" blog, I thought some points to remind you.First of all don't try to learn a religion from persons, may be they are just a namesake muslim. Try to study the religion from the Holy Qura'an and "Swahi Hadis" (sunnath).In the case of divorce, its not easy to get a divorce in Islam. You know there is one chapter in Holy Qura'an in the name of divorce(Chapter 65.)
    And Reg. 4 marriage allowed to men, its has got so many restictions,pls see the below.
    Chapter 4: verses 2 & 3.
    2)To orphans give back their property(when they reach their age);Do not substitue(your) worthless things for(their)good ones;and do not consume their sustenance(by mixing it up)with your own.Becoz this is truly a great sin.
    3)If you fear that you shall not be able to act justly with the orphans(girls)then marry(other)women of your choice, two,or three, or four;But if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly(with them), then marry one, or(a captive)that your right hand possess.That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.

    One small thing..In this world most of the divorce is in the name of suspicious.Both dosent have trust on each other. If a women marry to two or more men at a time and if she gives birth a baby, defenitely the question of whose child is this???.(May be you can say now in modern science we can prove thrgh DNA test),but please understand that Islam is a religion of Universe..no doubt..no suspicion..straight forward in each step.No need of DNA test and all..

    Then regarding the men body gaurd. Trust you aware that every day womens are attcked either sexually or on other means.
    See Islam is giving protection to Women in all respect. So its not a burden for them,but a blessing..

    Dear Sister, try to learn Islam from Holy Qura'an and Hadis(Swahih)

    MAY ALMIGHTY ALLAH GIVE STRENGTH TO LEARN ISLAM IN THE RIGHT WAY.AAMEN

    HASHI

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  111. American Muslima Writer, how can you say her writings are not researched when she LIVES there and experiences these issues. This is "first person" information. I disagree with you, but of course, you are entitled to your opinion, as am I. Stay safe Susie!

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  112. Hello,this is from saudi woman doesn't know how to love this country or even hate it.
    unfortunately they won't realize women's value till the women said thats enough.

    Fatemah

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