Arab and Muslim womenIssues! Part One
Hasan A. Yahya, Professor of Sociology
There are certain points related to Arab and Muslim women. In this part we cover three of them, in part two, however, five other points will be covered.
1. Cruel Punishment: Some readers believe that there is no reason to shoot someone in the head six times, and to dagger someone's neck till his head falls off his body. This is cruel act. It's no reason to take someone's life away. But can they ask the same in western societies? They usually have Gas killing, and in the old west, hanging was executed for stealing a horse. It is a fact that a husband surely must have two-to- four wives, or was indeed going to have two-to-four wives. Unmarried couple will be flogged 100 times, male or female, Both will get the same penalty. If they chose to keep quiet, asking the forgiveness from the Lord Himself, He is All Forgiving. The authorities in this case, will not know and the punishment will not be carried out. It is all covered and secretly done. It is the duty of the authorities to carry out the punishment if they knew. Now that being said....Islamic laws has always been fair for many ages. It is the society and the interpretation of Islamic law by the government of the country that made it harsh, it may be cultural matter rather than Islamic law. One must understand Saudis way of enforcing their Islamic laws or cultural ones, which I feel is more traditional than the real embodiment of Islamic spirit. Many people think that was right. If a woman or a man committed adultery. She/he betrayed their family. And in case they are married they, in fact betrayed the institution of marriage. Men are responsible too: There are always two to commit adultery. Some people trying to say that women make men do things against their will and seduce them when they want? Are men bunch of sheep without their own will who do whatever women want? Are men weaklings incapable to control their lust and urges? That way of thinking reminds me of one of the Australian Muslim mullahs who said women are guilty of being raped because they are not covered from head to toe. Did he want to tell us that if men sees a woman that is not veiled they can't control themselves? What type of men are these men? Adultery is committed in all societies, and the right of women to say no for sexual intercourse, in many societies is punishable by law. The American society is a good example, look at university research data on rape and women abuse. In terms of men are more responsible for adultery, boys probably fall in love just like a girl does. And they probably seduced girls as much as girls seduced boys and probably even more, because an Arab or non Arab girl, a Saudi or Qatari woman is raised not to show initiative and to do what men tell her to do. No one may conclude that adultery was a woman's fault only? Unless was like the Mullah of Australia. And that a man couldn't choose to walk away and chooses to commit adultery as much as she did. God gave us free will to do what is right. Why do people blame other people for their decisions? Women sometimes are at least faithful to her feelings and nature. The writer might not like to praise what a man or woman does (In adultery) but he admires a girl's courage to be true to herself and accept the cultural punishment according to the Law. Everyone I believe, is responsible for their own actions, and women alone are not to blame for men's emotions.
2. Accusations of Arab Societies: Some people accuse Arab women (especially in the Gulf Arab societies) for looking to as low as their drivers for sex? And ask Why this so? Then they give an answer to their question: It's because their men marry twice or thrice, and at some point one of the wives is always ignored. What do you expect her to do? An answer for this would be that Qatari, Saudi, or else, women do not sleep with as low as their drivers. This is absurd! There is no truth behind this. Claiming the opposite would be heresy and presumptions which, even if it was true does not constitute the majority nor do they alter the real truth. The writer spent a large proportion of his life in the Arab and Muslim world and he still reluctant to pin point a particular issue at its place. Claimers of these accusations of Qatari women, have to live longer and be with them and think like them to understand their issues. No one can just "cut and paste" their ideas for the public, who no little about Arab and Muslim culture. About polygamy, defenders of Arab women, in fact, say that many husbands [majority in each society] had only one wife. And most those who are polygamous are living in law illiteracy rate traditional communities. The writer has only one wife.
3. Islam and Adultery: The entire system in Islam should be re-done. Many people claim that, but for themselves, and later they act as others. Adultery is a larger question in Islam. Whether a woman willed herself to fall in love or whether she was helpless. Maybe she never loved her husband. But that's not important here. I think any state which kills for adultery has got some issues it needs to deal with in terms of human rights practiced in the western world [Europe and USA, Canada, etc.,]. Those claims that there should be no such thing as adultery. Reason for that is that no one can control the heart. No one prevent falling in love anytime with anyone. In all cases, it doesn't matter of your marital status or seeing someone especially when someone is not happy. Life goes on, but some women do not like such life without love and respect. Some may ask: Why should they shoot an adulterer six times in the head? Talking about the men can have more than one wife, it is allowed only if they can be fair, it is not even encouraged in Islam. Most Muslim men abuse their women. Control them in authoritative way. But this phenomenon is decreasing by time. (1101 words)
Dr. Hasan Yahya is a professor of Sociology, and columnist at wfol.tv Malaysia and TINA International News Agency, Chicago, USA. www.hasanyahya.com