"Islam Honours Women" is Only a Slogan

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

I see posts about how Islam honours women in society by elevating them and protecting them with unprecedented rights.  The rights named include the right to education, the right to marry someone of their choice, the right to retain their identity after marriage, the right to divorce, the right to work, the right to own and sell property, the right to seek protection by the law, the right to vote and the right to participate in civic and political engagement.  These are excellent points.  Now, for us to ponder, in modern Muslim society, in places as diverse as Saudi Arabia and the UK, how much of those rights do women really have?

How many women are denied a proper education in the Muslim world in the name of Islam?  How many women are force into marriages and victimised by the threat or actual act of honour killings?  How many women find it difficult to find a good husband, and failing that, have the support of the community when they seek a divorce?  How many women are denied the right to seek a living?  How many women have no voice in civic and political discourse?

The sad truth is that I can produce fatwa after fatwa, from places as diverse as Malaysia, Pakistan, Sudan, Egypt and even in Muslim communities in places like Australia, the United Kingdom, and France where this is not true.  As a convert, I think we should stop with this false advertising.  We do not even allow women into the mosques in some places, or shunt them into broom closets.  We do not allow them their own self-determination and the right to free travel.  Rape victims in some Muslim countries are charged with adultery.  This is useless rhetoric and it is not true at all.  We have to do better.


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