Why Aren't Feminists Fighting for Muslim Women's Rights?

The way Muslim women are treated by Muslim men is downright appalling, especially when you consider how many rights and freedoms an American woman has, yet feminists are keeping very quiet about the way Muslim women are treated. In an era where Western women are free and feminists are being locked up for protesting in Russia, why are feminists around the world not fighting for Muslim women’s rights, especially in the USA where all women are born equal, yet Muslim women in the US live a life of subordinated horror?

To Fully Understand The Meaning Of This Article…

Before getting into the meat and potatoes of the issue, a few things need to be made clear.

[1] If you are a Muslim, you will be offended by this article

People are offended by things they consider a threat, and this article is a threat because it may open a few people’s eyes to a few sad realities.

[2] Most people do not intend to be bad, nasty or evil

Good people can do bad things if they value bad ideas. The people in the Nazi regime were not bad people, but they valued a bad idea that led them to do bad things.

[3] Feminists cannot win

They cannot win because equality means nobody wins (or everybody does). When feminists demonize somebody or a group, they close the door to free discussion and open the door to fear and anger.

[4] When referring to the Islamic/Muslim world

When this article refers to the Muslim world, it is referring to the group of people that organize and worship as part of the organized religion known as Islam.

[5] This article generalizes in places

Within this article exists a few generalizations, but it is understood that there are many exceptions to these generalizations (as there are with all generalizations).

[6] Feminists are not racist

Some people (online mostly) claim that feminists are happy to help Russian protesters such as Pussy Riot because they are white, but are unwilling to help Muslim women because most of them are of Arabic descent. People that play the “racist” card are simply too dumb to create a viable or logical argument and should be ignored.

What Is All The Fuss About?

Muslim women are subjugated and abused in ways that many people in the developed world find abhorrent. Here are a few rules you may (or may not) find offensive to women. Here are just a few of the most commonly observed things that a woman should do.

- Not mingle with men
- Not speak in a loud voice
- Not shake hands with men
- Not go out after using perfume
- Not imitate female nonbelievers
- Not to waste your time uselessly
- Not go out of the home frequently
- Not walk in the middle of a road (seems sensible)
- Not lower her veil outside of the home under any circumstances
- Wear your dresses long
- Always look downwards
- Speak softly and honorably
- Avoid standing on a balcony
- Walk by the side of the road
- Travel with a male guardian relative
- Conceal herself while welcoming men at the door
- Beware of standing by the door when welcome guests
- Praise Allah and ask for his pardon frequently in an inaudible voice
(Source - Do and Don't do rules for Muslim women)

The list above is simply a list of rules laid out by the Islamic faith. Many countries interpret them their own way. The list below is a little more disturbing because it features some of the most upsetting gender equalities that exist in the Muslim world, especially in the Muslim culture.

Mature men are allowed to marry prepubescent girls.
(From the Quran in Sura 65:1, 4)

A husband has sex with his wife, as a plow goes into a dirt field.
(From the Quran in Sura (Chapter) 2:223)

A male gets twice as much inheritance as a female.
(From the Quran in Sura 4:11)

A woman’s testimony only counts for half of a man’s testimony.
(From the Quran in Sura 2:282)

Husbands are a degree above their wives.
(From the Quran in Sura 2:228)

A wife may only remarry her ex-husband if her second husband divorces her after having sex.
(From the Quran in Sura 2:230)

Slave-girls are sexual property for their male owners.
(From the Quran in Sura 4:24)

A man may be polygamous with up to four wives.
(From the Quran in Sura 4:3

A Muslim polygamist may simply get rid of one of his undesirable wives.
(From the Quran in Sura 4:129)

Husbands may hit their wives.
(From the Quran in Sura 4:34)
(Source - Top ten rules in the Quran that oppress and insult women)

Why Aren’t Muslim Men And Women Fighting For Feminism?

As mentioned earlier, valuing a bad idea may make people do bad things in good conscience. As a result, many Muslim men and women see no problem with the way women are treated. They value the ideas laid out above and you probably do not, which is why they find such ideas okay and you find them abhorrent. However, you also have to remember that there is a culture in the Muslim world that negatively affects their fight for feminism.

[+] As Dr. A.B. Zahlan, a Palestinian physicist, has noted that, “A regressive political culture is at the root of the Arab world’s problems.” The Muslim world has closed itself off to the outside world.

[+] In just one year, more books are translated into Spanish than there have been translated into Arabic in 1000 years. (Source - Arabic literacy)

[+] Greece has fewer than 11 million people in it, yet it translates five times more books than all 22 Arabic countries combined, even though those countries have over 300 million people. (Source - Brian Whitaker)

[+] Forty-six Muslim countries combined contribute just 1 percent of the world’s scientific literature between 1999 and now. (Source - Jamil Ragep)

Why Aren’t Feminists Fighting For Muslim Women’s Rights?

Islamic culture (not the religion) takes female inferiority for granted. The massive influx of Muslim men into the western world, especially Europe and to a lesser extent in the USA, have resulted in a massive upsurge of crime against women.

For example, a town in the UK called Rotherham has the highest rate of child sexploitation in Europe, and the crimes were conducted and organized almost exclusively by Muslim men in the town. (Rotherham child abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited). In Sweden, 77% of rapes are committed by just 2% of the Muslim population. (Muslim Statistics)

There are many reasons why feminists are not fighting for Muslim women’s rights. Eve Ensler, a noted feminist, says that this sort of misogynistic oppression is, “Exactly the same around the world” which excuses feminists from fighting for non-western women, even those that live in the west. There are many freethinking feminists that disagree and say that Western women do not have it as bad as Muslim women, but voicing such an opinion often falls on deaf ears or is attacked for being anti-feminist.

Another reason feminists are not fighting for Muslim women’s rights is because there is a commonly-held belief that non-western women do not need help from men and women in the west. That non-western women can stand on their own feet and fight their own battles, but this shows a severe lack of understanding and compassion. When western women protested, they were not beheaded, thrown in prison for life or stoned. Even a hint of high handedness or objectionable behavior is severely and mercilessly punished in the Muslim world. Muslim women are not even able to communicate with each other in a way that allows them to band together.

Western women are not being encouraged to fight for Muslim women’s rights. They are even being dissuaded from fighting for their own rights if it involves Arab men. In 2015, in Cologne, Germany, the New Year’s celebrations were taking place, and there were more than 600 cases of German women being sexually assaulted or sexually harassed by Arabic men. (Source - Independent). Over 73 suspects were arrested, and yet the feminist mayor Henriette Reker, the mayor of Cologne said, “Just keep an arm’s length distance between you and a mob of Arab men and you will be fine.” Not only does that statement dissuade feminist women for fighting for their rights, it ACTUALLY BLAMES THE VICTIMS! The women that came forward and reported their sexual assault were heroes for coming forwards, and yet the Mayor blamed them for getting too close to Arabs!

There is a culture clash going on, and the sad part is that if women do not unapologetically fight for the values that earned them their own rights and freedoms, then they risk losing them again. Feminists are still on the front line, but the fight is not with Western men, it is with an Islamic culture. The first thing women should be doing is linking arms with the Muslim women that are already suffering under that Islamic culture and making it clear that women will not be oppressed or subjugated. Men and women need to draw the line so that women are free with dignity and respect.

Can The Muslim World Change?

Far be it from me to guess, but maybe Muhammad wanted to protect the safety of women. Thousands of years ago, women couldn’t walk the streets alone in safety, which may explain why they should be escorted. Nowadays, women can walk the streets in safety, so even if women walk the streets unescorted, Muhammad’s moral inspiration is still respected and still plays a role.

Can the Muslim world change? Absolutely it can: all other religions have changed, even ancient ones. In addition, the Islamic religion has plenty of room to change because Muhammad did not write the Quran; he was only its "moral source." This means that our interpretation of his actions should be reexamined as time goes by and as we learn more about the world and humans. Reexamining our interpretation of a moral source is natural and healthy.

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