As a Saudi Woman

One recurring theme that troubles me to this day is that of the oppression of women in society. This subjugation of women transcends social status and cannot be blamed on class struggle per se. Although a Marxist may claim that the subjection resulted in the movement to a class society and the development of human labour capital, I believe this to be a fairly limited view.

Although, arguably, this may account for the development of the oppression of women as the inferior or second sex in the West, does it account for the oppression seen in religious ruled countries such as Saudi Arabia?

Before this is continued I recommend you read this article to summarily create the context of the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi women appeal for legal freedoms

By Daniel Howden and Rachel Shields
Monday, 21 April 2008

In Riyadh, the college day begins for female students behind a locked door that will remain that way until male guardians come to collect them. Later, in a female-run business, everyone must vacate the premises so a delivery man can drop off a package. In Jeddah, a 40-year-old divorced woman cannot board a plane without the written permission of her 23-year-old son. Elsewhere, a female doctor cannot leave the house at all as her male driver fails to turn up for work. These scenes make up the daily reality for half of the Saudi Kingdom, the only country where women legally belong to men.

After more than a decade of lobbying, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has finally been granted access to Saudi Arabia, where it has uncovered a disturbing picture of women forced to live as children, denied basic rights and confined to a suffocating dependency on men.

Wajeha al-Huwaider, a critic of Saudi’s guardian laws that force women to seek male permission for almost all aspects of their lives, is one of a growing number demanding change. “Sometimes I feel like I can’t do anything; I am utterly reliant on other people, completely dependent. If you are dependent on another person, you’ve got nothing. That is how the men like it. They don’t want us to be equals.”

The House of Saud, in alliance with an extremist religious establishment which enforces the most restrictive interpretation of sharia, Islamic law, has created a legal system that treats women as minors unable to exercise authority over even trivial daily matters.

The most egregious consequences of this repressive regime occasionally filter out from the Gulf Kingdom: the notorious case in Qatif of the girl who was jailed after being gang raped on a charge of consorting with a male non-relative; the schoolgirls believed to have burnt to death in Mecca as religious police would not let them leave the fiery premises without headscarves; or the happily married Fatima Azzaz from Mansour, forced to divorce her husband at the whim of her half-brothers.

Beyond these high-profile cases is a demoralising and sometimes ridiculous reality in which women cannot open bank accounts for their children, take them to the dentist or even on a field trip without the written permission of the father.

Petty humiliations are endemic. Two women who spoke to HRW said, in a report released today, that judges had refused them the right to speak in court as their voices were “shameful” – only their guardians were allowed to speak on their behalf. Saudi courts require a mu’arif (a male to identify her under the full face veil) before a woman can even attempt to testify.

“The Saudi government sacrifices human rights to maintain male control over women,” said Farida Deif from HRW. “Saudi women won’t make progress until the government ends the abuses that stem from these misguided policies.”

The oil-rich kingdom lies at the bottom of the UN rankings on female empowerment and women make up only 4 per cent of the workforce.

The frustrations of Dr M are typical of those faced even by educated women:

“When I take my daughter to the doctor’s, they ask me where my husband is, and refuse to do anything until he comes to authorise it. Even if it is something small like an ear infection.”

Another woman who, despite the legal barriers, owns her own business, describes the farcical difficulties she faces: “Only women can enter my premises. If a delivery man needs to drop something off we have to exit the premises first. It is ridiculous.”

Trumpeted reforms from King Abdullah have had little impact on women’s lives. Too often, sex segregation results in an “apartheid” system in which facilities for women are either grossly inferior or non-existent. Women were denied the right to vote in the kingdom’s first municipal elections because there were no separate voting booths for them.

Even progress that is achieved often serves to underline the fundamental problem – that of legal guardianship of men over women. In the words of one Saudi woman: “We still need to get a male guardian – husband, father or brother – to sign a form saying where we are allowed to work and when. It is like we are their property.”

To be continuted…

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-women-appeal-for-legal-freedoms-812657.html

Advertisements

ReformIslam.com

This site is worth a read. Quranic revisionists with noble aims.

OUR GOALS

  • to educate Muslims about dangers presented by Islamic religious texts and why Islam must be reformed
  • to educate non-Muslims about the differences between moderate Muslims and Islamists (a.k.a. Islamic Religious Fanatics, Radical Muslims, Muslim Fundamentalists, Islamic Extremists or Islamofascists)
  • to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims alike that Moderate Muslims are also targets of Islamic Terror

OUR MANIFESTO

Acknowledging mistakes
The majority of the terrorist acts of the last three decades, including the 9/11 attacks, were perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists in the name of Islam. We, as Muslims, find it abhorrent that Islam is used to murder millions of innocent people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Inconsistencies in the Koran
Unfortunately, Islamic religious texts, including the Koran and the Hadith contain many passages, which call for Islamic domination and incite violence against non-Muslims. It is time to change that. Muslim fundamentalists believe that the Koran is the literal word of Allah. But could Allah, the most Merciful, the most Compassionate, command mass slaughter of people whose only fault is being non-Muslim?

The Koran & the Bible
Many Bible figures from Adam to Jesus (Isa) are considered to be prophets and are respected by Islam. Islamic scholars however believe that both the Old and the New Testament came from God, but that they were corrupted by the Jews and Christians over time. Could it be possible that the Koran itself was corrupted by Muslims over the last thirteen centuries?

The need for reform
Islam, in its present form, is not compatible with principles of freedom and democracy. Twenty-first century Muslims have two options: we can continue the barbaric policies of the seventh century perpetuated by Hassan al-Banna, Abdullah Azzam, Yassir Arafat, Ruhollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Hizballah, Hamas, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, etc., leading to a global war between Dar al-Islam (Islamic World) and Dar al-Harb (non-Islamic World), or we can reform Islam to keep our rich cultural heritage and to cleanse our religion from the reviled relics of the past. We, as Muslims who desire to live in harmony with people of other religions, agnostics, and atheists choose the latter option. We can no longer allow Islamic extremists to use our religion as a weapon. We must protect future generations of Muslims from being brainwashed by the Islamic radicals. If we do not stop the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, our children will become homicidal zombies.

Accepting responsibilities
To start the healing process, we must acknowledge evils done by Muslims in the name of Islam and accept responsibility for those evils. We must remove evil passages from Islamic religious texts, so that future generations of Muslims will not be confused by conflicting messages. Our religious message should be loud and clear: Islam is peace; Islam is love; Islam is light. War, murder, violence, divisiveness & discrimination are not Islamic values.

Religious privacy
Religion is the private matter of every individual. Any person should be able to freely practice any religion as long as the practice does not interfere with the local laws, and no person must be forced to practice any religion. Just as people are created equal, there is no one religion that is superior to another. Any set of beliefs that is spread by force is fundamentally immoral; it is no longer a religion, but a political ideology.

Equality
Islam is one of the many of the world’s religions. There will be no Peace and Harmony in the World if Muslims and non-Muslims do not have equal rights. Islamic supremacy doctrine is just as repulsive as Aryan supremacy doctrine. History clearly shows what happens to the society whose members consider themselves above other peoples. All moderate Muslims must repudiate the mere notion of Islamic supremacy.

Sharia
Sharia Law must be abolished, because it is incompatible with norms of modern society.

Outdated practices
Any practices that might have been acceptable in the Seventh Century; i.e., stoning, cutting off body parts, marrying and/or having sex with children or animals, must be condemned by every Muslim.

Outdated verses
The following verses promote divisiveness and religious hatred, bigotry and discrimination. They must be either removed from the Koran or declared outdated and invalid, and marked as such.

Outdated words & phrases
Use of the following words and phrases or their variations must be prohibited during religious services:
• Infidel / Unbeliever: these terms have negative connotation and promote divisiveness and animosity; Islam is not the only religion
• Jihad: this word is often interpreted as Holy War against non-Muslims
• Mujaheed / Holy Warrior: no more wars in the name of Islam
• American (Christian / Crusader / Israeli / Zionist) occupation: these terms promote bigotry; at this point in time, Muslims living in non-Muslim lands have more freedoms than Muslims living in Muslim lands

Islam vs. violence
Islam has no place for violence. Any person calling for an act of violence in the name of Islam must be promptly excommunicated. Any grievances must be addressed by lawful authorities. It is the religious and civic duty of every Muslim to unconditionally condemn any act of terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam. Any Muslim group that has ties to terrorism in any way, shape, or form, must be universally condemned by both religious and secular Muslims.

Portrayal of Prophets
While portrayal of Prophets is not an acceptable practice in Islam could be personally offensive to some Muslims, other religions do not have such restrictions. Therefore, the portrayal of the Prophets must be treated as a manifestation of free expression.

The Crusades vs. The Inquisition
While the Inquisition was a repulsive practice by Christian Fundamentalists, the Crusades were not unprovoked acts of aggression, but rather attempts to recapture formerly Christian lands controlled by Muslims.

If this was the Islam of today this site would be very different.

Is the Qur’an Hate Propaganda?

A Beslan massacre victim

What the Holiest Book of Islam Really says about Non-Muslims


Introduction
Why the Violence? Why the Indifference?

When Islamic terrorists massacred 186 children and 148 other non-Muslims on the morning of September 3rd, 2004 at a schoolhouse in Beslan, Russia, very few Muslims celebrated the high-profile event and some even took the time to denounce it. But, in a community renowned for its peevishness, there was very little passion over the routine slaughter of innocents in the name of Islam.

While rumors of a Qur’an desecration or a Muhammad cartoon bring out deadly protests, riots, arson and effigy-burnings, the mass murder of non-Muslims generally evokes yawns. In the six years following 9/11 more than 10,000 acts of deadly Islamic terrorism were perpetrated, yet all of them together fail to provoke the sort of outrage on the part of most Muslims that the mere mention of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo inspires.

This critical absence of moral perspective puzzles many Westerners, particularly those trying to reconcile this reality with the politically-correct assumption that Islam is like other religion. The Judeo-Christian tradition preaches universal love and unselfishness, so it is expected that the more devout Muslims would be the most peaceful and least dangerous… provided that Islam is based on the same principles.

But beneath the rosy assurances from Muslim apologists that Islam is about peace and tolerance lies a much darker reality that better explains the violence and deeply-rooted indifference. Quite simply, the Qur’an teaches hate.

Consider the elements that define hate speech:

  • Drawing a distinction between one’s own identity group and those outside it
  • Moral comparison based on this distinction
  • Devaluation or dehumanization of other groups and the insistence of personal superiority
  • The advocating of different standards of treatment based on identity group membership
  • A call to violence against members of other groups

Sadly, the Qur’an qualifies as hate speech on each count (despite the best intentions of many Muslims).

The holiest book of Islam draws the sharpest of distinctions between Muslims and non-Muslims, lavishing praise on the former while condemning the latter. Far from teaching universal love, the Qur’an incessantly preaches the inferiority of non-Muslims, even comparing them to vile animals and gloating over Allah’s hatred of them and the dark plans for their eternal torture. Naturally, the harsh treatment of non-believers by Muslims is encouraged as well.

What does the Qur’an, believed by Muslims to be the literal and eternal word of Allah, really say about non-Muslims? Continue reading

Freedom of Speech

Yesterday I created a CafePress store so I could sell some merchandise to raise some funds for this site to be hosted away from the censorship of wordpress. However, within less than 24 hours my account had been cancelled.

This image as been flagged as a possible violation of the CafePress.com Content Usage Policy and has been set to “pending status” which means it cannot be added to any product or available for purchased by the public.

So, someone has gone along and flagged all my items as inappropriate. It’s ironic that one of the products flagged was:

I guess that person obviously does not respect anyones right to freedom of speech, especially when it is in someway linked to any criticism of Islam.

Anyway, here are some of the other items you could have purchased to support the site.

Islam: Spread by the Sword (Father Zakariya)

Brigitte Gabriel

After having seen a series of videos of a presentation by Brigitte Gabriel I have finally got around to reading her book ‘Because they Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America‘. So far I am very glad that I grabbed a copy.

I recommend it to anyone interested in either current events or history as it is seems to be a secular prophecy of how Orwellian double think branded as tolerance led to the fall of the “Switzerland of the middle east”.

I will post a review soon.
UPDATE: I have dedicated a page to Brigitte here which I hope will one day be complete

Man attacked and threatened for not being a ‘Proper Muslim’

A man in an asylum center was attacked by his 23 year old neighbor for having alcohol in his fridge. The two men shared a kitchen in one of the immigration service’s houses in Halmstad. One day when the victim came home from work, his neighbor broke into his room and attacked him with a knife. “You are not a proper Muslim. I will kill you,” he threatened.

The reason was that the man – also a Muslim – had some beer in the fridge. The man fled from the apartment, and when he came back he found his room vandalized and destroyed with detergent.

To the court the 23 year old declared that he wanted to clean away the evil from the room.

The man was sentenced to psychiatric care for unlawful threat, breaking in, and causing damage. He is also to pay the victim 21,200 kronor in damages.

http://www.hn.se/m_standard.php?id=927835&avdelning_1=109&avdelning_2=168