Morals of Islam: Rape + Suicide = Paradise

A WOMAN suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame.

Samira Jassam, 51, was arrested by Iraqi police and confessed to recruiting the women and orchestrating dozens of attacks.

In a video confession, she explained how she had mentally prepared the women for martyrdom operations, passed them on to terrorists who provided explosives, and then took the bombers to their targets.

“We arrested Samira Jassim, known as ‘Um al-Mumenin’, the mother of the believers, who was responsible for recruiting 80 women”, Major General Qassim Atta said.

“She confessed her responsibility for these actions, and she confirmed that 28 attempts had been made in one of the terrorists’ strongholds,” he said.

Samira Jassim was arrested on January 21. She is allegedly linked to the Ansar al-Sunnah insurgent group.

Two of the attacks for which Samira Jassim admitted responsibility in the video confession took place in Diyala province, in central Iraq, which is considered one of the most dangerous areas of the country.

The Associated Press reports US military figures indicate at least 36 female suicide bombers attempted or carried out 32 attacks last year. Women are often allowed through military checkpoints without being searched, making it easier for them to hide explosives under their traditional robes.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25006101-12335,00.html
For once in my life I am speechless in regard to these abhorrent acts.

‘It’s OK to hit your Wife’, Australian Muslim Cleric Samir Abu Hamza

An Australian Muslim cleric is at the centre of controversy over a lecture where he directed his followers to hit their wives and force them to have sex. In an earlier lecture circulated on the internet last year, Hamza was also recorded instructing his followers that under Islamic law, a man can demand sex from his wives. This runs contrary to Australian law where both partners mutual unvitiated consent is required, even within marriage.

In response Hamza claimed his words where metaphoric – but is this so?

The fact that the Quran and Sunnah allow for a man to beat his wife for disobediance including refusing sexual interourse leads me to the fact that Hamza was merely being honest in the potrayal of his beliefs. However, it is cowardly of him to step back for the sake of PR.
The contentious aya (verse) of the Quran which justifies such abhorrent actions is Surah 4 aya 34:

Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God’s guarding. And those (women)  you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against
them; God is All-high, All-great.
Surah 4:34 (Arberry English Translation)

The ignorant Muslim apologist will respond in such a manner, ‘well, it says nothing about forced sex’.  In this case we examine the context in which the aya was revealed.  As many of you may know – the Quran contains no context and it is quite useless when removed from it so we must turn to the ahadith (traditions) and the tafsir.

This single aya sufficeintly justifies Hamza’s words in the Islamic context as explained by Ibn Kathir:

(As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct,) meaning, the woman from whom you see ill conduct with her husband, such as when she acts as if she is above her husband, disobeys him, ignores him, dislikes him, and so forth. When these signs appear in a woman, her husband should advise her and remind her of Allah’s torment if she disobeys him. Indeed, Allah ordered the wife to obey her husband and prohibited her from disobeying him, because of the enormity of his rights and all that he does for her. The Messenger of Allah said,

If I were to command anyone to prostrate before anyone, I would have commanded the wife to prostrate before her husband, because of the enormity of his right upon her.)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

If the man asks his wife to come to his bed and she declines, the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.)

Muslim recorded it with the wording:
If the wife goes to sleep while ignoring her husband’s bed, the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.
This is why Allah said:

As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them (first), abandon them in their beds, (then) beat them.
(This is surah 4 aya 34)

Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Muslim Persecution of Christians in Iraq

Fatwa of the Month: “A nine-year-old girl has the same sexual capacities as a woman of 20 and over”

A Moroccan Islamic theologian, Mohamed Ben Sheikh Abderrahman Al Maghraoui, has caused a great stir by stating “A nine-year-old girl has the same sexual capacities as a woman of 20 and over”

He issued a fatwa (Islamic edict) where he “legalizes” the union between a child and an adult male. “We found that girls of that age give better benefits than adult women,” he says. “Consequently they are so trained to marry as young of 20 years.”

In the Islamic world, especially in the Arabian Peninsula, marriage between girls and adult males is relatively common, but Muslim theologians have not gone so far in justifying the practice.

Al Maghraoui, a well-known Salafist sheikh, and the author of half a dozen books of theology, posted the fatwa on the website of his association Preaching in the Koran and Sunna. His critics argue that he probably has done it to defend, from a religious point of view, the marriage contracted in secret by one of his friends.

His pronouncement has caused a major scandal in Morocco, but so far there has been no reaction from the authorities. The radical theologian bases his edict in the example of the prophet Muhammad. “Aicha, recalls, had only six years when she became her fiancée but was not married until she turned nine”.

There are “vicious theologians who are capable of putting religion in the service of paedophilia” writes the socialist daily Al Ittihad al Ichtiraki. “The era of our Prophet is completely different from ours. These days a marriage of the kind would be a true injustice towards the girl. A true aberration” says Naji Adib, who heads the association No ones touch my Children, who campaigns in Morocco against this scourge.

“This type of people look at Islam from the point of view which is convenient for them. It is a restrictive vision of Islam. And it is bad. Fatwas like these show the lack of reasoning from those who issue them. I cannot understand via what intellectual road or for what mental construction they come to such aberrations” she added.

Faced with the passivity of the authorities, a lawyer from Rabat, Mourad Bakouri, has taken the initiative to denounce Al Maghraoui for “violation of the Family Code and violation of children’s rights.” The new Moroccan law, which came into force in 2005, stipulates that the minimum age for marriage is 18 years.

Today’s Hadith – Muhammad the Science Genius

The Prophet said “If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease.” Volume 4, Book 54, Number 537, Narrated Abu Huraira.


Holy Islam: Holy Illiteracy, Holy Poverty, Holy Backwardness

In Islam, pure illiteracy is divine. The uneducated prophet of Islam called himself “a guardian of the illiterates sent by Allah” (Bukhari, 3:34:335). Another hadith (Sunaan Ibn Majah V:4290) reveals that Allah loves illiterate people and hates educated people and he had promised the first entry to Paradise to the illiterate Muslims and the last entry to the educated Muslims. The reason was simple. Muhammad wanted to keep his followers away from education because he knew that his newly established religion could not survive if criticism is allowed. As Toland (cited Gunny, 1996; p. 95) wrote, “… because he [Muhammad] clearly saw that the spirit of inquiry would not favour him. This is how Islam maintained itself”. Qur’an (5:101, 5:102) very strictly prohibits criticism. Diderot (1975, p. 230) expressed the same reason of Muhammad’s concern to keep his followers in darkness of ignorance, because reason is the greatest enemy of Islam. He wrote “since he [Muhammad] could not read or write, and so this had encouraged Muslims to hate and have contempt for knowledge, which in turn secured the survival of Islam”.

Allah not only loves illiteracy but poverty also. As Imam Ghazali, one of the greatest Muslim scholars of all time, had pointed out; prayer, a big family and poverty will ensure Paradise. To promote further admiration of poverty among the Muslims, Ghazali wrote that Allah and His Prophet praised one who remains satisfied with poverty. He even goes to the extent to exhort Muslims to condemn wealth but praise poverty because it is better than wealth (cited Kasem, 2006).

This is how illiteracy and poverty are glorified in Islam as Allah’s will. Illiteracy and poverty often go hand-in-hand and followed by backwardness. This is how Muslims achieve all three together. Non-Muslims will never be able to catch up the Muslims in this field. But Muhammad never wanted to remain in poverty. He was so greedy that in spite of his flourishing slave trade and plunder, he wanted to grasp the property of other Muslims also. As per Sunaan Abu Dawud, 18:2895, Muhammad was the inheritor of those who had no heir.

Destruction of Alexandria’s famous library is one example where Muslims had shown their disgust for education and knowledge. This royal library was one of the greatest of all the libraries during those days and comprised perhaps as many as six hundred thousand manuscripts, as most of the historians estimate – the whole corpus of knowledge accumulated by ancient scientists, philosophers, historians and poets including unique works of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Thucydides, Sophocles, Euripides, Hippocrates and Euclid – just a few of the geniuses to mention amongst several others. The library was open to any scholar from anywhere in the world. During the early months of A. D. 642, Amrou, the general leading the armies of Umar surrounded Alexandria, the capital of Egypt. On the orders of Caliph Umar, the entire collection of books stored at the library was removed and used as fuel to heat water for the city’s four thousand public baths. The loss of the library was a particularly grievous blow because the works of so many Roman scholars, literary geniuses, and historians were destroyed. Umar justified his heinous action by saying, “If these writing of the Greeks agree with the Koran, they are useless and need not be preserved. If they disagree, they are pernicious and ought to be destroyed” (Trifkovic, 2002, p. 196). Historians recorded that it took about six months to burn down all the manuscripts.

Many present day Muslims delight in debunking this library burning incident as an anti-Islamic slander. How many of these Muslims know that Umar’s twelfth century successors (Trifkovic, 2002, p. 196) often took great pride to refer this incident?

There was a similar incident in India as well. One of the oldest Universities of the world was Nalanda Mahavidyalaya (University / learning centre). It is not an exaggeration at all that, during those days, Nalanda was the equivalent of today’s Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, Berkeley and Stanford, all rolled into one. At its peak, Nalanda used to house over ten thousand students and two thousand teachers. Students from as far as Arabia, China, Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Persia, Turkey and Sri Lanka used to enroll at Nalanda (Oak, 1996, p. 101). All Buddhist subjects and also all ‘Darshanas’ (Hindu systems of Philosophy), phoentics, grammar, nyaya/ rhetoric, languages, medicine, astronomy, chemistry and fine arts apart from various other subjects were covered in Nalanda. But it’s all gone now by the hands of Islamic invaders in A.D 1193 (97?). Bhaktiyar Khilji, the Turkish Muslim invader, took care to inquire whether there was a Qu’ran in the library before he burnt it and sacked the university complex (did his ideological descendents worried about their Qu’ran before flying planes into WTC ?). The brutal act killing all students and teachers engaged in academic studies is claimed to bring great glory to Islam. Islam destroyed in months, what Hindus and Buddhists built for several centuries. The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas is just a small minor event in the history in comparison to Nalanda massacre.

As usual, the present day Muslims often deny the destruction of Nalanda in Muslim hands, but how many of them know that Persian historian Minhaz had recorded the Nalanda burning incident in his book, Tabaquat-i-Nasiri, by gathering information from several eye-witnesses. Minhaz recorded (cited Oak, 1996, p. 102),

“Most of the inhabitants of the place were ‘Brahmanas’ (Hindu priests) with shaven heads. They were put to death. Large numbers of books were found there, and when the Mahammadans saw them, they called for some person to explain the contents. But all of the men were killed. It was discovered that the whole fort and city was a place for study, in the Hindi language the word Bihar (i.e. Vihara) means a college.”

In the destruction of Nalanda, the same historian, Minhaz (cited Dutt, 1988) recorded that several thousands of monks were burned alive and yet more thousands beheaded, and the burning of the library continued for several months. Many were forcibly converted to Islam. For Buddhism, in India, this incident marked the beginning of end (Kashyap, 1996). Several historians (cited Dutta et al., 1996. p. 29-30) concluded that Muslim rule was solely responsible for the present poverty of India and for destroying a flourishing a Hindu economy. Medieval India, until the Islamic invasion was a very rich culture, one of the six or seven most advanced civilizations of all times (Trifkovic, 2002, p. 110).

Muslims often take childlike pride on the golden age of Islam, which was actually a myth. As Spencer (2005, p. 91) reported, there is no historical proof to support the idea that Islam inspired a culture which outstripped others. Tisdall (1984, p. 201) wrote, “No great civilization, no scientist of note, no renowned school of philosophy, has ever arisen on purely Mohammedan ground”. He believed that even several Muslim scholars had accepted this fact. Islam never encouraged scientific knowledge. The only knowledge it accepts is Qur’anic knowledge. Diderot stated (cited Gunny, 1996, p. 168) that during Caliph Al-Mamun, people were heard shouting for his death because he had fostered science at the expense of the `holy ignorance’ of the faithful believers. Akbar, the Mughal emperor of India was an illiterate and surprisingly, it was not a shame for him but a pride. This stupid Muslim emperor, in his own eyes, had one qualification to be a prophet. “The prophets were all illiterates”, he used to point out frequently and sincerely believed that, in order to honor their prophet, it is the essential duty for every faithful Muslim to keep one of their sons illiterate. (Eraly, 1997, p. 909). With so much glorification of illiteracy and dislike for science, there is little doubt that, Islam’s golden age is far from reality. It is infidel’s education, science, technology and endurance, based on which the Human civilization had spread everywhere including Islamic world itself; on which the Muslim community has no contribution. Trifkovic (2002, p. 196) wrote, “Whatever flourished, it was not by reason of Islam, it was in spite of Islam.” There is no doubt about it.

Even today, the situation is not much changed. Mindless glorification of illiteracy and stupidity is continued shamelessly as true Islamic traditions. One of the burning examples is Madrassah education, for study of pure Islamic ethics, which in today’s world is ‘pure ignorance’. In many orthodox Madrassahs, it is still taught that earth is flat (Das, 2006a). This is the height of Qur’anic stupidity. Earth is flat, because, Qur’an says so.

Legacy of Islamic stupidity reached its peak when Ibn Baz, a noted Islamic scholar from Saudi Arabia wrote a book (published by Islamic University of Medina, Saudi Arabia) on 1974, claiming that, earth is motionless and sun revolves around the earth. He confidently challenged the age-old belief of earth’s rotation and quoted, “If the earth is rotating as they [Infidels]claim, the countries, the mountains, the trees, the rivers, and the oceans will have no bottom and the people will see the eastern countries move to the west and the western countries move to the east.” During 1993, the same Islamic intellectual again gave another verdict that “earth is flat”. The stupidity did not end there. Ibn Baz threatened to his fellow Muslims, “Anyone of the round persuasion does not believe in God and should be punished” (Das, 2006b). This scholar never read any book except of Islamic faith and since Qur’an confirms that earth is flat, therefore Ibn Baz was sure that earth is flat.

Islamic stupidity reached its zenith once again when a scholar, Dr. Izzat Attya who is the head of the department of Hadith in Al-Azhar, (world’s most prestigious Islamic University), issued a fatwa (religious opinion), which declared that, it is legitimate for a working Muslim woman to breast-feed her male colleague to avoid the sin of ‘khulwa’ (staying with a stranger in one room). Similar fatwas had been issued in the past by many Sheikhs in many Middle-Eastern countries, but this is the first time it came from a high level academic of Al-Azhar (Salih, 2007).

Al-Azhar, which is supposed to be the world’s most prestigious Islamic University, has no shortage of Qur’anic talents and their research topics often fascinate others. We all know that Muslims who entered paradise would enjoy eternal erections and the company of virgins and ‘pearl-like’ young boys. But the Al-Azhar faculty had objected on the issue of ‘eternal erection of male sexual organ’ and after much debate / research etc, came to the conclusion that, men in paradise would have erections, but merely protracted, not perpetual (Miller, 1997. p. 26-27). Some of them also doubted the possibility of pederasty (anal intercourse between man and a boy) in paradise, while many agreed.

So, this is the faculty level of the Al-Azhar and University of Medina. If this is not stupidity then what is stupidity? Are ‘flat earth’, ‘motionless earth’ and ‘sun revolves around earth’ theories have got any meaning when modern scientific discoveries are fascinating the common citizen and the scholar alike in the present era ? Are ‘eternal erection’ and ‘breast feeding a man’ the only concerns, which trouble the Muslims at this scientific era when the civilized world is busy with the conquest of space, genetic engineering and wonders of the computer? How much stupidity is enough?

It is the duty and responsibility of the universities to introduce new knowledge of values. A university stands for Humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for progress, for the adventure of ideas and for the search of the truth. It stands for the onward march of the human race towards even higher objectives. If the temple of learning itself becomes a home of mindless stupidity, how then the Muslim society will prosper and every individual Muslim grow in stature?

Education is directly related to the economy of any society; higher the education, better the economic growth. But since, anything except Qur’anic knowledge is superfluous; common Muslims live in poverty. It is not surprising at all that a prominent person like Ayatollah Khomeini once wisely said (cited Fara et. al, 1996, p. 69) “Economics is a preoccupation of donkeys”. Bisset (cited Trifkovic, 2002. p. 5) argues that there is something wrong in Muslim world and raised his doubt, “With all their oil wealth, why are there no Muslim countries among the top thirty of the world’s richest nations? Why is it that, two-thirds of the world’s poorest people live in Muslim countries? ” As Sina (2001) said, “The greatest gift of Islam to its followers is poverty.” The GDP in all Arab countries combined stood at $ 531.2 billion in 1999 which is less than that of a single European country (Spain – $595.5 billion). According to the World Bank, in 2000 the average annual income in the Muslim countries from Morocco to Bangladesh was only half the world average (Lewis, 2003, p. 99, 100). But the irony is that common Muslims do not blame themselves for their pitiable condition. All they do is to put the charge on the civilized nations. “Afghans suffer poverty because of America’s disproportionate wealth” – this is what Madrassah teachers say in Afghanistan (Elder, n.d) and low academic level of the Palestinians is due to Israeli aggression (Al-Samman, 2001).

Dr. Kenneth David, a well-known economist, presented World Bank Survey of 1980, on the educational and economic status of religious societies of the world in his book named “The Cultural Environment of International Business”. UNDP in 1996 also presented an exhaustive status report of UN Member countries. These important documents are highly revealing since they compare living conditions of all the religious societies i.e. Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, tribal religions and Muslims as well as non-religious communist society. Few disturbing facts (cited Farooqi, 2005) are as follows,

  • Christian society is the most advanced society of the world with regard to education, health and economic wealth whereas Muslim society is the most backward on these counts.
  • Literacy of Christian world in 1980 was on an average 90% and about 15 countries had a literacy of 100%. Whereas, average literacy in the Muslim countries was less than 40% and none had 100% literacy. More or less the same situation continued afterwards and in 2001 UNDP reported an average of 60 % literacy in Islamic countries and between 95 to 100% in the Western nations of Christians.
  • Among the literates of the Christian world, hardly 2% of the population did not complete school education whereas 50% of the Muslims never attended modern schools. In the Christian society literacy implies education of at least primary level whereas in Muslim society a person who could read and write is considered to be literate. If the criterion of the Christian world is taken into account then hardly 10% population of the Muslim countries can claim to be literate.
  • The importance of education in the Christian countries can be judged by the fact that around 40% get higher education including specialization in various disciplines of science. This is less than 2% in Muslim countries. Even the standard of higher education of this 2% is lower in Muslim countries when compared with the Christian world. Hence, many educated Muslims get specialized knowledge of science, engineering and medicine in the Christian West.
  • Scientific achievement of the Muslim society cannot be considered to be of any consequence. Out of the total of 2,60,000 articles published every year on scientific research, hardly 2500 i.e. about 1% are published in Muslim countries.
  • Total number of Science Ph.D.’s produced by about 450 Universities of Muslim Countries every year is less than 500, whereas in UK alone this number is 3000.
  • Total strength of Engineers and Scientist in Muslim world (1.30 billion) is less than the scientists and engineers working in France alone (population 60 million).
  • Hardly 16% of Muslim population is involved in industrial production, whereas for Christians this figure is 60%.

As per another statistics (cited Mahmood, 2006),

  • Amongst every one million citizens, the number of scientists is 4000 in USA, 5000 in Japan and only 230 in Muslim world. The number of research assistants in western world is 1000 for every one million people and in Muslim world this number is only 50.
  • Total number of universities in USA is 5758 and in India 8407, whereas it is only miserly 500 altogether for all 57 Muslim nations of the world. Out of all the topmost universities of the glove, not a single one is from any of the Muslim nation.
  • In Western world 98% people complete their primary education and 40% goes to universities, whereas in Muslim world only 50% people completes primary education and 2% goes to universities.
  • In UK, 2000 books are published for every one million people, whereas in Egypt, the number is only 20.
  • Number of Doctorates in India alone is more than the total number of Doctorates in entire Muslim world.

Educational level of the common Arabs is too low. As of 1982, Arab world produced 40 books per million habitants which is far below the world average 162 titles per million (Eickelman & Piscatori, 1997, p. 40). Another report (cited Lewis, 2003, p. 99) reveals; the Arab world translates about 330 books annually, one-fifth of the number that Greeks translates. As per United Nations’ Arab Human Development Report (cited Gattuso, 2005), half of Arab women are illiterate. In total, 60% of Arab Muslims are illiterate. Almost half of the universities concentrate on teaching Islamic education and Islamic science. Fifteen percent of the Arab workforce is unemployed. Only 1% of the Arab population has a personal computer, and only 0.5 % use the Internet.

The Census of India, 2001 (cited Goswami & Malik, 2006. p. 34-40) gave a detailed educational data across religious groups of India. The report reveals a fearful gap between the educational levels of the Muslims and non-Muslims. The original report is too large to produce here. Few salient points are as follows,

Muslim population is far less educationally accomplished than their non-Muslim counterparts in every state of India and in all levels of education. Urban Muslim women are far worse off educationally than their male counterparts.

  • All India literacy levels of Muslim man (55%), non-Muslim Man (64.5%); Muslim woman (40.6%) and non-Muslim woman (45.9%).
  • All India literacy levels of urban Muslim man (64.2%), urban non-Muslim man (77.3%), urban Muslim woman (52.8%), and urban non-Muslim women (65.5%)
  • 44% fewer Muslim students complete senior school compared to non-Muslim.
  • Only one in 101 Muslim women is a graduate versus one out of 37 non-Muslim women.
  • 31 million more Muslims to be educated by 2011 to match today’s literacy level of the non-Muslims.
  • Many more Muslims drop out of high schools than all other religious communities.
  • The average income of Muslim families is much lower than that of the non-Muslims. Over 60% of Muslims live in slums and poorer areas.
  • There are hardly any social workers, NGOs and activists from Muslim background compared to non-Muslims.

Throughout nineteenth century, attempts were made to analyze the causes of Muslim backwardness in India. One of the reasons is that a vast number of Muslims were apathetic to any education except Qu’ran. Also, their complete lack of interest in English education is another factor. When the Hindus and Christians recognized the advantages of learning English under British rule; the Muslims sat apart wrapped into the memory of their traditions and held back by the conservatism of Islam (Ahmed, 1981. p. 133). Rev. Long (1868, p. 62) argued that Muslim community did not have the same aptitude as the Hindus for acquiring a knowledge in English. Even today, as Census of India, 2001 had pointed out, too many Muslim households still believe that religious education at Madrassah is a substitute for high school and college learning. Still many Indian Muslims prefer learning Arabic, Persian and Urdu more than English and western education. Rural Indian Muslims often send their children to village Madrassahs, where average students, after years of study, fail to write a letter or keep accounts correctly (Ahmed, 1981. p. 139). Therefore many Muslims prefer to send their children to Hindu learning centers though they do not like it. Often Madrassah students after wastage of several years, join a Hindu or Christian school to learn something ‘useful’. The Indian Muslim’s work ethics is also utter disappointing, as Terry (cited Eraly, 1977, p 692) wrote, “… for the Mahometans…. There are many of them idle, and know better to eat than work”.

The Indian Government’s special effort aimed at removing the educational disparity between the Muslims and the Hindus initiated in 1870-71 and lasted through several decades. Amongst measures of first category was to introduce science in the Islamic schools and to bring those schools under Department of Education of India. But Government was strongly opposed by the Mullahs and Maulvis, who were dead against Western education. They interpreted education in terms of ‘Din-i-Ilm’, ie, religious education and considered any education other than instruction in the literature and principles of Islam is irrelevant and heretical. One Author went so far as to suggest that when people forsake ‘Din-i-Ilm’ for worldly education it should be regarded as a sure sign of ‘Kiamat’, ie, the Day of Judgment (Sattar, 1877, p. 26). Many Mullahs advice the parents not to send their children to the educational institutions because ‘English education was sure to interfere with their religion’. The Mullahs and Madrassah teachers had their own reasons to oppose any innovations in educations that might cost him his position in society as well as his sources of income (Ahmad, 1981, p. 141). In this situation, as Ahmad (1981, p. 140) lamented, it is for sure that Muslim masses have very little hope of balancing the educational statistics at par with the Hindus in the near future.

Presently about 36% of Indian Muslims live in cities, but their economic condition is so poor that most of them are slum-dwellers. Even a famous Muslim minister, Dr. Rafic Zakaria said, “Indian Muslims had remained alienated from the Hindus, whose goodwill was essential for their economic uplift and educational advancement”. Zakaria further lamented that Indian Muslims are misguided by their religious leaders and they are in pathetic condition because they had alienated themselves from Hindu society and Hindu culture. (Brahmachari, 2000, p. 190).

Dr. M. I. H. Farooqi , Gen. Secretary, Urdu Scientific Society,(Scientist and Deputy Director, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, India) lamented,

“Learning and inquiry was no more the motto of the Muslims with the result that today they occupy the lowest position in the ladder of the world. They are educationally backward, scientifically marginal, politically insignificant and economically poor. This is the present status of the entire Ummah amongst the comity of nations”. (Farooqi, 2005)

The situation is so alarming that, well known Islamic fundamentalist of India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, once said while addressing Muslims at a Seminar (cited Farooqi, 2005), “For God’s sake, get up now and see how much the sun has risen and how far your co-travelers (non-Muslims) have gone ahead of you”.

Muslims often take childlike pleasure saying that Jews are descendents of monkeys and pigs. However, reality is something else. A statistical comparison (summarized from Nelson & Chowdhury, 1997 and Britannica book of the year 1998) between Israel and several other Muslim nations on different aspects is as follows.

  • Female literacy rate: Israel (83%), Bangladesh (21.8%), Sudan (4%), Egypt (29 %), Turkey (43%), Morocco (22%), Pakistan (24.4%), Afghanistan (15%).
  • Male literacy rate: Israel (93%), Bangladesh (36.1%), Sudan (25%), Egypt (57%), Turkey (77%), Morocco (49%), Pakistan (50%), Afghanistan (47.2%).
  • Birth rate per one thousand population: Israel (23), Bangladesh (32), Sudan (45), Egypt (36); Turkey (28), Morocco (31), Pakistan (36.4), Afghanistan (43), Algeria (28.5), Libya (40), Iran (33.7), Iraq (34.1), Syria (40).
  • Maternal mortality rate (per one hundred thousand live births): Israel (5), Bangladesh (600), Sudan (660), Egypt (80), Turkey (210), Morocco (300).
  • Infant mortality rate (per one thousand live births): Israel (14), Bangladesh (114), Sudan (107), Egypt (88), Turkey (74), Morocco (58), Pakistan (75), Afghanistan (146.7), Algeria (48.7), Libya (56), Iran (52.7), Iraq (91.9), Syria (29.6).
  • Mortality rate for children under five (per one thousand live births): Israel (16), Bangladesh (180), Sudan (181), Egypt (131); Turkey (93), Morocco (76).
  • Life expectancy (female /male): Israel (77 / 73.6), Bangladesh (55.4 / 56.4), Sudan (51/ 48.6), Egypt (59.5 / 56.8), Turkey (65.2 / 62.5), Morocco (62.5 / 59.1), Pakistan (65 / 63), Afghanistan (45.2 / 46.4), Algeria (69.5 / 67.2), Libya (67.5 / 63.9), Iran, (68.7 / 66.1), Iraq (60.4/ 57.3), Syria (71.3/ 68.4) .
  • Gross national product per capita (in US$): Israel (10300), Bangladesh (180), Sudan (300), Egypt (610), Turkey (1080), Morocco (960).
  • Average household size: Israel (3.6), Bangladesh (5.3), Sudan (5.1), Egypt (5.2), Turkey (4.7), Morocco (4.2).

Undoubtedly, the mighty nation Israel is far ahead of the neighboring Islamic countries. Jews community is small, but they are highly educated, productive, rich and peaceful. Muslims will do much better if they sit at the feet of Jews Masters and Maestros and learn from them instead of taking instruction from Qur’an. Muslim-Jews educational differences are more prominent if we compare the number of Noble-Laureates amongst them. From a pool of 1.4 billion Muslims which are 20% of the world’s population (2 out of every 10 people) there are only six winners (Including Nobel “Peace Prize” to Yasser Arafat, who was a ‘terrorist). And from a pool of 12 million Jews which are 0.2% of the World’s Population (2 out of every 1,000 people) there are 165 Jews listed (Jewish Magazine, 2006).

Even those Muslims who live and work in the west also lag behind their non-Muslim neighbors. Let’s take the example of United Kingdom. As per the United Kingdom census of 2001 (cited Gattuso, 2005), Muslims make up 2.8%, Hindus 1%, Sikhs 0.6 %, Buddhists and Jews both make up 0.5% of the UK population, but sadly,

  • 31% of Muslims of working age have no qualifications, the highest of any religious group.
  • 82% of Sikhs followed by 78% of Jews own their own home in the UK. Only 52% of Muslims own their own home, the lowest of any religious group.
  • 14% of Muslims are unemployed the highest of any religious group, compared to 8% of Sikhs and 6% of Hindus.

The above statistics are horrifying and certainly a bitter taste for Muslims because they are scared to face the truth. Almost the entire Muslim world is affected by poverty, backardness and tyranny. Today Muslims should remove the religious blindness from their eyes while there is still time and must realize that Man, society and values cannot be understood in separately. Poverty, backwardness and illiteracy are all interrelated. Education, ideals and practices are rooted in society, which reflects the central tendencies, features and forms of that society.

Societies need such educational system, which should teach the higher values of life as well as skill needed for employment. As Unnithan (cited Loomb & Madan, 1987, p. 88) said, “The task is to provide competent men and women, trained in several arts, science and professions who will also be cultivated individuals imbued with a sense of social purpose.” Higher education is deeply involved in technological advance. Today education becomes a way of investing in human capital across many levels or skills. It is the ‘brain workers’ that are the economic need of societies in advanced industrialization, governmental as well as industrial leaders.

After WW-II, a rapid expansion of education services occurred throughout the world, including the developing countries, which is the actual way out of social and individual poverty (World Bank, 1974 & 1980; Linn, 1983, p. 195). As a result, today for a number of developing countries, education absorbed more than a quarter of all public expenditures. World Bank (1974; p. 28) understands that, many low-income countries are, “approaching the limits of their financial capability without having achieved even a minimum education for the majority of their populations.” Finally it also became clear that, although some sections of populations made considerable progress in educational achievements, large segments were little affected by the educational efforts.

World Bank (1974, 1980) strongly suggests that education should be placed in the overall context of development objectives, and strategies, as one of many policy instruments, is in the increasing realization that the education system itself needs to be restructured to attain the goals of improved efficiency and equity in development. It is high time, Muslims should listen what World Bank is saying instead of what Qur’an is saying. An Islamic society cannot see educational and economic growth as long as it is guided by the Sha’ria Law. Today Muslims must realize that their own existence and destiny are inalienably related to the existence and destiny of other human beings around them. When Muslims are endowed with this awareness, responsibility and vision; then the future that will loom large before them is the future of his country or perhaps humanity. With this the Islamic society will see an economic growth. With a strong national economy, poverty of the masses can be eradicated. What is required is a mass awakening.

There is a silver lining in every cloud. Muslims are slowly waking up with the fact that Islam is the cause of the decadence of the Muslim world. Probably this is the reason so many Muslims are leaving Islam everywhere. More and more Muslims are coming up with the facts and openly criticizing Islam. Slowly media is also gaining courage to call a spade a spade. In South Africa, the divine downfall is already noticeable (author’s first-hand experience). Ex-Muslim movement had started and gathering momentum in almost all the western nations. Doubts are raised by the young population from the native land of Islam, Saudi Arabia. If the maxim “morning shows the day” is correct, then the end of the darkness is not far away.

And yes, on that day of enlightenment, this article will lose all its importance and become irrelevant.


References:

Books, Journals, Official documents

  1. Ahmed, Rafiuddin (1981); The Bengal Muslims 1871 – 1906: A quest for identity. Oxford University Press. Delhi. India

  2. (Bhikkhu) Kashyap, J (1996) Origin and Expansion of Buddhism, in, ‘The Path of the Buddha’. Edited by Kenneth W. Morgan; Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, India.

  3. Brahmachari, Radheshyam (1999); Islami Dharmattva – ebar ghare ferar pala (Original in Bengali language). Save India Mission. Kolkata. India

  4. Diderot D. (1975) Oeuvres Completes; Vol. VIII, Paris.

  5. Dutt, Sukumar (1988) Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India, Part V, Chapter 3. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, India.

  6. Dutta, Madhusree; Agnes, Flavia; Adarkar, Neera (1996); The nation, the state and Indian identity. Samya publications. Calcutta. India.

  7. Eickelman, Dale F. and Piscatori, James (1997); Muslim politics. Oxford India Press. Delhi, India.

  8. Encyclopedia Britannica, Britannia book of the year, 1998.

  9. Eraly, Abraham (1997); The last spring – the lives and times of the great Mughals. Viking Penguin India.

  10. Fara, Patricia; Gathercole, Peter; Laskey, Ronald (1996); The changing world. Press Syndicate of university of Cambridge. Australia.

  11. Goswami O. & Malik K. (2006); A shocking Divide, an article published in ‘India Today’ (a news journal published from India), Vol. XXXI, number 32, for the week August 8-14, released on 7th August.

  12. Gunny, A (1996); Images of Islam in eighteenth century writing; Grey Seal, London.

  13. Lewis, Bernard (2003); The crisis of Islam – holy war and unholy terror. Phoenix. GB.

  14. Linn, Johannes (1983); Cities in the developing world – policies for their equitable and effective growth. A World Bank publication. OUP. USA.

  15. Long, Rev. J (1868); The social condition of the Mohammedans of Bengal and the remedies. Published in Bengal Social Science review. Calcutta. India.

  16. Loomba, R. M; Madan, G. R (1987); Society and culture. Allied Publishers. ND. India.

  17. Miller, Judith (1997); God Has Ninety-Nine Names. Simon & Schuster.

  18. Nelson, Barbara & Chowdhury, Najma (1997); Women and politics worldwide. OUP.

  19. Oak, P. N (1996); Islamic havoc in Indian history. Published by A. Ghosh. Houston. USA.

  20. Sattar, Abdul (1877); Dafi al-Sharur. Calcutta. India (presently out of print).

  21. Spencer, Robert (2005); The politically incorrect guide to Islam (and the crusades). Regnery Publishing. Washington DC.

  22. Tisdall, W.St C. (1894): The Religion of the Crescent; London SPCK, 4th edition published in 1916.

  23. Trifkovic, S. (2002), The sword of the Prophet. Regina Orthodox Press. Boston.

  24. World Bank (1974); Education. Sector working paper. Washington DC.

  25. World Bank (1980); Education. Sector policy paper. Washington DC.

Internet

  1. Al-Samman, Dima (2001); Ministry of Education in a press conference held the premises of the Palestine Media Center, on July 16 2001; cited in, ‘The Impact of Israeli Aggression on Palestinian Education Palestine Media Center-PMC’. (Last accessed 23rd June / 2008)

  2. Das, Sujit. (2006a), Madrassah – An Islamic school to learn ignorance. (Last accessed 27th June / 2008)

  3. Das, Sujit. (2006b); A tribute to a Muslim Genius. Islam watch.  (Last accessed 27th June / 2008)

  4. Elder, Larry (n.d); Arab World Poverty–Whose Fault? (Last accessed 27th June / 2008)

  5. (Dr) Farooqi M.I.H, (2005); Status of Muslim societies around the world. Published on April 22, 2005 at desijournal.com. (Last accessed 29th June / 2008)

  6. Gattuso, Thierry (2005), Why do Moslems Underachieve? Faith Freedom International, (Last accessed 04th January / 2006)

  7. Jewish Magazine (2006); Jewish and Arab Islam Nobel Prize Winners. February / 2006.  (Last accessed 27th June / 2008)

  8. Kasem, Abul (2006); Bismi Allah (In the Name of Allah) Part–3(v) of 11. (Last accessed 27th June / 2008)

  9. Mahmud, H. (2007), ‘Atmoghatee Musolman’ (Suicidal Muslims – Original in Bengali language).  (Last accessed 8th July / 2008)

  10. Salih, Mumin (2007), Breast-Feeding a Man in Islam, Islam watch.  (Last accessed 27th June / 2008)

  11. Sina, Ali (2001), The fall of Islam, Faith Freedom International. (Last accessed 1st March / 05)

Islamic Intolerance (Video)

Crossroads in History: The Struggle against Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies

In fighting Islamic supremacism, instead of an approach only based on tactical measures and efforts at clever twists of terminology, what if America had a true strategy that was instead based on the defense of our values on human equality and liberty?

The true challenge of Islamic supremacism to America and the free world is not about Islam, Islamism, or terrorism, but about us. It is a historic challenge to determine whether we truly have the courage of our convictions on equality and liberty and we are willing to fight for these ideals, or if we will instead accept the continuing growth of anti-freedom ideologies here and around the world.

Islamic supremacists are counting on their belief that America is no longer willing to fight for such freedoms, that it has gotten too soft to do so, and that regardless of the success or failure of individual Jihadist tactics, eventually we will tolerate a continued growth of Islamic supremacism. The crossroads in history that we stand at remains whether or not we will prove Islamic supremacists correct, or if the idea defined in our very Declaration of Independence and chiseled in a marble memorial in America’s capital – that “all men are created equal” – is an idea that America will once again sacrifice to defend.

America and the West are at a critical crossroads in history in their faltering struggle with Islamic supremacist ideologies and Jihadist terror tactics. Increasingly, groups seek to halt any meaningful debate and halt any challenge to the ideology behind Jihad, and they seek to redirect such debate and action to focus only on the terrorist symptoms of such a supremacist ideology. Such diversionary efforts are being made by non-violent Islamic supremacist groups and activists, government officials, academics, and media commentators. The solution to this can be found in recognizing how Islamic supremacism (as any supremacist ideology) is opposed to our values, and in understanding America’s historical experience in defeating other supremacist ideologies.

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In Islam’s Own Writings: Allah and His Messenger’s Extreme Hatred of Women

In the laws of Allah, a women is worth half a man. Women are dirty, vile, evil creatures that must be kept hidden. Following are few examples of example demonstrating women’s horrible status and treatment in Islam’s own writings:

Muslim Women are Dirty Polluting Creatures

The Quran:

  • Sura (2:222) “They ask thee concerning women’s courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean.”
  • Sura 4:43 “Muslims, draw not near unto prayer…(if) ye have touched women…then go to high clean soil and rub your face and your hands.” (Muslim women are pariahs and dirty).”
  • Sura (5:6) – “…if ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it.”

Women are polluting. Men purify themselves following a casual contact with a woman.
Women are inferior, slave to men

The Quran:

  • Sura (2:228) – “And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And God is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
  • Sura (4:11) – God (thus) directs you as regards your Children’s (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. (see also Sura 4:176)
  • Sura (4:176) “They ask thee for a legal decision. Say: God directs (thus) about those who leave no descendants or ascendants as heirs. … if there are brothers and sisters, (they share), the male having twice the share of the female.
  • Sura (53:27) – “Those who believe not in the Hereafter, name the angels with female names.” (i.e., Angels, the sublime beings, can only be male.)
  • Sura (37:149-155) “Now ask them their opinion: Is it that thy Lord has (only) daughters, and they have sons?- Or that We created the angels female, and they are witnesses (thereto)? Is it not that they say, from their own invention, “God has begotten children”? but they are liars! Did He (then) choose daughters rather than sons? What is the matter with you? How judge ye? Will ye not then receive admonition?”

Hadith:

  • Bukhari (88:219)
    Narrated Abu Bakra:

    During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, “Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler.”
  • Bukhari (48:826)
    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
    The Prophet said, “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said, “Yes.” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.”
  • Bukhari (72:715) – A woman seeks Muhammad’s help in leaving an abusive marriage, but is ordered by the prophet to return to her husband and submit to his commands.
  • Tabari IX:113 “Allah permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing” (i.e., Treat women well for they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in the Qur’an.)
  • Tabari I:280 “’I must also make Eve (bad word), although I created her intelligent.’ Because Allah afflicted Eve, all of the women of this world menstruate and are (bad word).”)…happy, content…utterly incapable from intellectual weakness…never to give us trouble…
  • Bukhari 6:301

    (“[Muhammad] said, ‘Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?’ They replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her intelligence.'”

    “[Muhammad said] ‘Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?’ The women replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her religion.'” Allah has made women deficient in the practice of their religion as well, by giving them menstrual cycles.)

    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

    Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”

  • Bukhari (62:58) – A woman presents herself in marriage to Muhammad, but he does not find her attractive, so he “donates” her on the spot to another man.
  • Abu Dawud (2:704) – “…the Apostle of Allah said: When one of you prays without a sutrah, a dog, an ass, a pig, a Jew, a Magian, and a woman cut off his prayer, but it will suffice if they pass in front of him at a distance of over a stone’s throw.”
  • God reduces one half of humanity to the status of a dog, a pig, a monkey, or an ass Sahih Bukhari – 1.9.490, 493, 498 Sahih Muslim – 4.1039; Sunaan Abu Dawud – 11.2155; Mishkat ul-Masabih – vol 2, p.114, Hadis no.
  • Ishaq 593 – “From the captives of Hunayn, Allah’s Messenger gave [his son-in-law] Ali a slave girl called Baytab and he gave [future Caliph] Uthman a slave girl called Zaynab and [future Caliph] Umar another.” (Even in this world, Muhammad treated women like party favors, handing out slave girls to his cronies for sex.)
  • Ishaq 969 – “Men were to lay injunctions on women lightly, for they were prisoners of men and had no control over their persons.” – This same text also justifies beating women for flirting.

Muslim women are sex object for men’s enjoyment

From Quran:

  • Sura (2:223) – “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will.” Wives are to be sexually available to their husbands in all ways at all times. They serve their husbands at his command. This verse refers to anal sex (see Bukhari 60:51), and was “revealed” when women complained to Muhammad about the practice. The phrase “when and how you will” means that they lost their case.

From Hadith:

  • Bukhari (62:81)
    Narrated ‘Uqba:

The Prophet said: “The stipulations most entitled to be abided by are those with which you are given the right to enjoy the (women’s) private parts (i.e. the stipulations of the marriage contract).”

  • Bukhari 7:62:132
    Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Zam’a:

The Prophet said, “None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day.” (Ideally when you flog one of your wives, let her recuperate that day and sleep with your other wives or your slave girls.)


Muslim Men can Capture Infidel Women as Sex-slave Booty

The Quran:

  • Sura (4:24) “All married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. “ You can’t have sex with married women, unless they are slaves obtained in war (with whom you may rape or do whatever you like). A man is permitted to take women as sex slaves outside of marriage.
  • Sura (4:25) “If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess.” In Islam the phrase “ Whom your right hand possesses” means – sex slave.
  • Sura (23:5,6) “…who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave girls, for these are lawful to them…” Again, Muslim men were allowed to have sexual relations with their wives and slave girls.:
  • Sura (33:52) “It is not allowed thee to take (other) women henceforth, nor that thou shouldst change them for other wives even though their beauty pleased thee, save those whom thy right hand possesseth. And Allah is ever Watcher over all things.”
  • Sura (24:34) “Force not your slave-girls to whoredom (prostitution) if they desire chastity, that you may seek enjoyment of this life. [And here’s the freedom-to-pimp card:] But if anyone forces them, then after such compulsion, Allah is oft-forgiving.”
  • Sura (70:29-30,35) “And those who guard their chastity, Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (then) they are not to be blamed, … Such will be the honoured ones in the Gardens (of Bliss).”

A Woman’s Testimony is Worth Only Half of a Man’s

The Quran:

  • Sura 2:282 – Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her.” Establishes that a woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s in court (there is no “he said/she said” gridlock in Islam).

From the Hadith:

  • Bukhari (5:59:462) – The background for the Qur’anic requirement of four witnesses to adultery. Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was accused of cheating [on her polygamous husband]. Three witnesses corroborated the event, but Muhammad did not want to believe it, and so established the arbitrary rule that four witnesses are required.

It is virtually impossible for raped women to prove it under Islamic law (Sharia). If the man claims that the act was consensual sex, there is very little that the woman can do to refute this. Islam places the burden of avoiding sexual encounters of any sort on the woman.
Brutal Punishment For Women

  • Sura 4:15 – Lewd women should be punished with life imprisonment until death: “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or God ordain for them some (other) way.”

But men can get away with the same crime if they simply repent:

  • “If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for God is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” (Koran 4:16)

Fewer seats for women in Allah’s Paradise

Islamic Scriptures inform us that most Muslim women will go to hell.

The Quran:

Sura (37:22-23) “Those who “did wrong” will go to hell, and their wives will go to hell with them (no matter how they behaved).”

From Hadith:

  • Bukhari (2:28) – Women comprise the majority of Hell’s occupants. This is important because the only women in heaven ever mentioned by Muhammad are the virgins who serve the sexual desires of men. (A weak Hadith, Kanz al-`ummal, 22:10, even suggests that 99% of women go to Hell).

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.”

  • “Among the inmates of Heaven women will be the minority” (Sahih Muslim 36: 6600)
  • “I (Mohammed) have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were women…[because] they are ungrateful to their husbands and they are deficient in intelligence” (Sahih Bukhari: 2:18:161; 7:62:125, ).

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abbas:

…The Prophet replied, “I saw Paradise and stretched my hands towards a bunch (of its fruits) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! Why is it so?” The Prophet replied, “Because of their ungratefulness.” It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet said, “They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds. If you are benevolent to one of them throughout the life and if she sees anything (undesirable) in you, she will say, ‘I have never had any good from you.’ “

The Tyranny of Men over Women

The Quran:

  • Sura (24:31) – “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known.” The woman is not only supposed to cover herself, except with relatives, but to look down, so as to avoid making eye-contact with men.
  • Sura (33:59) – “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they should be known and not molested.”
  • Sura (24:60) “Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage,- there is no blame on them if they lay aside their (outer) garments, provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty: but it is best for them to be modest: and God is One Who sees and knows all things.”

Sura (33:32-33) “O Consorts of the Prophet! … stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance” (i.e., Muhammad’s wives should stay in their houses)

  • Sura (33:30) “O Consorts of the Prophet! If…any of you are devout, obedient, and submissive in the service to Allah and His Messenger, and does good, to her shall We grant her reward twice. We have prepared for her a generously rich provision.”
  • Sura (33:53) “And when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. Nor is it right for you that ye should… marry his [Muhammad’s] widows after him at any time. Truly such a thing is in God’s sight an enormity.” (i.e., Nobody can marry Muhammad’s widows after he is dead.)
  • Sura(33:54) “You must not speak ill of God’s apostle, nor shall you ever wed his wives after him; this would be a grave offense in the sight of Allah.” The great adulator/fornicator condemned his wives to a life of loneliness.

From the Hadith:

  • Bukhari (6:321) – Muhammad is asked whether it is right for a young woman to leave her house without a veil. He replies, “She should cover herself with the veil of her companion.”
  • Bukhari (60:282) – After Muhammad issued the command (Sura 24:31) for women to cover themselves, the women responded by tearing up sheets to cover their faces.

Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba:

‘Aisha used to say: “When (the Verse): “They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,” was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.”

  • Abu Dawud (2:641) – The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil.
  • Bukhari (52:250) – [The Prophet said] “It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Muhram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case for ever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.).” – Neither is a woman allowed to travel by herself.

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

That he heard the Prophet saying, “It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Muhram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case for ever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.).” Then a man got up and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have enlisted in the army for such-and-such Ghazwa and my wife is proceeding for Hajj.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Go, and perform the Hajj with your wife.”

Polygamy:

The Quran:

  • Sura (4:3) – (Wife-to-husband ratio) “Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. “
  • Sura (4:129) – “Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire” (but don’t let that stop you, husbands, because your needs come first anyway).

WIFE SWAPPING:

  • Sura (4:20) “And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another and ye have given unto one of them a sum of money (however great), take nothing from it. Would ye take it by the way of calumny and open wrong?”
    (You can change your wives. Islamic wife-swapping requires saying “talaq” three times to one of the four wives, and replacing her with another wife.)

BABY TILTHS:

  • Sura (65.4) You can marry (and divorce) little girls who have not yet reached menstruation age. This is Allah teaching of pedophilia allowing Muslim men to rape young Muslim baby girls.

“And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ‘Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubts (about their periods), is three months, and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise, except in case of death] . And for those who are pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is until they deliver (their burdens), and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.”

Following is a famous fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini that defines sura 65.4

“A man can marry a girl younger than nine years of age, even if the girl is still a baby being breastfed. A man, however is prohibited from having intercourse with a girl younger than nine, other sexual acts such as foreplay, rubbing, kissing and sodomy is allowed. A man having intercourse with a girl younger than nine years of age has not committed a crime, but only an infraction, if the girl is not permanently damaged. If the girl, however, is permanently damaged, the man must provide for her all her life. But this girl will not count as one of the man’s four permanent wives. He also is not permitted to marry the girl’s sister.”

Wives as slaves:

  • Sura (66:5) – “Maybe, his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your place wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers, fasters, widows and virgins”

(A disobedient wife can be replaced. A man can only have up to four wives, but he can rotate as many women as he pleases in and out of the lineup.)

From the Hadith:

  • Bukhari (62:2)
    Narrated ‘Ursa:
    that he asked ‘Aisha about the Statement of Allah: ‘If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (the captives) that your right hands possess. That will be nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.’ (4.3) ‘Aisha said, “O my nephew! (This Verse has been revealed in connection with) an orphan girl under the guardianship of her guardian who is attracted by her wealth and beauty and intends to marry her with a Mahr less than what other women of her standard deserve. So they (such guardians) have been forbidden to marry them unless they do justice to them and give them their full Mahr, and they are ordered to marry other women instead of them.”
  • Bukhari (5:268) – “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty men.” Muhammad had special rules that allowed him at least eleven wives. (His successors had more than four wives at a time as well.)
  • Bukhari (62:6) – “The Prophet used to go round (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives.”
  • Bukhari (77:598) – “Allah’s Apostle said, “No woman should ask for the divorce of her sister (Muslim) so as to take her place, but she should marry the man (without compelling him to divorce his other wife)”

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “No woman should ask for the divorce of her sister (Muslim) so as to take her place, but she should marry the man (without compelling him to divorce his other wife), for she will have nothing but what Allah has written for her.” Polygamy is firmly established in the Islamic tradition.

WIFE BEATING

The Quran:

  • Sura (4:34) – “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.”

According to Islamic law, a husband may strike his wife for any one of the following four reasons:

– She does not attempt to make herself beautiful for him (i.e. “let’s herself go”)
– She refuses to meet his sexual demands
– She leaves the house without his permission or a “legitimate reason”
– She neglects her religious duties
Any of these are also sufficient grounds for divorce.

From the Hadith:

  • Muslim (4:2127) – Muhammad struck his favorite wife, Aisha, in the chest one evening when she left the house without his permission. Aisha narrates, “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain.”
  • Bukhari (7:72:715) – A woman came to Muhammad and begged her to stop her husband from beating her. Her skin was bruised so badly that she it is described as being “greener” than the green veil she was wearing. Muhammad did not admonish her husband, but instead ordered her to return to him and submit to his sexual desires.
  • Abu Dawud (2141) – “Iyas bin ‘Abd Allah bin Abi Dhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens, but when ‘Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said : Many women have gone round Muhammad’s family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.” At first, Muhammad forbade men from beating their wives, but he rescinded this once it was reported that women were becoming emboldened toward their husbands. Beatings are sometimes necessary to keep women in their place.
  • Abu Dawud (2142) – “The Prophet said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.”

Allah despises women, both Muslim and infidel, with such a deep hatred and loathing that one would wonder why he even bothered to create women. He could just create bisexual men with reproductive organs.

Eve was created from the rib of Adam but all of humankind is created from the womb of women. Women therefore deserve equal, if not greater, respect and right than men in society. Reducing women to a vile, psychologically impaired and inferior being to men is a criminal injustice against women’s natural place in society. Muhammad a sex-crazed brutal criminal engendered 1400 years of repression and degradation of billions of mothers and daughters.

So vile, depraved, unjust and deplorable is the position and treatment of women in Islamic scriptures and teachings.

Islam’s Shame: Lifting the Veil of Tears

By Ibn Warraq

Islam is deeply anti-woman. Islam is the fundamental cause of the repression of Muslim women and remains the major obstacle to the evolution of their position.[1] Islam has always considered women as creatures inferior in every way: physically, intellectually, and morally. This negative vision is divinely sanctioned in the Koran, corroborated by the hadiths, and perpetuated by the commentaries of the theologians, the custodians of Muslim dogma and ignorance.

Far better for these intellectuals to abandon the religious argument, to reject these sacred texts, and have recourse to reason alone. They should turn instead to human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted on December 10, 1948, by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris and ratified by most Muslim countries) at no point has recourse to a religious argument. These rights are based on natural rights, which any adult human being capable of choice has. They are rights that human beings have simply because they are human beings. Human reason or rationality is the ultimate arbiter of rights – human rights, the rights of women.

Unfortunately, in practice, in Muslim countries one cannot simply leave the theologians with their narrow, bigoted world view to themselves. One cannot ignore the ulama, those learned doctors of Muslim law who by their fatwas or decisions in questions touching private or public matters of importance regulate the life of the Muslim community. They still exercise considerable powers of approving or forbidding certain actions. Why the continuing influence of the mullas?

The Koran remains for all Muslims, not just “fundamentalists,” the uncreated word of God Himself. It is valid for all times and places; its ideas are absolutely true and beyond all criticism. To question it is to question the very word of God, and hence blasphemous. A Muslim’s duty is to believe it and obey its divine commands.

Several other factors contribute to the continuing influence of the ulama. Any religion that requires total obedience without thought is not likely to produce people capable of critical thought, people capable of free and independent thought. Such a situation is favorable to the development of a powerful “clergy” and is clearly responsible for the intellectual, cultural, and economic stagnation of several centuries. Illiteracy remains high in Muslim countries. Historically, as there never was any separation of state and religion, any criticism of one was seen as a criticism of the other. Inevitably, when many Muslim countries won independence after the Second World War, Islam was unfortunately linked with nationalism, which meant that any criticism of Islam was seen as a betrayal of the newly independent country – an unpatriotic act, an encouragement to colonialism and imperialism. No Muslim country has developed a stable democracy; Muslims are being subjected to every kind of repression possible. Under these conditions healthy criticism of society is not possible, because critical thought and liberty go together.

The above factors explain why Islam in general and the position of women in particular are never criticized, discussed, or subjected to deep scientific or skeptical analysis. All innovations are discouraged in Islam – every problem is seen as a religious problem rather than a social or economic one.

Profoundly Anti-Woman

Islam took the legend of Adam and Eve [2] from the Old Testament and adapted it in its own fashion. The creation of mankind from one person is mentioned in the following suras:

4.1. 0 Mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multiple of men and women.

39.6. He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate.

7.189. He it is who did create you from a single soul and therefrom did make his mate that he might take rest in her.

From these slender sources Muslim theologians have concluded that man was the original creation – womankind was created secondarily for the pleasure and repose of man. The legend was further developed to reinforce the supposed inferiority of women. Finally, the legend was given a sacred character so that to criticize it was to criticize the very words of God, which were immutable and absolute. Here is how Muhammad describes women in general: “Be friendly to women for womankind was created from a rib, but the bent part of the rib, high up, if you try to straighten it you will break it; if you do nothing, she will continue to be bent.”

God punishes Adam and Eve for disobeying his orders. But there is nothing in the verses to show that it was Eve (as in the Old Testament) who led Adam astray. And yet Muslim exegetists and jurists have created the myth of Eve the temptress that has since become an integral part of Muslim tradition. Muhammad himself is reputed to have said: “If it had not been for Eve, no woman would have been unfaithful to her husband.”

The Islamic tradition also attributes guile and deceit to women and draws its support from the Koran. Modern Muslim commentators interpret certain verses to show that guile, deceit, and treachery are intrinsic to a woman’s nature. Not only is she unwilling to change, she is by nature incapable of changing – she has no choice.[3] In attacking the female deities of the polytheists, the Koran takes the opportunity to malign the female sex further.

4.1 17. They invoke in His stead only females; they pray to none else than Satan, a rebel.

53.21-22. Are yours the males and His the females? That indeed were an unfair division!

53.27. Lo! it is those who disbelieve in the Hereafter who name the angels with the names of females.

Other verses from the Koran also seem of a misogynist tendency.

2.228. Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

2.282. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember.

4.11. Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females.

4.34. Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart; and scourge (beat) them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great.

Equally, in numerous hadiths on which are based the Islamic laws, we learn of the woman’s role – to stay at home, to be at the beck and call of man to obey him (which is a religious duty), and to assure man a tranquil existence. Here are some examples of these traditions:

  • The woman who dies and with whom the husband is satisfied will go to paradise.
  • A wife should never refuse herself to her husband even if it is on the saddle of a camel.
  • Hellfire appeared to me in a dream and I noticed that it was above all peopled with women who had been ungrateful. “Was it toward God that they were ungrateful?” They had not shown any gratitude toward their husbands for all they had received from them. Even when all your life you have showered a woman with your largesse she will still find something petty to reproach you with one day, saying, “You have never done anything for me.”
  • If anything presages a bad omen it is: a house, a woman, a horse.
  • Never will a people know success if they confide their affairs to a woman.

It will be appropriate to include two quotes from the famous and much revered philosopher al-Ghazali (1058-1111), whom Professor Montgomery Watt describes as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad. In his “The Revival Of The Religious Sciences,” Ghazali defines the woman’s role: [4]

She should stay at home and get on with her spinning, she should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbours and only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything; she must not cheat on him nor extort money from him; she must not leave her house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave surreptitiously. She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice or recognize her; she must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need. … Her sole worry should be her virtue, her home as well as her prayers and her fast. If a friend of her husband calls when the latter is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her and her husband’s honour. She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment. … She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment.

Such are some of the sayings from the putative golden age of Islamic feminism. It was claimed that it was the abandonment of the original teachings of Islam that had led to the present decadence and backwardness of Muslim societies. But there never was an Islamic utopia. To talk of a golden age is only to conform and perpetuate the influence of the clergy, the mullas, and their hateful creed that denies humanity to half the inhabitants of this globe, and further retards all serious attempts to liberate Muslim women.

What Rights?

The inequality between men and women [5] in matters of giving testimony or evidence or being a witness is enshrined in the Koran: sura 2.282 (quoted above).

How do Muslim apologists justify the above text? Muslim men and women writers point to the putative psychological differences that exist between men and women. The Koran (and hence God) in its sublime wisdom knew that women are sensitive, emotional, sentimental, easily moved, and influenced by their biological rhythm, lacking judgment. But above all they have a shaky memory. In other words, women are psychologically inferior. Such are the dubious arguments used by Muslim intellectuals – male and, astonishingly enough, female intellectuals like Ahmad Jamal, Ms. Zahya Kaddoura, Ms. Ghada al-Kharsa, and Ms. Madiha Khamis. As Ghassan Ascha points out, the absurdity of their arguments are obvious.

By taking the testimony of two beings whose reasoning faculties are faulty we do not obtain the testimony of one complete person with a perfectly functioning rational faculty – such is Islamic arithmetic! By this logic, if the testimony of two women is worth that of one man, then the testimony of four women must be worth that of two men, in which case we can dispense with the testimony of the men. But no! In Islam the rule is not to accept the testimony of women alone in matters to which men theoretically have access. It is said that the Prophet did not accept the testimony of women in matters of marriage, divorce, and hudud. Hudud are the punishments set down by Muhammad in the Koran and the hadith for (1) adultery – stoning to death; (2) fornication – a hundred stripes; (3) false accusation of adultery against a married person – eighty stripes; (4) apostasy – death; (5) drinking wine – eighty stripes; (6) theft – the cutting off of the right hand; (7) simple robbery on the highway – the loss of hands and feet; robbery with murder – death, either by the sword or by crucifixion.

On adultery the Koran 24.4 says: “Those that defame honourable women and cannot produce four witnesses shall be given eighty lashes.” Of course, Muslim jurists will only accept four male witnesses. These witnesses must declare that they have “seen the parties in the very act of carnal conjunction.” Once an accusation of fornication and adultery has been made, the accuser himself or herself risks punishment if he or she does not furnish the necessary legal proofs. Witnesses are in the same situation. If a man were to break into a woman’s dormitory and rape half a dozen women, he would risk nothing since there would be no male witnesses. Indeed the victim of a rape would hesitate before going in front of the law, since she would risk being condemned herself and have little chance of obtaining justice. “If the woman’s words were sufficient in such cases,” explains Judge Zharoor ul Haq of Pakistan, “then no man would be safe.” This iniquitous situation is truly revolting and yet for Muslim law it is a way of avoiding social scandal concerning the all-important sexual taboo. Women found guilty of fornication were literally immured, at first; as the Koran 4.15 says: “Shut them up within their houses till death release them, or God make some way for them.” However this was later canceled and stoning substituted for adultery and one hundred lashes for fornication. When a man is to be stoned to death, he is taken to some barren place, where he is stoned first by the witnesses, then the judge, and then the public. When a woman is stoned, a hole to receive her is dug as deep as her waist – the Prophet himself seems to have ordered such procedure. It is lawful for a man to kill his wife and her lover if he catches them in the very act.

In the case where a man suspects his wife of adultery or denies the legitimacy of the offspring, his testimony is worth that of four men. Sura 24.6: “If a man accuses his wife but has no witnesses except himself, he shall swear four times by God that his charge is true, calling down upon himself the curse of God if he is lying. But if his wife swears four times by God that his charge is false and calls down His curse upon herself if it be true, she shall receive no punishment.” Appearances to the contrary, this is not an example of Koranic justice or equality between the sexes. The woman indeed escapes being stoned to death but she remains rejected and loses her right to the dowry and her right to maintenance, whatever the outcome of the trial. A woman does not have the right to charge her husband in a similar manner. Finally, for a Muslim marriage to be valid there must be a multiplicity of witnesses. For Muslim jurists, two men form a multiplicity but not two or three or a thousand women.

In questions of heritage, the Koran tells us that male children should inherit twice the portion of female children:

4.11-12. A male shall inherit twice as much as a female. If there be more than two girls, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance, but if there be one only, she shall inherit the half. Parents shall inherit a sixth each, if the deceased have a child; but if he leave no child and his parents be his heirs, his mother shall have a third. If he have brothers, his mother shall have a sixth after payment of any legacy he may have bequeathed or any debt he may have owed.

To justify this inequality, Muslim authors lean heavily on the fact that a woman receives a dowry and has the right to maintenance from her husband. It is also true that according to Muslim law the mother is not at all obliged to provide for her children, and if she does spend money on her children, it is, to quote Bousquet, “recoverable by her from her husband if he is returned to a better fortune as in the case of any other charitable person. Therefore there is no point in the husband and wife sharing in the taking charge of the household; this weighs upon the husband alone. There is no longer any financial interest between them.” [6]

This latter point referred to by Bousquet simply emphasizes the negative aspects of a Muslim marriage – that is to say, the total absence of any idea of “association” between “couples” as in Christianity. As to dowry, it is, of course, simply a reconfirmation of the man’s claims over the woman in matters of sex and divorce. Furthermore, in reality the woman does not get to use the dowry for herself. The custom is either to use the dowry to furnish the house of the newly married couple or for the wife to offer it to her father. According to the Malekites, the woman can be obliged by law to use the dowry to furnish the house. Muslim law also gives the guardian the right to cancel a marriage – even that of a woman of legal age – if he thinks the dowry is not sufficient. Thus the dowry, instead of being a sign of her independence, turns out once more to be a symbol of her servitude.

The woman has the right to maintenance but this simply emphasizes her total dependence on her husband, with all its attendant sense of insecurity. According to Muslim jurists, the husband is not obliged under Islamic law to pay for her medical expenses in case of illness. Financial independence of the woman would of course be the first step in the liberation of Muslim women and thus it is not surprising that it is seen as a threat to male dominance. Muslim women are now obliged to take equal responsibility for looking after their parents. Article 158 of Syrian law states “The child – male or female – having the necessary means is obliged to take responsibility for his or her poor parents.” The birth of a girl is still seen as a catastrophe in Islamic societies. The system of inheritance just adds to her misery and her dependence on the man. If she is an only child she receives only half the legacy of her father; the other half goes to the male members of the father’s family. If there are two or more daughters, they inherit two-thirds. This pushes fathers and mothers to prefer male children to female so that they can leave the entirety of their effects or possessions to their own descendants. “Yet when a new-born girl is announced to one of them his countenance darkens and he is filled with gloom” (sura 43.15). The situation is even worse when a woman loses her husband – she only receives a quarter of the legacy. If the deceased leaves more than one wife, all the wives are still obliged to share among themselves a quarter or one-eighth of the legacy.

Muslim jurists [7] are unanimous in their view that men are superior to women in virtue of their reasoning abilities, their knowledge, and their supervisory powers. And since it is the man who assumes financial responsibility for the family, it is argued, it is natural that he should have total power over the woman. These same jurists, of course, totally neglect changing social conditions where a woman may contribute her salary to the upkeep of her family – power over women remains a divine command and “natural” or “in the nature of things.” Muslim thinkers continue to confine Muslim women to the house – to leave the house is against the will of God and against the principles of Islam. Confined to their houses, women are then reproached for not having any experience of the outside world!

According to theologians, [8] the husband has the right to administer corporal punishment to his wife if she

  1. Refuses to make herself beautiful for him;
  2. Refuses to meet his sexual demands;
  3. Leaves the house without permission or without any legitimate reason recognized by law; or
  4. Neglects her religious duties.

A hadith attributes the following saying to the Prophet: “Hang up your whip where your wife can see it.” There are a number of other hadiths that contradict this one. In those, Muhammad explicitly forbids men to beat their wives – in which case the Prophet himself is contradicting what the Koran, enshrining divine law, permits.

Case Histories: The Women of Pakistan

In Pakistan in 1977, General Zia al-Haq took over in a military coup declaring that the process of Islamization was not going fast enough. The mullas had finally got someone who was prepared to listen to them.

Zia imposed martial law, total press censorship, and began creating a theocratic state, believing that Pakistan ought to have “the spirit of Islam.” He banned women from athletic contests and even enforced the Muslim fast during the month of Ramadan at gunpoint. He openly admitted that there was a contradiction between Islam and democracy. Zia introduced Islamic laws that discriminated against women. The most notorious of these laws were the Zina and Hudud Ordinances that called for the Islamic punishments of the amputation of hands for stealing and stoning to death for married people found guilty of illicit sex. The term zina included adultery, fornication, and rape, and even prostitution. Fornication was punished with a maximum of a hundred lashes administered in public and ten years’ imprisonment.

In practice, these laws protect rapists, for a woman who has been raped often finds herself charged with adultery or fornication. To prove zina, four Muslim adult males of good repute must be present to testify that sexual penetration has taken place. Furthermore, in keeping with good Islamic practice, these laws value the testimony of men over women. The combined effect of these laws is that it is impossible for a woman to bring a successful charge of rape against a man; instead, she herself, the victim, finds herself charged with illicit sexual intercourse, while the rapist goes free. If the rape results in a pregnancy, this is automatically taken as an admission that adultery or fornication has taken place with the woman’s consent rather than that rape has occurred.

Here are some sample cases. [9]

In a town in the northern province of Punjab, a woman and her two daughters were stripped naked, beaten, and gangraped in public, but the police declined to pursue the case.

A thirteen-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped by a “family friend.” When her father brought a case against the rapist, it was the girl who was put in prison and charged with zina, illegal sexual intercourse. The father managed to secure the child’s release by bribing the police. The traumatized child was then severely beaten for disgracing the family honor.

A fifty-year-old widow, Ahmedi Begum, [10] decided to let some rooms in her house in the city of Lahore to two young veiled women. As she was about to show them the rooms, the police burst into the courtyard of the house and arrested the two girls and Ahmedi Begum’s nephew, who had simply been standing there. Later that afternoon, Ahmedi Begum went to the police station with her son-in-law to inquire about her nephew and the two girls. The police told Ahmedi they were arresting her too. They confiscated her jewelry and pushed her into another room. While she was waiting, the police officers shoved the two girls, naked and bleeding, into the room and then proceeded to rape them again in front of the widow. When Ahmedi covered her eyes, the police forced her to watch by pulling her arms to her sides. After suffering various sexual humiliations, Ahmedi herself was stripped and raped by one officer after another. They dragged her outside where she was again beaten. One of the officers forced a policeman’s truncheon, covered with chili paste, into her rectum, rupturing it. Ahmedi screamed in horrible agony and fainted, only to wake up in prison, charged with zina. Her case was taken up by a human rights lawyer. She was released on bail after three months in prison, but was not acquitted until three years later. In the meantime, her son-in-law divorced her daughter because of his shame.

Was this an isolated case? Unfortunately no. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in its annual report that one woman is raped every three hours in Pakistan and one in two rape victims is a juvenile. According to Women’s Action Forum, a woman’s rights organization, 72% of all women in police custody in Pakistan are physically and sexually abused. Furthermore, 75% of all women in jail are there under charges of zina. Many of these women remain in jail awaiting trial for years.

In other words, the charge of zina is casually applied by any man who wants to get rid of his wife, who is immediately arrested, and kept waiting in prison, sometimes for years. Before the introduction of these laws the total number of women in prison was 70; the present number is more than 3,000. Most of these women have been charged under the Zina or Hudud Ordinances. [11]

The Western press naively believed that the election of Benazir Bhutto as Pakistan’s prime minister in November 1988 would revolutionize women’s role not just in Pakistan, but in the entire Islamic world. Under Islamic law of course, women cannot be head of an Islamic state, and Pakistan had become an Islamic republic under the new constitution of 1956. Thus, Benazir Bhutto had defied the mullas and won. But her government lasted a bare 20 months, during which period Nawaz Sharif, who was the prime minister briefly in the early 1990s, is said to have encouraged the mullas in their opposition to having a woman as the head of an Islamic state. Benazir Bhutto’s government was dismissed on charges of corruption, and her husband imprisoned in 1990.

The lot of the Muslim woman was harsh before Benazir’s election, and nothing has changed. She has pandered to the religious lobby, the mullas, the very people who insist that a woman cannot hold power in an Islamic state, and has repeatedly postponed any positive action on the position of women.

Pakistan shows the same grim picture. Pakistan is one of only four countries in the world where female life expectancy (51 years) is lower than the male (52 years); the average female life expectancy for all poor countries is 61 years. A large number of Pakistani women die in pregnancy or childbirth, six for every 1,000 live births. Despite the fact that contraception has never been banned by orthodox Islam, under Zia the Islamic Ideology Council of Pakistan declared family planning to be un-Islamic. Various mullas condemned family planning as a Western conspiracy to emasculate Islam. As a result, the average fertility rate per woman in Pakistan is 6.9. Pakistan is also among the world’s bottom ten countries for female attendance at primary schools. Some people put female literacy in the rural areas as low as 2% (Economist, March 5, 1994). As the Economist put it, “Some of the blame for all this lies with the attempt of the late President Zia ul Haq to create an Islamic republic. … Zia turned the clock back. A 1984 law of his, for instance, gives a woman’s legal evidence half the weight of a man’s” (Economist, January 13, 1990).

Indeed a large part of the blame lies with the attitudes inculcated by Islam, which has always seen woman as inferior to man. The birth of a baby girl is the occasion for mourning. Hundreds of baby girls are abandoned every year in the gutters and dust bins and on the pavements. An organization working in Karachi to save these children has calculated that more than five hundred children are abandoned a year in Karachi alone, and that 99% of them are girls. [12]

Little did Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, realize how literally true his words were when he said in a 1944 speech: [13] “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners.”

But we do not need to leave with a completely pessimistic picture. Pakistani women have shown themselves to be very courageous, and more and more are fighting for their rights with the help of equally brave organizations such as Women’s Action Forum (WAF) and War Against Rape. WAF was formed in 1981 as women came onto the streets to protest against the Hudud Ordinances, and to demonstrate their solidarity with a couple who had recently been sentenced to death by stoning for fornication. In 1983, women organized the first demonstrations against martial law.

Notes

  1. Ghassan Ascha, Du Statut Inferieur de la Femme en Islam (Paris: 1989) p. 11.
  2. Ibid., pp. 23f.
  3. Ibid., pp. 29f.
  4. Ibid., p. 41.
  5. Ascha, op. cit., pp. 63f.
  6. G. H. Bousquet, L’Ethique sexuelle de L’Islam (Paris: 1966) vol. 1, p. 120.
  7. Ascha, op. cit., p. 89.
  8. Ibid., pp. 108.
  9. Kurt Schork, “Pakistan’s Women in Despair,” Guardian Weekly, September 23, 1990.
  10. Jan Goodwin, Price of Honor (Boston: 1994) p. 49-50.
  11. Schork, op. cit.
  12. Goodwin, op. cit., p. 64.
  13. R. Ahmed, ed., Sayings of Quaid-i-Azam (Jinnah) (Karachi: 1986) p. 98.

Excerpted from Why I Am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq (Prometheus Books, 1995).


Ibn Warraq, who was raised as a Muslim, now devotes himself to the scholarly examination of the beliefs and practices of Islam. He is the author of Why I Am Not a Muslim (Prometheus Books, 1995).