The dualism in Islam allows for two ways to treat women. They can be honored and protected, or they can be beaten. Today, Western nations allow Islamic women to be treated as Islam wants to treat them. In short, they are not subject to our laws and customs of equality. Why? Our politicians and intellectuals do not want to offend Islam by discussing the second-class status of women in Islam.
This lesson is on women. If you're going to study Islam, you have to study women as a separate category. And the reason for this is simple---Islamic doctrine denies that men and women are equal. The dualism of Islam separates women into a separate category. The Koran has whole sections devoted to how women are treated differently from men. Many hadith (traditions) put women in a special category. Islam is very proud of how it treats its women and says that, in the West, our treatment of women is terrible---that they are not protected and honored. In Islam, women are protected and honored (Muslims claim).
Let's examine the doctrine that underlies each separate case of how women are treated. Islam is a rational system of politics and culture. It always has a doctrinal reason for everything it does, and this is one of the things that make studying Islam easy. If Muslims do it, there is a reason. There is very little creativity inside of Islam. It doesn't need to create, because Islam has a perfect universal and final doctrine. Its doctrine about women is perfect; therefore, it doesn't need to innovate in any way. Islam even claims that it is the world's first feminist movement--that women now have more rights than they did before Islam.
Let's examine the subject of beatings. The Koran is clear: It says that if a woman does not obey her husband---that is, does not submit---she can be beaten. Let's see how this plays out. A Palestinian woman sued in a Sharia court. What she wanted was this: a judgment that her husband would only beat her once a week. She said that currently, he beats her every day, and that that was excessive. So, she sued in Sharia court to have them direct her husband to only beat her once a week.
At the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, it was decided that everyone who crossed the border had to be photographed. The US military was doing this, and since many of the people coming across the border were Afghani women, in their full head-to-toe burqa---including the face veil---they were taken to a separate tent where a female soldier helped them get their burqa off and photographed their face.
Now, this is merely anecdotal information that was passed to me by a soldier, and doesn't have any scientific evidence, but the women who did this work said that it seemed to them like nine out of ten women that they saw, had been bruised in the face.
This goes along with what the Pakistan Institute of Medical Science reported. In a scientific survey of Pakistani women, about 90% of them said that they had been beaten by their husbands. In the country of Chad, in Africa, they tried to outlaw beatings, but Islam is very strong in Chad. The imams and other Islamic leaders protested, saying that anti-wife beating laws were against Sharia law. The bill was defeated.
Some argue cynically, but practically, that, since Islamic women are beaten from early on, by the time they are married they are used to this treatment, and it does not seem to bother them. This business of beating wives is thoroughly established in Islam. This is not some sort of aberration. We've already mentioned that the Koran says that the beating of a wife is permitted. It also goes further to say, though, that if the woman submits, she should be given food, clothing and shelter, so those are also part of a woman's rights.
Mohammed left behind a great deal of information about the beating of women. There is one tradition that summarizes Islam and women. He said, never ask a man why he beats his wife. We know that from one tradition (hadith) that he himself hit his favorite wife, Aisha, and we know that he stood by without comment when her father struck Aisha in his presence. But then again, Mohammed also stood by without saying a word when Ali beat Aisha's black female slave. Ali was Mohammed's cousin, son-in-law and the fourth caliph (supreme leader).
There's a famous hadith where a woman comes to Mohammed with a complaint about her husband. The hadith says that there was a bruise on her face that was green in color. Mohammed addressed the issue that she brought up, but he made no remark about the bruise on her face. Actually, another time, he left a hadith, which says that when you hit women, do not strike them in the face. He also left behind one other piece of information regarding the beating of women. He said that they should be beaten lightly. This invites questions. What does it mean to beat lightly? Does it mean to use a small stick? And when using a stick, can you raise the stick above the head as you strike down at the woman? The Sunna doesn't describe this; it merely says that they are to be beaten lightly.
Now, Islam is a dualistic system. Dualism means that Islam always has two contradictory positions. So if there is a statement that says that it is proper to beat a woman, then somewhere else, there will be a contradictory statement. So, in another hadith, Mohammed said: "do not strike Allah's handmaidens." That is, don't hit women. However, there are only one or two of these statements; and there are many that describe how women should be subjugated. Of course, in Islam, hitting a woman is not abuse, because hitting a woman is allowed and not forbidden. If she's been trained properly, she does not object to these beatings. Since Mohammed established very firmly that striking women was within the bounds of Islam, Sharia incorporates the Sunna of Mohammed into the formal structure of Islamic law. There are rules laid out as to the gradation of how the man makes the woman submit, and the final stage is a beating.
Now, let's look at another way that women are treated inside of Islam. In 2002, researchers in refugee camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan found that half the girls were married by age 13. In an Afghan refugee camp, more than two out of three second-grade girls were either married or engaged! Virtually all the girls who were beyond second grade were already married. One ten-year-old was engaged to a man of 60. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Afghan girls under the age of 16, and many as young as nine, are in arranged marriages. This is pure Sunna---the way of Mohammed. How do we know this? When Mohammed was in his mid-fifties, he was engaged to Aisha, a child of six. Then, when she was nine years old, he consummated the marriage. So, when a 60-year-old Pakistani Muslim is engaged to a 10-year-old, that is Sunna, because it is the way of Mohammed.
Now we come to a treatment of Islamic women which is not strictly Islamic doctrine, and that is "honor killings." An honor killing is when a man kills a woman because she has violated his honor. A Muslim male must control the sexuality of the females in his household, or else he is dishonored. It is one of his chief concerns. In Dallas, Texas, two Muslim sisters were found shot to death in the back of their father's taxicab. The father is being sought by the FBI in conjunction with the murder. A friend who knew them said the father was very strict about the girl's relationships with boys; their talking with boys, as well as the type of clothing the daughters wore. The sisters dressed in Western clothes and listened to popular music. The father was quite angry that his daughters were not acting like 'proper' Muslim women.
Islam does not say to kill the woman who does not obey. Instead, it brings the level of punishment up to beatings. However, once a woman is to be subjugated where she can be beaten, it's not too far from taking the final step. Killing a family member over the issue of Islam is Sunna. We know that, at the Battle of Bader, there is a story in which a son is remorseful about having killed his father, who was a kafir (infidel/unbeliever), but in the end he realizes that since his father was a kafir, even though he was a cultured man, it was better that he was dead. So it is Sunna for one family member to kill another, to advance Islam.
The Koran speaks at great length about women's rights. Among them are these: that they are to receive half the amount of inheritance of a male; and that, in a court of law, it takes the testimony of two women to equal the testimony of one man. So, if a woman testifies against a man, and he denies the accusation, then the testimony has no weight at all. In Islamic court, this makes cases of rape almost impossible to prove.
Muslims will say: "Oh no, no, no! Islam teaches the equality of women!" and indeed, there are many verses which say that women are equal on Judgment Day. That's when they're equal. Then, every person will be called upon to account for what they did and said in life, and in this matter, men and women will be treated equally.
Let's examine the fine print. It is true that the Koran says that women are to be treated equally on Judgment Day. They are to be judged on what they did in this life, and what they're supposed to do in this life is to obey the men, to submit to them; therefore, their "equality" on Judgment Day means that they will be judged on how well they submitted to men.
Mohammed commented that he had seen Hell, and the great majority of its inhabitants were women. Why were they there? They had not fully appreciated their husbands. In the same hadith, he made the remark that women were spiritually inferior to men, and that women were not as intelligent as men. Part of a woman's "rights" inside of Islam is that she is not as intelligent, and she has a much better chance of going to Hell.
But even if she goes to Paradise, she is still in for a second-class treatment. Paradise for men is a sexual playground, but none of that seems to extend to women; so that, even in Paradise, women are not rewarded like men.
There's another interesting comment about women and worship in Islam. A man is to pray facing Mecca; the women are to be behind him in prayer. This is the reason why women always sit in the back, in the mosque. Now, interestingly, in the religion of Islam, there are many things that can negate the power of prayer. One of those things that can negate prayer is, while you're praying, if a dog, a donkey or a woman should walk in front of you. So, for the purposes of this tradition, a woman is equal to a dog or a donkey.
Now let's take up the matter of the infamous burqa -the covering from head to toe, which can even include the face. Some Islamic women say, "Well, that is not really required." Others say that it is. So, on this issue, the Koran does display a dualism. We do know this: Mohammed made all of his wives wear a veil; we also know that everyone in his entourage around him did so, as well. So, although there is not a universal commandment that says women should wear a burqa, we do know that, from the Sunna of Mohammed, his wives did that, and all the women around him did that as well. This is a powerful influence with regard to the burqa.
In the Muslim holy city of Mecca, a girls' school caught on fire. Naturally, the girls tried to escape, but they were driven back into the burning building, because they were not wearing their face covering and full-body veil. They died, because it was the decision of the religious police that, better they should die, than have their faces exposed in public.
Another aspect of Islam is polygamy. The Koran is quite clear on polygamy. A man may have one, two, three or four wives. However, it does not say that a woman can have one, two, three, or four husbands.
There is also the matter of stoning. Now, it can be argued that stoning is not Islamic, or it can be argued that it is Islamic. For instance, in 2008, in Tehran, Iran (which calls itself an Islamic republic), two sisters, Zohre and Azar Kabiri, were convicted of adultery. They were sentenced to be stoned to death. Adultery is a crime punishable by death. The way this worked was, at first, they were convicted of having illegal relations, and they were given 99 lashings each. They were then brought back into court, and the same evidence was used to try them for adultery, whereupon they were sentenced to be stoned to death. The evidence? It was a videotape where the two sisters were caught talking to some men without adult family members with them.
There's an interesting thing about stoning, by the way. Sharia law is very technical about this, and what it says is that the stones should be chosen so they do not kill immediately. They have to be big enough so that, when enough of them are thrown, they will kill the victim. Death by stoning is meant to be a torturous death that the entire community participates in.
Now we come to an important thing. We have just described Islam. We must now talk about our response to this, and our response to this is shameful. In this country, starting in the 1960s, we had a political movement called feminism, which said women should be fully equal to men before the law, and a great deal of progress has been made in that. But on the issue of Islam, kafir (non-Muslim) women are shamefully silent. What we see here is indication of how our universities, for instance, have responded to Islam. They are silent. Universities should be a place where issues are discussed and described, but no Women's Studies teach anything about what Sharia law demands concerning women in Islam. Social workers do not report beatings inside Islamic families in Europe. The whole system has turned a blind eye to this.
What's happening in Europe---and it's starting to happen in America---is this: Muslim civil rights organizations maintain that Muslims should not fall under any aspect of family law in the West, because our family law is based on ignorance of Allah's law. Therefore, there should be two sets of laws---one for kafirs, and one for Muslims. So if a beaten Muslim woman shows up in the emergency room, the police would not be called. Or, if she wishes to press charges, it would be in an Islamic court.
What is the response of Western women to this? Well, they don't want to be culturally insensitive. They don't want to be racist. So if this culture of Islam wants to beat its women, why should they say anything about it? They do not want to be culturally insensitive. Our universal human rights stop at Mohammed's door.
Islam has a precise doctrine concerning how to treat women. Other than after death, the Islamic treatment of women says that they are less than a man. That is dreadful, but what is worse is that we will not help Islamic women, for fear we will offend Islam.
The text above is taken from the website Political Islam.