The Violent Oppression of Women in Islam

by Luke Muehlhauser on July 4, 2009 in Islam,Video

From Terrorism Awareness.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

IbnAbuTalib July 5, 2009 at 12:49 am

Lol! The title of this video should read, “The Violent Misinformation about Women in Islam.”

Do you have any specific points of contentions that need to refuted, Luke? As the only Muslim on this site, I’ll be more than happy to enlighten people about the reality of my faith.

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Gordon July 5, 2009 at 1:10 am

Misinformation how? To take this to its simplest form… please refute my impression that many Islamic women wear a sheet over their heads and hide their faces….

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IbnAbuTalib July 5, 2009 at 1:45 am

Yes they do. What about it?

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mitch July 5, 2009 at 5:06 am

How come Islamic men don’t?

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IbnAbuTalib July 5, 2009 at 5:12 am

Because we are told to lower our gaze.

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lukeprog July 5, 2009 at 6:31 am

IbnAbuTalib,

Is it untrue that millions of Muslim women have their clitoris gouged out, and that this is almost exclusively the practice of Muslim societies? Is it untrue that many women in Muslim societies are imprisoned or stoned to death because they are raped, and because Muslim tradition demands this? Is it untrue that women are second-class citizens in Muslim society, as dictated by the Quran?

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mitch July 5, 2009 at 6:47 am

I have heard that women wear their obscuring robes, often with only one or two eyes peering out of a small slit, because they are under the Koranically-dictated assumption that men would devalue and objectify them were they to see them fully. Some assumption. Is it not true that women do the same of men? Do they not look at men lustfully? Or does this only work one way? So, I ask again, why do not mean wear the hijab? Or conversely, why are not Islamic women taught to lower their gaze also – that way, nobody will look at anybody and there will be no risk of any attraction.

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IbnAbuTalib July 5, 2009 at 7:55 am

luke, I don’t know how widespread the practice of female circumcision is but I do know that it is neither supported by the Quran nor by authentic traditions. This is what Gordon D. Newby writes in A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, “…the clitoridectomy…is pre-Islamic in origin and has no foundation int the Quran, but is mentioned in some of the traditions of the Prophet which aim to ameliorate this practice.” (p.48)
The traditions referred to by Newby are highly dubious as explained in the following article
http://www.islamtoday.com/showme2.cfm?cat_id=2&sub_cat_id=822
Thus, female circumcision is an unIslamic practice.
Regarding your second question, the video has reported a lie. According to Islam, it is the rapist that is punished, not the victim. Consider the following hadith:
When a woman was forced against her will in the time of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) he avoided punishing her but inflicted it on the one who had molested her. (Tirmidhi)
Finally, the position of women as per the Quran. No, the Quran doesn’t say Muslim women are second class citizens. Please read the following:
http://islamicperspectives.com/Quran-4-34.htm

 
 
 

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Naug July 5, 2009 at 8:02 am

Even though the emancipation of women in muslim societies is probably one of the most important social issues of our time, I feel that the movie focuses too much on extremism, gruesome pictures and arguments from emotion. These horrible things happen, but saying that Female Genital Mutilation happens in all islamic societis is not really true, its a geographically local phenomenon in the horn of africa and egypt iirc. Even Xians in the horn of africa does it, it is a cultural phenomenon semi-independent from religion. The most atrocious form of FGM, infibulation, is sometimes called a pharaoic circumcision and stems from the time in egypt before islam was even invented.
I feel that the film is giving the impression that this is the everyday experience of a muslic woman. While the everyday experience of a muslic woman surely sucks, its nowhere near this bad. The semi-biographical series/movie persepolis gives a more nuanced perspective. Another anecdotal perspective can be found in Ayaan Hirsi Alis book.
I probably would’ve focused more on basic everyday rights that muslim women are denied such as going outside without a male escort, requiring to be veiled and what signals that send, difference in schooling, gender separation from birth, legal rights when testifying in court, legal rights at inheritance and so on and so forth.
But still as a first eye opener this film probably does good, but it doesn’t educate people in the every day experience of muslim women. All though, that might admittedly be hard to do in 9 minutes :>

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danielg July 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Luke,
This video shows the ugly unerbelly of Islam – but one of the main reasons that we don’t make more headway against this evil religion (and it is entirely evil, imo, just look at what it produces) is because:
1. Militant atheists who are anti-religion group all religions into one category of evil, failing to distinguish between the Christian fundamentalist next door, who might want to frown on you because you reject God, and the fundy Islamist who will want to murder you or his own children for not believing.
2. The gross liberal acceptance of all cultures except Christianity means that they fail to recognize the wiles of Islam, which include their own self deceptions, as well as their purposeful deception of uncritical westerners, and our principles of freedom of speech which allow them to plot to take over our culture right under our noses through deceptive and subversive organizations like CARE.

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IbnAbuTalib July 6, 2009 at 5:28 am

daniel:This video shows the ugly unerbelly of Islam – but one of the main reasons that we don’t make more headway against this evil religion (and it is entirely evil, imo, just look at what it produces)

The last thing I expected was to see a paranoid Christian Islamophobe on an atheist site. SubhanAllah! You guys are everywhere!
There is no teaching in either the Quran or Sunnah that says people can be killed simply for disbelieving. On the contrary, the Quran says in Surah 2:256, “There is no compulsion in religion”, in Surah 60:8-9, “Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice. Allah only forbids you respecting those who made war upon you on account of (your) religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust.”
 
 

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lukeprog July 6, 2009 at 7:48 am

IbnAbuTalib: There is no teaching in either the Quran or Sunnah that says people can be killed simply for disbelieving.

Have you READ the Quran? Here are a few quotes:

2:191 And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.

4:74 Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.

4:89 They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them

4:91 Ye will find others who desire that they should have security from you, and security from their own folk. So often as they are returned to hostility they are plunged therein. If they keep not aloof from you nor offer you peace nor hold their hands, then take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such We have given you clear warrant.

5:33 The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom;

8:15 O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them.

8:16 Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.

9:5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

9:73 O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end.

9:123 O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).

And that’s just the first 9 chapters! And certainly, unbelievers have no value at all to Allah: http://www.faithfreedom.org/Quran.htm

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Lee A. P. July 6, 2009 at 7:49 am

Luke,
I have always encouraged Christians to explore Muslim apologetics because you will find the exact same type bullshit rationalizations that you see in Christian apologetics.  The Christians that do explore Muslim apologetics have the same sort of objections than an atheist has to Christian apologetics. Christians are able to apply proper skepticism to other beliefs but not their own.
 
I believe it is true that female circumcision and honor killings are not in the Koran. This is a cultural, rather than a religious practice. The Koran has enough hate and BS in it without atheist having to post falsehoods about it.
One problem you will run into with difficult or abhorrent Koranic verses is the “translation excuse”. The english version may say behead those who insult the prophet but the real arabic says to give them a puppy ect. ect.
Another problem you will run in to is that there is a lot of harsh bullshit in the Hadiths (supplementary  Muslim scripture not as highly regarded as the Koran) but Muslims disagree with what Hadiths are to be taken seriously.
Virtually all we know about Muhammed comes from the Hadiths.  So when a Hadith says something virtuous about Muhammed Muslims will often quote it. But when a Hadith verse says something hateful a few paragraphs down they will simply say “That verse was corrupted”.
The acknowledge corruption in Hadith and essentially “pick and choose”. They deny any corruption in the Koran and basically employ bullshit “translation” and “interpretation” excuses in order to explain away the hateful bullshit in the Koran.
You are in for the exact same type of run around you get from Christians.
 

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IbnAbuTalib July 6, 2009 at 8:30 am

Luke, it seems to me that you haven’t read the verses yourself. Consider the first passage wherein I have highlighted the relevant parts. Where does it say (in confirmation of daniel’s rant) that Muslims can kill people merely for disbelieving?
2:191 And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
Clearly the instruction to kill is in the context of self defense. The same is true of the other verses you have (mis)quoted. An excellent article on this can be found here
http://www.load-islam.com/artical_det.php?artical_id=414&section=wel_islam&subsection=Misconceptions
 
 

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IbnAbuTalib July 6, 2009 at 8:31 am

Lee:Christians are able to apply proper skepticism to other beliefs but not their own

I agree.

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lukeprog July 6, 2009 at 9:07 am

IbnAbuTalib,

Your refusal to read the Quran for what it actually says is astounding, and reminds me of my own Christian days wrestling with the violent, uncaring, tribalistic, misogynistic passages of the ‘Old Testament’ (Jewish Bible).

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IbnAbuTalib July 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

Actually Luke, given how swiftly you dismissed by previous response without even considering its worth, you are the one who refuses to read the Quran for what it is.
Have you ever read the Book?

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lukeprog July 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

Much of it. It is a difficult book to read. IbnAbuTalib, I will be happy to write more thoroughly about the Quran in the future. I’ll add it to my list.

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Lorkas July 6, 2009 at 10:04 am

IbnAbuTalib: Luke, it seems to me that you haven’t read the verses yourself. Consider the first passage wherein I have highlighted the relevant parts. Where does it say (in confirmation of daniel’s rant) that Muslims can kill people merely for disbelieving?

You replied to just one of the verses cited, and, in my opinion, you’re right about this objection. However, this objection doesn’t work for many of the rest of the verses, like:

lukeprog: 9:5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

This obviously isn’t just talking about self-defense. It’s talking about going out to find the kafir and killing them or taking them prisoner unless they convert to Islam. Doesn’t even seem ambiguous to me.
 
Perhaps if you want anyone to take your objection seriously, you should reply to all of the verses, not just the one that conveniently demonstrates your point.

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IbnAbuTalib July 6, 2009 at 10:14 am

Lorkas, I’ve already provided a link that clarifies the misconceptions surrounding these verses.

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JMauldin July 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Not that I make a habit of defending Islam (as I am a vehement antagonist) but this video does misrepresent the Qur’an when it comes to female circumcision. There is no command for female circumcision found within its pages. This atrocious practice is an African custom grandfathered into their version of Islam. In Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book “The Caged Virgin” she makes this admission so I think it fair to concede this point. That is not to say that female circumcision is not a reality for thousands of women every day, just that it’s not specifically based in the Qur’an.

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lukeprog July 6, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Yes, the practice of female circumcision predates Islam. But today it is mostly (but not exclusively) perpetuated by Islam.

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mitch July 6, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Interesting how Koranic verses are ‘misunderstood’, ‘misquoted’, or ‘taken out of context’ when they are shown do be less than civilised. As I understand it, there is no central authority in Islam? So then, who is to say which interpretation of the Koran is correct? Majority consensus? Whichever appear most benign and in line with the standards of modernity? As with the Bible, its passages seem quite malleable. Are we all wrong because we do not fall in line with your particular interpretations?

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Taranu July 6, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Does anyone know how many historical documents attest to Muhammad being visited by the Archangel Gabriel?

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Ajay July 7, 2009 at 5:01 am

IbnAbuTalib,
How do you determine which items in the hadith are corrupt and inaccurate and which ones are genuine? Is it simply that those which conform to today’s morals are deemed to be genuine and those which are embarassing to Islam are deemed as corrupt?

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Ajay July 7, 2009 at 5:21 am

IbnAbuTalib: Lorkas, I’ve already provided a link that clarifies the misconceptions surrounding these verses.

I went through the explanations in that page. It basically dismisses all those verses as being misquoted and then a different translation is given from other sources which are a bit less embarassing. In cases where even the alternative translation is harsh, we get the commentary that in this case the UNBELIEVERS are meant to just be the Pagans who were fighting the muslims at that point of time and it does not refer to UNBELIEVERS as a whole.
 
I think it is time that the ALLAH send a revised version of the Quran in this age and time so that everyone knows exactly what we need to do at this present time and not be confused at the old verses which refer to those times. At the same time, all non-muslims also will be convinced about the truth of islam and all of us can convert to it and fulfill the wishes of Allah. Wont that be perfect for everyone?

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Ajay July 7, 2009 at 5:23 am
IbnAbuTalib July 7, 2009 at 5:27 am

Ajay, don’t be silly. Muslims are not so insecure like Christians and Jews as to dismiss traditions that don’t sit well with modern sensibilities. The traditional method of determining the veracity of hadith is independent of what contemporary people regard as moral.

Mitch, take a look at this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEUUtHAaTto

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IbnAbuTalib July 7, 2009 at 5:31 am

Ajay:I went through the explanations in that page. It basically dismisses all those verses as being misquoted and then a different translation is given from other sources which are a bit less embarassing.

It seems to me that you have already presupposed that the verses are not misquoted and the translations, correct. Isn’t that question begging? Clearly if you actually pay attention to the Quran, you will find that the injunction to kill does not extend to people who take up arms against Islam. Read Surah 60:8-9 as an example.

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IbnAbuTalib July 7, 2009 at 5:33 am

Correction: the injunction to kill only extends to those disbelievers that take up arms against Islam.

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Ajay July 7, 2009 at 6:06 am

IbnAbuTalib
 
I really appreciate your promptness in giving back replies immediately. You strike me as someone who is very willing to respond to all kind of questions on Islam from anyone. I would love to have a comments debate with you on specific issues about Islam and the Quran etc. Is that ok with you?
 
Is there some place where we can exchange responses back and forth without having to gobble up this space that Luke is managing?
 
Luke… if IbnAbuTalib is willing, is there a post where we both can go back and forth on this? Let me know.

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mitch July 7, 2009 at 7:19 am

IbnAbuTalib,

I watched the video you linked me in its entirety, and I do not feel that my questions were answered (despite the apparent intelligence and charisma of Hamza Yusuf) . My understandings gained from the video are as follows: there is no true, official voice of Islam; individuals continually aruse claiming to speak on behalf of Islam, and then go about proclaiming their hatred of Western values, desire for the death of infidels and apostates, the inferiority of women etc.;  then, following an outcry from the Western world, ‘true’ speakers for Islam emerge and go about attempting to defuse the public anger, claiming that this particular individual has either misinterpreted Islamic teachings or is merely the  victim of social, political and/or economic turmoil, and is misunderstood.
And so, as this cycle of Islamists spitting their vitriol and others cleaning it up with finger pointing and special pleading, we find that there is no accountability whatsoever. So in the end who is right? Whichever side can muster the most Koranic passages in support of their view? In the mean time, humanity suffers.

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lukeprog July 7, 2009 at 8:13 am

Ajay, I recommend this post.

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Taranu July 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

So I take it none of you knows how many historical documents attest to Muhammad being visited by the Archangel Gabriel.

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lukeprog July 7, 2009 at 10:23 am

I have no idea. The quest for the historical muhammad has just begun, and I haven’t read anything about it.

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danielg July 13, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Ibn, we don’t beleive your lies, don’t you get it?  Fool yourself, fool your people, but please, don’t think your murderous religion honors God.  Just don’t.   We are not misinformed about Islam, you are just trying to hide it from yourself and us.  But we are not fooled, but disgusted, outraged, and ready to resist the wicked doctrines of your ‘faith.’
Enjoy these links which show the truth about the evil deception called Islam.  Unless you believe that Jesus died in your place for YOUR sins, you will die in your sins. That is what the Bible says, which you and your prophet say you respect.
Misconceptions about the Prophet of Islam
Games Muslims play

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jim June 13, 2011 at 6:22 am

history has shown christianity is the most brutal and oppressive religion that exist and ever existed.
sorry folks but that is fact and history.
if people study their own religions they would feel very different.
research the templers knights (who practised homosexuality and spit on and denounce the cross claiming this was to prepare them for battle)
slavery (where africans were tortured maimed raped killed for fun and to accept christianity)
when christians kill in battle they curse their victims in the most obscene way on the other hand muslims recognise it is a life created by god that they took and say all praises to god and pray for thier victims.
while christians have no respect for any religion even their own (burning religious books and making fun of god or profits their own included) why do muslims not draw cartoons of jesus or burn bibles in retaliation, simply because their religion prohibits such acts and they choose to follow their religion.
christians in africa practise female circumsion it is cultural not religious.
every year thousands of mexicans are beheaded maimed on the mexican border by their fellow christian brothers in the drug trade however you will not see this as christian killings)
that is all i have time for as god said seek knowledge .

PLEASE STUDY YOUR BIBLES YOU WILL BE SHOCKED AT ITS TEACHINGS RATHER THAN LIVE AND DIE IN IGNORACE

the truth is out there.

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