For the liberation of women in Islam
Posted on December 8th, 2016
How can I speak out against Islam when I am not a Muslim? It is so terribly politically incorrect and possibly offensive, and for that, I apologise. But I support women's rights, and I want freedom for women. I am against the burqa and Sharia because I feel that it represses women.
I have "heard many stories" about women repressed by Muslim men, and I don't like it. See gang rapes and acid attacks on women who were shamed after being raped (by men). Is that a result of Islam?
I want the world to be different, but acid attacks are carried out by the same type of nutters who go into gay clubs and spray bullets. I could even say I hate Islam when it comes from ISIS. But I cannot be against Islam if it is a religion and it is people's choice.
I don't believe that women choose repression and I wonder if they are Muslim because their families, culture and country are Muslim. I tell myself that women want freedom and liberty, even if that does not mean bearing all and even if some like being modest and retiring. Many women are outspoken and daring (Mary Winehouse, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Hilary Clinton). Society accepts them and embraces them or criticises them for their views - not because they are women.
But women do not need Islam just because they feel the need to be reserved. In Iran in the eighties, women felt fine, and I do not think it was women who asked for draconian laws. Some say that Islamic law is there because men could not control themselves.
What truth is there in that? Most of this is of another age, like outdated kosher laws, but while kosher laws are not harmful to people, they have a right to exist.
If the Qur'an enslaves women, what can we do about it? And who are we? Society? Christians? Jews? The United Nations? Why is there not a male Islamic movement for the freedom of women and the overturning of these laws? Anyone outspoken is perhaps frightened of reprisals and social pressure.
Are we suggesting a complete change of the Islamic world? There seem to be many supporters of it. Who am I to ask for change? Perhaps it is just a question of women coming together. Could there be a women’s Islamic revolution similar to the suffragette movement in the 1920s, which was won by women taking risks, demonstrating, putting themselves in danger? Is that what we are asking of Muslim women to get religious laws changed? Like bating the dog from outside the ring?
Who in the Muslim world, men and women alike, dare to speak up for women, for the secularisation of Islam? How does society move forward? And how do we in the west come to terms with women dressed in what we see as symbols of repression? The only logical conclusion is, as in Germany and France - is to ban the burqa.