O Women! Thy Shall Remain Subservient in Islam Or Else…
O Women! Thy shall Remain Subservient in Islam Or Else…
There is no stereotype of a human…men or women. However, within a given geopolitical and socio-cultural parameter, some of the commoner behaviour do render a semblance of predictability. One’s faith and religion also tend to make a distinct identity but there are no stereotypes. Aryans, the followers of Vedic ideologies are largely peace-lovers with the branching out Jains and Buddhists being exemplary…BUT…don’t take them for granted, we will analyse it later as to why. Jews and Christians too were tolerant groups. Jesus being example of tolerating the extreme; but again, don’t take them too for granted. Islam is the only faith that is intolerant by nature. This faith was formed by a commoner, named Mohamed, who later self-proclaimed to have been blessed by an angel, who was highly fateful, intolerant and fascist to the contemporary Arabian tribes [1,2] . The author again cautions for not making stereotypes for obvious reasons…that Islam too has aberrations and exceptions. Any faiths / religions having lesser deviations from predicted behaviours could be termed peace-loving, tolerant or intolerant depending upon its dominant features. the same is the case for Muslim women.
There is no stereotype of Muslim women. Arabian Muslim women are much different from Europeans or Americans. However, within a narrow geopolitical segment, one may expect a distinct pattern of behavioural response. Their upbringing, socio-cultural backgrounds and interactions with surrounding are the one which largely determines their behaviour. This article focuses on Muslim women of Afghanistan.
Women in most of the Islamic nations have been at the receiving end since Mohamed’s time or even before. Actually, in the ancient Arabian Tribes, women lived in insecurity. The majority of the Arabian Tribes lived as nomads in temporary or regularly shifting shelters with their women and children. However, desires to grab others’ properties, jealousies and enmity among them made frequent clashes and attacks on each others. In those attacks the victor took possession of the assets of the vanquished as articles of grabs… that included women too…to submit to their new masters. However, after Mohamed proclaimed himself as prophet and started imposing his newly founded faith of Islam on others, the rules of the game had changed. They protected their own newly formed clan of the followers of Islam (willingly or otherwise), the Muslims, from any further attacks by other tribes. Hence, security of some sorts was felt among them…of no more attacks to the men and no more grabbing of their women. However, there came a huge setback to the women in Mohammed’s time. The victor, Mohamed and his mercenaries (that could be compared with the present Taliban) started redistributed the grabs (including women) among themselves and some other influential people.
He also distributed the young women to the service of their fighting mercenaries at the battlefront itself and the unfortunate captured women being used as sex slaves, had no say. They became prostitutes of Mohamed’s army. Mohamed also created separate camps with a special flag for the captured women where they were compelled to serve sex. Those refuging were flogged, kept without food & water, tortured and in many cases killed in the presence of others…to send a stern message, don’t disobey, else… The fate of women became subservient in Islam, meant to obey their masters whether right or wrong, in Mohamed’s time itself. This dictum was put in Quran and remains effective in the radical Islamic society even today…further worsened in many cases like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Syria, North
African nations and so on to name a few.
Women were the matter of objects in Mohamed’s time and remained so all through in the entire history of Islam. However, the extent of making them obeisant varies in different countries depending upon the culture of the original faiths, from where they were made to convert. As a result, the face of women in Islam varies to a large extent with the spread of Islam. Leaving exceptions, people of Indian Religions are peace-loving and for them a wife means life-partner. Veda, the foundation of humanity gives women the same status as that of men. In some specific roles, women have even higher status. It was the later Puranic period, when some basic rules of introducing discipline for women were incorporated that we find in the ‘Manusmriti’ too. Ramcharit manas written by saint Tulsidas during Islamic India shows degradation in the social fabric when he subscribed force against women especially in educating and for safeguarding modesty:-
However, Indian socio-political equations have been progressive and dynamic. The current laws forbid such hostile acts with significant punishments; but Islam has resisted any such amendments siting ‘Personal law’. Men belonging to Indian Religions or Christians have the basic elements of respect to the women even after conversion, according mutual freedom. Their forefathers must have lived with their wives like life-partners which seldom existed in the ancient Arabian culture or Islam, where the women have largely been the matter of object for grab. In the initial Islamic period of Mohamed and the subsequent Caliphs, women’s status has largely been submissive, obedient to husband’s wishes. Islam also has a very weak institution of marriage. In fact, marriages in Islam are contracts between the two and are often fragile…at the mercy of ‘Talaq’, mostly verbal. After Talaq, men can freely marry another woman at will but it must be really difficult for the divorced women to remarry. Author again cautions of stereotypes. In the recent Islamic societies where the converts are of Indian Religions, Parsis or Christians, there are mostly life-long stable marriages despite the ‘Nikah’ been contractual.
Think of numerous ongoing women’s legitimised rapes by Mullahs in the name of “Halala”. How many girl’s lives have been spoiled by the Mullahs the world over by brain-washing and sending them to be raped by ISIS terrorists in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. This was a draconian rule of Mohamed for the women under his occupancy and legalised through Quran, to serve sex to the terrorists at the battlegrounds itself. How are the rapes of Muslim Women through ‘Nikah mut'ah’going on for millennia under paid contractual sex? How do Muslim women tolerate all these? All these are happening in the 21st century and the ‘greatest’ international agency called “United Nations and their Human Rights Panel” had been turning blind eyes to the women’s plights. Think of the indignity to those women. Now Mohamed’s rules of rapes are being applied in Afghanistan where Taliban has asked all families to submit their unmarried, widowed or divorced women of over 15 yrs and below 45, so as to be handed over to their sex-starved terrorists…and they will be obliged too. This is the truth of radical Muslim Society and its women.
Muslim Women are invariably obsequious for numerous reasons, some mentioned below: -
Muslim women suffer from the lack of legal rights over the paternal, maternal or spousal properties. This makes them over dependant on their male caretakers…be it father, brother or the spouse. The heavily patriarchal disposition makes them extremely vulnerable to the socio-economic insecurities. As a result, they are invariably dependant on the dominant male in the family against whose wishes, she dare not venture out. On top of it, the religious dictat in Quran compel them to be ever obedient to the patriarchy, failing which she will be made to suffer on all fronts. Accordingly, she will be brought-up the way her father/brother wants. She may or may not study. If study, she will mostly be denied education that make her independent…else the patriarch will lose hold on her. She will wear the attire, she will mix-up the people, she will opt her preferences that her master, the patriarchy, the misogynist recommend. In the recent decades, some progressive parents have dared against the religious dictat…but those are far and few. As a rule, she is a weak, obedient, docile, scared woman within the four walls, exploited liberally by her masters. Sometime, after she attains the age of 9 yrs, she will be married off to someone that her patriarchy wants. In her new role too, she is supposed to an obedient wife in the service of her new master. This concept of “पतिपरमेश्वर” is also among Hindu but only to a limit, the sword of “Verbal Talaq” of being abandoned, is not hanging over her. She has taken it as her destiny. The majority of the Muslim women around the world today are those facing poverty, illiteracy, political repression and patriarchy. There are however, some exceptions of a few powerful Muslim women too, mostly as aberrations.
Domestic Violence is a huge bothersome reality in Muslim families duly encouraged by some of the Islamic teachings. These teachings give the patriarchy the permission to discipline or beat their daughter/sisters/wives if they are disobedient. Their weaker built, weaker position in the patriarchal family, an almost totally dependence on others further makes her vulnerable.
Islamic institutions of marriages are extremely biased and flawed. Islamic law allows a man to marry more than one wife. Consequently, most Muslim men are polygamous. This makes the wife further insecure and more dependent on to the husband. Muslim men also can marry temporarily for pleasure. On the other hand, Muslim women have no choice. She has to marry whom the patriarchy mandates, even if he is incapable. Her sexual desires must have been killed by FGM and she is will be stoned to death or whipped 40 times in public for ant temptations to adultery.
Many of the Islamic and almost all non-Islamic nations had much freedom for the women till 1970s and 80s for reasonable attire. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, far-east, Europe, Australian and American continents used to be liberal in their turn-out. However, after 1990s, the radicalism started getting overt by most men sporting beard and the women draped in burqa. The sociologists are puzzled. There is one thing getting prominence of late, that the Mullahs in these nations are mostly from the radical countries, preaching a very radical approach towards others. The Friday sermons, called ‘Khutbas’, are often discriminatory trying to boast Islam and demean others. They incite the listeners to be seen distinctly, behave differently and always serve in the interest of spreading religion even if that makes them to act against own country. We have seen the examples of it in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. As a result, the women themselves take it on to burqa to be seen as distinct…and those who do not fall in line, are in for rough treatment in the hands of the radicals, the jihadists. This is going to have significant impact in Afghanistan where the educated and moderately progressive women are being forced by the Taliban to follow their dictum on their attires.
One could see casual turn out of Muslim women in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey and Europe in the period right up to 80s and 90s. Not that the skirts, mini-skirts or the jeans are any better than the traditional dresses inherent in those countries but it does indicate the mindset…of being part of the crowd. This mindset has slowly been replaced by the attires of radical Islam of today. This will be one of the challenges of the progressive Muslim women of Afghanistan. The another challenge for these women will be pursuing their professional careers. The Taliban will oppose tooth & nails against rubbing their shoulders with male counterparts. They are vehemently opposed to women doing journalism. Many such women have already been killed by them this year itself and they have already issued the dictum…go back to your homes. They are highly intolerant to the educated women as administrators. There are whispers that the first women governor in Afghanistan, Salima Mazari has already been abducted by Taliban.
In short, it could be said that difficult times are ahead for educated and progressive women of Afghanistan.
1. Islamic hate, intolerance, bigotry and Fascism in current relevance. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353841498_Islamic_Hate_Intolerance_Bigotry_Fascism_in_Current_Relevance
2. The Truth of Islam as faith and Muslims as citizen. https://thecounterviews.com/issue_02_07