Disturbing report on wife beating in Jordan

Mariam highlighted a very disturbing report (in Arabic) published on al-Arabiya’s website that says over 80% of Jordanian women support wife-beating! I’m not sure if this has even a smidgen of truth to it but the figures, released by Jordan’s National Family Council, are quite alarming and disturbing.

According to the report:

  • 83% of Jordanian women approve of wife beating if the woman cheats on her husband
  • 60% approve of wife beating in cases where the wife burns a meal she’s cooking
  • 52% approve of wife beating in case where she’s refused to follow the husband’s orders

I’m quite skeptical, as the figures are very alarming! If this proves true, then a major awareness campaign should take place among Jordanian women as soon as possible! Oh my, the world is going down the drain!

111 thoughts on “Disturbing report on wife beating in Jordan”

  1. The number one enemy for women’s rights is women. This is all part of the cultre, unfortunately, and before things change, the culture needs to change with the times. This may have been acceptable 50 years ago here in the states or 10 years ago in Europe, but they have changed and now its a must that the middle east change in regards to women’s rights. we are considered as second class citizens. and if any one expects democracey to flurish in the middle east, it can not be done with only allowing 50 percent of the population to only flourish and become democratic. it is just not possible. and for those who say other wise, then prove it. im just so sick of this part of my culture.

  2. lol @ jameed, ure gonna get bashed by the females now.
    Anyway, these stastics are really bad. The problem however lies in the solution. I think that we are always demanding these immediate remedies and we take anything that comes our way not remembering that not everything that works elsewhere can work here with the same results or at least, desirable results.
    The solution as Linda said, needs to stem from awareness and re-education of the masses. It makes no sense to me to focus on the female population as if they’ve done something wrong. It is the male masses which must be changed, their must be a degree of a social paradigm change as far as men-women relations. If the men are socially conditioned not to beat women and to treat them like queens, then they in turn will be treated like kings. I am however against introducing 1,000 laws which will lead to 70% divorce rate in the country. Laws in these cases are like trying to fix a leaking boat with super glue.

  3. 60% approve of wife beating in cases where the wife burns a meal she’s cooking

    That’s a double whammy, why would they even ask a question related to cooking?

  4. I cant believe its true…
    lets take a sample from Jordanian bloggers,
    Roba, Natasha, Linda and other females -> ever got beatin or know a relative got beatin because of thos reasons?

  5. Isn’t there a verse in the Hadith that says it’s ok to “lightly” beat your wife, somewhere other than the face, if she doesn’t respond to correction verbally? If that is the case, well then there you are. Sanctioned.
    When I lived in Hashmi Shemali, there was only one neighbor who’s husband DIDN’T hit her regularly. The rest, who told me about that Hadith, also said that if the wife doesn’t respond to verbal correction or beating, the husband was to withhold sex from her as the ultimate punishment (since women are such sex-controlled beings). They would laugh, and tell me they always tried to stay at that third level of punishment so they didn’t have to endure sex that was for his pleasure only or having yet another child
    Jad, I think in West Amman the husbands hit the maids instead. But I’ve seen some good shiners behind designer sunglasses in Abduun.
    But, very true that women perpetuate the problem.

  6. I of course do not believe any one should be beaten up unless its for self defense, hence, the reason i took a self defense class for women where we are trained by police officers and learn the exact moves they use to defend themseleves. watch out guys, i can lay the smakc donw on any one, if i needed to defend myself. but, i do not know of any jordanian relatives who has been beaten up or approves of it.

  7. Jameed, I just figured out what you wrote “our women are raised well”! If you MEANT that in this context, then aptly named you are, dried yogurt block! I hope the “caveman” addition to your name shows you are just kidding. And we promise not to come after you with boiling sheep broth.

  8. I will be more curious to know if men were surveyed and asked the same question about beating wives. I think results will be more compassionate than answers given by women. I would like those numbers to be as low as the number of times I would like to see the police come to arrest me for beating my wife.

  9. Kinzi, please before you post anything regarding an Islamic thing which you may be misinformed about or know little about, attempt to do some research because otherwise you’re posting something which others will take at face value. thank you 🙂
    p.s. hadiths and verses are two totally different things.

  10. Here are the several articles provided not as proof of anything either way but as popular conceptions of this debate, opening it up to further discussion or critique.

    Personally I don’t endorse any of these opinions, as I don’t consider myself in a place to make such a judgement. And some sources (see: MEMRI) are suspect, that I do know, but I do not think they are inflammatory (I hope not). But I find the debate interesting and I’m curious to see the discussion that flows from them.

  11. Arash….wait! wait! lemme guess…hmm…ure iranian…and u hate Islam. am i close? say it ain’t so Arash! Don’t strip the world of what suprises it has left…

  12. It’s disgusting to think that any group of people are subject to beatings for their whole lives, simply on the whims of others. This institutional misogyny is probably the biggest problem I have with the legal structure of so many countries in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
    For someone like me, who has limited direct exposure to this – all the Muslim women I’ve known have been “liberated” and residents of the U.S. or E.U. – it seems of a kind with the intense loathing of women implied in Mohammed Atta’s last will and testament.
    A few years ago I was a guest lecturer – just for one class – via satellite to a class of MBA students at Bilkent University. (The MBA program there is run jointly with New York University.) I was struck by the similar style of dress exhibited by the men in the class, versus the stark dichotomy among the women. About half the women were dressed in modern garb, the rest were wearing headscarves and clothes that concealed the shape of their bodies. The former sat in the front of the class, the latter in the rear. It didn’t seem like there was any middle ground.

  13. Nas, sorry for any offense, I wrote in the form of a question hoping someone who does know more would clarify. You have been the best research source on this topic so far!
    But I see from the quotes Jeff has posted that what I had been told by my neighbors is not just a hadith (not even a ‘weak’ one), but from the words of your holy Quran itself. That to me is scary, and what I feared…that wife-beating is considered a normal part of keeping one’s household in order and maktuban.
    I’m glad that your wife (or wife to be)will be treated like a queen, which is the best way to insure that the husband is treated like a king.

  14. Kinzi, no offense taken, im just glad you (unlike many) are able to hear the actual side of the story before congealing ure opinion into concreate and simonizing it as a mantle piece to show others. thats a good approach to a religion which is under attack with mis-information.
    ill try and keep this short, i got a final in a few hours…
    our
    There is a complete chapter in the quran dedicate to women and the affairs concerning women in society. The one verse which tends to get picked on is the one youve probably read refering to “beat your wives” which actually sounds harsh in english. In arabic (its original form) it retains a meaning to which the prophet pbuh refered to by example. beating is not something u do under the modern definition of knocking the other person out or giving them a shiner. what it refers to is a light brush (tap) against the body (not the face) that cannot even leave a mark, in other words its not saying take off your belts and go crazy on ure wife when she burns the toast. This “beating” is better translated to a form of restraint in a situation that calls for extremes, we’re talking about a situation that is so grave that even the prophet pbuh never experienced it with any of his wives. Now muslims follow the sunnah (ways of) the prophet pbuh, and you have to logically conclude that if HE never did it then there is in all probability a very large unliklihood that no muslim should ever have to resort to it. Mind you, the society he lived in culturally accepted wife beating, and its reference in the quran is a last resort of 3, meaning there are two other preliminary measures to be taken first.
    So the english word of “beating” does not refer to modern sense of physical abuse but rather a light tap, no more then what the prophet pbuh described as that of a siwak (a toothbrush). But he insisted that his followers never ever resort to this measure and to do all that is in their power to do so. If they abuse this power they would suffer grave consequences, every bruise on the wives of their skin would be multi-fold on them later on. So it was avoided by his followers based on this fear. He expressed his extreme repulsion on many occassions about this issue and this enough for any muslim to realise how bad it is.
    What you see now is culture taking over, the dominating male making his wife the slave and hitting her for too little salt in the rice.
    The relationship between man and women in islam is the 2nd most important thing after ones indivualist relationship with Allah. Becasue Islam believes that we as human beings are part of a collective worshiping the same lord. Hence our families must be preserved inorder for a larger society to be maintained. Hence the idea much like other monothiest religions, is to avoid divorce at all costs and to take all measures to resolve conflicts peacefully, mutually and lovingly.
    if u have any questions, ask me.
    thanks

  15. I have a question Nas.
    When you open the door to an ambiguous interpretation of what a “brush” is, you open the door to abuse. This door should have been shut. True?
    Or, better yet, it should have been open to both genders. If the husband is allowed to “brush” the woman up, then shouldn’t the woman be allowed to do the same?

  16. what it refers to is a light brush (tap) against the body (not the face) that cannot even leave a mark, in other words its not saying take off your belts and go crazy on ure wife when she burns the toast. This “beating” is better translated to a form of restraint in a situation that calls for extremes, we’re talking about a situation that is so grave that even the prophet pbuh never experienced it with any of his wives. Now muslims follow the sunnah (ways of) the prophet pbuh, and you have to logically conclude that if HE never did it then there is in all probability a very large unliklihood that no muslim should ever have to resort to it. Mind you, the society he lived in culturally accepted wife beating

    This is the same load of wishful thinking, speculation, and second guessing Allah that embarrassed Muslims through around everytime it comes to wife-beating. I find it easier to believe that that part intends what it states, especially given the context and the time it belongs to. Nevertheless, any sort of beating is simply inexcusable. But if you consider Muhammad as anything more than a social reformer I guess you have no way but to white wash everything he’s said and done. Another favorite is that Muhammad didn’t obtain numerous wives out of lust, but out of political necessity!

  17. I am realy impressed of how ” word meanings “are manipulated and given other meanings than they originally tend to mean. Beating, doesnt really mean beating. Jihad, doesnt mean fighting and killing. And “Amoot, in the verse “Salamon 3alayya yawma wolidto wa yawma amooto, wayawma ob3atho 7ayya…” does not mean “to die.” Common, go tell those manipulations to people who do not understand Arabic to make your points look prettier.

  18. Ameen, where is the ambiguity in a verse or in a word or in an act that the Prophet Pbuh has explained quite clearly to his followers both vocally, publically, and by example? How can a person shut his eyes and say it’s interpretation when the Prophet offered the answer? So there is no interpretation here, there are words in the quran, explained by the prophet, and then his word in turn are backed up by actions. You have to understand what you see now are people acting on their own and to later on justify or defend their actions they mention religion. So here’s they’ve committed two religious crimes, disobeying their lord’s request and then twisting it justify their evil deeds. How many do you in Jordan for example who sit down with their wives and discuss a problem reasonably? I’ve never seen that, it’s usually intimidation and abuse right off the bat. Note that in a time where you would find wife beating as common as a tv in every home, the prophet pbuh drew a line in the sand to stop it. And when it comes to matters which concern religious acts, muslims tend to (or should) follow the sunnah of the rasool, i.e. the ways of the Prophet pbuh, as he is the model case. Thank You.
    Arash and Jareer, I really don’t think I cant start a discussion with either of you since it appears your intentions are not to discuss but insult. I like to discuss and debate and explain my religion, but I dont like to resolve to petty insults to prove a point. So when you have something to present that is remotly close to an actual arguement I’ll be more than happy to respond. thank you

  19. If I disagree with you, it does not mean I insult you. Otherwise, I am insulted alot.
    You should either present a convincing rationale behind the beating, Jihad, etc; or stop using the language in a manipulative way. It looks to me from several discussions here and there, that vocabularies used in Arabic are manipulated to mean everything, except what they really are. Nothing less, nothing more. If you feel that is insulting, it is your problem. As for Arash, he has to defend himself as I am not his advocate.

  20. This is a shocking statistic, and what’s more shocking is the acceptance of it by women!!! It’s crap like that that gives Arabs a bad name. Men beating wives? I hope the government over in Jordan does something about this. Put these guys in jail. Change their behavior with a taste of their own medicine.

  21. Nas, My point is that what constitutes a “brush” to you, may not be my definition of a “brush.” I can see yours as “too light” or “too harsh.” It isn’t scientific, there are no units of measurement.
    And you didn’t answer my question of whether women should have the same right? What if the husband is caught cheating? What if the husband drops the “kilo of burd2an” on his way home and it’s ruined? Should he suffer a few mild shoves?
    Plus, for me personally, I think a shove is more insulting than a beating. In a fight, I would punch back, a shove is meant to be more demoralizing, and I’m sure it’s coupled with verbal abuse.

  22. Just a quick comment: let’s try to keep it cool here and refrain from insulting other people’s religions or ideologies.
    The debate is interesting and there is room for legitimate explanation of interpretation, but please, I’m asking you, let’s keep it healthy.

  23. Ameen, I understand what you are saying and I would agree with you however lets say you introduce a new concept to me over the Internet, say that of a rose, one that I am left to interpret from mere words and binary codings. Based on this interpretation I gain a perspective that solidifies in my mind; therefore shaping my one definition of what a rose is. Later on, we meet and you demonstrate for me what you meant; you show me a rose, thus my interpretation is thrown out and now my definition of this term becomes not only the words you told me before but the demonstration you carried out.
    In relation to the subject at hand, this demonstration was carried out by the prophet pbuh through his entire life. The “brush” may be different to you or to me, but when the prophet pbuh defines a “brush” by holding up a siwak (a small toothpick) our interpretations of “brush” are thrown out and our definitions becomes that of the demonstration. It’s like plato’s cave, once you’ve seen the real thing, the mold, the idea, you can no longer regard the shadow on the wall as your sole definition for it. Interpretations cease to exist, a rose is a rose is a rose. Our unit for measurement is therefore the prophet pbuh.
    Sorry, i missed your question in the reading. Let us answer this by refering back the verse that is causing this controversy. Firstly we keep in mind what has been said before regarding the “beating” during a situation that is so extreme it is cause for it and the prophet pbuh himself never faced such a calamity; and then let us finish the verse and see how it applies: “…but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance); for Allah is most High and Great (above you all). If you fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family and the other from hers. If they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation; for Allah has full knowledge and is acquainted with all things.” (An-Nisa’: 34-35)”
    Now, if you punch your wife in the face (God forbid) do you think she’d be “annoyed”, perhaps even angry? in all probability yes, hence what is being said that if you believe based on knowing your wife and the situation you are facing, that by touching her in any matter it will simply annoy her then you are not allowed to do it. This sheer annoyance nullifies the ability for a man to touch his wife. The word “beating” in arabic is explained by the prophet pbuh as “dharban ghayra mubarrih”, a brush which leaves no mark. Hence what is the point of it? Is it condoning the act of beating the hell out of one’s wife? No, it acts as a symbolic measure, not to demoralize anyone, rather to return a person in a highly irrational and provacative state to terms of reality and the recognition of roles within a relationship, family and society.
    When i was a kid, my mother beat me sometimes when I was off the wall as im sure most arab kids experienced a similar fate. And I don’t blame her. And although this is a far cry away from what is meant in this verse and the prophet pbuh, the nature is at the core of it similar in the sense that when our mothers disciplined us they did in times when we were most deserving of it and not when we broke every little dish. They did not (or at least i hope) beat us until we were broken, spankings made us cry not because they hurt because of their symbolic nature. And even with such spankings we recieved bruises to remember, what would it take to brush someone without causing a bruise; specifically a women? What we’ve discussed here is an even lesser form than that and because a women is not a naive child it would take place in a far rarer case. Nothing remotely close to the terrible stastics we see here, nothing in the league or “burnt rice” which probably constitutes at least half these stastics.

  24. You know it’s quite funny that Nas is trying to repackage “zarabohom” in a different way than the clear meaning of the word suggests. I thought these antics were limited to non-Arabic speakers. Why would Allah want to make it so ambiguous anyways? Doesn’t he have eternal knowledge? Couldn’t he see how it will be understood? Did he have a limited Arabic vocabulary? Maybe he wanted women to suffer in his name?
    It’s also amusing to note that the Quran suggests avoiding the women’s “sleeping places”. As if polygamy is the default condition. Furthermore, it’s interesting to note that woman can’t refuse to go to bed with her husband; rape within marriage is quite acceptable.
    And you talk of what Muhammad did and how he treated his many wives as if we have any reliable information about the guy. The first “histories” of Islam were written way after his death. And then there is the pick and choose approach, same sources have many stories about massacres of the region’s Jews, about Muhammad’s raids on commercial caravans and so many other less than “godly” actions. But these days we are told that those stories are made up or need additional “explanation”.
    Anyways, given the general attitude of the Muslim men toward women, regardless of ethnicity, I’d say Islamic teachings must have something to do with the persistence of this attitude through ages.

  25. No, it acts as a symbolic measure, not to demoralize anyone, rather to return a person in a highly irrational and provacative state to terms of reality and the recognition of roles within a relationship, family and society.

    I’m sorry but that is just nonsense. This ayah is about sexual obedience (تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ) and has nothing to do with the women being in a “highly irrational and provocative state”. It basically says if you couldn’t have your way with your wife carry out this sequence of actions. And even if you disagree with the obvious meaning of نُشُوزَهُنَّ you can’t claim that a woman would be in a provocative state after she has been admonished and abandoned. In anycase this is about obedience and patriarchy and just as demeaning.

  26. This verse (4:35) is used by the enemies of Islaam to try attack the religion and claim that Islaam condones wife beating. The Quran says to use our intellects, but how can some use their intellects when they do not understand? And this is exactly the problem. I’m sure many of you are arabs and can comprehend arabic. Then pick up a dictionary of arabic and look at the word “Daraba” There is a long list of meanings associated with this word. The Quran alone has at least 10 different meanings of this word. In fact, for those of you who understand arabic (Fus7a, the language of the Quran) you will know that you can use that word in different ways such as “Print Money” you can use “Daraba” to mean print. The english term for the direct translation of Daraba may be “beat” or “strike” there are over 14 meanings alone for the words.
    So where do we get our meanings for this ayah? I’m very sure none of you are Muffassireen so whatever interpretation you give is worthless compared to the tafseer of the salaf and the ones who are qualified.
    From the Tafseers we get these meanings: 1) separating from the wives in the sense of living apart from them, 2) beating them or admonishing them. The Arabic language also allows a third meaning: 3) have sex with them.
    According to the Sunnah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never hit or beat his wives. And as Muslims, we MUST adhere to his sunnah. Allaah says: “…Do not retain them (i.e., your wives) to harm them…(The Noble Quran, 2:231)”
    The Sunnah of the Prophet is to treat your wives with respect and treat them justly. And if there arises a problem between husband and wife, Allaah says:
    (4:35). If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation: For Allah hath full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things.

  27. When i was a kid, my mother beat me sometimes when I was off the wall as im sure most arab kids experienced a similar fate. And I don’t blame her.
    Nas, you’re equating women with children. You’re suggesting that husbands do and ought to have authority and ownership of their wives in the same way that parents have over their children. I understand that the Quran presents it this way, but do you believe that women are inferior to men in terms of judgement, responsibility or other mental faculties? If you do, how do you reconcile that with life in Canada, and what behavior is expected of you in Canada? And if you don’t, how do you reconcile that with your prior statements on the Quran?
    We all know you’re in a logical hole here, because as soon as you admit one error or shortcoming in the Quran, you’ve surrendered everything. But you’re not some ignorant peasant – you’ve seen the world and you must know that women have the same intellectual and learning potential as men.
    You’re in the same position some Christians found themselves in 100 or 150 years ago, when it was becoming increasingly evident that God did NOT create the world in seven days, and that the world was much older than the Bible said it was. When Robert Ingersoll wrote Some Mistakes of Moses, people were outraged and called him an agent of Satan. Ingersoll’s atheism never really caught on, but by pointing out the ludicrous inaccuracies of the Old Testament he helped Christians isolate the parts of their faith that really mattered, while moving past the idea of the Bible as the literal word of God.
    It’s probably presumptuous of me to suggest it, but don’t Muslims have to make a similar leap at some point? And what will happen when the ancient copy of the Quran being studied in Germany is finally published? What if it differs significantly from the Quran you know? Will you dismiss it out of hand or will you try to reconcile the two versions? If only one can be the true Quran, how will you know for sure which one is?

  28. While we’re on the subject of beating women and the tolerance of this within governments…can someone educate me on the retarded government of Saudi Arabia, a country that to this day has police whose sole function is to monitor that women show no skin on the street, and if they do, they have sticks they smack them with? Are we going to deny this too? Come on, people…the first step to making change is to actually stop the hypocracy. It baffles me that this bullshit goes on. Educate me on the excuse for this nonesense…please.

  29. Here are a few suggestions.

    1. Beating is not allowed. (Both genders)
    2. If the man or the woman is ‘not feeling it tonight,’ the other party is left to their own measures (in lieu of using the M word).
    3. You are allowed to teach/preach what you want to your family and friends but are not allowed to enforce anything upon them or society at large for that matter.
    4. If you believe true salvation lies in the Qur’an/Bible/Torah/Huck Finn or any other book of your choosing, follow that path, and don’t worry about other people not following it. Allah/God/Eloheem/Mark Twain or whoever is up there will take care of the ‘damned.’
    5. Mind your own business. If someone wants to spread Peanut Butter all over themselves and sing “This is how we do it” for prayer, let them be.
    6. Listen to George Carlin’s Ten Commandments. HERE (6.3 Megs).

    Ameen

  30. Sterling, You have the right to have reservations concerning my beliefs and that of millions of others, but you do not have the right to judge me or what I choose to believe, as you know absolutly nothing about me or my personal life. Is that safe to assume?
    I did not equate women to children, i explicitly said women are not children, what i am comparing is the essential core nature of social roles in a family.
    “you believe that women are inferior to men in terms of judgement, responsibility or other mental faculties”
    i never said they were, neither does Islam
    “you’ve seen the world and you must know that women have the same intellectual and learning potential as men.”
    once again, i never said they were and neither does Islam
    Sterling, there comes a point where one can no longer carry on a discussion about a subject they clearly know so little about. My apologies but every muslim reading this can see the amount of ignorance, especially when you just make certain assumptions and then say Islam said this and Nas believes it. You’re going to have to do a little better than that…assumptions are not a good floatation device for the deepend of the pool. Perhaps you can form a discussion without making these false assumptions, which really serve no purpose other than an attempt to ridicule.

  31. Amin Matalqa, the Saudi government is a failure and a hypocracy. The saudi government, iran, and bin laden, represent Islam as much as Krusty the Clown represent Judiasm.

  32. Can we all just take a look at our own religions and own cultures before we pick on Islam. YEs we believe that beating women is bad.
    And you know what, its all about how people translate the religion or the text they are reading that belongs to the religion. Every religion out there has great stuff to it. Every religion out there has bad things to it. its all about translation. For example, President Bush has said many times its America’s will due to the grace of God for America to spread democracy. I dont think God wants us to spread democraty through the barrel of a gun. HEllo, any one heard of manafest destiny? an entire race (the native americans) were practically erased because of this preverted translation of the christian religion.
    As a catholic, i will be the first to say how angry i am with my religion and how the catholic church has not done enough to punish those preists who have molested and till this day keep on molesting young boys. absolutely sick.
    any way, my point is this discussion is good, but some of you are getting personal and are being rude. we are all respectful people here so lets keep it that way.

  33. Being a “wife beater” has nothing to do with religion, those of you who believe Islam condones such acts are mistaken. Nonetheless, the fact that it’s condoned or not, in my opinion, is irrelevant. Do you honestly think those Muslim men who beat their wives are thinking of that verse of the Quran as they commit their horrendous act? Wife beating is a social, cultural, and psychological problem that I’m pretty sure, and just HOPE is not as widespread as this survey suggests! I’ve spent most of my life in that part of the world, and I can tell you from a first person viewpoint that such acts were (and now even to a greater degree are) considered despicable and utterly unacceptable.

  34. I actually watched a TV show on the Egyptian satellite channel where they brought a muslim cleric on who argued for the “light beating” of women. Ofcourse, they had a (in my opinion) more enlightened cleric who argued the opposite.
    My point is that the Qur’an in its ambiguous text has opened the door to interpretation, and sadly our patriarchal system allows for only men to be ‘sheikhs’ and thus women’s fate will be decided by men who don’t need college degrees to become religious scholars. They merely need to memorize the Qur’an and be able to argue well from within its deep crevices.
    There definetly needs to be a cultural reformation that addresses women’s rights in the region. What the region needs is strong Nationalist (King Hussein) or Pan-Arabist (Nasser) leaders who will deal with Islamic extremism head-on. Both leaders fought for diff goals, but both mutually saw the threat of the rise of Islam in our culture.

  35. why are people so quick to blame the religion? Is there much enimity for Islaam that people judge based upon actions of individuals who do not represent Islaam? Women hold a high status in Islaam and since Islaam came over 1400 years ago, women have had more rights than anyother nation. To this day, lawyers in California refer to Islaam for womens rights!
    “And from amongst His Signs is this: That He created for you wives from amongst yourselves, so that you may find serenity and tranquility in them, And He has put between you love and compassion. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect.” [Al-Qur’aan 30:21]
    And It’s funny how people think “only men” can be scholars. Sheikh-ul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah studied from 4 female scholars, one being his paternal aunt, Sitt ad-Daar bint ‘Abdus-Salaam Ibn Taymiyyah. Of course you do not need a college degree to become a scholar, College degrees take only a few years, becoming a scholar takes 14 – 20 years. There is more to being a scholar than memorizing the Quran.
    Islaam treats women better than in any other religion or culture.
    The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbors. And I command you to take good care of the women.’ (Bukhari)
    and also, ‘The believers who have the best manners are those who have the most perfect faith. The best amongst you are the best towards their wives.’ (Tirmidhi)

  36. you believe that women are inferior to men in terms of judgement, responsibility or other mental faculties

    i never said they were, neither does Islam

    O’ ye peoples! Women are deficient in Faith, deficient in shares and deficient in intelligence. As regards the deficiency in their Faith, it is their abstention from prayers and fasting during their menstrual period. As regards deficiency in their intelligence it is because the evidence of two women is equal to that of one man. As for the deficiency of their shares that is because of their share in inheritance being half of men. So beware of the evils of women. Be on your guard even from those of them who are good. Do not obey them even in good things so that they may not attract you to evils. – Ali(Nahj al Balagha:80)

  37. Islaam treats women better than in any other religion or culture.

    Tell that to the women of Afghanistan. Or do you consider it good treatment to be obliged to wear a black sack covering every part of your body wherever you go outside the home, and to be forced to be accompanied by a male relative during those times?

    Look, I’m not thrilled with the explicit sexuality that’s become normalized in western culture, but given the option, surely women prefer to have the same rights and opportunities as men. Who can deny that?
    And Nas, I’m asking you black and white questions and you’re trying to dodge them by calling me ignorant. Also yes, I’m very certain my understanding of Islam and the Quran falls well short of the average Muslim. However, that in itself doesn’t mean I’m asking the wrong questions. Look at the verse Arash quotes – how do you reconcile contradiction within the Quran?

  38. HI! I’m Arash!! Look at me! I go to http://www.google.com and type in..how Islam insults women! Then I get all these anti-Islamic websites, and I link to them, and copy and paste from them..but I still don’t know what the hell I’m talking about!
    I’m so ignorant, I know nothing about Islam..yet I like to argue with Muslims about Islamic stuff..
    Don’t you think I’m stupid or what?
    Oh well…let me continue saying crap for now 😉

  39. Hi! Im Sterling
    I don’t know the difference between the stupid cultural beliefs, and the Aqeeda and Shariah of Islam. And I love to mix them together!! I think I’m cool like that 😀 😀

  40. Look at the verse Arash quotes – how do you reconcile contradiction within the Quran?

    Sterling that’s not a verse.. it’s a quote from some book, and this is the sort of trouble we get into when someone that doesn’t know starts to assume.

    What you’re referring to in Afghanistan is what the Taliban did and many Muslims were opposed to that, but an I have a point to make about that, I loved how all those western journalists went and done reports specifically about what women are forced to wear under the Taliban, and then went and did follow up reports after the Taliban were ousted, low and behold the women were in the same attire after being liberated. What is so hard for you and many others to understand is that many Muslim women choose to dress in these black sacks you refer to.

    Anyway, this is off the topic, the main point as I stated in my earlier reply is that wife beating has nothing to do with Islam, Islam encouraged the use of one’s brain and if a man’s brain tells him that hitting his wife is an acceptable deed then there’s something fundamentally wrong with him/his brain.

  41. What I quoted was a sermon from the 4th khalif (or the 1st Shi’a imam) that alludes to discriminations within the Quran to make his point. There are similar saying from other khalifs and Muhammad himself. They show that Islam has always been like this and the attitude of current Muslims is very much in line with the first Muslims. So the claim that “these Muslims don’t reflect the teaching of Islam” is just too much. Really, if Allah creates a religion that from the beginning goes awry, I’d say there’s something deficient about him.

  42. HI! I’m Arash!! Look at me! I go to http://www.google.com and type in..how Islam insults women! Then I get all these anti-Islamic websites, and I link to them, and copy and paste from them..but I still don’t know what the hell I’m talking about!I’m so ignorant, I know nothing about Islam..yet I like to argue with Muslims about Islamic stuff..

    Er, I hail from the Islamic Republic, have years of mandatory religion classes in my belt, have daily conversation with other people from the region, now If I “know nothing about Islam”, I don’t know who does. And what’s with the childish reactionary behaviour, someone’s missing their “symbolic beating”? 😉

  43. Ok Arash..tell me what you’re talking about..step by step, I’ll expalin to you what you where you’re wrong, and I will also provide proof that you can use from the Qur’an AND the Sunnah. Because, you have to keep in mind, that many Ayahs in the Qur’an are explained in the Hadith, in a way that we would understand, and that’s what the people in that website you provided totally forgot about.

  44. The level of ignorance of some people here is unbelievable, at least try to hide your hatred and trick us.
    I’m a muslim girl and you can interrogate me if you want, don’t be afraid my slayer is not standing behind me right now threatening me with a whip.
    IT HAS TO DO WITH SOME MEN’S CORRUPTED MENTALITY NOT RELIGIONS.

  45. Sorry Jeff, looks like I messed up a tag there.

    IT HAS TO DO WITH SOME MEN’S CORRUPTED MENTALITY NOT RELIGIONS.

    Well, a very corrupted man came up with this particular one.

    Ok Arash..tell me what you’re talking about..step by step

    Sorry, I don’t talk to myself out loud 😉

  46. Insults to Women in the Quran

    i don’t mean to underestimate your intelligence sir but:

    1. those verses are out of context
    2. the english translation is not accurate at all
    3. the intentions behind the whole website is obvious, so next time if you’re really willing to discuss anything give us some reliable source on Islam, one that we muslims agree with.
  47. Notice, that we’ve provided an explination of the verse in the quran, we’ve offered the Prophet pbuh’s explination of the verse, we’ve offered the explination of both the verse and the prophet’s hadith by the greatest scholars yet people will refuse to believe.
    But I did enjoy the whole “let me use sarcasm as a weapon by talking to myself and pretending im all, like, crazy”…ironically it was the most intelligent and constructive dialouge you guys took part in all day. i give it a thumbs up…ebert?

  48. so next time if you’re really willing to discuss anything give us some reliable source on Islam, one that we muslims agree with.

    This isn’t a disagreement about narratives where sources would matter. This is the Quran, with side notes. Also, the translation is a standard English translation. Dismissing it out of hand is really a sign of dogmatic views on your side than anything.

    Besides, this isn’t a seminary, the topic of these comments is domestic violence in Jordan. Now it just so happens that the predominant religion over there is Islam. Someone suggested that that might have something to do with the development of the country’s culture and social behaviour. Another Muslim, like you, denied any connection whatsoever. But, your answers all continue to reinforce the point that Islamic teachings indeed influence people in negative ways. You simply assert that people are misguided and do not understand your modern interpretation of the verb “to hit”. That’s “an excuse that’s worse than the sin”, as we say in Persian. This situation isn’t about a positive that can also occasionally be used in negative ways. Like a sleeping pill that can also be used for suicide. This is a religion that its adherents claim to be of divine origins. And if the “divine being” fails so miserably in gauging the side effects of his pill, from its very inception, there is something divinely wrong with him. That, or Allah indeed meant it this way.

  49. Here is yet more to consider courtesy Aqua-Cool via My Divine Comedy:

    Does Islam Consider Women Inferior to Men?

    By Adil Salahi
    My sister has asked me to put to you the following questions:

    1. Why does Islam consider women inferior to men?
    2. Since we cannot do anything except by God’s will, why are we accountable when we commit sin?
    3. Is it really Islamic to kill unbelievers? Should not all people be allowed to practice what they believe in?

    Mustak
    A.1. Islam considers men and women equal. Anyone who thinks that Islam gives an inferior position to women does not know Islam. It is true that in some Muslim communities women are treated as if they were inferior, but this is due to local tradition, which may be inherited or imported from local or neighboring culture. Unfortunately people associate this with Islam, but Islam has nothing to do with it. Reflect, if you will, on the duties Islam requires of men and women. You will find these the same, and the reward promised for doing them is the same. If you have some employees and you assign the same duties to them but give them different salaries, then you do not treat them equally. Likewise, if you give them the same salaries but you assign lighter duties to some of them, then those with lighter duties are given a preferred status. This is not the Islamic way. Men and women are equal in the sight of God and they must be treated equally in Muslim society, and indeed within the same family.
    May I ask why did your sister ask you to raise the questions, rather than putting her questions to me directly? She is most welcome to raise any further questions.
    A.2. There are certain things that we do by nature, such as breathing, reaction to weather conditions and natural elements, etc. But God has given us free will and a good range of choice over other matters. He has also given us our minds to judge matters and choose what is right and proper. He did not leave us, however, to our own thinking so as to determine right from wrong. He sent us messengers who delivered His guidance, and He bestowed the Qur’an as a permanent guide for us. Thus, He has given us everything we need to know what is right and what is wrong. When we choose to do wrong and commit sin, it is only right that we should be held responsible for our deeds, which we have chosen. Still He forgives us whatever wrong we commit if we regret it, repent and resolve not to repeat it.

    A.3. Under Islam, all people are free to practice whatever beliefs they have. Islam does not allow Muslims to kill unbelievers who do not fight Islam. It is only when they launch an aggression against Islam or Muslims that we should fight them. If you look at what is happening in the world today, you find that Muslims are at the receiving end of aggression in different places, particularly in Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya and Afghanistan. When Muslims fight back, they are only repelling aggression. Still, when Muslims fight, they must abide by Islamic rules, never killing anyone who is not engaged in the fight against them. Thus, they must not kill or injure innocent people or passers by.

    Source: [Arab News]

  50. But I did enjoy the whole “let me use sarcasm as a weapon by talking to myself and pretending im all, like, crazy”…ironically it was the most intelligent and constructive dialouge you guys took part in all day. i give it a thumbs up…ebert?

    See SC, now you’ve sinned by deviating this Muslim brother from the path of truth. Astaghforallah!

  51. The way you speak arash shows the level of your intellect. It’s not very High. You can take all the mandatory religion classes you want, but you still called ‘Ali a shia, when he used to fight against the shia’s who tried to call them his people

  52. I’m schizophrenic

    Signs of Schizophrenia:

    • Delusions
    • Hallucinations
    • Disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence)
    • Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
    • Negative symptoms (e.g., affective flattening, alogia, avolition)

    Now I know of a certain prominent person that showed everyone of these symptoms for a good while (and you just need to show 2 for at a least month to be considered Schizophrenic). Too bad they didn’t have psychology back then.
    Jeff can you rename “my” comments that aren’t mine please?

  53. The way you speak arash shows the level of your intellect. It’s not very High. You can take all the mandatory religion classes you want, but you still called ‘Ali a shia, when he used to fight against the shia’s who tried to call them his people

    Fellow intellectual, Ali is the 1st Shi’a imam (and that’s what I wrote). It’s not his fault Shi’as adore him the way they do, he’s dead 😉

  54. I should apologies to Natasha for the misuse of her comments section. I didn’t know this weblog has so many closeted Muslim readers 🙂

  55. Arash, do you mind telling me whether you follow any religion or if you’re an athiest?
    anyway, everything in the life can be misinterpreted by some people. show me one thing that is not theoretically debatable? heck some would even debate the fact that God exists! and you refuse to believe that the way, the time and the reason of hitting can be misunderstood by some ignorant people who refuse to resort to the main sources of Islamic teachings: Qura’an and Sunnah. if you know enough about Islam you should know that one role of Sunnah is to clarify what is in the Qura’an.
    As a Muslim i know that hitting even with a feather shouldn’t be allowed except in extreme cases when the marriage is put on an edge and is about to fall, BUT since the Prophet-blessings and peace be upon him- and even the companions have never touched their wives it is crystal clear that hitting is a laaaaast resort and it is not meant to physically harm anyone. it shouldn’t be taken personally even, it is meant to protect the marriage not to make the husband feels better! it is supposed to alert the wife that something wrong has happened and all other methods did not work with her, which means she’s wrong. she’s supposed to feel guilty and sense that her husband has been trying so hard and now he’s upset. if it was clear that hitting her with something like a “siwak” won’t result in anything good then it there’s no point in doing it in the first place.
    you keep quoting the Qura’an in a very wrong way btw but nevertheless, please show me a verse that says beating is supposed to leave scars or humiliate the woman in any way.
    a last note, my interpretation is not a moderate one, there is no such thing as a moderate or extreme interpretation. Islam is one and we are to give opinions only regarding matters that were not mentioned in either Qura’an or Sunnah.

  56. I hate the argument Muslim apologists pose that “these rogue few are not repr. of true Islam”
    Is Islam anything more than its constituents, and is it anything more than the reality it creates?
    On paper every system is great. Heck, I love communism on paper.

  57. Here is yet more to consider courtesy Aqua-Cool via My Divine Comedy:

    What was there to consider? Assertion after assertion. I make a better “Marhaba Mo’men” columnist than that!

    If you have some employees and you assign the same duties to them but give them different salaries, then you do not treat them equally. Likewise, if you give them the same salaries but you assign lighter duties to some of them, then those with lighter duties are given a preferred status. This is not the Islamic way. Men and women are equal in the sight of God and they must be treated equally in Muslim society, and indeed within the same family.

    ُThey’re basically saying it’s fair to force women to do what we want because we ask them to provide less as well. It’s a forced labor situation. I’m sure it works for some people. But, what if you feel imprisoned in this framework, what can you do?

    Besides even within that framework things aren’t fair. You get half the inheritance than your brother because husbands are supposed to provide for material needs. Well, what if you’re widowed? Can’t marry? Don’t want to marry? How about judicial roles, why a women’s account is counted as half of a man’s? Why can’t woman become judges? And so on.
    And don’t even get me started on 2 and 3…

  58. Nas, the thing that still troubles me is that those verses are still present, and if your take on ‘daraba’ is so they have obviously been REALLy stretched to accomodate what is practiced in the Islamic world.
    (doorbell rang, more late)

  59. The report is incredibly disturbing, however, in a very dark way, enlightening. In many ways, I’m sad that this is still happening. In another way, I’m happy that it is being reported. At least the women are acknowledging that it’s a fact although nothing is ever 100% factual but still, it does translate to something that requires a major awareness campaign.
    I don’t know what things are like in Oman. I’ve heard very few incidents of husbands beating their wives (usually when they’re drunk) but the stories I’ve heard about how Kuwait men treat their wives, sisters and their own mother is very very alarming. One Kuwaiti guy admitted to my face that he slapped his mom, beat up his older sister etc because women need to shut up. This is supposedly a liberal Kuwaiti guy. Other Kuwaiti guys admitted that there’s a lot of beating and they look down on women and justifying the beating because “they ask for it”. I was very disturbed that I didnt want to even visit that country anymore. I also had a Kuwaiti girlfriend who was beaten up by her own first cousin when she was dating him. Yes, I mean beating the hell out of her like punching her in the stomach, kicking her down to the floor until 911 came to her rescue. I was praying that he would be arrested but she was an idiot and made up some story to cover his sorry ass.
    I may be biased for saying this but I know of a few cases in Oman (two women attempting to commit suicide) and a few other women who were bruised (not beaten up but just a bit of aggression with their husbands when arguing) and the three of them (the two who popped over 40 pills) and were admitted to the hospital were actually questioned by the police over and over again on “why did you attempt to commit suicide? is it your father who is upsetting you or your brother or your husband?”. The police would go on and on trying to make it so easy for them to admit the truth if it had anything to do with a male member. The same thing with the women who were bruised. The police would actually talk them into arresting their husbands by just admitting that their husbands were rough and so forth. I like that! a woman should be protected by all means.

  60. FOR A GODDAMN MEAL?!

    I’ve been following up this topic for quite some time and reading the comments with interest. I usually avoid commenting on topics pertaining to politics and religion, but I can’t hold my silence any more.
    When I first read about this on Madas’ Jo…

  61. It makes sense to question numbers like these. When working at The Jordan Times and The Star we used to get these studies and I would first have to ask: “Why are you giving me this survey 18 months after it began?” And I was always told: “That’s how long it takes to get to you.” I never quite understood it.
    As some might remember from an explosion that occurred on this site one other time over issues of gender and class, there are some that suggest that most anyone reading this or any other blog are not the heart of Jordan. Instead you are part of West Amman or “Ammanites” to those living outside the capital. I’m not sure why this makes your experiences less valuable but my guess is it goes something like this.
    Surveys and studies carried out like this sometimes have backing from high up, organizations like the EU or from inside the Royal Court, etc. They have a number of purposes. One, they are an effort to elicit funding and development that in all honesty is needed in many parts of the country — so you can’t fault them for that.
    As a result they often poll those that have the more, whatever you want to call it, “traditional” view about women’s place or lack of it in society. I’ve seen other polls like this almost as surprising. And they usually have the data, though I agree it is skewed because they tend to discount the views of the educated and the so-called “elite.” They do that for the reason I mentioned: they are trying to develop the country and so they concentrate on those that are in the most dire need. I can understand that a bit I guess.
    The problem is that when these reports get out — and they always do now — it makes the kingdom appear backward when so much of it, as Roba well documents, is not. Sure, there are parts that need this attention drawn but it does tend to paint the whole country the same color. I’m sure that those interested in pursuing these types of studies think it’s a small price to pay for the needed attention it brings. I’m not so sure.
    I watched and worked with Princess Basma on a few things over the near two years I was at the JT. She often works with these communities, going there directly, bringing religious leaders of all shapes and sizes and anyone else who’s opinion matters to begin the slow process of change, slow because a great deal of this is rooted in tradition and not religion. I’ve thought that kind of effort was more productive.
    I have to say, though, that this survey is the first of this type that I’m aware of to come out since the “Rise of the Blog.” The reaction and feedback are quite different and more powerful than before — we used to get e-mails about them at the newspaper, but that was it. If the powers that be that orchestrate this sort of thing are listening — and I’m betting they are — they may reassess how they go about this, perhaps with a regional breakdown that wouldn’t undermine their purpose (highlighting the needy) but also wouldn’t give a black eye to those women who do feel empowered and are frankly embarrassed that such information is being used to represent who they are.

  62. Jeff- What entity collected the survey data? In the U.S., it would generally cost US$15000 or so to field a survey of about 30 questions to a qualified group of 1000-1500 people. My guess is that it would cost significantly less to perform such a survey in Jordan, because of lower labor costs.
    It sounds as if there’s enough controversy on this issue to justify raising money to prepare and field an attitudinal survey of Jordanian women. The results would be very interesting and almost guaranteed to receive wide media coverage.

  63. Jasmine Hamdan

    Hi,
    You have to wonder who the target audience of the study was before believing the numbers. It’s impossible that every single Jordanian woman agreed to answer some survey questions. It’s possible that most who answered were more likely to be from a social group that condones domestic violence (i.e. uneducated, poor, …), and that’s why the numbers turned out the way they did. But maybe that’s just being optimistic.
    Jasmine (Amal’s sister)

  64. Sterling, just a reminder that there are probably several hundred million Christians in the world who do take the Bible as the literal word of God. 🙂
    I wondered about the demographics of this poll as well, but then I started discussing it with groups of Jordanian friends. As people started opening up, I found that the very ones who protested the loudest were experiencing a degree of violence at home and won’t talk about it inorder to protect the husband and maintain the status quo. Hitting starts early as little kids in a game of domination, and doesn’t just end when marriage vows are said.
    Nas, there is no way that an adult hitting another adult is anything but humiliation. And I seriously doubt, that in a moment of male frustration and anger, that the beating was light.
    We’ve noticed that our neighbors and friends, West Ammanites are amazed at the partnership in marriage I share with my husband. We submit to one another’s strengths, we practice loving one another the way we perceive it rather than the way we want to give it (he buys me roses and listens to my ideas, I don’t spend money and always tell him how great he is). I counsel female victims of domestic violence, and my advice is “Show him more respect, whether he has earned it or not,and just see what happens”. We don’t have the perfect marriage and we argue unfairly at times, but never attack one anothers’ personhood. As Christians, we take seriously the command to love your neighbor as yourself.
    I am with Nas that this condition won’t change by legislation. This is how men and women in the West, the US in particular, have abdicated their gender roles. Men can become emasculated and indecisive and women tough and unapproachable (IMHO, sorry to those I offend). I appreciate the strength with which men in the Middle East impact their world, and by the women who are able to both nurture home and work jobs.
    You young men and women who read this blog can be part of redeeming negative aspects of the culture. I hope you will.

  65. Kinzi, “Nas, there is no way that an adult hitting another adult is anything but humiliation. And I seriously doubt, that in a moment of male frustration and anger, that the beating was light.”
    which is why I’ve been saying that when a man hits his wife in Jordan for burning the rice in all probability the last thing on his mind is islam, the quran, the prophet pbuh, or the fear of God. he hits her because he has been socially conditioned to do so. he beats her because his father beat his mother and because his grandfather beat his grandmother and so on. to come and say its religions fault is like saying the reason americans commit murders that are revenge related is because the bible says and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. it just wouldn’t make sense. but there will always be people who will take any oppertunity to hit below the belt in comepletly unrelated subjects. they have no tolerance for islam or muslims but will insist on attempting to show how intolerent islam is; in the end however they have no evidence to back up their claims so they resort to insults because it helps comfort their false convictions.

  66. Nas, I saw Mu7ammad posting those thoughts about cultural violence, not you. Must’ve missed it.I agree that religion is the last thing on a man’s mind when he strikes out. But if he knows he is ‘allowed’, he is more likely. Isn’t it human nature to see how close to the line we can walk?
    Maybe I am just a half-brained, emotionally unstable female, but it makes perfect sense to connect religion to cultural practice, especially where there have been such large percentages of majority religion for centuries. There is no way it CAN’T be related. I’m not trying to insult Islam, Nas, but I guess just having a different opinion is an insult. For those in the US who choose to have no Christian influence, they can live that way as our culture is so post-Christian (my 10 year old nephew doesn’t know who Moses is, knows Jesus only as a swear word, and asked me why I was wearing a gold “airplane” on a chain – a cross). But goodness, I hear the Quran from every taxi, dukaan and I can even understand the sermon from the mosque on Fridays! Jordan is not post-Islamic, and from what you say the Quran and tafsiir have remained unchanged. Thus, the culture reflects it’s Islamic influence.
    The Jews could divorce a wife for over-salting soup and for centuries Christian men used the ‘wives, submit to your husband’ verses to walk all over them. The worst nature of man is to use fear and intimidation to dominate, the worst nature of women to subversively manipulate. Yet both Jews and Christians have come to a place where women are treated more fairly, and I hope this culture will have it’s own reformation as well. And that you guys all have wonderful, respectful and joy-filled marriages. 🙂

  67. In this case, Sterling, I believe the polling would have been done by the National Family Council itself. I’m not sure of the costs, but I’m certain it’s far less than the figures you quote stateside as you surmise.
    I do want to be clear, though, about my understanding of how some polls are conducted. I didn’t want to give the impression that figures are manipulated in a direct fashion. I’m saying these polls are done of Jordanians living outside the capital, often in small villages where the traditions are long. I’ve not seen any specificity in this survey saying what areas were surveyed. I’m sure that information is available to someone, though al-Arabiya apparently did not indicate it.
    As to Jasmine’s question about the “target” of the survey, that’s really the key here. As I was saying, these studies are geared toward getting development assistance for the kingdom. They are written to show what, unfortunately, are the attitudes and circumstance of a fairly significant percentage of people in the kingdom. Amman, generally, doesn’t need this kind of attention and is less needful of development generally. Outside the capital, it is a different story.
    So, again, the survey is likely more accurate than anyone would care to admit but it’s also likely that it’s taken of a specific region or regions and not of the capital alone. Perhaps if it included the capital, it included 25 women from there and 25 women from each of 20 other towns and municipalities in the country, thus discounting the attitudes of Ammanite women. Who knows. But the idea behind it is, I believe, to help develop areas of the kingdom that do need development. The problem at hand, however, is that it blackens the whole of the country. That’s an issue that will need to be addressed in the future.

  68. I’m curious about the interview method. Unless they’ve done phone interviews, I can’t imagine the survey to be accurate. You’d need to interview people on the streets, and many housewives simply aren’t out and about. And phone interviews aren’t widely used in the developing countries.

    Perhaps if it included the capital, it included 25 women from there and 25 women from each of 20 other towns and municipalities in the country, thus discounting the attitudes of Ammanite women.

    That wouldn’t be accurate. To avoid skewed results, they’d need to pick numbers that are relative to the population of a particular region.

  69. Kinzi, Jordan also has honor crimes which are anti-islamic, are we also going to say that because its a cultural “thing” to “protect” the honor in a family that Islam should be blamed just for the heck of it, just because if it’s a bad act then islam must be involved some how? Come on, gimmie a break. Traditions and cultures have been around in Arabian since before Mohammad, Jesus, Moses and Abraham, peace be upon them.
    Once again, those that commit these acts do so out of cultural and social conditioning. I’m willing to bet that these stats are concerned mostly with local towns and villages. I doubt that the majority of them are a sample of western amman and i think every jordanian reading this knows what im saying is true. So its a different class structure, a different culture and a different set of traditions.
    I dont consider your opinion an insult if it is based on a solid arguement and not one that is designed to ridicule. The latter is of no use to us here; although i dont know why u wud refer to ureself as half-brained and emotionaly unstable, u shud see someone about that. But keep in mind that even a solid arguement cannot be built on misinformation or the willingness to buy into it. The verse in the quran has, and will never, change. The interpretation of that verse has been handed down by the Prophet himself as well as thousands of the most well-known scholars in history and i have explained it. These stastics, or wife beating in general in jordan, are 100% contrary to Islamic beliefs. While I agree Islam plays a large role in our society, culture is much much more dominant. Sure we pray, and go to the mosque on Friday and fast in ramadan, but everything else is cultural. Put a Christian and Muslim Jordanian next to each other and you wont tell the difference because both act the same and are socially conditioned the same.
    thanks

  70. Nas, I’m really trying to understand and not ridicule! I want you to understand that all your neat arguments work fine for men. I used a poor attempt at self-deprecating humor to illustrate what I have heard Muslim men say to me and their female family members (even in West Amman)- we are devalued as a gender because we are emotionally influenced and less intellectually and spiritually capable of understanding. Hence, unable to respond to correction as a man would. I’m glad things are changing.
    You can add that honor killing and wife-beating happen also in Christian homes in Jordan as a result of ancient cultural influence, not Islamic. But if it was happening in the time of the prophet Mohammed, it could have easily been added to the list of practices he wrote against such as burying female babies alive (correct me if I am wrong again, but didn’t he do that?).
    A friend at Jordan River Foundation is looking into this report and asking the logistic and demographical questions others are mentioning. She mentioned also that age would play an important difference – older women would be more likely than younger.
    My opinions on these topics are always in formation, and I make it a point to listen most strongly to those I disagree with the most. But most of what i learn comes from the women themselves, and since it is their lives, it isn’t misinformation. And, none of them have ever told me they felt I insulted Islam or ridiculed their faith. Guess we’ll just have to let it go.

  71. Arash you miss the point of my comment entirely. You say “That wouldn’t be accurate. To avoid skewed results, they’d need to pick numbers that are relative to the population of a particular region.” But that’s not really true, is it?
    There are a myriad of polling methods. Those that decide to poll chose the method that best suits their target audience and their agenda. You suggest here a form of weighting that would be relative to population. But that’s because you think that’s the most fair (or your direct word “accurate), right?. My point was that they may have polled differently: “Perhaps if it included the capital, it included 25 women from there and 25 women from each of 20 other towns and municipalities in the country, thus discounting the attitudes of Ammanite women.”
    A poll like I’m suggesting “discounts” the views of Ammanite women because each comment is the same as the other, no area is weighted to population because that is not their particular agenda, even though it looks skewed to others. And they may very well have conducted the poll in this manner. I’ve seen it before. Before suggesting that it’s not accurate or fair, please consider the point I’m making here. Such an opinion is yours, maybe mine and many others. But perhaps it is not that of those conducting the poll.
    If we follow your comment out, it suggests that you are interested in a poll that is fair by your own criteria. I’m basing that on the idea that you don’t think such results are accurate. Well, they are though aren’t they, just from a different perspective. You could perform a poll just as I describe and it would be accurate if your agenda was a random sampling of the country’s women that was un-weighted. Now I may not like that criteria and you might not either, but that’s because we’ve seen the end result and found it differing with the reality we know or assume.
    But those responsible for the polling may take a random sampling and not weight it precisely because it suits their agenda and their target audience. It gets them what they want, it shows their target what they want them to see.
    Polling is a very tricky “science” precisely because it can be controlled, manipulated and interpreted in thousands of ways.
    What I was commenting on here was that we don’t know what the agenda or type of poll was that they conducted. I was suggesting from past experience that it could have been done in this manner. But since I, like so many others, find the results skewed as well, I was suggesting that in the future they might alter their criteria and polling style to better reflect the reality in the kingdom, titling their polls specifically and orienting them to region. You can be certain, however, that whatever methodology they choose it will still be geared to audience and agenda, sometimes despite protestations from those outside their purview.

  72. Kinzi, firstly im not saying nor did i say u were ridiculing islam, on the contrary i am lauding u for offering me a constructive arguement. Second the misinformation i refered to is that of religion and not society. Third, wife beating was as common in Arabia as burying babies. Which proves that it is cultural. and also the prophet pbuh repeatedly talked about it on more than one occassion and told people not to do it. as for women in islam. they are not made inferorior in any way but theres a confusion amongst the modern westerner between equality and justice. Equality is to put two people in the same room and say they are one and the same and therefore are entitled to the same rights, this is something the west is very found of because of its assimilative ways. But those two people are NOT the same. They have different qualities and are inidivduals, they are not just a number. Same with gender, I must acknowledge that this is a female and this is a male. Once I do that I can then serve each gender with what is just. I am physically stronger than my older sister but she is much more emotional than I am, this is just the way we are wired and if people can’t acknowledge these simple things then i am at a loss. Every man knows a woman is much more emotional than he is and every woman knows her male counter part is much more physically stronger than she is. Our thought processes differ and our biological functions differ. Islam did not make this up. It is a statement of the obvious. So where is the inferiority? where is devaluation? If it’s there in the quran please point it out. If it is there in the hadith then please present it and we can solve this piece of misinformation very quickley.
    thanks

  73. Equality is to put two people in the same room and say they are one and the same and therefore are entitled to the same rights, this is something the west is very found of because of its assimilative ways.

    The concept of Equal Rights has nothing to do with “sameness”. Equality is about providing everyone with equal opportunities, so one can develop his/her qualities according to his/her abilities.

    Every man knows a woman is much more emotional than he is and every woman knows her male counter part is much more physically stronger than she is. Our thought processes differ and our biological functions differ.

    That’s just an invalid generalization. Every individual is unique, not every woman is more emotional than every man and not every woman is physically weaker than every man. That’s exactly why the society should refrain from making discrimination based on sex, because such an approach would only impose false gender-based roles on those who are not compatible with the expected view of a society.

    So where is the inferiority? where is devaluation?

    Half the inheritance? Half the testimony? Subordination? Imposed husbandry roles? Which Qu’ran you’ve been reading? An individual should be evaluated based on his/her merits. If a female shows mastership of the laws and has passed the necessary requirement, there is simply no reason to bar her from becoming a judge based on her sex. On the other hand, a man may show signs in his previous career as a lawyer that disqualifies him from becoming a judge. People should be appraised initially and not based on stereotypical perceptions. You can’t just devaluate a women’s expertise in law by claiming that all women are emotional. Surely, one should not be worried about “emotional women” becoming judges; this isn’t a lottery where everyone could gain such a position. There is a complicated vetting process that would weed out “emotional” candidates, male or female. Same with a women’s testimony, a court of law should decide if a particular testimony is shady based on circumstances specific to the case. Not the arcane view that “every man knows a woman is much more emotional than he is” and thus somehow every woman will always give a faulty account of the facts in a court of law.

    Same arguments go to invalidate unequal inheritance and other institutional discriminations in Islam.

  74. Jeff, I got your point. I’m sure if the purpose of this survey is to get external funding, they would have to show whoever that allocates money the details of their study. They would have to submit the numbers for each region separately. Now maybe that’s what they did, and someone got the numbers and averaged them over the whole country for publication in the media. On the other hand, if they just want the publicity, for whatever reason, they can just cook up the numbers. In anycase, I suggest people don’t get worked up over the specifics of the case and focus on the bigger picture.

  75. Arash, when u stop spraying ignorant remarks and provide us with some proof of a woman’s inferiority (based on what u said: inheritance etc) then maybe we can have a logical discussion, although two things have become apparent…u know very little of Islam; and what little u do know u use as the grounds for launching an attack. It is apparent to at least the muslims how flawed and hollow ure arguements have indeed become, any one else might buy it.

  76. Proof for what? It’s common knowledge that the Qu’ran assigns gender-based roles based on sex, gives women half the share of inheritence, values their testimony half of men, subordinates them, etc. I’m not sure what you’re asking for, quoted passages?

  77. Lol at “common knowledge”, give me a piece of evidence that proves the “inferiority” of women in islam as u claim. I already know which ones u’ll mention because Islam bashers have become increasingly intellectually redundant…but indulge me for entertainment sake…i can use a laugh these days

  78. I already have Nas, subordination to men, half the testimony, half the inheritance, half the blood money, minimal divorce rights, male polygamy, imposed social roles, etc.

  79. because Islam bashers have become increasingly intellectually redundant

    That’s an irrelevant comment, there is just so much in a given concept and religion is no exception. If anything, I would say Islam has mastered redundancy with its steadfastness about the oneness of god and legitimacy of Muhammad as his last prophet. Can’t y’all come up with something else? Do you see the fault of your charade?

  80. As for half the inheritance, its because the man is the one supposed to take care of his family financially not the woman, her money remains for her only and she doesn’t have to help in anything unless she wants to. where is the inferiority?
    I don’t understand why someone would bother with something he doesn’t like. you don’t like Islam, fine, stay away from it.

  81. As for half the inheritance, its because the man is the one supposed to take care of his family financially not the woman, her money remains for her only and she doesn’t have to help in anything unless she wants to. where is the inferiority?

    Didn’t I already address that somewhere? So many parallel discussions, I’m getting forgetful 🙂

    Oh here:

    They’re basically saying it’s fair to force women to do what we want because we ask them to provide less as well. It’s a forced labor situation. I’m sure it works for some people. But, what if you feel imprisoned in this framework, what can you do?

    Besides even within that framework things aren’t fair. You get half the inheritance than your brother because husbands are supposed to provide for material needs. Well, what if you’re widowed? Can’t marry? Don’t want to marry? How about judicial roles, why a women’s account is counted as half of a man’s? Why can’t woman become judges? And so on.

    I should expand on that by adding that there is no similarity b/w a husband’s ongoing wage and a one-time inheritance. And where do you get the 1/2 rate? Why not 1/4, 3/4, better yet, a variable rate based on your husband’s income? It seems to me that Muhammad did indeed consider women to be literally worth half-a-man. You know, especially when you look at the bigger picture, with so many other discriminations set exactly on the half mark.

    Also, did you read my discussion of Equal Rights a number of posts up? Do you follow my logic, that socially imposed roles are a hurdle to emancipation (of both male and females)?
    Have you read that J.S. Mill’s book? I’ve mentioned it before, it’s called “The Subjection of Women”. It’s written during the 19th century England, and the arguments for discrimination against women are eeringly similar to those of contemporary Muslims. Mill is a very inspiring philosopher, and his books are short and readable. There are free versions online in both Persian and English, but it’s nice to have an annotated version to get the context of the story.
    It’s nice that you follow the discussion with genuine interest, Nas and Eman think that like the Quraishi Arabs, Allah “hath set a seal on [my heart] and [hearing], and on [my eyes] is a veil.” Which is a curious matter, if Allah was so frustrated with the unbending “Jaahil”s (those buggers really wouldn’t buy into it) and wanted to act proactively, he could at least give them a good microscope to see through threads of the “veil” and bask in the oh-so-very-shiny-light of Ture Islam™.

    I don’t understand why someone would bother with something he doesn’t like. you don’t like Islam, fine, stay away from it.

    For the same reason that you react to “blasphemy”, people get a good feeling when they stand up for the Truth. In anycase, you can’t stay away from Islam, it’s not a minor cult, it practically runs the Middle East. Oh, and you kill the apostates 😉

  82. Arash, you’ve brought up inheritance, yet you dont even know why its part of islamic doctrine to devide it in such a manner. In addition you said this proves that Mohammad pbuh “did indeed consider women to be literally worth half-a-man”….when it wasnt sayidna Mohammad pbuh that made this law, it was decreed by Allah swt in the quran. The Prophet did not invent any laws in Islam, they are all there in the quran.
    See how ironic it is, when you say you’re standing up for the truth and women’s rights and tolerance….when Islam preaches all of these things, and in your campaign against it you’ve proven you have none of the latter…tolerance. Thats what I love about you people…your love in pointing out how “intolerent” Islam is by BEING intolerent. It’s quite funny actually.
    Exaplain to us all, Enlighten us all, about the logic (or lack thereof) in the inheritance law as an example…hopefully you can offer something other than the lines of “it’s descriminatory”.

  83. Pulling a late-nighter Nas? I feel you 🙂

    Arash, you’ve brought up inheritance, yet you dont even know why its part of islamic doctrine to devide it in such a manner.

    I do know what the prominent excuse is, I just discussed it with SC up there. Anything I missed?

    In addition you said this proves that Mohammad pbuh “did indeed consider women to be literally worth half-a-man”….when it wasnt sayidna Mohammad pbuh that made this law, it was decreed by Allah swt in the quran. The Prophet did not invent any laws in Islam, they are all there in the quran.

    Now Nas, that’s a minor issue of perspective. If I believed an invisible fellow has decreed these laws, and he’s going to be pissed (contrary to his infinite kindness) about not following them, I wouldn’t be having this discussion with you. Although, I would still argue that a rational god wouldn’t buy into the existing social structures of that time. I mean we know that there was a time when power lied with the woman, that she controlled the means of production and supported the man. In fact, it wasn’t until the advancement of farming that we get real patriarchal societies. And even then different societies had different gender-relation customs. But Allah seems to be innocently unaware of all these. Just dictating a very male-centred doctrine that very much reflected the then dogmas of Hijaz. That’s a bit odd for an all-knowing God, don’t you think? But let’s not get into that.

    See how ironic it is, when you say you’re standing up for the truth and women’s rights and tolerance….when Islam preaches all of these things, and in your campaign against it you’ve proven you have none of the latter…tolerance. Thats what I love about you people…your love in pointing out how “intolerent” Islam is by BEING intolerent. It’s quite funny actually.

    I don’t see the conflict on my part. I’m saying that Islam is intolerant towards us, and thus we have to be intolerant toward Islam. I’m not saying we should round up Muslims and force them into submission. It’s a concept-people approach, not a people-people one. In fact it would be dandy if Muslims fought the concepts they do not like instead of harming those who adhere to those concepts.

    Exaplain to us all, Enlighten us all, about the logic (or lack thereof) in the inheritance law as an example…hopefully you can offer something other than the lines of “it’s descriminatory”.

    I’m not sure what you’re asking me. SC made the point the discrimination here is a valid one, and I offered some reasons why it isn’t. If you’re asking for my personal opinion, I think Muhammad was influenced by the Jewish laws of inheritance where males take precedence over female family members. Thankfully, when Yahweh morphed into Allah he changed his mind and gave females half the share of men, which is a positive step on His divine part. But, like many of his other designs falls short of the expectations 😉

  84. Going back to the beating issue, this might be of interest to this topic:

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:

    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.”

    I wasn’t previously familiar with this hadith to be honest, Bukhari isn’t really popular with the Shi’as. But I see where Ali had gotten his ideas for the sermon I posted a while back. This hadith pretty much explains the ayah 2:282. A very good uncensored online version of Bukhari is here, with a whole freaky part devoted to menstrual periods! Subhan Allah! And I don’t mean any offence btw, but when our friends here pick and choose sections from Bukhari, I get a tad bit uneasy. I suppose every narrative that ridicules Islam is unreliable and those that put it in a positive light are rock-solid.

  85. Lool. I got a good laugh today. So let me work backwards first and leave the bukhari statement for last, its more fun this way.
    So this is what you said to SC:
    “Besides even within that framework things aren’t fair. You get half the inheritance than your brother because husbands are supposed to provide for material needs. Well, what if you’re widowed? Can’t marry? Don’t want to marry? How about judicial roles, why a women’s account is counted as half of a man’s? Why can’t woman become judges? And so on.”
    first, who says they cant be judges or hold official positions? Show me something in the quran that says women are prohibited from holding such positions.
    second, if they are widowed, divorced, they are still provided for. Islam centers around a doctrine of preserving the social fabric (i.e. the ummah) by preserving the institution of family. if a father leaves behind an inheritance the son will get more because his share of the wealth MUST BE SPENT ON THE FEMALE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. As for their share, they have no obligations whatsoever and can burn it for all anyone cares, their brother or whoever, must still provide for them.
    third, the institutions of familiar roles today are more or less the same despite the advancement of women in social roles. they are still well gaurded and protected by their husbands and their brothers and their fathers, especially in arabian cultures, be they muslim or christian or jew. anyone who denies this is blind to this utterly obvious obersvation. thee are roles that shall never change. ever here of the cliche its a man’s world? Hence Allah swt is not taking anything away or turning a blind eye to social devolopment of the masses over a long period of time, but rather acknowledging the mere fact that because of our varying physiologoy we are thus assigned different roles in family life and social life to help keep them in tact. hence because of our unchanging natures we are thus aligned with unchanging social structures.
    ah, now the fun part…enter bukhari
    First, this is an authentic hadith so no one has refuted it here except u saying that we have, which is odd because its the first time i see it posted here. What is unreliable is the translation, unreliable and unauthentic are two different words in the dictionary. You can say something in arabic and i can translate it in english to which it takes on a whole other meaning in understanding. Any translator will tell you this.
    Second, defeciency in intellegence and religion as the Prophet pbuh is attributed to his explination but im guessing you probably stopped reading before you got to that.
    In this narrative of the Prophet pbuh according to a normal principle of classical Arabic, some words have been obviously suppressed and hopefully you’ve read and understood the correct arabic words before you decided to go with its varying English translation. The words “Naqisa’tul `aql wal-deen” are translated as: “deficient in intellect and religion” which as you can see have the noun “umu’r” suppressed. The complete phrase is: “Naqisa’tu umu’ril-`aql wal-di’n” or “Naqisa’t fi’ umu’ril-`aql wal-di’n” i.e. “deficient in responsibility in matters pertaining to intellect and religion.
    To prove this we can see from the arabic words that the Prophet pbuh was expressing his suprise that even though women have less responsibilities in Islam they still have such a huge impact on their husbands. This is to say, that what they lack in religion is their responsibilities as ordered by Allah swt. For example, we discussed inheritance, men are obliged to spend their share on their sisters, women are not. Men are obliged to attend the friday prayers at the mosque, women are not. Men because of their physiology can fast more days in ramadan where as a women is interuppted by her menstral cycle. Do you find it distrubing that the menstral cycle is discussed in Islam, is it intolerent to discuss such matters? Should it instead say that women should fast all 30 days of ramadan despite their inability to do so and if they dont they will go to hell?
    The Prophet pbuh in acknowledging what Allah swt says about women, is suggesting to them in this hadith that they should give charity to try and make up for it even though their rewards are the same. He is giving them an option not available to men to earn bonus points so to speak. This is something muslim men wish they had.
    But who cares right?
    Because I suppose every hadith that “ridicules” Islam must be authentic and all the other ones are “unreliable”. Rest assured, in your attempt to pick one that you think “ridicules” Islam, you’ve actually chosen one that validates it even more! 😀

  86. Besides even within that framework things aren’t fair. You get half the inheritance than your brother because husbands are supposed to provide for material needs. Well, what if you’re widowed? Can’t marry? Don’t want to marry? How about judicial roles, why a women’s account is counted as half of a man’s? Why can’t woman become judges? And so on.

    As I said, assume I’m a widow I will have to cover my personal expenses, how? If i’m living with a good family males in the family will provide me with the money I need. Also, the late husband’s family, its my right to get money from them if I have kids. If its not enough or I have no one to help me I can always work, actually I can always work whther or not I needed the money. There is nothing that says I can’t take care of myself!

    If we’re living under an Islamic system the government is obliged to aid her financially.

    As for Judicial roles, Its because often women have like thousands of things to think and worry about and its true for most of women. you can not make a general rule based on the exceptions you know, if some women can remember and notice everything at all times we can not generalize. Imagine a wife, a mother and also a worker isn’t it possible that she forgets and errs unintentionally? while when they are two they can remind each other. I want you to read the verse but I have to look for it in english, mean while other muslims can assure you the same thing. It isn’t because a woman is counted always as half the man, its because a woman has lots of things to take care of and most of those things require her full attention, not to mention the emotional nature of women that make them more involved than men. Needless to say, things are different with men, they are less emotional (the majority of them), they are more material than women and hence their recognition (or whatever you wanna call it) is more accurate and more valid.

    we’re talking about people’s rights

    here…

  87. For the same reason that you react to “blasphemy”, people get a good feeling when they stand up for the Truth. In anycase, you can’t stay away from Islam, it’s not a minor cult, it practically runs the Middle East. Oh, and you kill the apostates 😉

    lol

    Well, I believe in Allah and Allah asked us to defend his name, who asked you to defend Muslim women? btw, I’ve just read Nas’s reply, he said it all.
    you can be funny sometimes 😀

  88. Lool. I got a good laugh today. So let me work backwards first and leave the bukhari statement for last, its more fun this way.

    That’s not working backward Nas, I mentioned Bukhari last. You’re moving in order. But I’ll go backwards just for the sake of it.

    ah, now the fun part…enter bukhari
    First, this is an authentic hadith so no one has refuted it here except u saying that we have, which is odd because its the first time i see it posted here. What is unreliable is the translation, unreliable and unauthentic are two different words in the dictionary. You can say something in Arabic and i can translate it in English to which it takes on a whole other meaning in understanding. Any translator will tell you this.
    Second, defeciency in intellegence and religion as the Prophet pbuh is attributed to his explination but im guessing you probably stopped reading before you got to that.
    In this narrative of the Prophet pbuh according to a normal principle of classical Arabic, some words have been obviously suppressed and hopefully you’ve read and understood the correct arabic words before you decided to go with its varying English translation. The words “Naqisa’tul `aql wal-deen” are translated as: “deficient in intellect and religion” which as you can see have the noun “umu’r” suppressed. The complete phrase is: “Naqisa’tu umu’ril-`aql wal-di’n” or “Naqisa’t fi’ umu’ril-`aql wal-di’n” i.e. “deficient in responsibility in matters pertaining to intellect and religion.
    To prove this we can see from the arabic words that the Prophet pbuh was expressing his suprise that even though women have less responsibilities in Islam they still have such a huge impact on their husbands. This is to say, that what they lack in religion is their responsibilities as ordered by Allah swt. For example, we discussed inheritance, men are obliged to spend their share on their sisters, women are not. Men are obliged to attend the friday prayers at the mosque, women are not. Men because of their physiology can fast more days in ramadan where as a women is interuppted by her menstral cycle. Do you find it distrubing that the menstral cycle is discussed in Islam, is it intolerent to discuss such matters? Should it instead say that women should fast all 30 days of ramadan despite their inability to do so and if they dont they will go to hell?

    Nas, Muhammad starts off by saying that “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” Upon being asked why, he says that because you’re half-wits. Now think about it, if he means to state a fact in Islam that women are “deficient in responsibility in matters pertaining to intellect and religion,” why would he connect it with women being the hell-dwellers? Why would Allah send women to hell because of something he has decreed? Surely women could still fast during their cycle, they also can give equal testimony. There is nothing inheritly deficient about them, it’s just a decree. Muhammad’s saying you’re more inclined to go to hell because you’re naturally stupid and make trouble for yourselves and your husbands. Afterall, the ayah in the Qu’ran makes it clear that “women have bad memory”. I see no reason to believe otherwise, he could have easily said something else and avoid referring to the issue of intelligence, like this: Oh women! If you continue to make trouble for your husbands you will go to hell. For Allah likes his women obedient like a herd of sheep!
    Furthermore, Muhammad says that he has seen hell and it’s feminine. Since according to the Islamic tradition the dead wait in limbo for the Judgement Day, he must have seen into future when the people are judged and the fires of hell are making the divine Lover proud. So, he is making a factual statement, that you women will make it to hell and its because you’re deficient in intelligence; i.e. he’s making an indicative rather than a subjunctive statement.
    And your conclusion is rather odd:

    The Prophet pbuh in acknowledging what Allah swt says about women, is suggesting to them in this hadith that they should give charity to try and make up for it even though their rewards are the same. He is giving them an option not available to men to earn bonus points so to speak. This is something muslim men wish they had.

    What are you talking about?

    first, who says they cant be judges or hold official positions? Show me something in the quran that says women are prohibited from holding such positions.

    Women can’t be judges in Islam, I didn’t comment about other positions. When a women’s testimony is counted as half of a man’s, you’d be hard pressed to find a mofasser who’d favour such a position for woman. And don’t forget the 1400 years of history.

    second, if they are widowed, divorced, they are still provided for. Islam centers around a doctrine of preserving the social fabric (i.e. the ummah) by preserving the institution of family. if a father leaves behind an inheritance the son will get more because his share of the wealth MUST BE SPENT ON THE FEMALE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. As for their share, they have no obligations whatsoever and can burn it for all anyone cares, their brother or whoever, must still provide for them.

    Again, why the 1/2 ratio? Why ignore the possibility of a female head of household? Is it so impossible to have a case where due to whatever reasons a woman would provide for the family? Why doesn’t the formula say whoever happens to provide for other members should get the bigger share? And what better guarantee to preserve women’s well-being by actually giving them the money in equal shares?

    third, the institutions of familiar roles today are more or less the same despite the advancement of women in social roles. they are still well gaurded and protected by their husbands and their brothers and their fathers, especially in arabian cultures, be they muslim or christian or jew. anyone who denies this is blind to this utterly obvious obersvation. thee are roles that shall never change. ever here of the cliche its a man’s world? Hence Allah swt is not taking anything away or turning a blind eye to social devolopment of the masses over a long period of time, but rather acknowledging the mere fact that because of our varying physiologoy we are thus assigned different roles in family life and social life to help keep them in tact. hence because of our unchanging natures we are thus aligned with unchanging social structures.

    Your unchanging nature? Arabs are made this way? Look at Scandinavia, and compare them with the ME. And this is just after less than 200 years of fighting for equal rights. If the wacky vikings can change so much, what’s there to stop you? How can you make such an unfounded statement? In addition, assigning the same roles doesn’t work for everyone. A woman wants to be independent, an other wants to settle down and keep the house. Khadijah was independent, was she an anomaly? She pretty much financed Muhammad’s little adventures. Don’t degrade yourself and Arabs at large.

  89. I said, assume I’m a widow I will have to cover my personal expenses, how? If i’m living with a good family males in the family will provide me with the money I need. Also, the late husband’s family, its my right to get money from them if I have kids. If its not enough or I have no one to help me I can always work, actually I can always work whther or not I needed the money. There is nothing that says I can’t take care of myself!

    Sure you can always work (can you?), but so what? So can that bugger with twice the money as you.
    Do you agree that sharing the inheritance based on actual responsibilities is better than sharing it based on arbitrary rules like the one Islam has?

    If we’re living under an Islamic system the government is obliged to aid her financially.

    That still wouldn’t be a help of equal value, and well, what if the government is just mighty poor? Many Islamic countries hardly have any wealth, look at Mauritania for example, where slavery is still rampant and many people struggle to survive. That is no Sweden.
    And again, what’s with the ½ ratio?

    As for Judicial roles, Its because often women have like thousands of things to think and worry about and its true for most of women. you can not make a general rule based on the exceptions you know, if some women can remember and notice everything at all times we can not generalize. Imagine a wife, a mother and also a worker isn’t it possible that she forgets and errs unintentionally? while when they are two they can remind each other. I want you to read the verse but I have to look for it in english, mean while other muslims can assure you the same thing. It isn’t because a woman is counted always as half the man, its because a woman has lots of things to take care of and most of those things require her full attention, not to mention the emotional nature of women that make them more involved than men. Needless to say, things are different with men, they are less emotional (the majority of them), they are more material than women and hence their recognition (or whatever you wanna call it) is more accurate and more valid.

    Well, let’s look at Jeff’s favorite example, a normal distribution curve. Sure females can be more emotional on average, but they all fit on a curve. Imagine a graph with two extremes and a centre where the curve climaxes. Let’s say the male curve is centred to the left of the female curve, that doesn’t mean every men is less emotional than every women. It just means that the average female is more emotional than the average male. Now, apply the same to the amount of responsibilities, or the “materialness” of people. If we agree on the premises that these qualities disadvantage people when it comes to the practice of law, which I disagree, it would only mean that less women will qualify for such positions. There is still a vetting process, not just anyone can become a judge. So if you claim women are deficient in this regard, why even worry? Surely less will pass the requirements and no harm will be done. On the other hand, if the vetting system is flawed, both disqualified men and women will be chosen. Thus, gender-based discrimination for this matter makes absolutely no sense.
    Besides, women are successful judges the world over. Surely Islam can learn a thing or two from their experiences.

    Well, I believe in Allah and Allah asked us to defend his name, who asked you to defend Muslim women?

    I’m not a Muslim, my value system isn’t based on carrots and sticks. It’s a purely selfless act, I tell you what 😉

  90. “Nas, Muhammad starts off by saying that “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” Upon being asked why, he says that because you’re half-wits. Now think about it, if he means to state a fact in Islam that women are “deficient in responsibility in matters pertaining to intellect and religion,” why would he connect it with women being the hell-dwellers? Why would Allah send women to hell because of something he has decreed? Surely women could still fast during their cycle, they also can give equal testimony. There is nothing inheritly deficient about them, it’s just a decree. Muhammad’s saying you’re more inclined to go to hell because you’re naturally stupid and make trouble for yourselves and your husbands. Afterall, the ayah in the Qu’ran makes it clear that “women have bad memory”. I see no reason to believe otherwise, he could have easily said something else and avoid referring to the issue of intelligence, like this: Oh women! If you continue to make trouble for your husbands you will go to hell. For Allah likes his women obedient like a herd of sheep!”
    I have given u the explination of what he said based on a direct translation rather than giving my opinion or making something up as uve chosen to do. the prophet pbuh is saying to these women they have a defeciency in responsibilities of religion and therefore shud strive to make gains from it. This is clear to all who read it in its original form and context.
    “Furthermore, Muhammad says that he has seen hell and it’s feminine. Since according to the Islamic tradition the dead wait in limbo for the Judgement Day, he must have seen into future when the people are judged and the fires of hell are making the divine Lover proud. So, he is making a factual statement, that you women will make it to hell and its because you’re deficient in intelligence; i.e. he’s making an indicative rather than a subjunctive statement”
    lol now you’ve brought a totally different hadith to support your first claim because you’ve seen how faulty it obviously is. So let us examine it now that u mention it:
    The prophet pbuh 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.”
    Again let us look at the context of which he has said this, a historical context of which you’ve for the second time chosen to ignore. The prophet pbuh said this on the joyous occassion of Eid as an address to the muslim women, hence he is giving it in the nature of advice and not as a passing insult. so he is warning women (when they asked him why) that they should never deny kindness in a marital situation. Hence in the context of both ahadith the Prophet pbuh is issuing a warning to them in a fatherly manner, for them to avoid this destiny. That they should always be grateful for what Allah swt has given them in religious repsonsibilites as well as the kindness their husbands offer to them. He then continues within that same context to suggest they show kindness in return and give charity.
    You must’ve err..forgot..to include that part.
    “Women can’t be judges in Islam, I didn’t comment about other positions. When a women’s testimony is counted as half of a man’s, you’d be hard pressed to find a mofasser who’d favour such a position for woman. And don’t forget the 1400 years of history”
    I asked you to bring me a decree from Allah swt, simply a verse from the quran, that prohibits women from being judges or other such positions. I’m not sure about judges in Jordan but it does serve as an example of a country who’s state religion is officially Islam following shari3a yet has had several (currently 3 or 4) female Ministers, let alone judges.
    “Again, why the 1/2 ratio? Why ignore the possibility of a female head of household? Is it so impossible to have a case where due to whatever reasons a woman would provide for the family? Why doesn’t the formula say whoever happens to provide for other members should get the bigger share? And what better guarantee to preserve women’s well-being by actually giving them the money in equal shares?”
    Again, the women’s share comes with no obligiations. Now if I won the lottery and I split it with my sisters equally…they could spend their share on bubble gum within the hour and i would use my share to provide for them. this is how it is in islam inheritance…the male in the family uses his share to provide for them and not on himself…the man is actually getting the raw deal here. This is also a way to keep families in tact after the death of a father for example who takes care of his family. The males in the family take up roles of responsibilities, this happens in all cultures. the financial obligations of the man tend to exceed that of a womans’. this thus ensures the financial security of a woman in an islamic society.
    Furthermore, I believe (upon ure insistance of saying 1/2) that you dont know that every situation is different and its not necessarily 1/2, in most cases its not. There are fractions handed out depending on the scenerio and the family make up (i.e. one mother and two daughters, no mother, 1 daughter 1 son, etc)
    Compare these rights to those in the jewish or christian religions
    “Your unchanging nature? Arabs are made this way? Look at Scandinavia, and compare them with the ME. And this is just after less than 200 years of fighting for equal rights. If the wacky vikings can change so much, what’s there to stop you? How can you make such an unfounded statement? In addition, assigning the same roles doesn’t work for everyone. A woman wants to be independent, an other wants to settle down and keep the house. Khadijah was independent, was she an anomaly? She pretty much financed Muhammad’s little adventures. Don’t degrade yourself and Arabs at large.”
    I have not degraded myself nor my ethnic brothers and sisters, on the contrary im pointing out that the male and female roles in the hunter-getherer sense of the words have remained relativly unchanged throughout time. This is because families have not changed as much either. Women are still capable of giving birth and men capable of impregnating them, at least the last time i checked. Most of the world still gets married, there is still the role of a husband and that of a wife. People still have children and still have families. The numbers have changed but the family unit is nevertheless an infite by-product of God’s creation, and as such Islamic doctrine is designed around the family unit and its preservation. The woman can be indpendent as she likes, theres nothing in Islam that says she must be chained to a house and never see daylight, many if not most of the females in my family are independent working women. the idea that Islam is against them is one you’ve either dreamt up or have concluded based on your conclusions of social and cultural elements throughout the arab or the islamic world.
    So your homework assignment arash is as follows:
    1) Attempt to finish reading the ahadith and the verses before customizing them to suit my arguement, or lack there of.
    2) Attempt to understand ahadith in the context of which they were said.
    3) Produce a verse from the quran for Nas that proves my (arash) point that women in Islam are not allowed to be judges or to hold these high positions.
    4) Read up on inheritance laws and how they are devided from an authentic source (ihateislam.com is not considered reliable)
    5) Find a 9th grade biology and discover the wonders of the human reproductive system and how it has remained unchanged since the dawn of mankind.

  91. Muslim ladies out there, what do your think of all that has been written thus far?
    I think it is great that this topic has accumulated more comments than the Turkish toilet post awhile back, much more worthy of attention. 🙂

  92. Sure you can always work (can you?), but so what? So can that bugger with twice the money as you.

    Arash, it seems that you want to argue for the sake of arguing. Males responsible about their female relatives who need their support, I thought i’ve made that clear earlier. he can get as much money as i can so what? he has greater responsibilites, i have to take care of myself only, in fact thats optional, i can just sit and enjoy myself while my brother, father or husband is obliged to offer me the proper level of life i deserve. thinking about it, females are supposed to be treated like queens. Islam is not responsible for those who do not abide by its crystal clear teachings.

    Do you agree that sharing the inheritance based on actual responsibilities is better than sharing it based on arbitrary rules like the one Islam has?

    of course i agree, Islam made the responsibilities of men and women clear before stating that the daughter takes half what her brother takes of the inheretence.

    That still wouldn’t be a help of equal value, and well, what if the government is just mighty poor? Many Islamic countries hardly have any wealth, look at Mauritania for example, where slavery is still rampant and many people struggle to survive. That is no Sweden.

    so? i didn’t get your point. its not like women will be poor while men are rich.

    Well, let’s look at Jeff’s favorite example, a normal distribution curve. Sure females can be more emotional on average, but they all fit on a curve. Imagine a graph with two extremes and a centre where the curve climaxes. Let’s say the male curve is centred to the left of the female curve, that doesn’t mean every men is less emotional than every women. It just means that the average female is more emotional than the average male. Now, apply the same to the amount of responsibilities, or the “materialness” of people. If we agree on the premises that these qualities disadvantage people when it comes to the practice of law, which I disagree, it would only mean that less women will qualify for such positions. There is still a vetting process, not just anyone can become a judge. So if you claim women are deficient in this regard, why even worry? Surely less will pass the requirements and no harm will be done. On the other hand, if the vetting system is flawed, both disqualified men and women will be chosen. Thus, gender-based discrimination for this matter makes absolutely no sense.
    Besides, women are successful judges the world over. Surely Islam can learn a thing or two from their experiences.

    the majority of women (99.9%) are emotional, i always thought of this as a fact and never imagined someone will actually debate it. however, emotional doesn’t mean weak, just if you were wondering. By the way, when giving birth to a baby one woman is enough to confirm it although its well known how critical it is when claiming or denying motherhood and similar issues. The fact that one woman is enough is because women by nature are very keen on this subject.
    As for being a judge, who said she can’t?

  93. I’ll give a final answer to you folks in one go and call it quits. I have a few hectic days ahead of me, and unmoderated discussions never end anyways.
    Nas:

    I have given u the explination of what he said based on a direct translation rather than giving my opinion or making something up as uve chosen to do. the prophet pbuh is saying to these women they have a defeciency in responsibilities of religion and therefore shud strive to make gains from it. This is clear to all who read it in its original form and context.
    lol now you’ve brought a totally different hadith to support your first claim because you’ve seen how faulty it obviously is. So let us examine it now that u mention it:
    The prophet pbuh 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.”
    Again let us look at the context of which he has said this, a historical context of which you’ve for the second time chosen to ignore. The prophet pbuh said this on the joyous occassion of Eid as an address to the muslim women, hence he is giving it in the nature of advice and not as a passing insult. so he is warning women (when they asked him why) that they should never deny kindness in a marital situation. Hence in the context of both ahadith the Prophet pbuh is issuing a warning to them in a fatherly manner, for them to avoid this destiny. That they should always be grateful for what Allah swt has given them in religious repsonsibilites as well as the kindness their husbands offer to them. He then continues within that same context to suggest they show kindness in return and give charity.

    Nas you are being sly here. And I can tell you’re having great difficulty in accepting this hadith yourself. Your understanding of this narration would be fine had Muhammad not mentioned the issue of religion and intelligence. In addition, you ignore the structure of this conversion (this is after the eid address and in a separate dailouge). This isn’t a one-way speech. First, Muhammad is saying you will go to hell. Then women inquire why. Then he says because you “curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands.” Had he stopped here there wouldn’t be anything scandalous about the hadith. But in the same breath he continues to say “I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you.” Do you understand the significance of that? He is connecting their abuse of their husbands with their lack of faith and brains. Why else would he even mention those? He’s not saying you’re ungrateful to Allah and curse him eventhough Allah is expecting less from you, no, Muhammad’s saying no one else that I’ve seen is as stupid as you, no wonder you mistreat your husbands and make it to hell in the great numbers that you will and I’ve seen it myself! The rest of the conversation is irrelevant, because women ignore the issue of being hell-dwellers and ask why’d he just call them those words. Think about it for a second and judge Muhammad as a person, not a saint who never wrongs. Ask a neutral third-party to read our discussion and tell you his/her opinion. Better yet, ask 10 and see how many agree with you. Consider this hadith also:
    The Prophet said, “I looked at Paradise and saw that the majority of its residents were the poor; and I looked at the (Hell) Fire and saw that the majority of its residents were women.” Volume 7, Book 62, Number 126

    I asked you to bring me a decree from Allah swt, simply a verse from the quran, that prohibits women from being judges or other such positions. I’m not sure about judges in Jordan but it does serve as an example of a country who’s state religion is officially Islam following shari3a yet has had several (currently 3 or 4) female Ministers, let alone judges.

    There are many things absent from the Qu’ran, order and rakats of daily prayers for example. And Jordan isn’t always ruled according to the shari’a. You’d think in a country ruled by the shari’a at least the rulers respect it, I’d like Her Majesty to start putting on the veil if that’s the case. Women have been barred from that position because they are often said to be unfit to judge amongst men, especially given that their testimony isn’t as reliable (which was my main point anyways).

    Again, the women’s share comes with no obligiations. Now if I won the lottery and I split it with my sisters equally…they could spend their share on bubble gum within the hour and i would use my share to provide for them. this is how it is in islam inheritance…the male in the family uses his share to provide for them and not on himself…the man is actually getting the raw deal here. This is also a way to keep families in tact after the death of a father for example who takes care of his family. The males in the family take up roles of responsibilities, this happens in all cultures. the financial obligations of the man tend to exceed that of a womans’. this thus ensures the financial security of a woman in an islamic society.

    No, this doesn’t happen in all cultures. This doesn’t even happen that often in Muslim countries. Children move on and go to other places; they have their own responsibilities and so on. A woman has to forgo her personal ambitions, because his brother would hold conditions on providing for her. That would certainly include things he consider “unnecessary” and could even extend to what is required for subsistence. I don’t see how a forced dependency is healthy for a union. I discuss other aspects of this issue in my answer to SC.

    Furthermore, I believe (upon ure insistance of saying 1/2) that you dont know that every situation is different and its not necessarily 1/2, in most cases its not. There are fractions handed out depending on the scenerio and the family make up (i.e. one mother and two daughters, no mother, 1 daughter 1 son, etc)

    Again, I’ve had more official religious education than you and SC combined, so please. In fact, here’s another clarification missing from the Qu’ran, you can come up with situations that upon adding up the decreed fractions the total goes over 1! And no it won’t total 19 either!

    Compare these rights to those in the jewish or christian religions

    Allah akbar, we’re better than two other outdated religions! Allah must have been brushing up on feminism between prophets. Too bad he stopped caring. Do look at the Jews though, they’re more liberal than many. Why can’t the same happen with Islam? Are these rules written in stone?

    I have not degraded myself nor my ethnic brothers and sisters, on the contrary im pointing out that the male and female roles in the hunter-getherer sense of the words have remained relativly unchanged throughout time. This is because families have not changed as much either. Women are still capable of giving birth and men capable of impregnating them, at least the last time i checked. Most of the world still gets married, there is still the role of a husband and that of a wife. People still have children and still have families. The numbers have changed but the family unit is nevertheless an infite by-product of God’s creation, and as such Islamic doctrine is designed around the family unit and its preservation […]
    So your homework assignment arash is as follows…

    Nas, to return the gesture, I advise you to take some anthropology classes. You remind me of some people who oppose gay-marriages and polygamy by citing the “Godly eternal structure of the family unit”. Well I’ve got news for you, the family unit has always been changing. God didn’t intend hoot as far as we’re concerned. This isn’t a question of biology, women have been giving birth, raising the children and feeding the men at the same time in many places and at many different times. This is about super imposing the social roles of Hijaz in 610 CE to societies that have long changed.

    The woman can be indpendent as she likes, theres nothing in Islam that says she must be chained to a house and never see daylight, many if not most of the females in my family are independent working women. the idea that Islam is against them is one you’ve either dreamt up or have concluded based on your conclusions of social and cultural elements throughout the arab or the islamic world.

    “I don’t have any problem with gays, but they shouldn’t have the right to marry. We need to keep the oh-so-fuzzy ‘family unit’ intact.”
    “I don’t have any problem with women working, but they shouldn’t have the right to equal inheritance. We need to keep the oh-so-fuzzy ‘family unit’ intact.”
    SC:

    Arash, it seems that you want to argue for the sake of arguing. Males responsible about their female relatives who need their support, I thought i’ve made that clear earlier. he can get as much money as i can so what? he has greater responsibilites, i have to take care of myself only, in fact thats optional, i can just sit and enjoy myself while my brother, father or husband is obliged to offer me the proper level of life i deserve. thinking about it, females are supposed to be treated like queens. Islam is not responsible for those who do not abide by its crystal clear teachings.

    SC, you fails to distinguish between “what should” and “what has”, real women have real responsibilities. What do you think would happen to the world if workingwomen started to sit home today? Many families just don’t have that option, to vacation at Aqaba and be treated like a queen (or be the queen for that matter) and wax about how Islam has truly liberated them. (In fact if it wasn’t because of oil, Saudis wouldn’t degrade their women to the level of baby-making machines.) With reliance come demands, next thing you know they ask you to stay home and forget your life-long dreams (whatever those may be). The inheritance laws have limited the personal liberty of women, making them unreasonably reliant on the arbitrary powers of their male relatives. Incidentally, Islam doesn’t say males have to treat women “like queens”. There is nothing in the Qu’ran that would indicate this, and the hadith equates spending on family to sadaqhah and only to cover “reasonable” necessities. That puts men in a position to decide what is reasonable (and when and to what degree they’d like to be charitable) and what to allow, which bring us to the next point:

    of course i agree, Islam made the responsibilities of men and women clear before stating that the daughter takes half what her brother takes of the inheretence.

    Again that is just in theory, I’m speaking of real responsibilities. Islam is dividing the inheritance based on assumptions that have never materialized. It could have advised men to take up more and then formulate a variable formula for the division of inheritance. That way the poor and workingwomen wouldn’t suffer and irresponsible spoiled queens get to blow less money on lipstick and mascara.

    so? i didn’t get your point. its not like women will be poor while men are rich

    Quite the contrary, women are always poorer than men on average and have fewer options to get out of poverty. Many in poorer countries resort to prostitution just to get their daily food. The governments just can’t do anything and the discriminatory Islamic laws sure won’t help either.

    the majority of women (99.9%) are emotional, i always thought of this as a fact and never imagined someone will actually debate it. however, emotional doesn’t mean weak, just if you were wondering. By the way, when giving birth to a baby one woman is enough to confirm it although its well known how critical it is when claiming or denying motherhood and similar issues. The fact that one woman is enough is because women by nature are very keen on this subject.

    What does that mean, that 99.9% of women are emotional? Everybody is emotional, man or woman. Surely you don’t mean 99.9% of women are more emotional than the most emotional man, do you? I didn’t understand the rest of that paragraph, where does motherhood enter the issue of testimony and judgment?

    As for being a judge, who said she can’t?

    Only in a secular setting have Muslim women been appointed to this position. Really, if you consider a woman incompetent in providing a simple testimony, how can you allow her to issue a judgment?
    Final thoughts
    I think I’ve demonstrated my point that women are indeed considered inferior in Islam and it’s unreasonable to imply that this treatment is fair because of their physical or intellectual capacities. In addition, the fact that many women are physically and physiologically abused in Islamic countries must have something to do with their inferior rights and lack of adequate protection under law. Their incapability to free themselves of these religious barriers will keep the society from realizing half of its potentials. That is something we all must be concerned about, man or woman.

  94. Arash, Its not only in theory, men do have more financial responsibilities than women! When getting married the man will pay for almost everything unless the woman and her family decided to help him out.thats how things are in our culture and thats how things should be i believe, even with all the cultural changes occurred still the man is asked to take care of lots of financial issues before and after marriage. I think we arabs are comfortable with that. I don’t want to kneel infront of a man and ask him to marry me while he takes a look at the diamond ring i bought him.
    However, There is a huge difference between culture and religion. Religion is always there for people to hold on to IF they want to. so if one day we became totally westernized we have only our religion to save us, and maybe only then you’ll have some respect to Islam and its teachings.
    I noticed Arash, that you’re angry with God not Islam. You think man’s rules on earth are better but trust me they aren’t and it doesn’t make sense that you want the man who is unfair, unmerciful, ignorant, selfish and simply human to decide on the responsibilities and rights of his brothers and sisters.
    theories about everything can always remain theories if nobody decided to implement them.
    You don’t know much about Islam and if you know you’d know that its not up to the man to decide what the woman needs and what duties he has towards her, you keep mixing with culture and social norms which applies for almost all the people regardless of their religion.
    which brings us back to the main point, this whole beating thingie has nothing to do with any religion, it has to do with men in the first place and then with women’s reaction.
    As for emotional, yes women are more emotional than men of course and men are more reasonable and logical and i’m talking in general. The problem is that people think emotional means weak and logical means strong which is wrong. Women think usig their hearts mostly when it comes to their relationships with others and i don’t know how can you deny that! i mean we all know about women’s gut feelings, women’s instinct…etc and we also know about men’s ability to control their feelings and focus on one thing at a time. this is only generally speaking.
    You wondered why do we need two women to testify and confirm while we need only one man and you said this indicates women’s inferiority in Islam. I gave you an example to further understand that it has to do with making sure one did not forget something due to her duties and worries, while in giving birth one woman who confirms it is enough because women do know more than men in this field despite of the sensitive nature and criticality of such issues.
    Women can be judges, if they are not allowed anywhere its not Islam’s fault because not allowing them in the first place means not following Islam, as simple as that. you got a problem with society and culture don’t blame Islam for it.
    on a last note, don’t be so angry because Islam says kill the apostates 😉

  95. Hi Jeff, as you wished, you got both sides of the story involved, Muslims and non-Muslims, what was the result? some got more ignorant and rude than before. I told you, few are the ones who argue to really know, many just waste time and end up with a pointless discussion.
    When I wrote: http://aquacool.blogspot.com/2005/04/blame-it-on-peoplenot-religion.html
    I got loads of emails, most attacking, few understanding and admiring. And to me it’s those few that matter the most, and thank God, my post was spread by those few and I reached out for more and more people, and got more and more positive responses agreeing that each religion has its glory, and each religion has its bad followers.
    What I’m trying to say is, when someone means to listen they can work wonders in making this world a better place to live! When they don’t want to listen, they can get as ignorant, shallow and silly as possible. That’s why I always try to put an end to any discussion on my blog that starts to get pointless.
    Nas,SC, and M7ammad, it’s about time you realise many here do not will to listen. They get your answers to use against you. So typical. Anyway, don’t be upset for the reactions and false claims, it the end of the day, no one is forcing anyone to love their own religions. All religions are great, and when misapplied they lead to the bad reputations we have, full stop.

  96. Eman, your points are well taken. Blame the people not the religion. Each religion has it’s glory and it’s bad followers.
    Yet the behaviour of the followers will always reflect on the observing masses. Reality is, even with an anti-Muslim/Arab biased Western media reporting only the worst, Muslims in this generation are Islam’s worst enemy. If true followers of Islam want to take back the excellent reputation they desire and draw others to their faith, it is going to take a massive work based on humility. Let go of blameshifting in every arena and grab hold of practicing what it means to serve the Most Merciful and Compassionate. Until these great attributes of the Almighty are lifted up in the eyes of the watching world, and real inner transformation takes place, no amount of explaining doctrine will change public opinion.
    Not all of the arguments given on this thread were false claims. And seeing what Nas how and SC responded was for the most part very instructive. But “attacking” the one with the undesirable opinion only discredits the message.
    Fact of the matter is, some of what is being taught as Islam needs to havethe mirror of higher criticism applied as the bible did. Then true intellectual integrity can be applied to faith.

  97. “Nas you are being sly here….”
    I realised something now, that no matter how much I explain this and to the arabic reader it is such an obvious statement, you will never agree. I really dont know what to add without having to repeat myself; and i know how u guys like to repeat like a broken record but hey, if you dont get it on the first, second or third time, i’m not sure i’m the kind of person who should be helping you. Suffice to say you’ve not only chosen to omit words from the translation but you’ve also chosen to change their context like clever sound editing, to make them mean anything. It is nevertheless, defecient in respsonsibilities, and it is nevertheless pretaining to the fact that they have a large impact on the their husbands which often or not can be negative, and it is nevertheless in context a speech given to women in the form of adivce and not insultive. what you don’t understand you can make mean anything.
    “There are many things absent from the Qu’ran, order and rakats of daily prayers for example….”
    Arash, you still haven’t provided me or any of us with just ONE verse from the quran that says women cannot be judges or hold high positions. you went from stating that women cannot hold these positions as a matter-of-factly straight into…”well they are often said to be misfit”. But i’ll tell u what…i’ll even make it easier for you…bring me ONE verse that says women are not allowed to work as well!
    “No, this doesn’t happen in all cultures…”
    What YOU are talking about is SOCIETY, there many many many cases where the shari3a law is misused just like any other law all over the world, beit man made or divine. Nevertheless this is what Islam says, and there will always be people there to abuse it. There are laws that say you can’t kill a person but suprisingly murders take place all over the world. Should I draw you a diagram to show you the difference between religion and society? And what do you mean it doesnt happen in all cultures? If you divorce in the west you get sued for alamony and child support if you are a man and are making enough money to support the wife and family you left.
    “Again, I’ve had more official religious education than you and SC combined…”
    Tell me oh wise one since you know more about my religion than anyone else here, how is it with all your great wisdom you manage to translate ahadith wrong, fail to recognise their context, or fail to know that under Islam a women has no financial responsibilities or burdens whatsoever…she can work and make money, what she takes into the marriage is hers, but she has legally no responsibility to support herself or her family, so technically this means that the male members in her family, typically her husband, will support all her needs 100%. So lets bring 10 people to judge nuetrally and decide which of our arguements is fairer.
    “Allah akbar…Do look at the Jews though, they’re more liberal than many. Why can’t the same happen with Islam? Are these rules written in stone?”
    Why should Islam change to accomodate the likes of you? Should we also say…well although homosexuality is technically a sin in all monothiest religions…well…what the heck…lets have a gay parade just for the heck of being liberal and “hip”. But you were right about the first two words in your sentence…God is great.
    “…Well I’ve got news for you, the family unit has always been changing..”
    arash that movie called Junior where Arnold Shwartzeneggar gets pregnant, that wasn’t real. how have the fundemental dynamic of the family unit changed since it was first created? Have men started giving birth lately? The truth is it hasnt changed, it has been the same, and islam strives to unify it and preserve it.
    ““I don’t have any problem with gays, but they shouldn’t have the right to marry. We need to keep the oh-so-fuzzy ‘family unit’ intact.”
    “I don’t have any problem with women working, but they shouldn’t have the right to equal inheritance. We need to keep the oh-so-fuzzy ‘family unit’ intact.””
    is this humor? come on arash, with all your superior religious education that out ranks two muslims here, you should be able to come up with something remotely intelligent! but sarcastic mimicry? perhaps you’ve confused me with my childhood.
    “I wanted to post this weblog as a trackback, but since it’s not mine I link to it down here. Read The Hijab Squad and the Top 10 Reasons why Saudi women can’t vote by Nadz”
    your bravado is embarrassing

  98. Not for a goddamn meal

    Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Leila Hamarneh, the projects director of the Arab Women Organization.
    In the course of the conversation, a controversial report on wife beating published by the Jordan’s National Family Council was mentioned as…

  99. I have been reading all of this debate, and many comments have been made purely to appear politically correct. I’m a young woman, and live in a Western country. Why don’t arab men stop beating thier wives…then you too can boast a one in three divorce rate? Yes…it was sarcasm. No, it’s not a simplistic view, its absolutely true. We have a divorce rate you can’t jump over, women having endless children outside of marrage and cheating on their husbands or “partners” all through the relationship. I’m married to a Jordanian (after being married to an Aussie who did nothing but cheat), and have never been beaten, and at the same time have never disobeyed. We are both educated professionals, so no, we’re not ignorant. There is no need to disobey or argue, the fact is, if you have to do the odd thing a certain way, then that’s a small price to pay for a happy and peaceful relationship. It sure beats the hell out of divorce.

  100. Feminists get all in a tizzy about wife beating far far away, while they ignore or encourage husband beating very close at hand.
    It would be instructive to know how many teenagers approve of women beating their husbands or girlfriends hitting their boyfriends 1) if the boyfriend/husband cheated 2) if the boyfriend/husband did not clean the house how and when she wants 3) if the boyfriend/husband refuses to follow her orders.
    Asking these questions does show us the other side of the coin (women in a matriarchy who think it is ok to beat their men). Domestic Violence by women on men is an epidemic in the West that goes unchallenged and no feminist it seems is willing to shine a light on it.
    Feminists are are eager to ignore husband/boyfriend beatings in their own country, so they focus on wife beating in far off lands.

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