October 22, 2009

At Some Point, There Will Be Equality (haha, good one.)

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:10 pm by Superintendent

In the early 1900s, American women used their political rights guaranteed to them as citizens of the country to protest their subordination under the law. Earlier in the country’s history, women had more rights and influence in the public sector; the growth of industrialization and increased division between public and private aided the renewed suppression of women. Men were certainly not going to advocate for women, and so it was up to the women to take measures into their own hands and create scandal in order to produce a desired end.

How Long, Sir?

Drawing parallels to the situation of Muslim women today, specifically in more Western areas such as Canada, a renewed degree of conservatism has swept Islamic communities and has reduced these women to mere objects in their own mosques. It would be appropriate for these women to ask: Mr. President, Allah, how long must women wait for liberty? When will women be guaranteed the peace and equality discussed in the Qur’an?

The sheer audacity of male clerics and members of Islamic communities to assume the secondary status of women and neglect them not only from being a part of decision-making, but also from engaging in ritual prayer and religious exercises that all Muslims should be guaranteed as a fundamental part of their faith is astounding. Why are women so frightening? So threatening? Let’s put up a wall so they cannot be seen (perhaps the actual motivation is more so they cannot see). Let’s reduce them to infantile status in our own religion so we may continue to exert power and influence over them. It’s truly repulsive.

What perhaps is most astounding is that the notion of barriers in mosques is a renewed idea and was not always enforced or practiced. The women in Me and the Mosque discussed that barriers were relatively new in their mosques. And for a majority of leaders and imams to support the idea that half of their congregation is inferior… taking lessons from how Muhammad treated his wives and how they engaged in public action and interaction with men, how can this be justified? Only a deliberate manipulation of text can result in their proof.

Women are too tempting, too distracting. Tough. Deal with it. Learn some self-discipline. These ideas are used all too often to create more laws and restrictions against women.  From refusing them equality in mosques to enforcing unequal degrees of dress codes in high schools. Maybe men should be held to a higher standard than they are. Maybe they should learn to concentrate a little bit harder and we should not grant them the assumed handicap that “they can’t help it, they’re men”. This is most likely me getting on my soapbox again (shout out to my dad for that one) but if I were one of these women, I would march into the mosque, I would not allow myself to be restricted upstairs behind a cement wall (hyperbole, forgive me) or relegated to the back corner (notice, no comfy carpet there) as if I were some dirty and unacceptable being. I would stand right beside the men, I would hold my concentration, pray, and ignore the looks, comments, and the anxiety. If they are not comfortable touching a women (due to proximity), they can make themselves more comfortable in the back.

And if I were a man and felt this was too tempting, well then, I would use my prayer time to pray to Allah and ask for more strength.

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1 Comment »

  1. mcfall09 said,

    I really like your second to last paragraph. I think its really disgraceful that men cannot hold them selves back from the ‘temptation of women’. How degrading to men that they aren’t strong enough to resist the sight of a woman? That were pushed to the back corner or behind a wall to pray..they should move I agree. What is this world coming to!? It’s just so odd that the sight of women are too much of a distraction to pray, etc. Where is the self control and self discipline then?


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