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Women-Is there a way one can improve the status of the Muslim women in Islamic countries? Their value, equal treatment, & respect of opinion

In many Islamic countries we hear that women are treated equally. That their status has improved. That their rights have been protected. Yet actions against them speak louder than words.

Often time Muslim women can't express their opinion. They are not respected. They have no equal rights with their male companions. They can't represent themselves without being harrassed. They are denied simple rights; as driving a car. They are blamed for the actions of men against them. They bear the burden of proving their innocence most of the time. The list can go on and on.

What are some of the ways we all, men and women, can come up with to help elevate the status of women in Islamic countries without jeopradizinfg here privacy and dignity.

  • Jan 11 2012: Stop brainwashing children with religious ideas created by people who are not alive today. Respect children to develop their own beliefs based upon their own minds, hearts, life experiences and other things. Have adults act in positive ways that children will emulate instead of pushing children around to act certain ways. Speak words and perform acts that are positive only. Teach positive things only. Teach respect for all people and all ideas and beliefs. Live according to your own highest awareness of what is right. You are obviously on the right track. Freedom takes bravery, but you have that. Keep expressing your true feelings and thoughts. You are succeeding in accomplishing all of your positive goals. As soon as MALES=FEMALES throughout society, there will be health, prosperity, happiness and all good things for all. Let's let go of all of our ancestral brainwashing. It did not work to yield the happiness we all deserve. We have the power....right co-create a wonderful world. Let's do it. Thanks for this important idea you have expressed here.
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      Jan 15 2012: Rhona: Are you saying that once a person dies we should no longer teach his/her ideas (including scientists, philosophers, etc.)? I guess we should also get rid of schools so that children can "develop their own beliefs" about the world. I guess you never teach your children how to behave properly ("to act certain ways"). Just let them act according to "their own highest awareness of what is right". When a child bullies another we should not correct that since they are operating under the idea that power makes right. So what is "right"? If each person determines that on their own then you can NEVER tell another that he is doing wrong. If I believe you are hindering the "happiness I deserve" do I now have the right to rob you, or kill you? Or are YOU going to teach me that it is wrong to steal or kill, and thus violate everything you have just tried to claim? If I "have the power to create a wonderful world" for me, is it my right to do so? The truth is, you can't live in a world without "ancestral brainwashing" as you call it. You can't live in a world without a universal standard (authority) of right/wrong. While you try to claim a universal ethic does not exist you really can't live without it. For ANYTHING to be claimed as "right" or "wrong" their must be an authority of the rightness that must be referenced. The problem is that we need to establish what the proper authority of right/wrong is. The problem in Islam is that there are many conflicting understandings of what is true Islam. What is it really teaching? And how is it really being lived out?
      • Jan 16 2012: Gregory, Thank you for expressing so many of your true thoughts here. I am saying that we should use and appreciate the great, valuable, positive creations and co-creations of our ancestors, but that we are the ones to select, express and believe what we believe. People can tell you what they believe, but no one can tell you what you believe. Children deserve far more respect than they are receiving. There are good things like love, respect, trust, knowledge and other things that are good to pass on to children. Many adults in our society feel powerless. They become power and control freaks and use that while interacting with children. I believe what I believe. My self-respect requires that I live in accordance with what I believe. I would expect others to want me to be true to who I am. I hope everyone lives according to their own beliefs rather than the beliefs of many dead and other living people. HAPPY TODAY. In my religion "TODAY" is the only high holy day. I am deeply grateful to live in a country with freedom of religion as one of our highest values.
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    Jan 11 2012: I'm so glad I wasn't born into a predominantly Muslim country. Mine is far from perfect but was one of the first to give women the vote and has come a long way in the last century or so. I was relatively lucky where and when I was born. The country I live in only gave the indigenous people the vote 50 years ago, so don't feel so bad.

    Difficult ask. To get things started suggest pressure for change from inside will have a greater impact than pressure from outside. Although pressure from outside may increase once the oil runs out. Or at least the support for despotic totalitarian regimes may reduce.

    There may be lessons to learn from other struggles for human rights but these need to be customised for the specific country. India for independence. South Africa to end apartheid. Gay rights etc. Any role model Musllim countries?

    Political systems may not be conducive to social change in the same way a secular democracy is.

    Not sure if education could be used if it is used to entrench current norms.

    Part of the problem may be religion. I don't know enough about the Koran to say if it reinforces the issues or is just used as a tool. Sharia law seems somewhat medieval.

    Perhaps these institutions need to change.

    Not sure if gradual change or revolution is the way to go. Revolution usually relies on a ground swell leading to some tipping point. Suggest there is a lot of building of the groundswell required. Do a majority of women already want change or do their attitudes need to be worked on as well?

    As a starter, perhaps there needs to be debate kept alive on the topic in society.via protests, letters, discussion, groups etc. Expect there may be lots of suffering and sacrifice before things bloom.

    I believe that women have a better experience today in the world than 100 years ago. There seems to have been a shift towards equality on many levels across the world. This may help, or at least it won't slow change down. I hope things improve for these women in my life
  • Jan 14 2012: I am surprised that the side of a Muslim scholar who knows his religion well is not expressed here. I am not one of such scholars but I do know this:

    Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the 600's was the first to advocate women's rights. Yes, that's way before the Pope did. And he never hit a woman in his life.

    Real muslim women don't have to drive, they have chauffeurs(Husbands/Fathers) to do that for them.
    But it according to Sheikh Ayed Al-Qarni, a prominent Saudi Islamic scholar, is not prohibited. (That's Saudi Arabia for ya.)

    How can some people blame this on Islam when women's rights are abused EVERYWHERE?
    Yes my friends, it's all culture.
    As for you Al Fadi, I'd ask an Imam about Islam if I were you, not non-muslims. No Offense.
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    Jan 12 2012: "Stop brainwashing children with religious ideas created by people who are not alive today. "
    -Rhona Pavis

    cannot be said better.
  • Al Fadi

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    Jan 11 2012: excellent insight and input. Agreed.
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    Jan 24 2012: in the name of status lifting, woman is being deprived in the west .....can,t u see that
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    Jan 24 2012: i am also a muslim and i can better understand your notions...a general conception going about these days is that man and woman are equal;,....i just dont agree ...Allah says in quran that man is one degree more omnipotent than woman is..{ar rejalu qawwamuna alannisa e}...if woman abides by the rules imposed on her by islam then the fact will better come life upon her that she is enjoying all facilities....if she thinks that things must go according to her expectations then she will find all things goning against her.....could you help me point out a single aspect or field of life in which revolution owes a deal to woman...from science to religion every revolution is due to man and is asking no womans contribution.......i might be wrong if you could prove..reply must at( waiting..
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    Jan 22 2012: I would propose this:

    Please share your thoughts!


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    Jan 16 2012: Good thoughts! I fully agree with you, but I would go even further. I find that people always live in accordance with what they believe. They are always true to themselves. That is not a problem. The issue is that they do not live according to what they SAY they believe. A person may claim to believe certain things, but I can look at their life and know what they truly believe. They always live out their real beliefs. For example, if I said I believe it will be warm and sunny today but then grab my coat and umbrella when I go out, you would rightly question my stated belief. But even more important is that our beliefs should have solid foundations and be true in themselves. For example, I may believe I am perfectly healthy. But a medical test may reveal that there is a serious health problem. Should the doctor present this evidence to me, knowing that it will change my belief and make me unhappy, or should he just let me be happy in my own belief, which is false? Hopefully we will want to believe what is true, not just what makes us happy. If we really want to know the truth, we will welcome any evidence from any source that can help us determine the truth, as best as possible. We need to learn from others who have found truths about life. (Mom tells her child that the stove is hot before he learns that through his own experiences.) Now, many claim to know the truth, and the claims contradict. But there is ONLY ONE truth, and holding to a false belief will lead to disaster. That is why we need to listen to others, evaluate the evidences and be open to changing our beliefs when they are shown to be false. We live out what we really believe, and hopefully those beliefs are also true.
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    Jan 14 2012: Link in with
    to read what other Islamic women are doing, writing, observing in their communities.
  • Jan 12 2012: Educate both muslim men and women with real islam. plain and simple
    • Jan 14 2012: Ahsan. Thank you for the input. How can one define real Islam? what is the source for it? is real Islam jut the Quran? or The Quran and the Prophet's teachings? curious to know what you mean by real Islam.

      I ask becasue I was always under the impression that there is only one Islam?

      Thanks in advance.
      • Jan 14 2012: Real Islam is moderate. You'll know it when you see it.

        What's happening there is a clear misrepresentation of Islam.
        Yes, ancestral brainwashing. But no, not Islam. It's culture killing muslim women today.
      • Jan 14 2012: Source for real Islam? It's obvious, Quran and Sunnah and it is moderate as Mohammad Marohombsar put it ''you will know it when you see it'' i repeat this with ''when you implement it''

        Of course Islam is only one, atleast fundamental ideology is only one, the unchanging.

        We muslims of 21st century as a whole clearly know not anything about Islam, hence the misrepresentation of Islam and unwanted influnce of culture and norms.
    • Jan 14 2012: Real Islam? Its not Islam that need to be taught, let the religion be there for spiritual purification...its the freedom of choice that need to be given to every human being, what they want to do with their life....Let no religious book be given to any one, let the Modern Education fill their mind and let their life full of happiness... that all, nothing else..... but politics of religion is so strong it will never give chance to freedom, so till one of them win other will rule be it religion or be it freedom, both are opposite to each other, and please don't give lecturer on freedom ...God can be free but human , never ...
  • Jan 11 2012: The problem with this particular subject is that the only people who acknowledge theres a problem are the women in the countries themselves.
    As far as the general muslim male population and western converted women are concerned, women in Islam are cherished and equal; Mainly because these are the two groups who don't have to put up with the situation in question.
    • Al Fadi

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      Jan 11 2012: good point. The only way women can see this problem is by living in an Islamic country like Saudi Arabia or Iran and see for themselves how the real Islam is different than the Westernized one when it comes to their treatment. Thanks for your valuable input.