Friday, September 27, 2013

The Status of Women in Islam (with two videos)

Muslim apologists put forward the claim that Islam liberated women in the 7th century and ever after. Our federal government, via the National Park Service (who knew they were so concerned over promoting Islam instead of running the National Parks!), is promoting this utter fabrication via a new video series:

From the first part of the 3 videos at the 4:45 mark:
People think that Islam oppresses women and there’s no equality, but they’re wrong – there’s equity… 7th century A.D. Islam gave women the right to be involved in politics, the right to earn and keep her own money. Islam gave women the right to work outside of the home, Islam gave women the right to own property, Islam gave women the right to divorce, Islam gave women the right to choose who she marries. Islam gave women a whole bunch of rights that Western women acquired later in the 19th and 20th centuries and we’ve had these rights since the 7th century A.D. and it’s just not acknowledged worldwide.

It should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood strongly condemned the UN's Declaration on Women's Rights. And women in Afghanistan would likely disagree with the National Park's Islamic Promotional Service.

Thankfully, David Wood over at Answering Muslims, sets the record straight using Islamic source texts, including hadiths about Muhammad's actual teachings about women, and specific verses from the Quran, in this brief presentation:

Mr. Wood goes on to note:

According to the Qur'an, Muslim men can beat their wives into submission (4:34) and rape their female captives (4:24). Muhammad taught his followers that the testimony of women is unreliable because women are stupid and immoral (Qur'an 2:282; Sahih al-Bukhari 2658; Sahih Muslim 142). Muhammad's wife Aisha even said that, in her lifetime, Muslim women were treated worse than non-Muslim women (Sahih al-Bukhari 5825). Amazingly, modern Muslims claim that Islam liberates women! 
For the full citations of the sources used by David Wood, visit the Answering Muslims post, The Truth About Women in Islam.

In my book, FACING ISLAM, I contrast Islam's view of women with that of Christianity:

To further emphasize a most significant dissimilarity between Islam and Christianity, the status of women is an exalted one in the New Testament. The Son of God was born of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, her humble faith and exalted role being a model for all believers at all times. The Holy Myrrhbearing Women were the first witnesses to the Resurrection of Christ (in a time when women’s testimony was not considered legally valid) and are revered as “the apostles to the Apostles.” St. Paul affirms the divine nature we all share when he writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28), and his teachings on marriage are as fresh and healthy today as two-thousand years ago, when they challenged the cultural mores of the age.

In contrast, the Koran treats women as chattel, perpetually the property of either their fathers or husbands, and inculcates a view of women as animals. Revered Muslim scholar al-Qurtubi (d. 1273) in his definitive twenty volume commentary on the Koran writes that, “A woman may be likened to a sheep—even a cow or a camel—for all are ridden” (Tafsir Al Koran, vol 15, p 172).

The Koran itself states that the birth of a daughter makes a father’s “face darken and he is filled with gloom” (Sura 43:15). A woman’s testimony is only half as reliable as a man’s (Sura 2:282) and her inheritance can be only half that of a man’s (Sura 4:11). Rather than commanding an adulteress be stoned (as did Muhammad; Bukhari 4.56.829, also 8.82.816, which also states stoning was originally in the Koran), Christ forgave her and humbled her accusers (Jn 8:2-11).  
Women in Muslim societies who are victims of rape are likely to be whipped or stoned. Since four witnesses are required in sharia law to convict the male offender, the woman is inevitably presumed guilty. Muhammad further taught that women are “deficient in religion and intellect,” and that the majority of the inhabitants of Hell will be women (Hadith from Sahih Bukhari 1.6.301, 4.54.464).

Some will protest that it is not fair to criticize Islam's treatment of women, as Islam was formed in the 7th century under very different cultural conditions. Yet this is not the claim Islam makes about itself (and which our National Park Service now so gullibly promotes). Islam claims to be enlightened and to have brought women new rights and equity. Such false claims must be refuted, as they are part and parcel of Islamic proselytism (dawah). Such claims are more "Allahu Akbar" in a gentle, feminine guise.

How a culture views and treats its most vulnerable members reveals much. Islam's sub-human view of women, as stated in its holy texts, and its treatment of women as witnessed around the world via honor killings, spouse abuse, acid attacks on women, clitorectomies, epidemic rape, stoning of adulterers, etc., goes a long way towards proving Islam to be a false religion.