“Our women are precious to us.” That is the typical Muslim response when asked about the treatment of women in Islam. Women are covered from head-to-toe because they are so “precious,” and in the West, domestic abuse is higher in the Muslim enclaves than in the neighborhoods of the natives because women in Islam are “valued so highly.” Female genital mutilation is apparently another way to demonstrate how women are treated like queens by their Muslim families, and getting flogged or even beheaded for getting raped also proves how special women are in the “religion of peace.”
Honor killings are another wonderful example of the treatment of women in Islam. Recently in Pakistan, a man and his two accomplices killed his sister for allegedly having “illicit relations” with a neighbor. In another Pakistani case, a woman, her aunt and cousin were all killed in an honor killing because the woman left her husband to marry another man. The other two women helped her, and the jirga, assembly of tribal elders, decided that they must be killed. No, it wasn’t madness or a crime of passion but an official decision made by what is essentially the governing group there because women are “precious” in Islam.
In August, a woman, her daughter and son-in-law were also victims of an honor killing by the woman’s brother after the woman had married without her family’s consent. Her brother killed her for it. These honor killings are all too common in Pakistan with new cases reported every few days. Earlier this year, two teenage girls and their mother were killed because the girls had been filmed dancing in the rain, and the video made the rounds via mobile phones. According to the Express Tribune, “the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says 943 women and girls were murdered in 2011 after being accused of tarnishing their families’ honor.” Pakistanis make up the largest Muslim immigrant group in the UK, though honor killings take place across the Muslim world.
In 2010, around 3000 honor attacks occurred in the UK’s Muslim community, though the actual number is believed to be far greater as many crimes go unreported or are not classified as honor attacks, which include abduction, mutilations, beatings, acid attacks and murder.
Underage marriage is all too common in the Muslim world, and a new report shows that instead of progressing, Malaysia is getting worse with more underage marriages in 2012 than in 2011. While non-Muslims in the nation must wait until the age of 18 to marry, the legal age for Muslims is 16. But with the common belief that girls must be married once they reach puberty, underage children can marry if they get consent from the Shariah court. And that is what they do to get around the supposed legal age the country has “officially” adopted in order to comply with world expectations.
In Nigeria, Senator Ahmad Yarima supports child marriage. The Senator himself married a 13 year-old in 2010 and has voted to uphold a law which states that all married girls are “of age.” One out of every five Nigerian children is not in school, partly because of this Muslim belief that puberty means marriage when it comes to girls. Over half the girls in the northern part of the country are married off by the time they are 16. And these girls are expected to have a child their first year of marriage. As a result, Nigeria which makes up two percent of the world’s population has ten percent of the world’s VVF cases. VVF is vesicovaginal fistula, a condition which occurs when urine involuntarily enters the vaginal vault. Why does this happen so much in Nigeria? Because the children giving birth are too small. Their pelvises are still too narrow. It’s a good thing these girls are considered “precious.” That helps a lot.
Forced marriage in the British Muslim community is also out-of-control, with at least 8000 per year in England alone. In many of these cases, young girls, barely teenagers, are forced to marry men at least twice their age, which is a dream compared to those who must marry men three or four times older. Refusal to marry these men can result in an honor attack.
A heroin-dealing Muslim in the UK became so infuriated with his wife for wanting an education, he subjected her to a year of “hell,” telling her that married women don’t do this, apparently equating it to some sort of lewd behavior. He forced her to wear a niqab, a face veil, but this was not enough. After she didn’t smile while with the family for Eid, he beat her. His subsequent beatings included ripping her tongue, kicking and punching her, giving her black eyes, keeping tabs on her via her cell phone, accusing her of cheating, etc. The abuse continued even after she got pregnant, and their baby was delivered prematurely. Eventually he stabbed her with scissors and hit her with a dumbbell. The assailant was a “devout Muslim.”
This is not an isolated case. Stories like this one are all too common in the Muslim world and are not contained only in Muslim countries. This case took place in the UK, but it could have been in France, Sweden, Australia, the United States or in any Muslim community around the world.
The precious women of Iran are allowed to get an education, but as a senior cleric has recently stated, if they are not dressed “properly,” their grades should reflect that. He calls for stricter regulations of women’s Islamic attire, saying, “If her veiling is bad, don’t let her into the university and let her feel it in her grade. This is not troublesome. Start here! If you put someone at the university gate and tell students that if they don’t observe proper veiling it would affect their grades, they would certainly pay heed.”
Saudi Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan has another suggestion for the “precious jewels” that are Muslim women: do not drive. Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive, but this sheikh explains the reasoning behind it. Believe it or not, driving “damages a woman’s ovaries and pelvis.” It is actually a “health risk.” That’s right, a health risk. Why getting in the passenger seat is less of a “health risk” must be some kind of a miracle. Driving is so unhealthy for women, according to the skeikh, it could even affect her unborn babies. In fact, if Saudi Arabia were to allow it, more women and men would turn to homosexuality and pornography. These comments were based on a “scientific” study done by Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council alongside a former professor at King Fahd University. The study also “found” that allowing women to drive could result in prostitution and divorce.
Prostitution however, is already a part of the Muslim world and has nothing to do with driving. A new report from an NGO states that there are over 100,000 sex slaves in Turkey, and half of them are children. And while Muslims from around the world have been travelling to Syria to join the fight of the Al-Qaeda linked rebels, underage Tunisian girls have also done their part to “help the cause.” They’ve been sent to sexually satisfy these jihadis and have returned pregnant. Nothing more than a prostitution ring, this is another prime example of how Islam treats its precious jewels.
Ibn Warraq explains the basis for demeaning women in Islam. Beginning with the concept of Eve, the first woman, as a temptress who set the stage. Warraq writes, “Modern Muslim commentators interpret certain verses to show that guile, deceit, and treachery are intrinsic to a woman’s nature. Not only is she unwilling to change, she is by nature incapable of changing – she has no choice…”
Quranic verses expose the truth about women in Islam:
4.11. Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females.
4.34. Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart; and scourge (beat) them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great.
Warraq explains that in Islam, a man is allowed to beat his wife if she refuses to make herself beautiful for him; refuses to meet his sexual demands; leaves the house without permission or without any legitimate reason recognized by law; or neglects her religious duties.
Having to walk around like a blob, covered head-to-toe; getting their clitoris carved out and getting sewn almost completely shut; being denied an education or the right to work in a “gender mixing” job; verbal, physical and sexual abuse; running the risk of getting killed for any number of horrific “crimes” such as looking at a boy, talking to men on the street if they aren’t relatives, wearing Western clothing, not wearing a hijab, having a boyfriend, refusing to marry a stranger, getting raped… If this is what “precious” means, I’m glad I’m not so precious.
By: Rachel Molschky