The Treatment of Women in Islam



“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.

This beautiful Iraqi woman was killed in an honor killing in America by her father, who ran over her with his SUV. (Source:,8599,2055445,00.html)

This beautiful Iraqi woman was killed in an honor killing in America by her father, who ran over her with his SUV. (Source:,8599,2055445,00.html)

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.

A 12 year-old in Pakistan was forced to marry a 60 year-old man. (Source:

A 12 year-old in Pakistan was forced to marry a 60 year-old man. (Source:

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.”

Would you like to swim in this? Must be fun wearing all black in the hot sun. Photo: Hatem Moussa / AP Photo (

Would you like to swim in this? Must be fun wearing all black in the hot sun. Photo: Hatem Moussa / AP Photo (

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.

Malala Yousufzai was shot for speaking out against the Taliban. At just 14, she struggles for children's and women's rights. (Source:

Malala Yousufzai was shot for speaking out against the Taliban. At just 16, she struggles for children’s and women’s rights. (Source:

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

  • Iftikhar Ahmad

    I find Islam to be liberating not oppressive: women are partners.

    Islam is the first religion which systematically empowered women when women were considered as totally subservient to man. There was no concept of her being an independent entity and enjoying equal right with dignity. We live in a country where women are over-sexualised and sold as ‘products’ for capitalist gains. A woman’s beauty is splashed around everywhere, and she is only judged by that. Islam tells a woman to cover up so that she is not abused as Western women are. Islam provides the security and respect to women community than other religions. The western countries are using the women as an entertainment channels. All the women in the world should think about themselves then decide what is right and what is wrong for them in other religions (than Islam)

    What is feminism? Nothing but women’s movement to empower her and to consider her full human being and not mere second sex as ‘Simon de Bouire called her. Thus we see in western countries until early part of twentieth century she did not enjoy an independent status. It was only after thirties of twentieth century that she won equal status legally and various western countries passed the laws to this effect. Yet patriarchy is looming large on her in these countries.

    Qur’an empowered her and gave equal status. Another important question is what is the difference between Islamic and western feminism or is there any difference at all. If we go by definition of feminism as an ideology of empowerment of women, there is no difference. On the other hand, women had no rights and but won through great deal of struggle and this struggle came to be known as ‘feminism’ i.e. women’s empowerment.

    But there are significant differences also between Islamic and western feminism. Islamic feminism is based on certain non-negotiable values i.e. equality with honour and dignity. Freedom has certain Islamic responsibility whereas in the west freedom tends to degenerate into licentiousness, though not in law but certainly in social and cultural practices. In western culture sexual freedom has become a matter of women’s right and sex has become matter of enjoyment and lost its sanctity as an instrument of procreation.

    Qur’an does lay down certain strict norms for sexual behavior. Both man woman have right to sexual gratification (a woman has as much right to sexual gratification as man) but within marital frame-work. There is no concept of freedom for extramarital sex in any form. Sex is permissible only with marital framework. Sex, as far as Islam is concerned, is not mere enjoyment but an act for procreations and hence has sanctity.

    It is important here to emphasize that in a patriarchal society men decided the norms of sexual behavior. It was theorized that man has greater urge for sex and hence he needs multiple wives and woman tends to be passive and hence has to be content with one. This is not true as far as Qur’an is concerned. Qur’an’s approach is very different. It is not greater or lesser degree of sexual urge which necessitates multiple or monogamous marriage.

    Whole emphasis is on monogamous marriage (in both the Qur’anic verses i.e. 4:3 and 4:129). Multiple marriages were permitted only to take care of widows and orphans and not for greater sexual urge and the verse 4:129 gives the norm of monogamy and not to leave first wife in suspense or neglected. Thus as far as Qur’an is concerned sexual gratification is a non-negotiable right for both man woman. And hence a divorcee and a widow are also permitted to marry and gratify their sexual urge.

    Also, in western capitalist countries women’s dignity has been compromised and she has been reduced to a commodity to be exploited. Her semi-naked postures and her sexuality is exploited commercially unabashedly. It is totally against the concept of woman’s honour and dignity. Unfortunately western feminists do not consider this as objectionable but accept it as part of woman’s freedom. Some (though not many) even advocate prostitution as woman’s right to earn her bread.

    This is against the concept of Islamic feminism as while sanctioning sexual gratification as much right of woman as that of man, it prohibits extra-marital sexual liaison and on one hand upholds dignity and honour of woman and on the other, exalts sex on the level of sanctity and restricts it for procreation.. Thus it would be seen that discourse of Islamic feminism, while having something in common with modern western feminism, it also significantly differs from it. Islamic feminists have to observe certain norms which modern western feminists are not obliged to.

    There is institutionalised oppression of women in all cultures. In India Hindu female foetocide numbers approximately two million every year. Hinduism is rife with sexism. Women are classed as objects owned by men. The Muslims from the Sub-continent were converted from Hinduism. They carry even now a lot of Hindu traditions of dishonouring women mostly in isolated ruler areas. In urban areas Muslims are well educated both Islamically and worldly and women have all the rights given by Islam.

    UNICEF photo of the year shows, a bridegroom, 40, with his 11-year-old bride in Afghanistan. The bridegroom is going to take care of her and their future children. UNICEF photo of the year must show that the teenage pregnancies and abortion, drug addiction, binge drinking and anti-social behavior is on the rise in Britain. All of them are burden on British tax-payers. This is sickening. It’s no wonder Great Britain is in such a bad shape. Ten years old British girls are haveing babies out of wedlock. They are not allowed to get married but are allowed to have babies. Teenage pregnancy rate in Great Britain is the highest in Western Europe. It is a civilised country and Yemen is a backward country because it allows young girls to get married.

    The Holy Quran gives more rights to women than the so called western civilisation.
    Western Secularism cannot teach Muslims how to treat women. Islam teaches us how to be civilised. Islam is a middle path. Women are even abused in the UK Parliament, which is called the Mother of Parliament. It is not just verbal abuse the female MPs have had to deal with. The tradition of killing women for family honour is a “curse”. Violence against women is a global phenomenon. An Australian Judge failed to jail nine males who admitted gang-raping a 10-year old Aboriginal girl, by saying the victim probably agreed to have sex with them. More than half the babies born to British mothers this year will be outside marriage for the first time since records begins. There is a steady decline in marriage among British couples. Nearly all births to Pakistani mothers are within wedlock.

    The veil signified the rejection of an unacceptable system of values which debased women while Islam elevated women to a position of honour and respect. It is not liberation, where women go naked. It is just oppression, because men want to see them naked. Miniskirts and plunging necklines represent oppression. Veil is a sign of liberation from a prevailing and dangerous western, secular norm – namely, a view of women purely as sexual objects. Western culture is liberalism, and that is in itself a set of norms. But now the time has come that liberalism must change its attitudes because Britain and the whole of West has undergone significant change. It is a fact that a veil cannot be equated with forced marriages, female circumcision or unequal education for girls. The real difference between man and woman is that they have different kinds of bodies designed for very different purposes, and they have also different kinds of mind because these, too, are designed to contribute differently to human needs and purposes. Men tend to be more imaginative and have more flair than women, but women are much more tenacious and better at multilasking than men.

    Muslim boys and Girls need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Male and female Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. Muslim youths feel torn between two cultures, thanks to the state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers. Islam teaches Muslims youths to be virgin but western education system teaches the opposite. It makes their lives very confusing. They suffer from Identity Crises. The solution is that each and every Muslim child should be in state funded Muslim schools because western education makes a man stupid and selfish according to Lord Bertrand Russell.

    • anon1

      I cannot believe the level of delusion in the above statement. What mental gymnastics you have to undertake to twist that logic to fit this ridiculous delusion. On another point. I am at a complete loss to understand why any second generation muslim who’s parents FLED the atrocities of their own country to give their offspring a chance at freedom, peace and education, would then attack the christian based, democracy that offered them all these WONDERFUL things, but instead try desperately to institute the deranged ideology of the countries their parents fled HERE!! Frankly you can have ALL of these oppressive, vicious, evil practices any time you want them by simply returning to your own natural heritage that you’re parents fled. The fact that you DO NOT do that is ABSOLUTE PROOF that you DO NOT WANT TO LIVE UNDER THE HORRORS OF THEM YOURSELF, SO STOP DEMANDING TO HAVE THAT DERANGED IDEOLOGY INSTITUTED IN THIS COUNTRY. Instead of banging the drums of the ‘evil west’ over here, go home to your natural heritage, live under their sharia and be a hero there for walking the walk and being honorable enough to leave this polluted west and to return there, instead of just talking the talk and spreading lies, deceit, misogyny and backward ideology here.

    • Wtf?

      Ha ha ha ha ha You could only have written this dribble with your husband watching.
      I will bet you then go on line and have multiple Facebook accounts and fantasise about being “free”.
      However in reality you are probably a cross eyed sexually frustrated cleric addressing attacks against Islam and passing yourself off as female.
      It is just so over the top it could be the statements of a rational person.
      Ha ha ha best laugh I have had this week.

    • georgina

      “Islam is the first religion which systematically empowered women when women were considered as totally subservient to man.”
      And yet, before islam, Muhammed actually worked for an independent, rich, business woman. She had even (horror) inherited wealth from her father! Of course, after he married her and invented his new religion, she was no longer permitted to do these things.

      “Qur’an empowered her and gave equal status”
      Quoted please. I could find no place in the quoran where women were not depicted as ‘lesser’. Hadiths stating that women are deficient in intelligence [].

      Maybe, possibly, it can be argued that Arab women were treated badly in the 7th. century, as they were in all other countries. But we have evolved in the last few hundred years, the west had the elightenment. Islam is still in the 7th. century, not good for women.

  • Bob Smith

    At its core Islamic theology brainwashes a significant portion of the Muslim population. The reply by “Iftikhar Ahmad” is a good example.

    Look at this statement by her: “UNICEF photo of the year shows, a bridegroom, 40, with his 11-year-old bride in Afghanistan. The bridegroom is going to take care of her and their future children.”

    What kind of fool believes it is permissible for a 11 year old little girl to be married off to anyone? What kind of mental derangement does MS Ahmad suffer from. How brainwashed can you have to be in order to try to try to justify a 40 year old man marrying an 11 year old girl? Does the little girl get any say in the “marriage”?

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  • skai

    Let us not forget that like of Iftikhar are the prime example who will defend Islam , because muslims are ordained by mo-ham-mad [ may pi$s be upon him] and allah to defend Islam at all cost. NO amount of convincing and facts are going to change Iftikhar’s mind, Period. He is cut and past artist .

  • Sevim

    As an educator, can I say that no-where in my understanding of Islam have I seen that underage girls can get married- that sort of behaviour is disgusting! FGM has no grounding within the Qur’an and is cultural rather than religious!

    Pure Islam which hasn’t been diluted by men trying to control women or hasn’t been taken out of context does say that women have the right to an education, the right to own property and her own money. Violence against women has no grounding in Islam and nor does honor killings – this sort of behavior goes completely against the Islam which I have been taught and I teach.

    We must, however, be careful not to brand all Muslims in the same way as there are some who do remember that there is a Judgement on the other side and the sort of things that are being done in the name of Islam and supposedly on behalf of Allah are quite frankly, although I am not one to judge, paving the way into hell. And can I add….when they get to the other side, realise that God is female they’ll start begging on their knees for the mercy that they did not show these women. I pray to Allah that mercy is not shown to the men who behave like this or who condone this behaviour by not fighting against it, burn in hell!

  • anushka

    its amazing how matter of factly you speak when you utter complete rubbish with no real knowledge.

  • Hear us

  • Sharique Tharani

    Instead of turning people away from islam by posting such rubbish teach them about your religion …because anyways there are tonnes of people getting converted to islam daily around the whole family got the reference of koran n hadith n not some rubbish on some website…

    • not4islam

      Isn’t it true that your ‘prophet’ married a six year old girl and had sex with her when she was 9. My mother is a EX muslim thank God almighty! She was subjected to female mutilation! It makes me sick!!!!

      Please tell me one good thing that your ‘prophet did!!! He had sex with slave girls. He killed people. He had sex with an under age girl. He even bear her, he hit her on the chest!


      • Sharique Tharani

        As i told u earlier i dont believe in what people say ..there are tonnes like u who have heard tonnes of things from different charlies of the world…if u are really interested in what is right and wrong then read yourself what is written in the books ..when i was born i was given no choice of religion ..and i was told everything wrong about others and good about my religion..then i read and i came to know difference ….what ever answers you want abt islam and doubts you can ask here …but should have references from the books..and not from what people told you with lack of knowledge …i will pray for your mother and your whole family …may Allah show you the right path…and believe me, one of the largest population are not that insane to follow a person with the character you have heard about..there are black sheep in every community all around the world and they are the samples dont judge islam by samples ..look at the population ..

      • Sarah

        It’s amazing how anyone from anywhere with any kind of hand me down knowledge can start writing articles against a faith. How about the church-run residential schools that operated well after the 1990’s where kids were tortured to mutilation, starvation and subjected to scientific experiments…and all in the name of God. Governments in all the old core countries accept now that these horrible things did happen!
        And FYI, genital mutilation ended way back and was re-introduced by ignorant people and cultures. It is clearly said in Islam that a woman has the right to have pleasure, so do not cut her! Oh and about that 6 year-old marriage thing, right then and well afterwards many people from different religions were marrying 10 year old kids “legally” as it was a norm back then. Should NOT happen nowadays because in the world we live in now, education is extremely important, therefore, girls should be educated well, taught to face the world and ignorant people like you and then they should get married. There are thousands of girls like Malala who are proud of being a Muslim and are trying to clear off Islam’s name by showing its true side but people like you will not understand because you just know how to accept and spread a single sided story. Please get educated.

    • not4islam

      Please tell me which part is rubbish and false. Tell me!

    • Jeremy Olson

      So you follow a child molester then.

      • chindu

        So u dint read the comment …

  • Yara

    I couldn’t even finish this. I’m confused at the fact that you might actually think these were “common in the Muslim world” the irrelevant statements you were trying to make made me laugh. You clearly don’t have ANY clue what you are talking about this is ridiculous and absurd…

  • Rashad

    If you were intelligent you would research the primary sources of Al-Islam, which are (1.) The Qur’an & (2.) the authentic reports on the sayings and lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him). In researching the two main authorities in Al-Islam you would find no examples of so called honor killings, forced marriages, compulsion, prostitution, drug selling, wife abuse or any of the charges that people of your stature routinely charge Al-Islam with.
    Now if you want to associate the crimes of the perpetrator with his religious preference, let’s interview all the prisoners in American jails and prisons and then correlate the crimes for which they are incarcerated for, with their religious preferences, then let’s publish our findings. A pre-warning: 99.99% of the crimes committed in America are committed by, Guess Who….. CHRISTIANS!

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  • Enough!

    Please, everyone, just calm down. Yes,there are unspeakable acts going on but that shouldn’t be blamed on religion. Well, not usually. Anyway, each religion has its own mix of good and bad so get over it. Articles shouldn’t pin down religions like that. True, good followers wouldn’t do these things. If they decide to stand behind and hold up their religion as the cause of their actions then so what? fine. let them do as they wish. But know that in the end they made their choice. They may say that they follow their god but at the end of the day who did they turn to? Please don’t target religion . Religion shouldn’t be a massive cult following. It’s a personal experience so please don’t fight about it.

  • Gray Liddell

    My complaint concerns Western feminism. From the West’s point of view, women in Muslim cultures are oppressed. Sure, they don’t have to deal with the outlandish sexuality of Western culture which i do not think has done Western women any good.
    And if there is one thing at all I agree with Muslim culture in terms of women it is the modesty idea, I think Muslim cultures go too far but i also think western cultures with their swimsuits???? and revealing clothes for women go too far the other way. It is a tease that provokes.
    But my complaint has to do with Western Feminism, which shrieks in the media if Western men dare to say, for example what I just did about the way women dress, but this same Feminism is totally silent when it comes to much more restrictive rules of behavior in Muslim cultures.
    How ’bout it girls(yes, the diminutive), a little consistency please?

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  • disqus_WAGxv2vJ1s

    this is all true I have seen a lot of videos on youtube of the way they are treated inequal. its disgusting.

  • xgenuis zoldik

    yes musilm and اشهد أن لا اله الا الله و أن محمد رسول الله

  • peace

    brothers and sisters, if u want to know about the car dont go to ice cream shop.
    like same if u want to know about islam dont go through thse websites of hatred nd oll.
    if u realy want to know about this go to the book “Quran” and authentic hadith. or go to those person who r real followers.
    some of fools r going to icecream shop for tkng knwledge of a Car.
    and some of big fools r going thrgh these websites, youtube to tke knwledge of true