Understanding Islam in culture
Women’s Rights and Culture
Journal 3
What country/culture do
you think the following
statistics are from and why
would you choose that
country/culture?
Wife Beating Statistics:
• Every fifteen seconds, a woman is
beaten by her partner.
• Domestic Violence is this culture’s
number one health problem
• 4,000 women die from abuse each
year.
• Medical costs from domestic violence
go over 5 billion dollars annually
• Only one quarter of women who are
beaten actually report the crime
• Almost one-third of female homicide
victims that are reported were killed by
an intimate partner
What is culture?
The behaviors and beliefs
characteristic of a particular social,
ethnic, or age group
http://www.bangkokpost.com/education/site2007/nfjn2607.htm
What are three things you can
learn about Islamic culture
from the article “Yes, I Follow
Islam, But I’m Not a Terrorist”?
“Yes, I follow Islam, but I’m not a
terrorist…”
On October 15, 2001, Nada El
Sawy, a Egyptian-American
Muslim woman, was published
in Newsweek in the “My Turn”
essay section. She has since
worked for Newsweek and the
Associated Press as a
journalist.
http://www.hopstudios.com/dtli
nk/listE.html
Which of the following statements are
true?
All Muslims beat their wives because it is in The Koran.
Muslim women have to wear the veil, according to The Koran
According to The Koran, women can inherit as much if not more
than males.
A woman’s testimony carries the same importance as a man’s
testimony in all situations.
Muslim women are allowed to have jobs and work outside of the
home.
Having four wives is strongly recommended in The Koran.
The status of the man is higher than that of the woman.
Women are allowed to have any level of an education.
The Koran gives women the right to vote, run for an office, or even
be head of a state.
If a woman commits adultery, she is stoned to death.
Which of the following statements are
true?
Muslim women can marry Jewish or Christian men.
Only husbands have the right to divorce their wives; women
cannot divorce their husbands.
The Koran says that in order for a woman to prove that she was raped,
four adult males of good character must witness the incident.
Girls can be married off at a very young age, according to The
Koran.
The Koran commands all females to be circumcised.
Muslim women are allowed to drive.
Women and men are segregated in public, work, and places of
worship.
Men are allowed to kill their wives that they suspect of disobeying
them.
All Muslims beat their wives because it is in The Koran.
Not True
“Men are the maintainers of women, with what Allah has made
some of them to excel others and with what they spend out of
their wealth. So the good women are obedient, guarding the
unseen as Allah has guarded. As as to those on whose part
you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in
the beds and chastise them. So if they obey you, seek not a
way against them.” (4:34, English translation by Maulana
Muhammad Ali)
“If you experience rebellion from the women, you shall first talk to them, then
deserting them in bed, then you may beat them. If they obey you, you are not
permitted to transgress against them. GOD is Most High, Supreme.” (4:34,
conservative edition)
Muslim women have to wear the veil, according to The
Koran.
Not True
There are three rules for women’s dress:
1. The best garment (of righteousness) 7:26
2. Cover your bosoms (24:31)
3. Lengthen Your Garments (33:59)
Women from other cultures and religions covered their
heads for different reasons.
According to The Koran, women can inherit as much if not
more than males.
True
In Surah 2, Ayah 180, The Koran states that a woman can receive
everything if she is poorer than her brother. If there is a will,
then any sons receive twice as much because they take care of
the families and the women typically have a husband taking
care of them.
A woman’s testimony carries the same importance as a
man’s testimony in all situations.
Not True
It is not equal in financial transactions where a testimony is called
for because women are more emotionally vulnerable. It is also
to guard against the possibility that the man in question might
marry one of the witnesses and so it takes two women to
replace one man when talking about finances.
See 2:282
Muslim women are allowed to have jobs and work outside
of the home.
True
Muslim women are allowed to hold jobs and even own their own
businesses. The Koran does not mention that they cannot. In
most societies where Islam rules, however, women choose to
stay at home and let the man work while she raises the family.
Having four wives is strongly recommended in The Koran.
Not True
Polygamy is allowed up to four wives in The Koran, but usually
under certain circumstances, such as taking in widows and
orphaned children, and men have to be able to afford it.
See 4:3 and 4:129
The status of the man is higher than that of the woman.
Not True
Men are appointed as heads of the families in order to make
marriage work, but men and women are seen as spiritual
equals. See 3:195
Most Muslim-ruled countries refer to the Hadith to look at the status
of women, such as this Hadith:
"Women are naturally, morally and religiously defective". (Bukhary).
Women are allowed to have any level of an education.
True
Some of the first words of The Koran are to “read” and “recite” and
talks about God giving the pen to mankind. Nowhere in The
Koran is there a verse about the woman not being able to be
educated at any level.
See 96:1-6
The Koran gives women the right to vote, run for an office,
or even be head of a state.
True
Women are allowed to vote and to run for office and to run a
country if needed under The Koran. The example story in The
Koran was the Queen of Sheba who became a Muslim and
ruled her country.
Corrupt Muslims consult the Hadith and say that no community
ruled by a woman can prosper.
See 60:12 and 27: 42-44
If a woman commits adultery, she is stoned to death.
Not True
There is no death penalty for adultery in Islam. It could be lashing,
social alienation, divorce, etc. It takes multiple witnesses who
actually saw the crime in order to even prove adultery.
See 24: 1-2
Muslim women can marry Jewish or Christian men.
True
Yes, women are allowed to marry Christians and Jews because
they are “people of the book.”
See 5:5 and 2:221
Only husbands have the right to divorce their wives;
women cannot divorce their husbands.
Not True
Women and men have the right to ask for a divorce, though there
are many verses talking about how a divorce will be carried out.
There is a certain amount of time a woman must wait after
being divorced before she can re-marry.
See 4: 35 and 2: 237
The woman also has the right to ask for a divorce if she marries an
unbeliever or is the wife of a vicious enemy. (60:10)
The Koran says that in order for a woman to prove that
she was raped, four adult males of good character must
witness the incident.
True
The Koran does state that four adult males of good character are
required to have witnessed the crime of rape, but if other
undeniable proof is given, such as DNA evidence, then the four
men are not required.
See 12:75
Girls can be married off at a very young age, according to
The Koran.
Not True
The Koran does not ever give an age when it is okay to be
married; it just states that it can occur when maturity is reached.
That age differs from culture to culture.
The Koran commands all females to be circumcised.
Not True
The Koran does not command that females be circumcised at all.
This is a cultural practice and some put it in the Hadith. This
practice pre-dates Islam and is still rampant today in some
cultures.
Muslim women are allowed to drive.
True
The Koran does not command that females are limited in using
transportation. It also does not command that males must
accompany females when they go out in public. These are all
things that corrupt Muslims put in the Hadith to use as an
excuse.
Women and men are segregated in public, work, and
places of worship.
Not True
The Koran does not command that females and males should not
be allowed to work together or worship together, but many
Muslims believe that segregation is commanded in The Koran.
Men are allowed to kill their wives that they suspect of
disobeying them.
Not True
The Koran does not allow men to kill their wives for any reason.
Murder is condemned in the strongest language. Those who
follow this practice are following tribal laws, not The Koran.
See 5:32; 6:151; and 17:33
Final Thoughts:
How has your perspective of
women’s rights under the rules of
The Koran changed from the
beginning of our study? Give
specific examples to support your
answer.
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Understanding Islam in Culture - Winston