”Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one and it’s fine to be proud of it, but please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around… and PLEASE don’t try to shove it down my child’s throat.”
Taliban poisons drinking water. 150 schoolgirls were hospitalized in Afghanistan yesterday. Girls education was banned under Taliban rule (1996-2001). After girls schools are reopened, periodic attacks occur against girls, teachers and school buildings. It is not the first time Taliban poisoned girl’s school’s water, they did it before. In 2010, more than 100 schoolgirls and teachers were sickened in similar poisonings.
Taliban’s poison gas attack is well known. In August 2010 it was revealed through blood tests that a mysterious series of cases of mass sickness at girls’ schools across the country were caused by a powerful poison gas.
Acid was thrown at the girls while they were walking to school. Taliban have been blowing up girls school in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They threaten to blow up girl’s schools if they refuse to close. Taliban wages war against girls education. They try everything to destroy girls education. They burnt down over 125 girls schools calling women’s education un-Islamic.
“Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity in society,” Shah Dauran, Taliban leader said. Muslim Khan, Taliban spokesman said, “Female education is against Islam. They (women and girls) are required to sit at home and not venture out.”
The relationship between religion and patriarchy is deep-rooted. Patriarchy wants woman to stay at home and to protect her chastity. A woman is nothing but her husband’s property. It is men’s responsibility to provide food for his wives and children and it is women’s duty to obey her husband. It is only recently after decades of feminist movement that women get the opportunity to go to school, to get an education, to find a job, to make money and to become economically independent.
Whenever Muslim fundamentalists flog women for wearing trousers or stone women to death for adultery,or punish girls for getting education, there are people who would say, ‘it is not real Islam’. What is real Islam? Does real Islam believe in women’s equality? Is real Islam pro-woman? If real Islam is so pro-woman, it would not have said woman was made from the rib of man (Surah Nisa 4:1) or one of her bones was crooked. If real Islam is so pro-woman, it would not ask men to beat women.( Surah Nisa 4:34) If real Islam is so pro-woman, it would not say, a male shall inherit twice as much as a female ( Surah Nisa 4:11) , and the testimony of one man would not be equal that of two women. If real Islam is so pro-woman, women would get equal rights in marriage, divorce, and child custody, it would not permit men to have four wives (Surah Nisa 4:3) and it would not reward pious men with 72 virgins in heaven and pious women with nothing but the same old husband.
The life of Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, tells us that the status of women was quite good during pre-Islamic period. Khadija was a rich businesswoman. Women could own and run a business. She was a widow. She married Muhammad who was 15 years younger than her. She had the right to hold and inherit property and was free to enter into a nuptial contract with the person she chose. Her polygamous husband could not marry any other women as long as she was alive.
It is true that Islam is not against women having ‘religious education’ but it definitely discourages women to leave home. It says, woman’s pray at home is better than going to mosque. Woman should take the permission of her husband before going out. Evils are behind unnecessary socializing of unveiled women . Woman should not wear perfumes. Women should wait behind men. Women should not walk in the middle of the road. Wives have great duty towards their husbands. Angels curses the disobedient wife. Woman should be grateful to her husband. Women should not imitate men in dress, movements, and way of speech. Women should cover her face in the presence of strangers and men who are not her close family members.
Despite all the attacks of the religionists, women in the Muslim societies are leaving home for schools or for work, it happens not because they embrace Islamic rules, but because they disrespect Islamic rules. Like all other religions, Islam is also anti-women. Today, Islam looks more intolerant and barbaric than other religions. It is because Islamists have been preventing people from being evolved and enlightened. Time to change.