Legal Cruelty against Women in Countries with Islam Law – 14 Nov 11


I recently read two news articles that were related, both writing about the situation of women in Muslim countries. These articles confirmed me once again in the feeling that I don’t want to go to a country where laws are made according to the religion of Islam.

The article that I read first was about women driving cars in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia women of any nationality are banned from driving cars. They are simply not allowed to. In June, there were protests of women who have foreign driving licenses and who encouraged each other to drive and post pictures and movies of themselves behind the steering wheel online. Until lately, women have only been made to sign that they would not drive again but now a woman has been sentenced to ten lashes because of her driving. She said she did not even drive out of protest but out of need. There is no written law for this but it is a religious tradition which has a lot to do with limiting the freedom of women. The argument is that freedom of movement would make them commit sins.

The irony of the whole story is that the king only recently promised that women would be allowed to vote in the next election. Isn’t it crazy that this still happens in our world?

In the second article other, similar news made me think a similar thing. An Iranian actress was sentenced to one year in jail and 90 lashes. For what? For playing a role in a movie. In her role she plays an actress whose work at the theatre is banned by authorities in Tehran. She then has to work secretly. The film was banned and distributed illegally in Iran.

Whenever I read such news, I am just stunned at how this can still happen in this world. There are courts that give such sentences! It is not a mob that decides to take matters in their own hands and then things get out of control. No, it is a regulated, controlled decision, taken with cool minds and according to a law.

This law is the law of a religion, of Islam and it shocks me how violent and unfair it treats these women. In Saudi Arabia the highest punishment for other traffic crimes is a fine but women who drive get lashed! And women who do their profession and act in movies that show the reality are getting lashed, too! It is cruel, it is unfair, it is simply not right. But it is their law.

These are the reasons why I don’t have any interest in going to Muslim countries where the law works according to Islam. I have received many invitations by friends of different Muslim countries but I just don’t have the wish to go there. I feel that in this religion there is so much gender inequality and so much violence towards women that any country where this religion is law does not appeal to me. It just does not feel right to me.

Crime, Cruel, feminine, Religion, Society

9 Replies to “Legal Cruelty against Women in Countries with Islam Law – 14 Nov 11”

  1. It is crazy! It is like casts in India, no sense, but still works. It is nonsense! Women in Islam countries have no rights. They have to be servants of men and machines of producing children. But we are the same! Why is it like this???

  2. This makes me feel sick. I have no respect for people who misuse the word of God and mistreat and humiliate women. It is almost 2012, if they behave like that why don’t they crawl back in their caves, I get extremely annoyed at this kind of attitude! Thanks for posting … but what can be done?

  3. I hope the young generation sees the cruelty and refrains from it in future. Only with the next generation I believe this inequality can change. Maybe a kind of revolution will take place that will stop such treatment.

  4. I cannot agree more, that such atrocities against women still do happen in this world of ours, even in this day and age. We are yet of the savage-like mind. It’s a crazy world we are living in.
    But, as much as there are atrocities in Muslim countries, there are also similar such atrocities against women in non-Muslim countries. We cannot ignore those too, if we are to be fair and just.

    However, hope floats. It is ours to grab. If we are ready and willing. If we are open to it.

    I speak as a Muslim. But I am a woman first. Therefore I have first-hand knowledge and experience of what it is like to be both. You could say I am fired by these to do what I do now.

    I work for a global movement called Musawah. We work on reworking Muslim Family Laws/Personal Laws/Codes the world over. We recognise that the so-called gatekeepers of Islam, the self-prescribed authority figures of Islam, the political, social and legal forces that claim to protect Muslim women are the ones who are giving Islam a bad name. They are the ones who perpetuate a ‘demonised’ version of Islam. I can say that our movement has sprung up just to counter these dark forces. We are for a just and equal world where men and women can live in mutual respect, dignity and harmony. Our Islam is derived from God’s word, the Qur’an. We go by the principle that the we don’t need to look further than the words of God in the Qur’an where it is clear as daylight that Islam, true Islam, is a faith of peace, justice, equality and most importantly, a faith of Love.

    If there were any kind of division on earth, I believe it isn’t the division between two different faiths. The worst kind of divisions are within, are inside one faith. Within the faith of God, at least amongst those of us who are of God-consciousness, know that there can only be room for One Love.

    So please open your mind, visit Muslim countries. Just because the laws are unjust, it does not make the country less beautiful or its people even less so 🙂 Have faith. We are all God’s people. We are different but we are One. And that’s really okay.

    Let there be unity in diversity.

    Salaam. Thank you.

  5. Dear Meghana,Thank you for your insights, I am glad you are involved in this important work!
    I believe no religion actually encourages the inequality and cruelty against women. It is the people who want to use the power they get through religion.
    I am sure that there are many beautiful Muslim countries with wonderful people in there, who suffer from the unjust laws and the bad name given to their religion.
    I am sure that things will change in future so that the separation that is created by people through religion will fade.
    Much Love

  6. It’s crazy that physical punishment still exists and for such small things as driving!! I believe almost everybody will agree that lashings are inhumane and not appropriate. I can’t believe they are still used!

  7. It is my understanding, that all religions, preach love and goodness. So how on earth can this same religion approve disgusting traditions like lashing women?! it is barbaric, and far from love.

  8. I have been living in Qatar for 18 months now, and it is a Muslim country and the law has a “basis” in Sharia, but is not as restrictive as the countries that you mention. One of the most powerful people in Qatar is the wife of The Emir, Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser who has advanced education for both genders both nationally and internationally. There are women in the elected legislative councils (the councils have no executive powers but interface between the population and the Emir) and many women work in banks and government positions.Some people see freedom as restricted here, and it is true that there are certain things that are simply not tolerated. There is a zero tolerance for drug use, public intoxication and people are asked to dress modestly – but in exchange for giving up the “right” to do these things we live in a country where crime is so low as to be statistically irrelevant, it is safe to walk the streets at any time over 70 nationalities live in relative harmony.
    Just posting this to give one more side to the picture 🙂

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