Monday, April 13, 2009

Islam Promotes Women's Rights?

There is an interesting article in the Kuwait Times, by Aftab Ahmad Khan called, "What the Quran says about women's rights." Although Islam is often blamed for the poor treatment of women in much of the Islamic world, Khan argues that the Quran defines men and women as equals. He quotes a verse and writes
this verse clearly demonstrates that men and women in Islam are equal to each other both intrinsically - within the very act of creation - and extrinsically, with respect to both their relationship with one another and their duties before God.
Khan notes that Islam actually helped elevate the status of women in certain areas, and essentially argues that cultural traditions and biases are the problems behind the oppression of women, not Islam.
Forced marriages, "honour" killings, and women's confinement to the home by culture, tradition and societal norms have no endorsement from Islam.
He also advocates equal education for women from an Islamic perspective. Professor Khan makes an eloquent case, and his article is worth reading -- especially for those who claim there is no such thing as a "moderate" Muslim. But unfortunately his view of Islam as it pertains to women is not shared in many of the areas where women have few rights, including neighboring Saudia Arabia. But it is good to see someone in the Arab world willing to speak out on this issue, even if his argument will probably fall on deaf ears in the places that most need to hear it.

1 comment:

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