Religious (in)equality

For religion to survive in the modern world, it needs to adapt to its reality, especially when it comes to equality between men and women concerning religious practices. As men and women should worship God in the same way, women should also have the same rights as women in assuming religious responsibilities.

But in the Revealed Religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), men exploit verses showing the supremacy of men over women in matters of religion. There was also the belief that women should be seen and not heard as when they speak they shouldn’t show their faces and when they show their faces, they shouldn’t speak.

In Morocco, there have been attempts to “liberalise” the religious field by appointing female preachers. Morocco has appointed 50 women as state preachers for the first time as part of the government’s drive to promote a more tolerant version of Islam. . But it is still a long way for them to be Imams, that is conducting prayers in mosques or reading Friday’s sermons or become the heads of regional religious councils.

There is still the issue of inheritance. In Islam, a woman gets only half of what a man gets when it comes to sharing inheritance after the death of a relative they are entitled to inherit.

Religion will continue to be a dilemma when it comes to deciding between what is divine and mundane. It isn’t convincing to tell women to bear with the supremacy of men in religious matter because if they are good practising and acquiescent, they will be compensated for that in the after-life with eternal bliss in heaven.

It’s a matter of habit. Now women can hold every top position, including heads of states. They can be in the armed and police forces and judges- to cite just some examples – to enforce the law, so why can’t they hold the highest position in religious matters. Partly, it has to do with the mentality of men who still see a woman deficient both in intelligence and spirituality!!!


  1. Livingsword said,

    July 4, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Hello Abdeliah nice to meet you….

    You bring up a number of interesting points. I am a follower of Jesus and it would be fine with me if “religion” does not survive. Following Jesus is about a relationship with God not “religious rules”. It is about life transformation, not self-help and being “good”.

    The Bible does “allow” for women in leadership along with men; however the roles are delineated differently. One is not superior to the other; both are equal servants of God.

    I have read the Quran 7 times in English. I see no way that a woman could be an Imam that would not do violence to the text. If people are willing to break that rule what others would they be willing to break? Why bother with it at all if it has to be bent and broken?

    Just some humble thoughts to you from across the planet…

  2. Abdelilah Boukili said,

    July 4, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Livingsword,
    Thanks for your comment.

    As it seems men still look for evidence in holy texts to back up their notions that women have no place in religious leadership.

  3. Looney said,

    July 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Abdelilah, I was brought up being taught that there is a third way. The modernist says men and women are interchangeable in every way. Then there are those who insist that women are different and inferior. The third way says that they are different with different roles, but certainly no less inferior and men have a special duty to treat women carefully and with respect. Is there room for a third way?

  4. Abdelilah Boukili said,

    July 8, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I think both women and men should be given equal opportunities. There are differences even within the same sex. There are strong people as there weak ones. There are those who can make judgements as there those who make bad ones.

  5. Bunc said,

    July 10, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I strongly agree with you abdelilah. There should be no pre-ordained expectations of what men or women can and cant do and their status, the roles that they can play in society and their treatment re inheritance etc should be equal.

    In my view all three “religions of the book” are based on an inherently misogynistic approach to women which always seems to try to constrain their roles in life. However Looney tries to dress up his “third way” it still boils down to “men know best”.

  6. August 1, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    >> For religion to survive in the modern world, it needs to adapt to its reality, especially when it comes to equality between men and women concerning religious practices. As men and women should worship God in the same way, women should also have the same rights as women in assuming religious responsibilities.

    It is interesting that a lot of the comparative religion’s values stated on the internet was, are still based on how the followers of that religion, do respect the human rights of others too, and how they now do practically treat other, and each others too, especially how they do treat the women today, equally or unfairly now too. And while that alone is a valid point, especially since women make up over half of the population of the world, and all of this is valid especially , since God himself clearly and for certainty does not allow the abuse of any persons, verbally or physically, or allow now any human rights abuses now as well, and for any reasons as well, and that now also still even includes any man, woman, child, and any seniors now as well, any abuses of self or others are sinful…While there are some common, rare similarity amongst some of the major religions in this world, The aspect of divorce is clearly one that contrasts them all.. It is true that there are many Muslims, men as well as women, who fully do not live up to the teachings of Islam, just as there are many Christian men and women who do not live up to the teachings of Jesus. You must always still judge any person now by what they say, but by what they do. Bad people do bad things, no matter what their religion is now too. Also real Reform from within Muslim societies is still even needed, first by education, knowing that over half of Muslims today, are illiterate, only 15 percent know Arabic, which is the language of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam. Too Many persons do practice their own version of Christianity, and Islam it seems thus, what others have said it says too..

    What others say

    “Islam as a religion aiming to oppress women is a direct result of the abuse of Islam by some Muslim states, depending on the absolute respect given to religion by Muslim societies. In fact, Islamic law, if interpreted outside of its proper context, could be abused to justify and codify the violations of women’s rights in Muslim societies and states in the name of religion, in order to achieve certain social and political goals. The central question that poses itself, is whether there already exists a space for women to enjoy their human rights under the umbrella of Islam, or whether in general, men “have a degree” over women in Islam (Abdul-Ati). If some people are arguing that Islam ensures equity between men and women in both rights and duties, then what does it mean when the Qur’an, which is the standard revelatory source of Islamic Law, says: “And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage in some cases of inheritance) over them,” (Qur’an 2:228). How would those people explain the meaning of that “degree” that men have over women? Is it because of that revelatory verse that some Muslim societies until now treat women as second-degree creatures in the name of Islam? The existence of some specific women’s rights in Islam is now obvious, and provided with a good argument, but how about polygamy in Islam? Is it true that a Muslim man has the right to marry up to four wives? Where is equity, then? What does it mean when the Qur’an states that a Muslim man, if he has the potential, can choose to marry one or two or three, or even four women (Badawi)? Does it mean that women are that marginalized and humiliated by the name of the religion?”

    It is a sad note as well that both religious persons of all the minor, major religions too, and non religious persons, at least 90 percent ofthem, have been, or are still unacceptably guilty of false the discriminations of others, even too often the accusers of the others.

    There is still a serious, real need in changing the Muslim countries’ laws, agendas, in order to fill the gap between the supposed women’s rights afforded by Islam, and women’s rights afforded in reality by many of the Muslim societies, and most Muslim males have to accept some serious religious even re-education..
    “I don’t understand how Islam supposedly can give all these rights to women and then place the man as the head of the household in a position to abuse the woman’s rights. For instance, how can she hold on to her personal wealth if he tells her to hand it over? I do not know one Muslim family where the man is not abusing his position in some way.” Surah 4 – verse 34: *{… as to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them [first], [next] refuse to share their beds, [and last] beat them [lightly]; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means [of annoyance]: for God is Most High, Great [above you all].}* Can a wife beat her unfaithful husband according to Islam now too? Another central issue should be re-examined–the common practise of Islam where a Muslim man’s testimony in a court is counted as equal to the testimony of two Muslim women. That itself is degrading. “and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as you choose for witnesses so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. ” (Qur’an 2:282). ” Much too many Muslim men consider this verse religious evidence that women are mentally deficient.” ” Many persons consider the standing of Muslim women behind men in prayers a practical evidence that women under Islam, are excluded and humiliated, even in matters regarding their spiritual rights and there is no justification for the standing of women behind men.”

    “My beloved wife oftentimes reminds my family to regard her with respect to her mind, but my mama and papa laugh at her. What can I say to my wife to stop her from slapping them down in anger? “. If husband can divorce his wife by saying 3 talak at a time & marriage is over, then how does Islam protect women’s right? Many husbands do abuse their divorce power. All the Muslim men who claim to be Muslims and abuse the women supposedly do not even know well their own religion or do not practice it? and for too many Muslim men it seems also it does not matter what Islam says because he is only following what pleases him, his interests, his interpreations of the laws.. sad.. Also since Islam came supposedly with higher moral laws to correct those of the Jahiliyyah, why didn’t Islam abolish enslaving women and children at times of war? Any abuse of anyone by anyone still is unacceptable. ” Everytime I ask my dad to open a bank account for me, he says I am a girl and therefore I should not get a bank account, while my younger brother has a bank account…” all about the true side of Islam.

    “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. Surah 4 Verse 19″
    …They (Your wives) are your garments and ye are their garments. …. Surah 2 Verse 187

    “Among the Muslims, the most perfect as regards his faith is the one whose character is most excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well.”

    Muslims women themselves now often complain to news editors how they are abused by Muslim men. Muslim Relgion and do not have equal rights to the men, for example the right to go to school in many Muslim countries now too.. Muslims have equal rights to the other citizens in the English speaking countries.. In fact non Muslims do not have the same rights as Muslims in many Muslim countries now too and all of these facts are undeniable, and undisputable.

    Is this why many Canadians are dying for??

    Afghani journalism student Parwiz Kambakhsh has been sentenced to death for blaspheming because he not only downloaded articles regarding woman’s right’s under Islam, but also exposing the brutality against women and children by the local warlords in his community. He is being sentenced to death for “disseminating defamatory comments about Islam.”Say it isn’t soooo? Sounds like another mo-ham-med teddy bear moment to me! A three judge panel decided that his articles were blasphemous and sentenced him to die. That’s Shari’ah Law for you. The issue for this writer is the Islamic concept of blasphemy

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