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 Topic: the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'

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  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     OP - March 19, 2014, 12:29 PM




    the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'

    by lua


    Back in the day, I, too, was a Muslim feminist - like many “revert” women are. Like many revert women need to be.

    In person, I was charismatic and a quick talker. I had a healthy supply of hadith and Quranic quotes up my sleeve. I had historical examples. I was ready to go at any moment.

    I'd patiently listen to a non-Muslim critic cite things like the veil, things like the mahrem system, smiling to myself, ready when they completed to bury them with examples of how women were respected and revered in Islam - how Islam came along and kept the female babies from being buried, how it came along and guaranteed rights for women to protection, to property, to inheritance, to respect.

    How, in the modern day, I had the freedom to work, to not work, to hoard my money and sleep on it like a dragon and keep it from my husband if I so choose - and how many Western women get to do that?

    I'd tell them that, for everything that looked like the men had control over us, we, in some other way, had advantages and control over him. That, when our souls are being judged, we will be completely equal. That, when you hear of extreme cases of women being controlled and subjugated, that is not Islam. It is the culture. It is the faults of men. In fact, those men were anti-Islam. Their behavior flew in the face of it.

    And those non-Muslims who were not very educated on the matter were dazzled, were confused, surrendered quickly and politely, agreed that the Islam they see and hear and read about must not be the one that is the true Islam.

    And, of course, every Muslim who heard me saying these things agreed enthusiastically, beaming, excited to hear their beliefs so justified, gave me their mashallahs and alhamdullilahs and thank God there are still some proper Muslims in the world who know the truth, and young people like you are just what we need in the future.

    We need some converts who cast away their bikinis in the west to don the hijab, who rejected Western ideas of freedom and found true freedom in Islam. We need some fucking champions.

    But the truth finally caught up with me: even if I could lie to these people, I couldn't lie to myself.

    I never believed in the feminist nature of Islam because the rights of women were so compelling; I had to search and justify and scrape together evidence of our rights, dust them off and cling to them because I believed in Islam.

    Eventually, I had to reconcile with the fact that not a single feminist trick I had was without its counterbalance in Islam that negated it, that belittled it, that made it impossible to achieve unless I were lucky.

    And even if rights were unconditionally allowed to us, were gifts from God, He passed the gifts onto the men and lets them decide whether to deliver them to us or to hold them over our heads.

    I think the most perfect example of the disconnect for me is when I talked non-Muslims into surrender.

    They surrendered easily, with only a few examples. But why? Was it because I was just that great of a debater?

    Was it because I had my act together?

    No. It was because they very often knew the true meaning of respect. Of freedom. Of rights. They truly knew and truly believed that I had every right to my religion, that I could elect to wear the veil, that I could be happy and somehow in control under the watch of my guardian.

    They were always ready to allow me to make my own decisions, even if they sounded so foreign, so strange, so backwards, even if they disapproved of it, even if they rejected the very premise of my beliefs. They never denied me respect, they never denied me alliance, they were still eager to treat me as an equal and as a friend.

    But what becomes of all the rights of a Muslim woman when she doesn't toe the line in Islam?

    What becomes the right of a woman in a Muslim country, a Muslim marriage, a Muslim family when she makes up her own mind?

    The right to believe what you want to believe is never the right of a Muslim, and there are consequences for trying to seize it.

    The novel rights of a Muslim woman are only hers if she earns them and has been blessed by a decent circumstance. She earns them not by being a woman, not by being a human being, but by being a good Muslim. If she deviates too far, the rights are gone.

    They are taken from us, and then some. They were never ours to begin with.


  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #1 - March 19, 2014, 12:58 PM

    It's so beautiful Lua!
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #2 - March 19, 2014, 01:00 PM

    Thank you, Ruyaba!  Embarrassed
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #3 - March 19, 2014, 03:46 PM

    this is a beautifully written, and immensely powerful article. Thanks lua.

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #4 - March 19, 2014, 05:23 PM

    Yes, very beautifully written Lua..   i never really threw myself into any of that.. I found the concepts quite limiting and patronizing i guess so...

    xxxx
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #5 - March 19, 2014, 05:37 PM

    Yeah. It is very popular for modern Muslim women to be feminist.

    It's rather common for people to find their 'rights', but not look up their 'responsibilities'.

    The easiest one that most women pick up on is the right to keep all of her money and it is the husband's duty to provide for her.

    Now of course, most wives don't see the husband's rights... and hence her duties.
    The wife must obey the husband
    The wife must always be available for sex
    The husband can marry a second wife without even getting the first wife's permission.

    To all those... it's... oh that's old school or you need a modern interpretation...

    Muslim men are guilty of this too. I can't count the number of guys who invoke their right to be obeyed or to greater inheritance without taking care of their responsibilities (taking care of parents,  handling all household responsibilities...)

    But it's not much different from pretty much any political ideology. People focus on their 'rights' and not their 'duties'

    I agree with pretty much all of your post except the ending where you seem to imply we should have rights without duties (especially positive rights).
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #6 - March 19, 2014, 05:49 PM

    I think the worst "right" a man had over his wife for me was the fact he could demand that she give up her friends or ban them from their home as guests if he so willed..   and ofcourse the right to marry behind her back or even the right to marry another 3, which gives liscense for them to spend their days checking out and chatting with other women as it is lawful to do so, a constant lesser adultery in my view..
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #7 - March 19, 2014, 08:05 PM

    Billy and Suki- Thank you so much!

    Scamper- You are exactly right. The responsibilities of the women are often the things that negate their rights, should the men even remember to afford them those rights in the first place.

    I'm not quite sure where it looks like I imply that we must have rights without duties, however, although I do believe that people should have basic human rights regardless, like the freedom to believe what they believe without fearing persecution, and so on. These, to me, are very basic rights that everyone should have, all the rest aside.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #8 - March 19, 2014, 08:41 PM

    Very well written. Afro

    I do wish someone would capitalise the first letter of the title though. Tongue

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #9 - March 19, 2014, 09:31 PM

    Thank you, Osmanthus!
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #10 - March 19, 2014, 10:03 PM

    Sums it up. I think the main difference is that in islam gender roles are so enforced by nature of the theology. Rather than being able to strive for what you want as a human being so much depends on whether you have a penis or a vagina. Don't go to Saudi. It's not a nice thing having a vagina over there.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #11 - March 19, 2014, 10:20 PM

    This is a rocking good read! well done! It's great to have you here on the forum, lua!
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #12 - March 19, 2014, 10:48 PM

    Ah, you are right, Quod, but I wish you weren't...

    Thank you so much, happymurtad! It is really nice to be here.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #13 - March 19, 2014, 11:10 PM

    Awesome. It took me years of wading through apologist bull to come to that conclusion. Thanks for writing it all out!

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #14 - March 19, 2014, 11:26 PM

    Thanks, three. It took me years, too. It may seem obvious now, but it was really easy to run from for a long time. Isn't it strange how that works?
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #15 - March 19, 2014, 11:40 PM

    Yes. But at least now we are sure. Spent enough time in it to separate the doctrine from the behaviour, and found both wanting..

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #16 - March 20, 2014, 12:05 AM

    Sometimes I feel like the only one who read the quran and hadith and saw utter bullshit.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #17 - March 20, 2014, 12:07 AM

    What translation of Quran did you read? I have read some that came across like that, but the Tahrike Tarsile did not strike me that way.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #18 - March 20, 2014, 12:09 AM

    I didn't buy most of the hadith from the start, but I sure used them when I needed to. And as for the Quran, if I came across something that was iffy I usually justified it somehow. But, yes, after taking a step back, I don't know what I was thinking.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #19 - March 20, 2014, 12:16 AM

    What translation of Quran did you read? I have read some that came across like that, but the Tahrike Tarsile did not strike me that way.

    I read the translation that talked about leviathan rip-offs and magic and taking new-borns and spontaneous creation and stars shooting jinns and all manner of nonsense. Did your translation have real things in it, not fairy tales? Because the one I read was filled with fairy tales.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #20 - March 20, 2014, 12:27 AM

    I've got many versions of the quran but there was one bad one, i think it was either indian or pakistani ?  instead of saying women should cover their awrah it went further and said that they MUST cover entirely and keep only one eye on display to the public lol, why just the one eye lol... how would one translate that, must walk around with an eye patch or a squint me thinks so lol
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #21 - March 20, 2014, 12:29 AM

    I read one that said the sun orbits the earth.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #22 - March 20, 2014, 12:38 AM

    I've got many versions of the quran but there was one bad one, i think it was either indian or pakistani ?  instead of saying women should cover their awrah it went further and said that they MUST cover entirely and keep only one eye on display to the public lol, why just the one eye lol...


    I've never seen a translation say that, but I have heard that ruling a lot before. That is insane. They don't even want the burqa? That is way more practical and probably leaves more to the imagination.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #23 - March 20, 2014, 12:44 AM

    Far as I'm aware the original teachings were to cover your breasts and I think something to cover you to your knees. There's also draw your cloak around you to show you're a free woman, the slaves wore very little or were naked. I think female slaves weren't allowed to cover their breasts, though I'm working from memory. Haven't looked it up in ages, I could be wrong.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #24 - March 20, 2014, 12:49 AM

    Very good article, thanks for sharing. And just a couple of weeks ago, I was dealing with someone who believes in what you used to.

    Quote from: ZooBear 

    • Surah Al-Fil: In an epic game of Angry Birds, Allah uses birds (that drop pebbles) to destroy an army riding elephants whose intentions were to destroy the Kaaba. No one has beaten the high score.

  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #25 - March 20, 2014, 12:55 AM

    Hey yep, i think in those days women used to wear sheer fabrics, revealing lots so the quranic passages were meant for what you stated, general modesty, some how scholars decided because of one hadith to include the hair and full body, then some went further and said women should cover there feet too and like that quran i mentioned some say everything except one eye Smiley   i think it was the prophets wives who decided to take up an old tradition and wear the head scarf  then everyone wore it and it became a fashion item all over europe in the medeival times or earlier..
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #26 - March 20, 2014, 01:11 AM

    Jila, thank you! And I run into old-me all the time, too. I'm finding more and more women saying the same old things I did.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #27 - March 20, 2014, 01:54 AM

    I read the translation that talked about leviathan rip-offs and magic and taking new-borns and spontaneous creation and stars shooting jinns and all manner of nonsense. Did your translation have real things in it, not fairy tales? Because the one I read was filled with fairy tales.


    Yes, mine was cleverly spun to make sense. It was interpreted and published by a nonprofit in the US, probably a dawah organization. They have an insider's understanding of critical thought and the low tolerance for nonsense that is common among non-believers. It's probably an apologist interpretation.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #28 - March 20, 2014, 01:59 AM

    Far as I'm aware the original teachings were to cover your breasts and I think something to cover you to your knees. There's also draw your cloak around you to show you're a free woman, the slaves wore very little or were naked. I think female slaves weren't allowed to cover their breasts, though I'm working from memory. Haven't looked it up in ages, I could be wrong.


    The Quranic teaching is to cover your chest, with the fabric that many claim was commonly used over the head to shield from sun.
    The tradition most commonly cited for covering up one's identity is from when one of the Prophet's wives was recognized coming back from using the bathroom area, and someone heckled her or was talking about seeing her there, and so he told them to cover outside of the house to prevent them from being recognized doing such commonplace or embarrassing things. Then all the Muslim ladies had to follow suit. And yes, about slavery, too.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
     Reply #29 - March 20, 2014, 02:00 AM

    Yes, mine was cleverly spun to make sense. It was interpreted and published by a nonprofit in the US, probably a dawah organization. They have an insider's understanding of critical thought and the low tolerance for nonsense that is common among non-believers. It's probably an apologist interpretation.

    I know some people look at the similarities of the quran with the judaeo-christian works and it sot of confirms the truthfulness of islam for them. Interestingly for me it was the opposite, I just saw rip-offs and plagiarism with a dash of regional myth. The authentic hadiths were less believable than Harry Potter.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
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