Distorting Image of Muslim Women
Modern Europeans and Americans assume that Muslim women are invariable oppressed, it is by no means clear that Muslim women have always suffered from disadvantages in comparison with Christians or others. This is an instance in which very recent advances in Europe and America are somehow assumed to be an essential part of the West.
English women did not have full property rights until the Married Women's Property Acts of 1870 and 1882, yet under Islamic law, Muslim women have been guaranteed inheritance and property rights since the seventh century. English women were still chattels of their husband or father when Lady Mary Wortley Montagu traveled to Constantinople in 1716 with her husband, the British ambassador. She was amazed to meet there Ottoman women of the nobility who owned large estates and managed their own property without male interference. Lady Mary even found the veil to be a liberating device that freed women from the prying eyes of men.
Certainly misogyny and unequal rights for women are features that can be found in abundance in the societies of North Africa, the Near East, and much of Asia, but can we honestly say that America and Europe are free of these problems? It is easy and hypocritical to accuse other societies of abuses and inequities when injustices still exist in our own culture. The image of the oppressed Muslim woman can all too often serve as another self-righteous reason for Europeans to congratulate themselves on their superiority.
In all the images of Islam that are commonly circulated in European and American culture, little can be found that is positive. Is it possible for an entire civilization to have such negative features, enduring more then 1,000 years across half the world?
Although I am not a psychologist, I cannot help but feel that there is a mechanism of projection operating here, along the lines spoken of by Jungians, in which one's own negative characteristics are projected onto others. There is certainly plenty of evidence of fantasy throughout the history of anti-Islamic stereotypes. Muslims are considered to be violent, yet we do not hear any similar accusations about intrinsic violence in Christianity or European culture; what was it about Christianity that motivated the world conquests of the nineteenth century or more recent atrocities such as the 1995 massacre of more than 6,000 Muslim men and boys carried out in a single day by Eastern Orthodox Serbs in Srebrenica?
Muslims are considered to have dysfunctional roles for women, yet that emblem of Western technological superiority, the Internet, is saturated with pornographic images, and the sexualization of women is omnipresent in television, newspapers, and advertising.
Is the West so confidant of its relations between the sexes? Everyone needs to become educated as a media critic nowadays, because the recycling of sensational images is what the communications media love the most, especially when conflict is present.
Islam is a subject that most Americans and Europeans have experienced only through theses negative images and stereotypes. Clearly the time has come to go beyond those images and encounter real human beings.
Excerpted from 'Following Muhammad' by Professor Carl W. Ernst, W.R. Kenan is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of several books on Islam.
In short I express concurrence with Brother Adam of Nigeria. My opinion are the same as his, entirely.
What is the doctrine of Issa? I have heard about doctrines of paul the self acclaimed disciple modernised and shaped to some doctrines we have today at the "nicea council" of 325 A.D. But i never heard of a doctrine of Issa, a new doctrine OF MAN? No sir prophets [true prophets like Jesus A.S.] don't and can never follow any doctrine of any human.
Get out of ur confused beliefs and get back to reality and back to God, worshipping Him and associating no partners to Him that ye may prosper both here and the hereafter.
Glory to the God of the whole heaven and earth who Has Anointed Issa at the head of humanity. Glory to the Lord, the blessed Issa (Y'Shua the Messiah) who revealed the knowledge of the only true God. Glory to the Godhead in the acts of creation, liberation of creatures from bondage of creation, and for the door of hope for all mankind that submit in gratitude to the revealed will of God most High by Issa, Y'Shua the Messiah. Then Islam is not another confronting religion cooked up by another racial prophet against the believers from the time of Abraham the father of faithful but a greeting of peace in Issa. Amen.
No prophets after Issa that submit not to the doctrine of Issa have any honor from the true believers. There is no new scripture after the book of revelation seeking to transplant the faith. This is a born again Christians' deep conviction in the Spirit, ministered by the benign, most merciful God.
you are just a white house's cheer leader so far we can see on you.west claim same like you and declare war on it. distroy and occupied afghan but afghan aldies are still wearing veils.why west can't give enought bikini for them? what you should know it in west women can divoce and married as much as they like.even in married you can sleep with man as much as they wish and can carry unidentified son of father. can married after deliver a child without father.
but here is a lady dignity no body accept it. so enjoy the life of sex and city of your with your unknow and uncountables partner.we are very welcome and appriate west to accept some muslim lady like N.A who agreed with you to stay and life in your west. royalty of married man and women are first in our culture and don't try put togather with west value.
By the way thank you so much to west for
to live a mother, wife ,sister with worried her son, husband and bother can detain in concentration camp of west (new german slauther house)in afghan and iraq. may be future in iran,syria, lebanon.
thank you practicing the teaching of you own GOD and killing thousand of thousand of men for freedom. CHEER YOUR WESTERN VALUE.
Unfortunately we keep reading the negative news and the negative articles that want us to think we are an oppressed and disliked group.
The truth be told we are a thriving Ummah even in the most "patriotic" of Western nations.
Brothers and Sisters, Masajids are over-flowing with people at the Jumaah prayers and it is not an uncommon sight to see brothers praying outside even on the wet grass. the number of Masajids has increased tremendously in the past 10 years.
Enough of the negative news.
So let us continue to build the Ummah and lead by example with the "best of conduct and by good example".
Thank you for the information about Americans and those who think Allah abandoned women they are so wrong. I want know if there is a book that is writtin if you give me the name or where I can find that book I realy appociated. Please respound.
I think this is a well written article. Yes, the media definitely portrays muslims in a negative way. The media also has protryed African-Americans in negative ways as well. This is what the media does. I have a question, and a concern. Why do we as Muslims give the media ammunition against us? I live in Ottawa and am disgusted about Muslims on talk shows here going at one anothers throats. It is really quite sad and beyond my comprehension why we get on t.v. and go one against the other. Secondly, I also think it is disgusting whenever I see an Arab actor playing as a terrorist. Unfortunatley, people cannot distinguish between the good and the bad, the real and the unreal. So, folks think all Arabs are terrorist. Yes, the media is very biased, always was, and always will be. But let us also stop playing into their hands. Let us too stop giving these people something to talk about.
May Allah bless our Umah and the true believers. Amin.
The depraved humanity can soon know their weakness and turn to God with repentance seeking pardon in mercy than those trained to be twice more the children of hell trough the observance of rituals or formalism secretly abhorred in the heart.
Clearly, humanity should follow the established, divine principles and direct commandments of God. Why is the extract taken out in the name of a man who sought the glory of the blessed Messiah for himself? How blessed would he have been if he chose to be like one of His apostles to his own people the Arabs and taught them Islam in truth?
Nothing is distorted by the reporters as such. It is just reported as seen for public information. Even this very report is not able to support itself in the eyes of those who can evaluate!
We are still in me dark middle ages in this regard...