Women in Islam

Another thing which should be kept in mind is that the “tokenism” of progress and the “quantification of progress” which is the basic ideology and core organizing principle of a liberal system also stems from the patriarchal and monogamous nature of the Anglo-American system, which in turn angers and frustrates large swaths of people, given that the tokenism and the quantification of progress ends up being the main obstacle to real and substantial progress. 

Much has been made about the issue of women’s rights in Islam over the course of the last couple of decades in order to foster a pretext for hegemonic wars which had an ulterior motive. The basic attitude of Islam towards women’s rights can be encompassed by a saying of the second caliph of the Islamic empire, Umar, who suggested that “women are the masters of the private domain, and men are the masters of the public domain.” What this means if one were to break it down and deconstruct it properly is that women are essentially the masters of men, given that the public sphere is designed to serve the private sphere. Hence, Islam is very much on the side of those who suggest that matriarchy is the real and true system, whereas patriarchy is artificial and is imposed on people by Anglo-American and European colonialism and hegemony. 

Also, the laws pertaining to adultery in Islam aim at nothing more than preventing punishment for it, given the natural state of matriarchy and polyamory which the Bedouin Arabs were in denial of at the time when Islam was founded. Islam also ended the Bedouin practice of female infanticide, in addition to allowing women to get a divorce long before women had the right to a divorce in Europe. Also, Islam expanded women’s property and inheritance rights, at a time when women were seen as property themselves in many parts of the world, especially in Europe and Persia.

One can then see the rhetoric behind democracy and women’s rights in Afghanistan and the Middle East for what it really is, especially when one accounts for the fact that the United States in 2001 empowered the same warlords and militias who overthrew a de jure government which had universal education, social welfare, and women’s emancipation and freedom at the core and heart of its agenda during the 1980s. 

In Iran, for instance, women’s access to education, female literacy, and women’s access to health care all went up exponentially after Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979 which overthrew the American-backed dictatorship of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Why women in Iran are able to protest now and why Iranian women are more worldly in their outlook in Iran as opposed to the decades and years when Americans and Europeans dominated Iran is due largely to the progress which women made as a result of the Islamic revolution in 1979. Although hegemony and Zionism wish to detach the specifics of discontent and protest from the universal that consists of context and history, those of us who are educated enough and have enough experience in life can differentiate between appearance and reality at this point in time.

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