Islam Female Kick-Butt: Ghada Jamshir
J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Ghada Jamshir, Bahraini women’s rights activist, was interviewed
on Al-Arabiya TV on December 21. This woman could be the major start of
crumbling the Islamic cleric barbaric hold on Islamics.
She has campaigned against Islamic sexual abuse, particularly
against children. She has exposed the Muslim evils while broadcasting that
she does not fear her present state nor her future. She speaks
forthrightly in public regarding her convictions, regardless of the
opposition against her, especially from Islamic clerics whom she derides.
Admirers have written concerning Ghada Jamshir: "She is one
feisty woman, and for some orthodox males, such forcefulness is itself a
crime against ‘submission,’ so cherished in Islam. Her style is firm,
aggressive, no-nonsense. This amazing woman who refuses to wear a veil,
condemns lack of family planning, Sharia courts, and accuses the
categorizations of ‘Islamic’ marriage as oppressive to women.
"Ms. Jamshir is not a lady to be messed with, and she has
nothing but contempt and derision for her critics. If only there were more
like her in the Arab world."
Gathered around her cause are Islamic women who have shared her
convictions for justice and reason.
In the televised exchange, she was asked what she had against
Shari’a courts. (Shari’a is the Arabic word for Islamic law, also
known as the Law of Allah. Therefore, a Shari’a court is one in which
the Koran is the basis for deciding law).
Ghada Jamshir answered: "I have a lot against the Shari’a
courts. What they have done to the Bahraini women is not a trivial matter.
For years women have been going into these courts, only to be oppressed
and treated unjustly. We have reached the point that we say: enough. We
have reached the breaking point.
"The Shiites in
have marriages for the purpose of mut'ah (pleasure). They bring
multitudes of children into the world, without thinking, who grow up in
"It's accepted for a man to marry a Filipino woman, a Bahraini
woman, and a third woman from Iran, and then he takes two or three women
in mut'ah marriage. How many children will he have?!"
In other words, the Koran as law court biases decisions in favor of
man’s pleasure and against the rights of women and children.
Ghada Jamshir went on to urge Muslim females to find safety in a
country where the Koran is not considered legitimate law, that is, on the
par with the nation’s court system. She suggested that such a country,
for example, could be
She went on to explain that Muslim women living in a Muslim country
are imprisoned for life. They have no legal recourse that is logical and
fair. They have only a male-dominated society that demeans females in
favor of males.
Ghada Jamshir: "The point is for them to live and be protected
in a safe country. If a woman cannot get any protection in her country,
cannot get any protection from the courts, cannot get any protection in
the marital home - where will she go? Where will she go?"
The interviewer asked the woman activist if she is a Sunni and
therefore is fighting against mut’ah (temporary) marriages which are
acceptable by religious law to the Shiites.
Ghada Jamshir: "Does the Islamic Shari'a authorize mut'ah
marriages? Does the Islamic Shari'a authorize mut'ah
according to the following classification: ‘Pleasure from sexual contact
with her thighs.’ They have: ‘Pleasure from sexual touching. Pleasure
from sexual contact with her breasts. Pleasure from a little girl.’ Do
you know what ‘pleasure from a little girl’ means? It means that they
derive sexual pleasure from a girl aged two, three, or four.
"Let me tell you what "Pleasure from sexual contact with
her thighs" means. This is a violation of children's rights! This
constitutes sexual assault of the girl. What does ‘pleasure from sexual
contact with her thighs’ mean? It means deriving sexual pleasure from an
infant. How old is an infant? One year, a year and a half, a few months?
"Is it conceivable for a grown man to have sex with an infant
girl? And you people tell me that the Islamic Shari’a authorizes
"Forget about the mut'ah. Let's talk about misyar.
What do misyar marriages mean? You said that I'm a Sunni and that's
why I'm attacking the Shiites. No!"
(Misyar marriage is defined as follows: "Misyar: Marriage
institution in Islam, allowing for a lesser form of relationship between
man and woman than normal marriage, zawaj. Misyar is an official
relationship between man and woman, but does not involve that the two live
together, nor that the man is economically responsible.
"Misyar allows the man to have a normal wife in a addition to
his misyar-wife(s). The misyar wife is expected to live with her parents,
and her husband can visit her according to a predetermined schedule. See http://i-cias.com/e.o/misyar.htm")
Ghada Jamshir: "What does the misyar marriage mean? A
man marries a woman from another town, and goes to her once a month. He
‘visits’ her. He calls her his ‘wife. This kind of marriage, this
kind of behavior, diminishes the woman's honor as a human being.
"All her life, the woman is a prisoner in her own home. In the
past, she would not go out to work, or to study abroad. Very few women
would go to university outside
. She is at home in order to cook, sweep, and raise the children. How will
she get an education? There are women whose families are extremist. They
even force them to marry against their will.
"You tell me, why is female circumcision still practiced in
the Arab world? Why? Because there is no education, no awareness. A few
days ago, a four-year-old girl called An'am died in
. Why? Because she was circumcised. Four years old, and she died of blood
"I am convinced that I was 100% right in everything I have
The TV interviewer then stated to Ghada Jamshir that she has been
accused of heresy.
Ghada Jamshir: "So what? Even in mosques they accuse me of
heresy. So what? You think that if they accuse me of heresy, it affects
me? No. Allah will decide whether I go to paradise or to hell, not
"These are the methods of the weak. Who gave them the right to
accuse me of heresy? .What, did they go into my heart. Did they see
whether I pray or not? Or maybe it's because I don't wear a veil.
The interviewer then asked Ghada Jamshir if not wearing a veil
Ghada Jamshire: "It doesn't bother me at all."
Ghada Jamshir has been put on trial, accused of defaming Sharia law
and insulting an Islamic judge. She, leading her women’s rights
conclave, lobbied for a personal status law which would shift jurisdiction
over family and women’s affairs to civil courts.
When she went to court, she was accompanied by her women activist
The judge read out three charges against her: public defaming of
Islamic judiciary through distribution of literature, insulting a judge
and defaming him.
Of course Ghada Jamshir plead innocent.
"The charge of insulting a Sharia judge during a phone call is
fabricated," she said.
"All these charges against me have been compiled since 2001 because
of a vigil we [committee] organized two months ago, in which we demanded
the resignation of the general prosecutor," she said, instigating a
round of applause from the female audience in the courtroom.
Ghada Jamshir’s group collected 1700 signatures demanding
legislative and judicial reforms to family courts.
"I do not care if I go to prison, because we already live in a big
prison. I will never stop, nor go silent nor give up my position,"
she said. She sought to ban Shairia judges from dealing with marriage
"The uncodified nature of these laws gives judges the authority to
render judgments according to their own reading of Islamic
jurisprudence," Human Rights Watch reported.
One admirer of Ghada Jamshir asked: "Why don't more feminists
support women like this, and women generally in the Islamic world? I know
Jay Leno's wife, a liberal feminist, was a pretty big advocate for women
; I just wish there were more like her.
"Why do we only hear about this woman from MEMRI? Why doesn't
Katie Freaking Couric interview her on the Today Show?"
Copyright © 2005 by J. Grant Swank, Jr.