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Being a Muslim Woman: A Blessing or a Curse?  

2005/03/26

By Yagmur Dursun

The status of women has become a focus of todayís society. Some people are trying to advance the cause of equality in the real world, while others are looking for equality in their religious books. For example, Muslims are claiming that Islam accords high status to women. Many Islamic scholars dashed off numerous articles about sexual equality in Islam. They are telling us that Islam is the only solution.  

Many critics question the concept of equality in Islam.  

As a Muslim woman with bitter experiences, I dare to question ďIslamic equalityĒ. I am neither a scholar nor a PhD. But I hope my personal experience will be interesting to readers.  

All Muslim men are extremely proud of polygamy. They say that western men are unfaithful and they have many lovers. But unlike westerners, Muslim men take care of all their women. I say Iíd rather be a lover than a wife in a polygamous marriage.  

My whole life is about pleasing my husband. Since I am not the only wife, I also have to compete with my co-wife. How humiliating it is for a woman to compete with another woman in pleasing a man! If I were the only woman, I could say no and explain why I donít want to please him. But now I canít stop him or say no. If I do, my husband wonít even think about why Iím dissatisfied with his begaviour. He will say that he has another wife and I can rebel as much as I want but in the end it wonít change anything (and he is right). If I were a western woman, I could demand divorce. I canít do it now because oneís husband having a second wife is not a reason for a divorce. If I were a western woman, Iíd have the right to be angry at my husband for having a lover. But I canít be angry now, because itís morally acceptable for a Muslim to have many wives.  

Most importantly, I have children. If I donít compete with my co-wife and win, my children will be disadvantaged.  

Itís so hard to see oneís husband kissing another woman. I am not an animal; I am a human being with feelings. Just like men I can be jealous. But who cares about me and my feelings?  

Iíve recently received a book named ďHow to become a good MuslimahĒ as a gift. Being a good Muslimah is about pleasing your husband and forgetting about yourself Ė I have already understood it.  

If I were a lover, I would be loved. As a Muslim woman, I am only an object Ė a sex object, an incubator and a maid to my husband. I am there to serve HIM and to please HIM.  

Luckily enough, I am in the West. There is hope for me. I CAN rebel and I WILL rebel. I only pray for my poor sisters in Muslim countries.  

Some western men batter their wives. They are punished. They are NOT encouraged by their religion to beat their wives. Muslims are.  

Muslims say that itís only permissible to beat your wife Ďgentlyí. Where is it said in the Koran that men should beat their wives gently? Frankly, I am sick of this discussion. How can a man discipline his wife even with a handkerchief? Are women stupid or children? Yes, we are stupid according to Islam. When my husband beats me, he always says that he wishes me well. If I am obedient, I will enter Heaven.  

Has anyone been beaten with a toothbrush or a handkerchief? Well, believe me; it is as humiliating as being beaten with a rod (which is kept in our house in case someone really hits my husbandís raw nerve). You feel like an adolescent, who was disobedient and has to be punished. I feel so stupid and miserable. If I go to imam, he will say that it is permissible for a man to disciple gently his wife. If I was severely battered, I need witnesses. All these things are happening in the UK . Muslims are living in a parallel world; they are not interested in secular laws that are meant to protect women. Imagine whatís happening in Muslim countries?!  

What about being told that you are deficient in intelligence and religion? My husband doesnít pay much attention to what his wives say because we are Ďfull of deficienciesí. We are meant to bring up children. Thatís all. When I asked my husband if I could work, he laughed and replied that he sympathizes with employers who take on women. Nobody can succeed if he has female employees.  

How did it happen? How could liberated women of Arabia accede to these humiliations and absurd demands of Mohammed? How could they believe him? Itís obvious to me. Remember, we women, are main dwellers of Hell. Unfortunately impressionable Arab women were deceived into believing in this lie and said goodbye to their rights.  

If I donít want to have sex, nobody cares to respect my wishes. If I try to resist his advances, I will just be forced to submit. Muslims say that it is natural for men to have a big appetite for multiple women. As far as I know, it is questionable but Iíd like to bring up another subject. Religion is supposed to help people to achieve the highest standard of morality. With the help of religion, people are supposed to refuse to give in to their sinful nature. Islam, however, upholds the worst traits of human character. Muslim men may want to have sex with many women, but they are living in a civilized society. Canít they overcome their beastly nature and show that they are civilized?  

Christianity is pro monogamy. It will make you a better human being, if you are monogamous and fight against your sinful desires. If you are a Muslim, you get carte blanche to turn into an animal.  

My experience with my husband proves that itís better for me to submit to his whims and have sex with him whenever he chooses, even when I am not ready for it. After all, I donít want to be beaten with our special rod.  

If a Muslim woman wants to rebel, she is called disobedient and beaten. If she tries to question Islam, she is presented with quotes from the Quran or threatened with burning in Hell. So much for the equality in Islam!  

 

 

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