Leaving Islam



Woman wants to be beaten only once a week    

By Ali Sina 

On September 22, 2004 a sad report came out of Iran and was spread through the Internet that ironically many found amusing. It was about an Iranian woman, beaten every day by her husband, who asked a court to tell him to beat her only once a week.  

The Aftab-e-Yazd daily reported that Maryam, the middle-aged woman, said she did not want to divorce her husband because she loved him. "Just tell him to beat me once a week ... Beating is part of his nature and he cannot stop it," Maryam told the court. When the court prohibited the husband from beating the wife, he protested: "If I do not beat her, she will not be scared enough to obey me."  

In this comic/tragic drama lie two very sad realities that affect all Muslim women irrespective of their nationalities. The first is that Muslim women are raised to accept abuse as normal. Since childhood they are treated differently. In Islamic countries boys are preferred to girls. Girls are the source of disappointment to their fathers and an embarrassment to their mothers. If a woman gives birth to a boy she is lauded but if the child is a girl, she is snubbed. Little girls learn from infancy on that they are unwanted. At the table their brothers eat first and take the lion’s share. In poorer families, the female members cook and serve the males, then wait until these have had their fill. Thereafter the women scavenge the leftovers.  

Boys get the first opportunity to go to school and get ahead in life. Girls are often denied this chance for there seems to be no need for them to become educated, since here are few work opportunities for women in Islamic societies. All to which a girl can aspire is to get married to a man who will take care of her. She inherits half of what her brothers inherit and has fewer rights. The rationale is that she would not need it because it is up to her husband to maintain her.  

Daughters are liabilities to their families and they are “given away” in marriage as soon as possible. That could be as young as 9 years of age. All this conditioning happens with the blessing of “the best and the most perfect religion” of Islam. After all it was Muhammad who said women are “deficient in intelligence”. It was he who said men have a “degree of advantage over women”. It was he who said women who disobey their husband “should be beaten”. If Islam is the most perfect religion, then how can one dispute its teachings?    

Thus Muslim women grow up knowing only one reality and that is they are inferior to men and must please them if they want to survive. The brainwashing is so complete that many Muslim women actually fight to preserve their lower status. Many of them insist on wearing veil and pride themselves in their servitude and lesser status.  

In Islamic societies the abused are as much dependent on the abuser as the latter is on the former. A good definition of this symbiotic man/woman relationship in Islamic countries is sadomasochism or to use a more modern term—codependency. Muslim women have been abused and humiliated since their birth and this is the only form of existence they have ever known and are “comfortable” with. They learn from very early on that to survive or even get ahead, they have to please the men around them. Men also learn that women are worthless, deceitful and untrustworthy creatures. Therefore men grow up with no respect for women, their intelligence and their dignity. These men learn to abuse their sisters and beat them just as their fathers beat their mothers and they will eventually beat their wives with complete clarity of conscience. Muslim men grow up with the understanding that it is their God given right to beat their women and Muslim women grow up accepting the right of their husbands to beat them.  

All this is the pernicious psycho-religious effect of a nefarious religion within Islamic societies that will not go away as long as this religion is believed to be from a divine source.    

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