Recently Saadah Kair of the New Strait Times claimed that in Islam, women are considered to be equal to men. Kair goes on to say that in Islam, a woman’s status is improved.
If that is the case, then perhaps Kair should try to explain the following incidents:
- An eighteen-year-old Saudi woman named Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun had to settle in Canada because she had left the Islamic faith, and thus she feared her family would kill her for doing so. She had tried to flee to Australia via Thailand while on a trip with her family in Kuwait, but was intercepted by Saudi authorities in Bangkok, and her passport was allegedly confiscated. She managed to barricade herself in a hotel room in Bangkok, where she pleaded to the world for help via Twitter. The Thai authorities announced that she would be deported to Saudi Arabia, but fortunately for her, Canada gave her asylum, and she has safely arrived there.
- Shah Ahmed Shafi (the leader of the Islamist group Hefajat-e-Islam) stated that girls should not receive any education past the fourth or fifth grades because he believes doing so would make them disobedient.
- A Hindu woman in India was forced to convert to Islam, eat beef (which is forbidden in Hinduism), and sign fake marriage documents.
- A female student was expelled from Al-Azhar University in Egypt due to surveillance footage of her hugging a man.
- Egyptian actress Rania Youseff is facing some jail time for wearing a see-through dress at a social function in Cairo.
- Bahria University in Islamabad, Pakistan has issued a warning to female students regarding the dress code, stating that any violators will be fined.
- During the past ten years, the United States Government has admitted thousands of child brides from other countries, most of whom have arrived from Muslim countries. It should be noted that such admissions are legal since the Immigration and Nationality Act does not set minimum age requirements, not to mention the fact that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves of such admissions if the marriage is legal in the country of origin, as well as the state the couple wishes to reside in. But I wouldn’t be surprised if USCIS was pressured by the Obama Administration in letting them in. In addition, USCIS probably did not want to be labeled as Islamophobic.
- A forty-one-year-old man in Malaysia married the eleven-year-old friend of his daughter.
So the next you hear someone say that women are treated fairly in the Muslim world, feel free to bring up these stories. And I should add that there are more stories like these out there.