Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This is why I love the Egyptian Gazette

It's a naturally occurring Onion or Fictitious Journalist, so to speak. Such natural occurrances should be marvelled at, not shunned:

'Muslim women suffer under Western laws'

Manal Abdul Aziz
Gazette staff

Under the title of "Condition of the Muslim Women between the Islamic legislation and the Western Culture", 90 Muslim scholars gathered yesterday in Cairo to debate the condition of Muslim women around the world.

The speakers explained the rights and duties of the Muslim women as defined by sharia (Islamic law) that preceded all man-made legislation to ensure women's dignity and rights on an equal footing with men.

"A few decades ago, Western women were not allowed to even sign a cheque, but some 14 centuries ago Islam came to endorse women's financial independence," said Professor Gaafar Abdul Salam, Secretary General of the Islamic Universities Association at the opening session of the conference.

Apparently, women in Saudi Arabia still can't drive in the 21st century.

He added that until now Muslim women continued to enjoy more privileges than their Western counterparts in many respects.

Salem el-Sheikhi, member of the European Fatwa Council said Muslim women in Europe suffered from living under European laws that deprive them of some basic rights guaranteed by sharia.

"For example a Muslim woman in Europe who wants to divorce her husband cannot do so as easily as she can under the (divorce) law of 'khul' which is enforced in many Muslim countries now. Even if she manages to obtain a divorce outside the European country where she lives, that country will not recognize it," he added.

"In the eyes of European law, she is still married and thus she forfeits all her rights, and she certainly will not be allowed to re-marry."

Take that, you frigid European legal systems: You are preventing our good Muslim women from getting their groove on!

The three-day gathering discusses equality between men and women in all rights and duties, women's rights regarding marriage contract, divorce, and work and women's image in the media and art.

Among the topics covered on the first day of the conference was women's contributions to political life.

The Deputy President of Al Azhar University, Ezz Eddin el-Sawi, criticized the weak political representation of women in the legislative councils and parliament in Muslim and Arab states, especially in Egypt.

"Women's representation in Moroccan parliament is 30 percent, but it is no more than 2 per cent in Egypt. It might be surprising to learn that the percentage is as high as 50 in some African countries, such as Uganda," el-Sawi said.

I am getting really tired of hearing Egyptians make some lame comparison to any random sub-Saharan African country that they happen to name, such as Burkina Faso or Uganda in this instant, to lament the sad state of affairs that we have now reached. These are countries whose people have had civilizations for thousands of years. If you want to make a better comparison, then compare Egypt to the recently uncivilized Arabian gulf states of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, for example. They are the source of our theological retardation in the last 50 years, aren't they? What did Burkina Faso or Uganda ever do to you? The strides in progression that these gulf states have made in this short period of time are the ones that are truly impressive, and truly deserving of our depression when comparing to our own [also impressive] degree of retardation during this same period of time.

The conference opened with a Qur'anic recital by a female student of the Faculty of the Islamic studies, thus refuting the claim by extremist Muslims that the voice of woman is awra, i.e. should not be heard in public...

Ahem...let me give you a more accurate translation of this term awra: When you walk in the street exposing yourself to the passerbys, that is called a awra ; i.e. a private bodily part which would be shameful to expose in public.

...This departure from normal procedure, which was taken by the Dean of the Faculty of the Islamic Studies Soad Saleh, the conference rapporteur, drew praise from Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi who attended the opening session.

Impressive, the woman's voice is not a awra !


Leilouta said...

Everything about a woman is awra, her voice, her hair, her neck, her body,her thoughts...they should consider cooking, cleaning an awra too, then we'll be happy:-)

Seneferu said...

Hey leilouta! Nice blog you have! I visited it yesterday for the first time, I loved that post about the marital obligations:D

Highly recommended:

Seneferu said...

Good point: since women are so impure then the food they prepare must be polluted. You now have a very good excuse to force the men to cook, and clean as well.

Husams said...

"Those who are used to a cage will weep for a cage" Women being kept as an Object inside a box, is the freedom they weeping about. Being slaughtered brutally for what is called "crime of honor" is legally justified and they have no problem against it. is it just me ? is this normal and im just mad!

MOHAHAHA said...

These are countries whose people have had civilizations for thousands of years. If you want to make a better comparison, then compare Egypt to the recently uncivilized Arabian gulf states of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, for example.

I realize that Egypt has been taken over by arabs in comparatively recent history, but I would still contend that Egypt too has withnessed thousands of years of civilization.

Egypeter said...

"I realize that Egypt has been taken over by arabs in comparatively recent history, but I would still contend that Egypt too has withnessed thousands of years of civilization."

Now that's an understatement.

Egypt is the mother of all civilizations, culture and society!

And that is precisely why the current situation in Egypt is so INCREDIBLY DEPRESSING :(

First time posting on your blog senefru. Very interesting and I will continue to be an avid reader :)

Take care and be safe!

wombat37 said...

Muslim scholar?? That's an oxymoron isn't it??

forsoothsayer said...

screw you, wombat37. are you saying that all other religious scholars are scholars except for muslims ones? a religion that has been around for 1400 and has affected the lives of hundreds of millions cannot be studied? shame on you, you racist pig.

Seneferu said...

(A link from Sandmonkey and I get all these comments:-)...

Egypeter, I agree: Mohaha, nobody every said anything to the contrary.

Wombat, I haven't deleted any comments from the blog yet...but in any case yours just makes you out to be an ignorant bigot.

Ron Larson said...

Since there is no link to the article, does it mention how many of the 90 muslim scholars are women? I suspect a big fat zero.

But as mentioned, they did allow a woman to speak. Did they say if the women was allowed in the room? Or did she have to say the opening prayer hidden behind a partition or wall?

Papa Ray said...

Definitions of scholar on the Web:

a learned person (especially in the humanities); someone who by long study has gained mastery in one or more disciplines
learner: someone (especially a child) who learns (as from a teacher) or takes up knowledge or beliefs
a student who holds a scholarship

A scholar is either a student or someone who has achieved a "mastery" of some academic discipline. In British usage, a scholar is equally likely to be a schoolchild (usually a boy) or a learned person. In American usage, the "schoolchild" meaning is rare.

One of the seven essence roles. Scholars seek knowledge, which is their positive pole; their negative pole is theory.

An acedemic, or a learned person.

A schoolchild. The scholars were going home.

While the word "scholar" is thrown around in todays languages like the sprinkling of comments on blogs, one should take into account that what is one person's (or countries) defination is not the same as anothers.

Nor do they remain the same over the years. They are tained or colored by the majority that has been influenced by them.

There is no doubt that the Islamic scholar has influenced many millions of Muslims over the years.

The results of which are becoming more apparent each and every day.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

For those of you who have never come across the site, I direct you to "Islam Q&A", an inadvertently hilarious site by an ultra-Conservative Wahabbit Sheik. (It BETTER be inadvertent, since one article declares that 'excessive laughter' is halal to Muslims.)

The link is to the page on 'relationship between the genders.' Read some of them particularly # 3,6, and 7, but then browse through the entire site.

The bit on laughter is in the 'useful material' section, subsection 'books and references' Book #13 "Shakawa Wa Hulool - Problems & Solutions."

I'm not making this up. I couldn't.

Seneferu said...

Mr. Ron Larson,

Looking at your picture I don't blame you for your lopsided worldview;-)

It doesn't take a scholar to see that the "Dean of the Faculty of the Islamic Studies Soad Saleh, the conference rapporteur", is in fact, obviously a female.

No there is no link to the article, but if there were you would see the picture of this lady co-presiding over this conference as she is seated next to the Grand Imam of Al Azhar.

So now what is a scholar in your own definition, ron?

Lehihamra said...

Egypt is the mother of all civilizations, culture and society!

Well, there are some people from the location of Sumer (southern Iraq), China and India who might debate that - Egyptian civilization being a relative newcomer at a mere 5000 years of age.

Seneferu said...

nice beard:)

The age argument/claim doesn't concern me, but I think what Peter was trying to say is that Egypt was the main fountainhead of "Western civilization".

In any case historians argue about this between Egypt and Sumer, I lean towards the former. Surprise:)

Anonymous said...

The subtext of most of these articles, like the one reproduced above, is that all religions and cultures are rubbish except the one on which the writings are based. Very broad-minded. Just what we need to nurture democracy and freedom of speech.

Seneferu said...

What are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Here goes. I am sick of these holier-than-thou, preachy articles that go on and on about how marvellous and perfect is in 'our' faith and how everyone else is wrong, evil, and doomed to eternal damnation. Everyone else's beliefs are rubbished in every paragraph. It's like the man who says: "Thank Heaven, I don't have AIDS or bird flu" but ignores the brain cancer.

Seneferu said...

Oh ok, now I understand:-)

I agree with you, but really there are others who think in the same exact mentality belonging to the other faiths. The problem is the moderates among us are not given a voice to say their own opinions.