Friday, August 28, 2009
Saudi Tribal Customs, Not Islam, Responsible for Male Guardianship Abuses
The author states that the activists seeking to change or remove entirely the guardianship laws are "contrary to Islam, which requires a mahram for traveling women". While this may be the understanding of Islam in Saudi Arabia, it doesn't seem to be the same understanding in other Islamic countries or among other Muslim groups around the world.
Indonesia has the world's largest population of Muslims, also almost entirely Sunni, and yet they do not have a theocratic, Shari'a-based state, and they allow the open practice of other religions, which Saudi Arabia does not. Women are free to move about without male escorts, and hold major positions of power in both the public and private sector. Though far from perfect, they are an example that what is "contrary to Islam" is actually quite flexible.
So the author is apparently speaking from her own cultural subtext and understanding of Islam, which seems to be the minority view in the rest of the Muslim world. Although Western views of women's rights are the only correct ones, neither are the misinterpretations of the Qur'an perpetuated by patriarchal interpretations which depart from the Prophet's (HNBP) actual, quite liberal, teachings.
The author is arguing for these male-authored, misogynistic interpretations, rather than for the true essence of Islam. But this is also true of Christian and Jewish teachings; there is much of our individual cultures getting in the way of the truth of what we profess to believe, and how we view ourselves in society.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost