Friday Links — August 15, 2006

  • Al-Ahram speaks with Nadeen Shams about her new film Have We Met Before?
  • Part Two of the “Muslim Marriage” post on Hijabman.
  • The Urban Muslim Women profile Fatima Al-Fihri, the founder of “the oldest university in the world.”
  • Four women die in a bombing in Iraq’s Diyala province. In a town Iskanderiya, two female suicide bombers killed 19 and wounded 75. May Allah grant these victims peace.In response to female suicide bombers, Iraqi police are pre-emptively detaining women who they suspect might be at risk for carrying out suicide attacks.
  • The BBC examines Ghada Abdelaal’s book and the Egyptian “marriage crisis.”
  • Women’s eNews details the difficulty that female Iraqi refugees have in Syria.
  • A mother in Saudi Arabia is trying to stop her eight-year-old daughter’s marriage, which her husband arranged.
  • A few weeks ago we reported the murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim in Dubai. Al Arabiya reports that details about the murder (including the implication of a high-profile person), which were published in an Egyptian newspaper, resulted in the seizure and complete disappearance of this paper. More about arrests and accusations at the Los Angeles Times and the BBC.
  • The Guardian looks at Iraqi weddings held across the border for safety.
  • Samia Rahman’s take on Britain’s new Muslim marriage contracts.
  • An art project in California celebrates women’s struggles in Iran.
  • The Western Muslim looks at an unconventional love story.
Lebanese First Lady Wafaa Sleiman (left) and Syrian First Lady Assma al-Assad in Damascus. Via BBC.
  • A Times Online review of Jennifer Heath’s book The Veil.
  • An outsider’s viewpoint on how Iranian women look and how they are.
  • Zainab Al-Arabi posts on Muslim women and internet.
  • IslamOnline profiles Shaista Gohir, the director Muslim Voice and Muslim Women’s Network in the U.K. She’s recently been named with the Order of the Empire; barikallah!
  • The BBC talks to Yemeni women and girls on Yemen’s newest morality police.
  • Zubia Malik shares her experience of taking off the headscarf.
  • Raquel Evita Saraswati profiles Yazmin, who finds no contradiction between the words “progressive Muslim.”
  • Aaminah Hernández is hosting a Ramadan-themed blogging carnival for Muslim women is accepting submissions until Sunday, August 17! So speak up, ladies!
  • Arab News looks at women’s positive experiences with polygamy.
  • Mona El Tahawy examines the lack of women on certain Gulf countries’ Olympic teams.
  • An Uzbeki documentary looks at women and terrorism.
  • The BBC profiles Ruqayya Jafry, a woman who survived “two geographical partitions in her lifetime.”
  • Time reflect on Oum Kulthoum’s legacies.
  • Malaysia’s state censors banned two books, which led to outcries by Muslim women activists. More here.
  • Raquel Evita Saraswati calls for action in an honor killing incident in Baluchestan: five women are buried alive. May Allah grant the justice.

And, after all those links, here’s a little comic relief that I saw on Izzy Mo’s Blog. It’s a video of a man protesting the oppression of men in Islam:

YouTube Preview Image

  • I need my Sisters, where are You?

    Ladies, one of Hijabiman articles reopened old wounds for me. It is concerning Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men. This is the commented I made earlier to him.Many of my Muslim convert sisters have left the Muslim community and I don’t blame them. Don’t get me wrong, their still practicing Muslims. When some of them converted to Islam, they were already happily married and had children. Do you know what the Muslim community told these women? They were constantly told “you can’t be married to a non-Muslim man” you have to get divorced from your husband, become a single mother and raise your children in a BROKEN home. Or don’t convert to Islam. WTF, raise your children in a single-parent, broken home because this is better for them. I can’t stop crying, I’m a child of broken promises myself. The impact it had on my siblings and me academically, emotionally, socially…..it ROBBED us of a stable home of a good future chances. We were raised by an exhausted single mother, we lived in POVERTY. Whatever, we have all heard this before. Why, would a community that should be discouraging divorces are actually enforcing them on Muslim women, not even Muslim men. Why would any one want to rob another person (child) from having a stable home? Statistics illustrates that most European converts to Islam are WOMEN; women are making up twice the numbers of newcomers. And the Muslim community is harassing, and browbeating them into divorcing their spouses, and if they have children to raise them in a broken home. SICK

  • I need my Sisters, where are You?

    http://islamlib.com/en/article/the-empirical-facts-of-interfaith-marriage/This is an interesting research on the “Empirical Facts of Interfaith Marriages” by Dr Nuryamin Aini in Indonesia. Ladies some of the research gathered will make you laugh out loud. Here’s one example “ULIL: What are the religious tendencies among children of interfaith marriages? NURYAMIN: The religious tendencies of IFM children is a very interesting subject. In Islam, it doesn’t matter if a Muslim marries a non Muslim woman. According to data I’ve got at 1980, 50% of children of Muslims who marry non Muslim woman were Muslims. But, where the mother is Muslim and father is non Muslim, the number is higher: up to 77% would be Muslim. That number increased in 1990 by up to 79%. Hence it could be said that Muslim woman’s capability to Islamize her children when she marries a non Muslim is higher than if it is the husband who is Muslim. The mother’s domination can’t be separated from her role as the primary nurturer of her children. For example, this can be seen in the following table: “….

  • Zeynab

    Thanks for the link!I’m sorry to hear about your experiences; thanks for sharing them with us. I think that people who push Muslim women to divorce non-Muslim spouses forget the power of leading by example (for example, the existence of a Muslim wife in a “non-Muslim” household as a form of dawah) or, uh, the fact that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH INTERFAITH MARRIAGES.

  • Duniya

    I agree with Zeynab. Sorry about your experiences I need my sisters…In fact, the belief that Muslim women cannot marry outside the religion is just an interpretation, not a fact. There is nothing in the Qur’an that says that Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslim men. The verse that is used to say that people of the book are “halal” for us to marry actually refers to both men and women, not just men. So to tell a Muslim woman that she cannot be married to a Christian or Jewish man is actually not the only way to see it and is not stipulated in the Qur’an.

  • I need my Sisters, where are You?

    Zeynab, Duniya thanks for your kind words!It’s very interesting that you mention, “the existence of a Muslim wife in a non-Muslim household is a form of dawah”. This example you make is also a historical fact, for example when the Mongolians invaded and conquered a great part of the Muslim world, the victorious Mongolians settle down and intermarried with the Muslim women. After some time the Mongolians converted and accepted Islam. Muslim women played an influential role in this outcome. The Muslim women held dawah functions for their Mongolian husbands. They did not spread Islam by the sword. What’s also interesting is that Jalal al-Din (Rumi) had survived and escaped the Mongolian invasion although a large portion of his family was killed, and yet there was no room for hate in his heart, it was filled with divine love. Rumi, like his fellow Muslim countrywomen who survived the genocidal attacks of the Mongolians and still used love to win over others including their enemies. People place too low a value on LOVE, when it is one of the most powerful weapons. Those Muslims mentioned above had used love against their opponents and in the end they came out victoriously.

  • s.g

    "The verse that is used to say that people of the book are "halal" for us to marry actually refers to both men and women"actually it doesn't http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=2267&CATE=10

  • Coolred38

    Since Arab culture way back when considered women property…and that her status could be lowered or highered depending on what tribe she married into…non Arabs marrying Arab women are seen as lowering her status…we cant have that so it was commonly held belief that Arab women should not and cannot marry non Arab men. This holds true for many Arab govt today still. Most Arab women that marry non Arab men..do so outside their native countries.Of course we do know that many “laws” considered Islamic are in fact based on Arab culture..Muslim women being forbidden to marry non Muslim men is just an expansion of the Arab women cant marry Non Arab men mentality. Muslim women belong to Muslim men…period…and cant “lower” her stutus by marrying a non Muslim man…no matter that God does not specify this to be the case concerning interfaith marriages. The way I see it…Muslim men want all “our” women…and the option of having all “their” women too…but dont want to share that same luxery with the men who follow either Judaism or Christianity…and we know that Islam is all about satisfying the Muslim mans sexual desires…yes?

  • Duniya

    I’m uncomfortable with Sunnipath. Too right wing and conservative for me (see below for why I really don’t like them). However, my point was that there is more than one interpretation of the verse. Indeed more than one translation. You choose which one you want to follow.For instance, here are alternate translations presented for the two verses SP presents”And do not marry the females who set up partners until they believe. For a believing servant is better than one who sets up partners even if she attracts you. And do not marry the males who set up partners until they believe. For a believing servant is better than one who sets up partners even if he attracts you. Those invite to the Fire, while God is inviting to Paradise and forgiveness by His leave. He clarifies His revelations for the people that they may remember.” (2:221)This would make it seem that the rules are the same for both men and women. And”Today, the good things have been made lawful to you, and the food of those who have been given the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them; and the independent from the believing women, and the independent from the people of the Scripture before you, if you have given them their dowries, protected, chaste, and not seeking to take lovers. And whoever rejects belief, then his work has fallen, and in the Hereafter he is of the losers.” (5:5)So it’s not as clear cut as some would have us think. AND:Sunnipath’s reason for why a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man:”The answer to this question is that, women are somewhat weak and emotional by nature. Then the husband has been given a caretaking and controlling role over the wife. As such, it is very likely that the Muslim wife may fall prey and become impressed with her husband’s faith. The chances of the husband becoming affected by his wife’s faith are remote, thus the difference between the two situations is clear.”PUH-LEASE!! Seriously?! Can anyone say SEXISM and MISOGYNY??!!And”Secondly, women who are Christians and Jews merely by name, and do not really believe in any religion, like a large number of people in the west, cannot be termed as people of the book (ahl al-Kitab). They are atheist in reality and it will not be permissible for Muslim men to marry them.”And RACISM!!! Talk about propaganda.

  • Salaam

    Salaam alaikumWow, a whopper of a linkfest indeed. Somebody doesn’t go on vacation in August. There will be profuse hat-tipping this week over at my blog http://www.progressiveislam.info.Thanks,Salaam

  • Dude

    Somalian women who brew and sell alcohol to feed their families face problems under Sharia law. Via Progressive Muslima News.As shocking as it may sound, Somalia and Sudan are separate countries.

  • I need my Sisters, where are You?

    I understand that people have different interpretations on various issues, but some of the explanations or justifications given on issues like Muslim women and interfaith marriages are steeped in patriarchy, generalizations, stereotypes, misogyny, racism etc. Top 10 Reasons for why a Muslim woman should not marry a non-Muslim man. 1.) Women do not have the spiritual strength of men and her faith will be easily swayed by a non-Muslim, since men are dominant and women are weaker and more compromising2.) The head of the household should be a Muslim man because marriage is a hierarchy, and he can control your faith, and because religion is passed through the father, like DNA.3.) The father will have the rights to full custody of the children like in some Muslim countries4.) If there is surplus of Muslim women then they should just enter polygamous marriages, what’s wrong with doubling up or quadrupling to sharing one man.5.) Women should know that in life you can’t have it all; you must choice between education and marriage, not all the eligible suitors are going to wait until you’re done your schooling. The same is not required of men for different reasons.6.) Non-Muslim men are simply not good people, only Muslims are pious. Here’s another example, Muslim man will respect the prophets that his non-Muslim wife believes in but a non-Muslim man will not respect the prophet his wife believes in.7.) Although Islamic sharia or extensive legal ruling is silent about this issue, you must remember tradition is more important, and should overcome reasoning. Besides as a woman you need a male guardian to give you permission, and any competition for us is out of the question.8.) You are more likely to be divorced by a non-Muslim man and become unhappy.9.) It is more preferable if Muslim women stayed signal forever or marry from “back home”. 10.) Non-Muslim men would not know the rights of Muslim women, because only Muslim men practice and know Women’s rights, and because women’s rights and gender dynamics have not changed from the last two centuries.It would be easier to tell people they do not need explanations or reasoning, just obey and do as you’re told. And you can match as many isms to the explanations as you please. Some of these explanations will have more than one ism.

  • Zeynab

    Dude, thank you for bringing the mistake to my attention; I’ve changed it. No need for attitude.

  • s.g

    Some of the comments here are based on mere opinions and generalizations. I guess according to everyone here, we can just blame the men for everything we disagree with because we all know that all men are misogynistic who are hell bent on dominating women. I find coolred38′s comment to be extremely racist. Duniya you state that the ruling on that site is too right ring, one could argue the opinions on this site is too left ring and liberal. sometimes I wonder why this site is even called Muslimah media watch.

  • Zeynab

    s.g.: coolred’s comments were allowed because they are meant as sarcasm.The fact that many of us have a liberal bent doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be allowed to cover Muslim women in the media. Islam doesn’t belong to just conservatives or liberals. But you know what? This thread has become a religious tangent, which irritates me. And there seems to be a lot of hostility circulating in blanket statements against the Muslim community, which I should not have allowed.Consider comments closed.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X