Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Women Under Sharia Law : Especially in Egypt

Nadene Goldfoot
In most Arab countries, Shari'a or Islamic law says that the role of women is inferior to men and so women are discriminated against as far as personal rights and freedoms go.  Female sexuality is thought of being extremely powerful and is a real danger to society.  Man cannot carry out G-d's commands if challenged too much.  They may even abandon G-d under a woman's affect.

Egypt has just elected a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammad Morsi.  Will he now try to implement Shari'a law in Egypt which has been more secular?  Here are things that affect women in Islamic countries.

Ritual sexual mutilation of females is common in rural areas of Egypt, Libya, Oman and Yemen.
In Syria, a husband can stop his wife from leaving the country.
In Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Morocco, Oman and Yemen, married women must have their husband's written permission to travel out of the country, and can be prevented from doing so for any reason.
In Saudi Arabia, women must have written permission from their closest male relative to leave the country or even travel on public transportation between different parts of the kingdom.
In Saudi Arabia's court, testimony of one man is the equal of 2 women.
In Kuwait,, women cannot vote yet.
In Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, women's inheritance must be less than that of her brothers, about half the amount.
Morocco excuses the murder or injury of a wife who is an adulterer (caught in the act).  But a woman is punished if they hurt their husbands doing the same thing.
Arab countries allow wife- beating.  Abused women get no help because the Koran says that a husband can discipline his wife.
Saudi Arabia has the most restrictions against women.  Women cannot marry unless the man is also Saudi Arabian without government permission, which they never give.  They cannot drive a car or bicycles.
They must sit in the back of buses.
In public they must cover their whole body and face.
Religious police Mutawin will harrass women if they don't follow this law.
Women must watch for signs in shops that say No Women Allowed.  Merchants that sell to women are also harrassed by the Mutawin.

Dina Zakariya, a Morsi campaign spokeswoman, said the only way forward is to create a national unity government that represents all political forces and all Egyptians.  Morsi says he will choose a woman to be one of his vice presidents.  He also promises women will have equal rights with men.

Women were able to vote in Egypt and elected a Muslim Brotherhood man, Mohammad Morsi.  Up to now, the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed, and Egypt was more secular.  It will be interesting to see how the women react to a change towards them now, or if it happens, and if so how long it will take to make its appearance.  A Morsi Meter made up of original activists will be watching him during the first 100 days to see that he keeps promises in being inclusive.

Resource:  Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab Israeli conflict by Mitchell G. Bard and Joel Himelfarb pages 195-197

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