Written by Theresa Corbin
Whenever I come across an issue that evokes an emotional response, I spend many hours combing through it trying to make sense, logical sense, of it. I obsess about it while I am driving. I blankly stare at people who are talking to me and think about it. I construct arguments in my head while I am “watching” movies.
I come to a conclusion that has been disentangling from my emotions and categorized nicely in my frontal cortex. Then I write about it. This is my process. A lot of the stuff I write will never reach an audience. It doesn’t need to. It is enough for me to write it down and make space in my brain for the next topic to mull over.
But there is one topic about which I cannot smolder my anger enough to reach logical thoughts. I fear I may never be able to. I have said I would write about it, I have promised other bloggers that I would address the issues. But I cannot bring myself to the point where logic overrides emotion. I remain at a fever pitch and all I can write is #$%^&*#@$!!!!!!!
The issue, however, was brought once again to my attention (as if it had ever left) recently by a fellow Muslimah blogger and writer who also happens to be a journalist and activist for women’s rights in Pakistan. This amazing woman added facts and fuel to my fire for women’s rights, and more specifically what is done to women in the name of Islam.
I may never be able to come to a place of tempered anger about the suffering that “Islamic” regimes place on women, my sisters, around the world. But it is time that I say something about it, if to do nothing more than to make a few more people aware, if to do nothing more than to explain how un-Islamic these anti-women regimes are, if to do nothing more than to defend Islam despite the Muslims. It is my hope that I can do more, but I have to start somewhere.
I have had sisters contact me distraught and on the verge of apostating because of what is done to women in the name of Islam. I have had people ask me how I could be Muslim when it is such a misogynistic religion. I have had family members ask me why I am driving because it is against my religion. I have heard a Muslim convert’s non-Muslim family ask if she was going to cut off her daughter’s clitoris.
And how can I blame these people for their ignorance when it is what they hear is done under the flag of Islam?
But Islam came to woman kind to free us from these types of oppression. Women’s liberation didn’t begin in the West, it began in Mecca, Saudi Arabia over 1400 years ago, when the West was in an age of deep, bleak darkness. Islam came as a light for humanity.
Islam taught that women were humans in their own right when the rest of the world thought of their sisters, daughters and wives as nothing more than a possession to be done with as they willed. Islam encouraged women to seek knowledge (with no stipulation on what kind of knowledge it may be) when the rest of the world was largely illiterate and thought teaching a women was a waste of time.
Islam encouraged women to pursue careers, to enrich their communities, to own property, to lead others, and fight if their person or property was threatened. Islam taught men to respect and honor and treat women with kindness and not just because they are daughters, mothers, wives and sisters, but because women are human beings and equal in the eyes of the creator, because women are capable of more mercy that men, a limited resource in this world.
Islam still teaches all of this …
But now, 1400 years later, the Islamic world is experiencing a dark age of its own, where women are thought of as property, imprisoned or even murdered for reporting their own rape, imprisoned by mis-education and shot when they try to free themselves, forced into marriages and prostitution, mutilated in unspeakable ways, used as pawns in politics, killed by their family members for imagined dishonor, and even sold to pay for the sins of their fathers.
While our male counterparts are very rarely held responsible even in the face of unspeakable crimes, are not even taught to be responsible, and are even encouraged to view a women’s bodies as nothing more than a decoration in their life to do with what they like.
This is not the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him). This is a community of Muslims that the Prophet (PBUH) would be ashamed of. Many Muslims today, when faced with these issues, will try to divert attention to what the West is doing, point fingers, try to sweep under the rug the misdeeds of their brothers or even try to explain it away with magnificent feats of mental acrobatics. It is time we deal with the shit that is happening in the name of Islam.
As a Muslim who believes in the original message of the Prophet Muhammad (May God’s peace and blessings be upon him), I will not be silent while evil is allowed to propagate in the name of my religion. I am obligated to help the oppressed (Muslim or non-Muslim) against the oppressor. And I am obligated to help the oppressor by seizing his hand.
Since this topic covers so many issues I will break it up into installments, discussing rape punished as adultery; rampant sexual harassment; genital mutilation; forced marriages and the removal of rights within a consensual marriage; honor killings; Ba’ad (where women are enslaved for male family member’s crimes); forced prostitution; and barring women from education, driving, working or even being in the public realm.
So if you have the emotional and/or mental maturity of a 10 year old, please excuse yourself from these future posts, they will be graphic (but not gratuitous) because the reality is graphic.
The best of you are those who are best to women –Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him)
So, what does it make you if you are the worst to women?
Stay tuned for more *&%#$@!!!!!.
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27 thoughts on “It’s Time to Take Back Our Religion”
So looking forward to more posts. Its sad that the ummah is returning to jahiliyyah. Its time to introspect rather than pointing fingers at the west and the world in general because we are responsible for the evil we put forth
“If you fail to adjoin good and forbid evil then it is expected that Allah will send punishment against you then you will supplicate to Him but your supplication will not be answered”
Beautifully written, Corbin! Can’t wait to read more!
That means a lot coming from you Siam, I am! 🙂
Exactly! And we wonder why a lot of Muslim countries are serious crisis. We need to look at ourselves and fix ourselves.
When the ax falls, it seems to always fall on Muslim women…they are half the humanity and give birth to the other half. I’m paying attention to what’s ahead in the series…needless to say this stuff is reaching an audience…
I DON’T agree with everything, but it is worth listening…(ignore the angry Frenchie in the beginning)
DANG! 5 hours, huh? Have you watched it all the way through? I will give it a go.
Thank you dear sister, I think women are oppressed under semi Islamic regimes and within western system , but I like to add I live in a semi Islamic society but I have as numerouse sisters master degree and we never suffered any kind of oppression , I am not saying that our society is perfect Islamic but be careful when you listen to your media they are just focusing on the negative picture ignoring all the good in our societies. Still any kind of oppression against any human should be removed this is our Islamic duty . I love you for Allah dear sister.
Asalamu Alaikum, Bayan. Thank you for the reminder. I absolutely agree that good things can and do come out of these countries and of course not every woman is oppressed. That is not at all what I am trying to say. And I am by NO NO NO means referencing what Western media spits out. My Allah save me from being so foolish. I am supremely angry about what is done to women in these places under the guise of Islam. It does send a message to the rest of the world that Islam oppresses women when this is the farthest from the truth, as you know. I am very glad that you have never suffered. But we have to talk about what does happen to some of our sisters. We have to AT LEAST talk about the rampant sexual harassment. We MUST talk about why it is OK for a man to be set free for raping a women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. while the victim is sentenced for this crime against her and those in charge call this Islam! And on and on and on. Please don’t think that I am not trying to invalidate your experience as a Muslim women living safely and beneficially in a semi-Islamic society, I am merely standing up for our sister who are not safe. We can sit around and talk about all the educated, happy and healthy women that come out of these places (for this I am truly grateful), but how does that help the women who are suffering and how does this prevent those with power from misappropriating Islam? May the one for whom’s sake you love me for love you and I do indeed love you for the sake of Allah. Please sister, will you help me get the message out that what happens to women under the guise of Islam has nothing to do with Islam? Maybe if we take the excuse of Islam away from those with power we can weaken their position.
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May Allah bless you dear sister. Our world need more people with your caring beautiful soul. You are right , if there is one woman who suffers we should come to help. I believe that ignorance among muslems is part of the problem. We need to educate both men and women with the true noble teachings of Islam . With love and respect.
Love and respect right back at you, sister. ❤
Dearest sister, its great to see your back with a bang 😀
And please, a lot of stuff you will write is reaching audiences, and I am so glad that you have brought forward these issues, that are an embarrassment to our religion Islam itself and many Muslim societies may live in selective amnesia on issues of rape, harassment etc but thank God you don’t and I don’t.
I have had people telling me that my perspective is very bleak, I don’t really give a shit because I don’t believe that airing our dirty murky laundry will make us any less than what we are as States. Unfortunately most people are conditioned to think like that, so its left on us to raise our voices and demand the change that will not only reflect Islam but also humanity and human rights.
We, as a community, have forgotten that the first step to improvement is introspection and self reflection. There is no one person, community, or state that is free from needing self reflection and improvement. And how crazy does it make us look when we have major problems like we do and we insist on diverting attention to another group?
I appreciate your encouragement and partnership.
I do fear that people will tell me that since I am a convert and since I live in the US that I do not have enough knowledge or am not “Muslim enough” to speak about these issues. But they have another thing coming!
There is a saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!” While I do not believe that the wrath of Allah can be compared to what a human is capable of, I do feel a woman scorned is a powerful force –with the permission of Allah (la hawla wala quwwata illa billah).
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Screw humanity in itself..but do embrace the pessimism..embrace the bleakness..make one with it…
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LOL, come to the dark side!
This is a very painful thing. when people perform a variety of violence to women in the name of Islam.Islam’s own reality now scattered. True Muslims will not do anything stupid like that.You are right, sister!,This is not the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him). We really need the power to help our sisters. May Allah protects them.
Ameen, feljabari. Indeed no true Muslim would behave like this.
Mashallah, you are doing a great Jihad my sister, educating is a big undertaking and inshallah with Allah’s permission, you are able to reach to the ignorants. It is true that in many Islamic countries, women are regarded as second class albeit being a total contradiction to the teachings of Islam. Quran 9:71 ” The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”
Although the equality that the West and the East lauds are based on deviation and lackof uunderstanding. In islam, the rights of men and women are EQUALLY BALANCED.
The issue of cutting off the female’s clitoris is a very important issue that needs to be discussed, understood and separated completely from Islam. There is no record that the Prophet Muhammed s.a.w had ever had the ritual performed on any of his daughters or wives or other family members.
“Verily, you have rights over your women, and your women have rights over you.As for your rights over your women, they are that they should not allow anyone to sit on your beds whom you dislike, or allow anyone into your houses whom you dislike.Verily, their rights over you are that you should treat them well with regard to their clothing and food.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1163, and Ibn Maajah, 1851).
If only we would return to the true teachings of Islam, there would be no gender inequality issues, there would be no wars, there would be no social problems.
One point that I would really love to stress is that as Muslims, we should stop glorifying the Western interpretation of equality. When I say Western, I am referring to the authorities and ‘experts’, not the entire population.
I completely agree. Well said, sister. But from my vantage point their is some good in Western gender equality, but it tends to transgress the boundaries that Allah has placed. It is such a complicated issue. And all we need is Islam the find the middle path and balance.
(REPOST): Every time I post this video(13minutes) of Sheikh Habib Ali talking about the deplorable reality of Muslim women, it either gets taken down or completely ignored. I’ve posted it on my own page at least twice and no one EVER wants to talk about it. I personally get so frustrated at the aversion our ummah has to REALITY. The reason I love this video is because the Sheikh gets REAL, telling it like is…being brutally honest. At one point he literally shakes because he is so emotional about Muslim women and how they are being treated. I appreciate it…and I appreciate the warnings that he gives about what will happen to the ummah if we continue on this path….
He^^ talks about Muslim women being raped in their homes..he calls out the Sheikhs that send abused women back to their homes..He talks about lack of community support BUT when Muslim women go to secular organizations, the ummah calls her a traitor..He questions how can the ummah be surprised that that there will come a generation after us who leave the religion because of a lack of women’s rights… He reminds us that if we don’t straighten up..if the ummah doesn’t straighten up, we will be judged not just for our sins but for every individual who leaves the faith due to our inaction and denial….He says its time to stop quoting the old adage about “Islam gave Muslim women their rights 1400yrs ago” when we are not giving them their rights NOW…
I cannot begin to express how much I support “taking back our religion”. Its so dear to my heart and my being. Many, MANY times I have considered walking away from Islam due to the hypocrisy and disappointment…The MISOGYNY that has infected the ummah becomes too much for me. I can’t understand and don’t want to be associated with men (and women) who justify blatant wrongs done to Muslimahs for the sake of “culture” or whatever else. But I am still here because ultimately Islam is submission to Allah, not mankind…However I sincerely do hope that things change…They need to, they MUST…
“He reminds us that if we don’t straighten up..if the ummah doesn’t straighten up, we will be judged not just for our sins but for every individual who leaves the faith due to our inaction and denial…” This is a serious thing and very true. It is sad that we have already had our last messenger (and are ignoring and corrupting what he brought). We could use another one right about now. I feel like it is the time to become like Salman al-Farsi and search for the truth despite the people.
Absolutely Amazing. As an ummah we do turn away our faces from the women (and men) who are in desperate need of our help because it is unpleasant for us to see what she has been through and is going through. How pathetic of us to not wish to even disturb our minds to think about her situation, while she is on the brink of disaster?! I have seen many, many “Muslims” turn away from people in need, myself included, when it is their obligation, not their charity or good will, to help. I have also seen an AMAZING capacity of Muslims to deny the reality of the ummah and the reality of the way Muslim countries treat women. It makes us as an ummah look bat ass crazy to stare in the face of atrocity and say it isn’t happening all the while pointing a finger at the atrocities of the West. We need to deal with our own crap. As the brothers says, and I love him for everything he talks about in this video, the wound is blistered, it is festering and needs to be opened up and cleaned out. I am going to add this to my next post. It is very apropos.