It’s Time to Take Back Our Religion

It’s Time to Take Back Our Religion

Written by Theresa Corbin

Take-Back-IslamWhenever 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 *&%#$@!!!!!.


Read more about our Take Back Islam effort: hereherehere, and here

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