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Does Islam Tell Us Some Are Inferior to Others?

written by Theresa Corbin

Originally written for and published on Al Jumuah.

“Those people are easily swayed by their emotions.” “They are illogical creatures.” “Those people can never reach the status of my people.” Imagine that you are told these things your whole life. Imagine you are told that your capacity is inferior. Now imagine that those who tell you all this also claim that they say so only because God says so.

How would you see yourself? How would you react to those passing this judgment on you? How would you view a faith that tells you that you are inferior? The quotes above are from a prominent Islamic question and answer website. I have only changed the words “women” and “men” to more ambiguous words or phrases, which could refer to various groups of people, more generally.

Women are the target of this kind of humiliation. Because of these and similar belittling remarks from scholars and lay people alike, Muslim women are experiencing a crisis of identity and faith.

Those who understand Islam and know it to be an egalitarian religion will brush these claims off as a cultural misunderstanding and distortions of Islam. And that is certainly part of the problem. But the other part of the problem is that even if these claims are brushed off, they still impact the lives, psyches, and faith of Muslim men and women.

How Did We Get to this Point?

Please continue reading on Al Jumuah

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Female Genital Mutilation- Excavating Sharia Part 2

As a faith community, we are facing a serious crisis in human (and God given) rights violations. Many of those “in charge” are and have been misusing religious texts to cripple more than half of our population- women.

We are a global community and these issues have infected our lives on a global scale. Because of these issues, Saadia Haq and I are “Excavating Shariah” in an attempt to chip away at the fiqh interpretations (human understanding of the Shariah (Islamic) law) that have either intentionally or unintentionally ignored the female experience, oppressed women, or co-opted women’s religious dedication.

Female Genital Mutilation Part 2

Part 2 Written by Theresa Corbin

We take it as a serious matter that Islam has been wrongfully used as a weapon against women. We feel we have the right and an obligation, as Muslims, to speak on these issues. Currently we are “excavating” the affront that is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

What is FGM

“Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” -The World Health Organization (WHO)

There are four types of FMG that increase in horrific nature from the removal of the clitoris to the removal of all external genital tissue and creation of a seal over the vagina, leaving only a small hole for urine and menstrual blood to escape.

It’s hard to read, I know. But imagine having to live through it. A few years ago, I read about the procedures in depth and I was beyond shocked by the brutality and severe physical and emotional scars and complication the victims are left with. Read more here if you want to know more about this brutal reality.

History of FGM

Read more

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Female Genital Mutilation- Excavating Sharia Part 1

As a faith community, we are facing a serious crisis in human (and God given) rights violations. Many of those “in charge” are and have been misusing religious texts to cripple more than half of our population- women.

We are a global community and these issues have infected our lives on a global scale. Because of these issues, Saadia Haq and I are “Excavating Shariah” in an attempt to chip away at the fiqh interpretations (human understanding of the Shariah (Islamic) law) that have either intentionally or unintentionally ignored the female experience, oppressed women, or co-opted women’s religious dedication.

FGM Excavating Sharia

 

Part 1 written by Saadia Haq

A new low was achieved this August, thanks to an Egyptian politician Elhamy Agina blatant argument that women’s sexual appetite needed to be curbed through FGM because in reality “men were sexually weak” and unable to match their bedroom demands.

This caused an international outcry whereas I was transported back into time during my university days in Jordan. My short time in Amman provided me with insider view into the Middle Eastern cultures; soon I made lots of female friends that were pleasantly welcoming to a South Asian Muslim woman. The unique combination of studying rights issues in a progressive Muslim nation like Jordan and living together with diverse group of women from Arabian and African nations helped foster many bonds that have grown stronger with time.

Continue reading on Saadia Haq’s blog The Human Lens here

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Trolls, Lies, and Ego

Written by Theresa Corbin

It all started when I wrote about my Islamic experience, and a major news network picked up the “story”. I spoke about my journey and what I learned beyond just myths. I spoke about how we can defeat hate if we dispel ignorance.

And that pissed quite a few people off. My truth contradicted the lies haters/Islamophobes/self-described ‘infidels’ tell themselves. And their attack of me began, and hasn’t ended to date. Because how dare I promote peace and understanding? How dare I!

haters

So I spent a lot of time being hurt, traumatized, and heart-broken because I am a human being and have actual feelings. After thousands of tweets, messages, emails, comments from people calling me every name in the book and wishing me every manner of harm, I realized it’s not important. Getting angry or fighting back about who I am just doesn’t matter. It’s not about me. And I still struggle with this. The ego is a hard thing to keep in check.

But when people lie about Islam, it is a problem.

I have seen this really ignorant meme with my face and quote on it floating around twitter for sometime now and I feel it is high time I correct its ignorance because it is not about me. It is about Islam. 

untruths about Islam

I cannot be quiet when Islam is slandered. I cannot stand for that.

Likewise, I will not stand with any Muslim who claims to follow Islam when they mean plain ole misogyny. While the claims in the meme are not true about Islam, they are true actions from some who call themselves Muslim. And that, to me, is even worse than non-Muslims lying about Islam. I cannot ignore that. I will not stand for that either!

Read more about my journey to Australia to speak out against Muslim misogynists here.

Update: After some research, I have found that I was incorrect about the stoning of the married adulterer. This can be found in authenticated hadith and is the punishment for both a man or a woman who commits adultery while married. I have changed the graphic to reflect this. Thanks to Stephanie Siam for keeping me on my toes and always pushing me toward correct knowledge.

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Like the post, share it, pin it, comment on it, and/or do whatever social media magic it is that you prefer. Find out more about us in the understandably named “About” page and browse other posts in “Table of Contents”.