I mean, yes, it's 'wrong'; but then again every religion that relies on faith to answer the important questions is wrong. I mean, I'm an Atheist . . . but that's not the problem. Also, I have to admit that, at one point, I did hate Islam. To me it seemed oppressive, sexist, xenophobic, short-sighted and vile. But then I looked into it.
See, my father is something of an amateur religious historian. He looks up all kinds of stuff to do with Jesus' life as a human being, and the historical events that can be proven and associated with the man (whether he was God's son or not).
I'm not Christian, but I like history, and I find it fascinating. My father often talks about the disparity between scripture, meaning and reality; and he also happens to have a copy of the Qu'ran (that's how I'm choosing to spell it. It's a foreign word, so there is no 'correct' spelling, but I spell it that way because it makes sense to me).
So I actually looked up some of those pieces of 'scripture' that oppress, hate & all that other crap, and I realized something.
I don't hate Islam. I hate Muslim Men.
The Word of the Day is: 'ISLAMOPHOBIA'.
Islamophobia /'izlahməfōbeeə/ n. Hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture.
This epiphany of mine all started on the 8th of December, 2012. I can give you the exact date, because I wrote a Facebook post about it, back when I still used Facebook all the time.
It started when this man with a beard was handing out pamphlets in my local shopping centre. I must live in a cheap suburb or something, as new arrivals into Australia tend to move here so they can get on their feet; and this fellow was handing out pamphlets titled 'misconceptions about Islam'.
Now you may be reading this, knowing the premise of the post, and thinking:
'So what? You read a pamphlet and it changed your view? Who cares?"
But that's the thing . . . I read this pamphlet, which was all about explaining how Islam wasn't sexist, and I was furious. Because that pamphlet was one of the most sexist things I had ever read. Let me reiterate what I wrote in that Facebook post, and explain what made me so mad.
See, the pamphlet was right. Despite what we're told, or lead to believe, Islamic dogma says that women ARE given the rights afforded to men about worship, property ownership and personal freedoms of speech. I find this sort of thing interesting because I did think that Islam is very oppressive towards women, and it's nice to know that I was mistaken. That's not what made me mad.
The pamplet also says the purpose of the hijab is to preserve a woman's modesty and guarantee that a woman will be judged on her words, not by her appearance. This is all fun and fascinating fact. But then it started to bother me . . . the pamphlet said:
"The reason muslim women observe hijab is simply because Allah (God) made it a compulsory act of worship for them."
Wow! That is very interesting, and a giant load of bullshit. The Qu'ran says that a woman and men should "avert their gaze", be modest and cover their private parts. With the addition that women should cover their breasts and not flaunt their jewellery (except amongst family and close friends).
[(paraphrased) Qu'ran 'The Light' 24:31.]
So technically if you wear a shirt that isn't tight-fitting, straight leg jeans, and don't stare at people, you are being modest, and all simply because Allah wants his followers to be humble. You don't have to wear an all encompassing garb to pull that off, just don't fall victim to the sin of Pride (I may be mixing my mythologies, but this is essentially the point). The pamphlet went on to say:
The following rights [for women, are] enshrined in Islam:
- total control of their wealth
- choose [sic] their spouse
- keep their own surname when married
- own property, operate a business, study, & receive equal pay for equal work
I'm sorry what? What was that? It says something down here on the pamphlet:
"While Islam enshrines the rights of women, it also acknowledges the fact that men and women are NOT IDENTICAL. Allah says '...and the man is not like the female...' Qur'an 3:36
Islam has therefore ordained different roles for men and women to reflect this undisputed fact. Women have been granted the honour and tremendous responsibility of caring for the family and the household. While Men have been given the responsibility of providing financial support , security and . . ."
Oh, sorry, did you want to read the rest of that paragraph? Yeah, me too. But I had trouble reading the rest. It was a bit too far away to read when I threw the fucking pamphlet across the room! This just pisses me off.
You just fucking said. JUST fucking said that women have the right to work and earn money. Then you say:
"But Islam says they have to maintain house and home!"
I don't like it when I am lied to. I have looked through the 3:36 Qu'ran segment they speak of. That section is a sentence quoted out of context, with no relation to women's rights or responsibilities. It is the same as quoting:
"Then God said, "Let there be light." Genesis 1:3
then claiming it is proof that Thomas Edison was a holy prophet.
I don't like it when I am lied to. But I especially can't forgive being insulted. You say one thing and try to slip a contradictory statement in there, thinking I am too stupid to realize it? Go fuck yourself.
And do you want to know the worst part?
The whole point of this pamphlet was trying to prove that the actions of a few foolish men [Islamic Terrorists] does not equate to the teachings of the prophet Muhammad.
Well, News-Flash motherfuckers:
The man who wrote this is doing the same thing that those Terrorists did. The whole point is that those terrorists were misinformed about the inherent meaning of the Qu'ran, and took it to mean:
"Killing people I don't like = Good times in the Afterlife."
And yet you just did the same damn thing!
Nowhere. I repeat nowhere in the Qu'ran does it say that women have to maintain the home. That is something that Saudi Arabian culture and law came up with - NOT ISLAM!!
If you have any questions about the pamphlet, it provides the following information.
phone: (+61) 3 9354-7500
But I read that pamphlet months ago. So, why am I talking about it today?
Well, it's because of something I read the other day that reminded me of it.
See, I am a member of 20-Something Bloggers, and there was a forum wherein a member was complaining about people who were hating on her blog. In response to that discussion, another woman put in her two cents. Her name is 'Nagehan', and you can find her blog at nagehanbayindir.blogspot.com.au. She said:
"At one point some religious freak got a hold of my blog's link and commented anonymously about how my marriage to my husband is a sin because he's a christian and I'm a muslim! They literally wrote a giant comment condemning our choice."
When I read that I was confused, as I was under the impression that it was a sin, according to the Qu'ran, thanks to this asshole. I was going to politely tell her as much. But to make sure I was right [Which more people on the internet need to do before commenting!] I looked up the Qu'ran online and searched for the sections about the interfaith marriage thing.
In regards to Interfaith Marriage, the Qu'ran says this:
"And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you . . ."
Now that is fascinating. I mean, it's almost like it says nothing at all about women marrying Christian and Jewish Men. Some have taken that this means that they can't. But that can be proven as bullshit, because Muslim men believe they are allowed to drive cars, although The Qu'ran doesn't say they can.
Hell, if they truly believed that everything the Qu'ran doesn't say is stuff they cannot do, then they should live like the Amish, because the book was written before the discovery of electricity!
But no, this is just another example of Muslim Men extrapolating the Word of the Qu'ran to suit their own horrid, sexist wants and needs; while essentially shitting on their women, and expecting them to bow down to them while they can marry as many women as they want and beat their wives when they feel like it.
Oh sorry, I'm extrapolating myself now. See, that was my fault. I just assumed that because a society was raised on the idea that men were better than women, that it would, inevitably, lead to men beating their wives.
I should really do research on this kind of thing before I make wild, unfounded statements, (even if they're true) or I'd be just as bad as those men who say that women have to wear a hijab, or they'll burn in hell.
Islamophobia is the Word of the Day, despite me not using it much during the post itself. But that is because I used to be Islamophobic. But I'm not anymore, not really. Many people say that the suffix -phobia means 'an irrational fear'. Like how coulrophobia is an irrational fear of clowns; or nyctophobia is an irrational fear of night time or darkness. But the thing is, I don't have an irrational fear of people who follow Islam.
I have legitimate fear of Muslim Men. Because I can't tell what will make them angry at me. I'm not going to lie, of course I'm scared of them! Because they are unpredictable. Even if I read the Qu'ran cover to cover, I can't guarantee what will incite their wrath; because they aren't living their lives according to the Qu'ran, they're living it according to their interpretation of it. I can't predict what they've taken out of context or not.
I can't tell if they'll yell at me for calling them sexist; or if they'll send death threats for drawing a picture of a man with a beard; or put a bounty on my head for trying to educate people about the life of a prophet, just for taking liberties with the story (which they do all the time!). I can't tell if they'll complain when I call Muhammad a paedophile for having a sexual relationship with a nine-year old girl, despite the fact that he most certainly did, or if they'll kill hundreds of innocent people just because they're angry.
I'm scared of crazy people. I am afraid of people that threaten to kill me for practising freedom of speech. But I'm not Islamophobic.
Because in all of these riots, and all of these protests, complaints and even murders - almost everyone has a beard.
Not a single Islamic Woman is to be seen. It's not the women who are doing these horrible things. Even if they wanted to, they can't, because they're told they can't leave the home without a man (more bullshit that's not in the Qu'ran, I assume). But it's not like Muslim women do nothing . . .
On the contrary, I see Muslim women doing all kinds of things:
I see them petitioning and taking part in debate to attain more rights for women. I see them offering support to those who struggle to live as a Muslim in a mixed-faith culture. I see them working with people to achieve equity and the empowerment of Muslim women. Hell, all Muslim women seem to do is try to make life easier for them and their family. That's awesome!
Admittedly, most of this exists to counter the inherent sexism of Muslim men, but my point stands. There is nothing wrong with Islam, and so I have nothing wrong with Islam except for the fact that it's a religion, and I'm an atheist. But I have nothing wrong with the ideology, from what I've read.
The only issue are these goddamn Muslim Men, who abuse their rights, and deny the rights of women.
Sure, perhaps there are Muslim Men who don't beat their wives, or practice psychological abuse due to an adherence to an outdated culture. There may even be Muslim Men who think women are equal to or (dare I say) better than men. But they are the minority. Or at least, they aren't as loud as these terrorists who start riots over issues that don't even matter.
That is why I hate Muslim Men. Because, I am a feminist; a philosopher; a logical human being & generally a nice guy, and I fucking hate it when people lie and use religion as an excuse to do horrible things.
Now, if you are a Muslim Man, and think I am being unfair about you, or misrepresenting you, don't worry. I won't always hate Muslim Men!
As soon as you stop telling women how to dress, act and talk; stop telling them who they can marry, sleep with and talk to; stop threatening to kill people for telling the truth, expressing their opinion or criticising your culture & generally stop being mean - then I will stop hating Muslim Men.
Until then, I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, signing off.