LA: DEBUNKING MYTHS ABOUT MUSLIM WOMEN
Last week I conducted a survey about the basics of Islam. Some of the questions were “Who do Muslims worship?” and “What do Muslims think of Jesus?” The results of the survey were depressing to say the least, especially the questions regarding women in Islam.
I asked 200 people how they thought the religion of Islam viewed women. Of 200 people 97 percent said that Islam viewed women as inferior or subservient to men. And when asked if they thought that Muslim women were oppressed, 98 percent – a rather shocking percentage of people – said yes.
The statistics speak for themselves and further encourage the importance of talking about this subject. You may be thinking, “Well if the vast majority of the people said this, then it must be true.” That is the problem; it really couldn’t be farther from the truth. And most of these people who think this way are unaware they hold a double standard.
First, Christianity, like Islam, reveres the Virgin Mary with high respect. Both religions believe she was one of the best women to walk the earth. So let us analyze the description of the physical appearance of Mary according to Christians. Well usually you see statues of her standing looking down, fully covered from head to toe wearing her hijab.
Hijab is an Arabic word meaning screen, cover or partition. Otherwise it’s known as the traditional clothing Muslim women wear including the head scarf.
And what about nuns? They dress almost exactly like Muslim women, but no one would ever dare call them oppressed.
Perhaps you think what makes Muslim women oppressed rather than nuns is that Muslim women are forced to wear it. Well, that’s wrong. Our male relatives don’t force us to wear it. Rather, we wear it because it was a commandment in the Qur’an, the book that Muslims try to follow to the letter. Muslim women choose to wear the hijab because they choose to obey the creator.