Sharia Law & Islamic Radicalization – The Future of the Middle East or The Dilemma of the New Administration

The Spring of 2011, The Arab Spring, a coined term, provided a glimpse of hope that real democracy is finally on the rise in the Middle East, a region that has been living under oppression and tyranny for decades, if not centuries. Many people were excited, marching in the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Saudi, Bahrain, and Syria. Young and old joined together for the greater cause; FREEDOM at last.

The Summer of 2012, The Arab Spring, faded away. Hope fizzled away. Fear is on the rise. Muslim Brotherhood; Salafi, Sharia Law, Radical Islam, are the new coined terms. And all of a sudden, Mubarak and his past reign seemed more promising than the unknown future. What was once called “Arab Spring” is now called “Arab Winter” as my friend Stakelbeck (Stakelbeck on Terror)  calls it.

The Spring of 2013, with radical Islamic regimes at the helm of governments in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Iraq, in Iran, in Syria, in Yemen, in Saudi, in Gaza, in Algeria, and in Sudan, one can only ask; where did the Spring go!

What does this mean to US: Terror, Trouble, and Tragedy?

Where do we go from here: To the unknown. To lack of democracy. To peace-less reality. To hope-less future. To increased animosity towards the WEST. To more terror acts.

What should the new administration know: WE ARE AT WAR with fundamental Islam. The battle is about to get tougher and deeper. ARE YOU RAEDY?

 

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Al-Qaeda, Persistence Terror, and the Dilemma of Islamic Jihad

A year ago, Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda was assassinated through a highlysophisticated operation by specialized SEAL team-6. The news was a cause of a much needed celebration given the horrific murderous record of Bin Laden against many innocent lives worldwide, and specifically against American lives during the 9/11 terror attack.

However, the question remains; Are we truly safer today than we were a year ago?

The recent discovery of a planned bomb attack by al-Qaeda against a US plane in the
wake of Bin Laden’s one year anniversary provide us with an unwanted answer; NO
it is not over yet, not by any stretch of imagination.

The real problem with groups like al-Qaeda is not their former, present, or future
leaders! The problem is in their ideology which promotes hate towards the infidels and death to their enemies. Such ideology is not originated by a personal agenda driven by ambition or quest for notoriety; rather it is embedded in their belief system which feeds of their holy book the Qur’an, the real source of such terror and ideology.

Unless we are willing to learn about this source, and how to combat its so-called divine teachings, no victory is worth celebration, at least, not so soon.  And that’s my friends is the real Dilemma.

 

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Radical Islam & Allegiance to the USA – A Dilemma For Any Administration

Can a Muslim seek citizenship from a non-Islamic country? Can a Muslim soldier maintain his/her allegiance to his non-Islamic country?Are Muslim citizens of a non-Islamic country required to separate themselves and dissimilate?

These questions and more represent the reality of what the US administration, whether current or future, might face. This dilemma, although it existed for a long time, was once again made more explicit through a religious decree (Fatwa# 77223 dated 12/23/2008) issued by a Muslim jurist; Dr. Salah al-Sawy, of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), which can be read here (http://amjaonline.com/print.php?fid=77223).

In this fatwa the Islamic jurist; Dr. al-Sawy, prohibits his fellow Muslims to freely seek the citizenship of a non-Islamic country (i.e. the USA), calling it a form of apostasy (which a crime under Sharia Law punishable by the death penalty). His claim is based on the grounds that such action by a Muslim is a show of disloyalty to Islamic laws and willingness to obey non-Islamic laws, which is a clear contradiction to what Islam stands for. However, Dr. al-Sawy provides for some leniency by stating that:

As for obtaining citizenships in light of circumstances of Muslims today who are residing outside the lands of Islam – on the condition that they do not accept indefinitely the law and legislation of that country and being indefinite belonging to the nation of the non-Muslim country so that they become loyal to all their allies and an enemy to all their enemies – and obtaining the citizenship is considered a required means in order to organize the affairs of Muslims who already live there while ensuring fulfilling vows and agreements between them and host countries, and exists due to urgent necessities and needs and this Muslim kept his loyalty to Allaah and His Messenger, then it would not be farfetched to say that it would be permissible. And Allaah, the Most High, knows best.

To al-Sawy, necessity to organize the efforts and assembly of Muslims within the non-Islamic country, far exceed the prohibition, provided the citizenship will serve as a temporary mean until the needs of the Islamic community is well established.

Based on the preceding disturbing boldness, the US administration, current or future, must be on alert, since such decree leaves the door wide open not only for regular Muslim citizens to rebel against the law of the land at some point in the future, but also serves to entice the Muslim soldier to shift his/her allegiance from his Commander-in-Chief and his commanding officers to his Islamic law and mandates. Such decree places Muslim clerics as Dr. al-Sawy on a position of authority that is higher than the US Commander-in-Chief himself.

The question which faces the Administration is very clear: Can a Muslim, who is a Quran Follower, have loyalty to his/her host country over his Islamic religious law? That is a very serious dilemma which demands an answer.

 

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The Dilemma of Radical Islam – To MB (Muslim Brotherhood) or To Salafi, That is The Real Egyptian Question

Since the collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in the Spring of 2011, the talk never seized on who can take over as the next president of Egypt. Most importantly, who is able to bring about freedom and democracy to a nation that suffered from the lack of such humane attribute and ights for decades?

At first, it was apparent that the collapse of the former regime was a direct result of its corruption, dictatorship, and denial of simple human rights and freedom to its people. With the hope rising for the implementation of such rights, suddenly, the picture becomes darkened by the possibility of power take-over by one of two arch rivals; The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) or the Salafi groups, both of whom have no any regard to democracy or freedom according to their theocratic religious and believe system. What seemed to be the beginning of hope starting to emerge as the end of it!

However, under a democratic election and political system, why should anyone be concern about who might win office or become the next president for Egypt? Although such question is valid and can be expected, a better understanding of the political agenda of both parties must be explored.

Whether it is the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis, both parties adhere to certain truths which they aim towards implementing once they gain power. Such truths include the implementation of Islamic Sharia Law as the ONLY legal system approved for mankind according to Islamic belief. Should Sharia Law become the law of the land, one should expect subjects to lose any rights to express their freedom of faith and expression. Copts and other Christians will soon become oppressed and lose any rights to even remodel a bathroom, nevertheless, to worship freely. Converts from Islam will be labeled as apostates and can face the death penalty if they refuse to recant their new faith. Islamic court system will shrink into a system of a Judge who rules by the Book (i.e. the Qur’an) without much room for due process. And most importantly, all political decisions must be aligned with the religious law for compatibility, a law that is short of being archaic and lacks any room for flexibility, at least when it comes to the Salafis.

Furthermore, both parties will revoke any agreement with Israel on the grounds of it being an enemy of Islam, may form an alliance with Iran, and can cause the West much unneeded trouble at all political, financial, security, and military levels. Not to mention that their land can soon become a breeding ground for Islamic Militants, just as was the case in Iran and Afghanistan.

Whether the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis gain power is not the right question to ask, rather, WHY LET ANY OF THEM AT ALL control power? And that’s the real dilemma.

 

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The Dilemma of Democracy and Islamic Terrorism – Liberty vs. Security

The price of liberty can come at a very high cost. After all, our liberty is OUR RIGHT. However, ever since 9/11 many Americans have seen numerous measures and vast changes that had a direct impact on their freedom and infringed on their privacy. Without a doubt, such changes can cause so many concerns regarding the extent of such measures when implemented by our government, the keeper and enforcer of such rights.

One of such measure was implemented by the NYPD which developed a surveillance program designed to spy on Muslims. The purpose of the program was to track activities of Muslims at Mosques, Islamic centers, communities, and universities. It also included cataloging mosques and Muslim-owned businesses, recording the license plates of worshippers at mosques, infiltrating student groups and eavesdropping in Muslim neighborhoods The motive behind such surveillance was to detect and deter any terror activities in the wake of the 9/11 attack on NY.

When asked about this, attorney General Eric Holder told Congress on Thursday that he’s disturbed by what he’s read about the New York Police Department conducting surveillance of mosques and Islamic student organizations in New Jersey. His comments, without a doubt, represented the extent of the public discussion of the topic.

Without a doubt, NYPD can attest to the fact that the program had worked by preventing any possible terror attacks on NY, not to mention a number of recent foiled plots. One also can make a case that some of the foiled plots were not directly connected to the NYPD effort, and one, the nearly successful car bombing in Times Square, failed only because of a design flaw.

We agree that our liberty and the right to privacy are very important to all of us. The question, however, is not whether the NYPD operation is lawful or if it infringed up on these rights, the question is rather; what makes Islam such a hot field for many surveillance and intelligence operations, not just in the US, but also worldwide?

Unfortunately, one should not go further than the pages of the Qur’an, the Muslims’ holiest book, from which they draw all of their daily life spiritual and moral needs and codes of conduct.

When it comes to the Islamic view on freedom, democracy, violence, and dealing with non-Muslims, one can find some disturbing passages that can shed some light on why SOME Muslims commit acts of terror and violence against others, which in turn can justify what the intelligence community is doing to protect freedom, and the public at-large.

On the issue of freedom and democracy, the Qur’an forces its adherents to submit to its authority and never question its teachings (Q 33:36), it denies non-Muslims any equality with Muslims on the basis of their religious affiliation(Q 45:21), denies and resists all non-Islamic authorities over Muslims on the basis of their religious beliefs (Q 4:141), it affirms the superiority of Muslims over others on the basis of their religious beliefs (Q 63:8), and it demands its adherents to ONLY obey the Islamic authority; including their religious leaders (Q 4:59), among other teachings that are anti-freedom.

When it comes to commanding violence, the Qur’an expects its adherents to slay the infidels anywhere (Q 2:191-193), reminds the Muslims that their fight against infidels is done for the cause of Allah and is pleasing to him (Q 2:244),  it affirms terror against the infidels (Q 3:151; 8:12), it elevates the Muslims who are willing to fight the infidels over the Muslims who are not willing to fight (Q 4:95), and it commands Muslims to carry on their fight against the infidels until the religion of Islam is dominant (Q 8:39).

However, the most terrifying teachings found in the Qur’an has to do with the issue of Martyrdom and the so-called “Suicide-Bombing”. The Qur’an explicitly condone the action of any Muslim who is willing to sacrifice his/her life for the sake of earning vast heavenly rewards (Q 2:207; 4:74), it clearly states that the god of Islam “Allah” had purchased the life of his followers for the sake of fighting his enemy and dying for his cause (Q 9:111), not to mentions the many sexual pleasure rewards that awaits martyrs; such as dark-eyed virgins (Q 44:54; 52:20).

With teachings as those, can anyone blame the intelligence community and other law enforcement agencies (i.e. NYPD) from conducting surveillance operations to put a stop to any attempt by Islamic terrorist, to create chaos and terrorize peaceful communities for no reason other than to please their selfish spiritual desires, and satisfy their heavenly sexuality, which a mere fantasy at best.

One must also be cognitive of the fact that terror acts as this, especially when empowered by religious beliefs, can be devastating not only to the non-Muslim community, but also to peaceful law abiding Muslim citizens who want to live a free life from the bondage of their questionable religious teachings.

Therefore, when our founding fathers stated in the Declaration of Independence “. . . We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. . .” we can’t help but to agree with their wisdom, that LIFE precedes LIBERTY for a reason.

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The Dilemma of Afghan Riots over Qur’an Burning:

Once again the Afghani government and people have proven to be the farthest ally to the US, its endless efforts to protect Afghanistan, and endless sacrifice of its troops. It almost seems as if the Afghani people are always on the hunt for any reason to transfer their centuries-built-in-anger and violence against the very people and nations who sacrifice their lives and freedom for the sake of the Afghani people. In this case, it is the US and its decade long efforts to help the Afghani government and its people establish a fresh air of freedom to liberate them from decades of oppression; violence; and inhumane treatments and living conditions.

However, and despite all of that, in the past few days the world  have been witnessing an intense stream of  violent riots and protest over the accidental burning of some copies of the Quran at a US Air Field in Afghanistan (http://bit.ly/yeF21F). As a result of these riots, more than 30 innocent people were killing, including two US military advisors at the Afghani Ministry of Interior; a heavily guarded government ministry, a place that should have been the safest place in Afghanistan.

Even though the incident was allegedly committed by NATO troops, the US as always the case, is the one who ended up inheriting the brunt of the blame for the desecration of the Qur’an.  An apology from both the US President and the US Commander, in an effort to calm down these acts of violence, has resulted in nothing. Furthermore, no signs of any serious interventions to-date have been shown by the legitimate Afghani government to enforce any form of law against the protestors, to put an end to such outrage, or provide some security and protection to others.

Although, no one should ever condone any acts of burning the Quran or any other religious books for that matter, the puzzling and confusing question remains, is such outrage justified to the extent it had progressed to? In my view, such reaction carries within it a number of explicit and implicit messages intended to draw attention to the inherent power struggle in Afghanistan, and only a foreshadow of what to come in the future, especially after the withdrawal of all US troops.

One of those reasons has to do with how conservative Muslims, who represent the majority of Afghani people, view the US relationship with their country. To them, the US is not an ally, rather is an occupier and an infidel nation who had desecrated their holy ground; as an Islamic republic.

It also emblems the traditional Islamic quest for superiority as symbolized in the Muslims scripture; The Qur’an, in which it reminds the Muslims of who they are in comparison to all other races and nations:

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right,
forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God. If only the People of the Book
had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most
of them are perverted transgressors
.” Q. 3:110

The anger is also a sign of built up outrage that has been boiling for years over the very existence of infidel troops and their unlimited un-Islamic amenities and behaviors (i.e. alcohol drinking, uncovered female soldiers and others, US Marines urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters, etc…).

In other words, although the external reaction may seem somewhat justifiable, it actually bears a much deeper sense of inferiority by Afghani Muslims and their desperate attempt to flux their religious authority and sovereignty not only against NATO or the US, but also against their own westernized Afghani people who may have falsely assumed that the upcoming Afghani government will be a modernized one and will not enforce any form of Islamic law. Hence, such riots are deliberate and intentional, aiming toward sending a very explicit message to the Afghani society at-large that Islam is the only religion and form which will be followed in Afghanistan, and that Islam does not tolerate any foreign forces which oppresses the ultimate authority of Islam and its sense of religious superiority.

It is to that tone that an apology by the US was unnecessary since it will only provide to the Afghani religious hardliners (as the Taliban) that the US is weak and inferior. Such dangerous message can only add fuel to the religious fire originated from the very pages of the burned Qur’an. In fact, I find it hypocritical by the very same protestors not to ever question what happens to any excess copies of the Qur’an at Qur’an Presses or what happens to any deformed copies or pages, or how even the Pakistani government often times dump pages of the Qur’an in the sewer. No one of course will dare to direct such criticism against Qur’an Presses when it is being ran by wealthy countries as Saudi Arabia, or an ally as Pakistan who harbored the most wanted terrorist in the world; Bin Laden.

In fact, why can’t the protestors question the reason behind why the NATO burned these books in the first place? Was not that done because prisoners were writing messages inside the very pages of the Qur’an? Why was that action acceptable when it is a violation of how the Qur’an should be treated?

Finally, I like to ask the protestors and the Afghani government: Who will apologize to the families of those who were killed as a result of these riots? Was it worth it to committ such crimes? Is desecrating an innocent human life the best way islam can offer to preserve the honor of the Qur’an, the supposed book of PEACE?

Without a doubt, it is confusing to hear of the ongoing riots by Afghani Muslims (including their own police officers) over a book that contains a multitude of contradicting facts and tangible dilemmas worthy of examination, yet at the same time, we do not for once hear of any moderate Muslims being outraged or outspoken against such imagery that can only enforce the notion that Islam is NOT a religion of PEACE but rather of VIOLENCE.  In my humble opinion, it is these acts of violence that keep moderate Muslims at bay out of fear of retaliation.

We have  it said; Do not judge a book by its cover, yet ironically when it comes to the Qur’an, one can’t even pass its cover, never the less judge its content without facing violence and retaliation. Such dilemma leads us to ask the following question: If the Qur’an is truly a divine book that teaches and promotes peace, why do Muslims feel the need to protect it through means of extreme violence?

It is dilemmas such as these that prompted The Quran.com Group of former Muslims to write and publish our new book “The Qur’an Dilemma” (www.thequran.com) for the purpose of examining, analyzing, and critiquing the Qur’an in order to bring its imperfection to light.

 

 

 

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The Jihad Dilemma – Jobless, Joyless, or Jihadist

Whenever a home grown terror attempt or actual attack by a Muslim person takes place, somehow certain media outlets overlook the mention of important details in connection with the terror suspect, such as his/her religious affiliation with Islam and its implication on his/her action.

It is unfortunate that political correctness has gone as far as sensitizing the public to the point of overlooking such important facts, which are crucial for our understanding of motives behind such heinous actions, and vital in helping us control our reaction
towards innocent Muslims who belong to the terrorist’s culture and/or community
of faith.

Almost all homegrown terror attempts or attacks since 9/11 are committed by devout Muslims or converts to Islam who felt compelled to conduct such operations in the name of the god of Islam. Often time, they were US citizens whose allegiance was to their god over their country’s constitution (such as Major Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood, TX).

In light of such disturbing observations, we must ask ourselves a very important
question: What transforms such individuals from peaceful to peace-less?

The recent alleged foiled terror plot by a Moroccan named Amine El Khalifi serves as a classic example of such alarming trend (see this news report: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/lone-wolf-terrorist-seized-fbi-sting-operation-amine-el-khalifi-suicide-bomb-us-15731832).

The suspect who has been living in the US since 2009 thought he was in the process of committing a major act of terror to make the US government suffer the consequences for its tightened security operations against Radical Muslims. In other words, to him this is an operation by which he will make the US government pay back for securing the very freedom afforded him, by attacking one of its very symbols of civil liberty; the US Capitol. To him, this was the only way he knew he can proof the US government wrong concerning its view against RADICAL MUSLIMS [like him]!

But why this type of violence? What would cause someone to turn 180 degrees against the very place that sheltered and protected him? Unfortunately, the answer is not what many in the media would want to hear; simply put; it is his Islamic religious mandates that ignited in him such hate, passion, and aspiration.

The Qur’an, the Muslims holy book and the foundational document for Sharia Law, is filled with one command after another for a TRUE MUSLIM to carry out a terror attack against unbelievers [i.e. Westerners, Christians, Jews, etc…]. A quick survey of such violent verses reveals a very disturbing theme of commands in a clear language enough to ignite an act of terror within the hearts of many TRUE followers of and converts to Islam. The list of verses below serves as a sample of such theme:

Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.

Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you. . .”

Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers. . .”

Quran (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”

Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them

Quran (9:123) – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”

With open-ended commands as these, how can we escape the fear of more future terror attacks and/or attempts? After all, those who carry out such acts are motivated by a religious theology and ideology that is designed to create fear in the hearts of those who do not follow Islam or accept its teachings and law. Yet, despite the clarity and bluntness of such commands, and the ease of accessibility to it, the majority of media overlooks such vivid reality for the sake of preserving a sacred belief called “Political Correctness“!

The next time you hear in the news that a terror attack plot was foiled and the suspect belongs to an Islamic country, or bears an Islamic name, or was a convert to Islam; pretend you know nothing about Islam and its straightforward divine imperatives to commit such violence against non-Muslims, otherwise you could be labeled as insensitive and beget. After all, our freedom, safety, and security do not worth such bluntness and courage on your part!

That’s the real dilemma!

Website: www.TheQuran.com

Blog: www.TheQuranDilemma.com

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The Dilemma of Honor Killing in Islam – Honoring the family name by dishonoring their women

Islam prides itself with the fact that one of its hallmarks is bringing honor to women by way of protecting her beauty via the wear of Hijab, providing for her needs through marriage, and respecting her freedom by sheltering her from the outside world. This may be acceptable to some Muslim women, but certainly not to many, at least to those who have been born in Western societies or immigrated to the West since they had experienced a vast difference between how they are treated in Islamic society compared to the Western ones.

Many times Muslims propagate negative facts against Western societies for the sole purpose of presenting Islam and its Sharia-bound community as the alternative. Western women often times are used as one of the main objects of such propagation with accusations of too much freedom to calling them sluts and whores, by many religious leaders, for simply living life within the boundaries of their rights and freedom.

To Islam women are not meant to be in public, or to have freedom of choice, nor reedom of expression, nor any type of rights that can cause her guardian to lose his control over her [yes, the use of the masculine is intentional]. After all, how can Islam accept the notion that women can behave in an equal manner as men by way of ressing, or orking, or driving, or traveling, or having any sort of authority or autonomy? The Quran claims that women are the source of evil (i.e. Q. 12:28), they are like a sexual field for men to tilt and plant seeds (Q. 2:223), touching them by their husbands during religious rituals is considered a form of ungodliness (i.e. Q. 2:197), they are slaves to men in the time of war (i.e. Q. 70:29-31), men have rights to marry them even if the woman is a child bride (Q. 65:4), they are a degree below men to the point of allowing men to beat them if necessary (Q. 4:34), her witness is half that of a man since she is intellectually more prone to forget and err (Q. 2:282), they are to be treated by their husbands as only another wife not the ONLY wife since men can marry up to four wives at the same time, they are a source of pollution that can negate a male’s prayer preparation (Q. 5:6), they are to be considered a justifiable and acceptable object of lust for men (Q. 7:81), and when it comes to divorce she has no rights whatsoever to release herself from the bondage of her husband (especially the abusive one) without his permission and ultimate authority (Q. 2:228).

The list above is nothing but a sample of a host of other verses where women are clearly degraded and humiliated in a book considered to by holy and spoken by Allah (the god of Islam) himself. Which leads one to ask: if the god who supposedly created women thinks so lowly of them and does not provide any protection for them against any sort of abuse inflected by their society, how then can anyone blame their own family for eliminating them to preserve the honor of the family name, often over accusations that are not substantiated or based on mere speculation?

With honor killing victims as Jessica Mokdad (Michigan), Tater Harun (Germany), Noor Almaleki (Arizona);to name a few. Not to mention the alleged mass murder of three of the Shafia daughters by their father, mother and brother (Ontario, Canada), which can be followed on this link: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01/29/jury-finds-afghan-family-guilty-in-honor-killings/?test=latestnews

In light of all of the above evidence, one can only wrestle with one huge dilemma that demands an answer:

How can Islam bring honor to women when it tolerates dishonoring them for being
westernized or at the least for seeking freedom to express their god given gifts and rights?

This is our dilemma that demands an answer!

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Are Saudi Women, The REAL Kingdom Dilemma?

Ever since the inception of the Saudi monarchy since 1932, women were marginalized and never had any major role in the political arena. In fact, Saudi women in general, under the countries strict Sharia Law, have no rights whatsoever; not even equivalent to their female contemporaries in the other Arab states who can work and drive and have a coop educational system. The main reason for such depravity has to do with their low status under the Islam Shari Law which drives its main interpretation from the Quran. Add to that the strict view of the Wahhabi sect of Islam, which is more dominant in the kingdom. As a result, Saudi women and all other women in the Kingdom have no hope at all for any type of equality.

According to the Quran and Sharia, women are considered a second class in comparison to men, in terms of their rights to marry non-Muslims, divorce an abusive husband, being subjugated to the divine order to men to beat them, receive an equal share of inheritance, offer a legal witness on equal grounds with me, or any other basic marital rights as wives. These are but a few of the long list of negative treatments.

Furthermore, they have no freedom in choosing how to dress in public, even if they are dressing modestly, and, in the case of Saudi, they have no right to run for office or even vote for an elected man. In addition, they have no right to drive a car or any other form of transportation. This prohibition derived by the religious leaders in Saudi was based on their own fear that if women are allowed to drive, then this permission will pave the ground for them to commit sexual immoralities or extramarital affairs. In other words, they can’t be trusted as a sound and moral human being. In other word, this prohibition is intentionally imposed on women as a form of tight leach around them in a kingdom that is
dominated by control at both religious and political levels.

Therefore, when reports emerge concerning new changes regarding the status of Saudi women by way of allowing to vote in the near future; a promise that was made numerous times in the past, one can’t help but to wonder; what is the real motive behind such apparent and promising changes.

One possible answer has to do with the attempt by the kingdom to polish its archaic image when it comes to how women are treated. Since their culture is almost a 1,400 years old one in a world that is so keen on freedom and democracy for the most part. Hence, If image,
then, is the real issue, one would have expected such move to have taken place decades ago. Saudi women have been fighting for their rights for quite some time to no avail. However, it is very apparent that the Saudi authorities, for the time being, are making every effort to calm the atmosphere down inside the kingdom as a result of the many boiling pots in the surrounding areas, which includes neighboring Bahrain, Yemen, or Egypt. Not to mention the recent tension in their Eastern region stirred up by its very own Iranian sympathizers, the Saudi Shiites.

Therefore, improving the status of women, even on paper, may in the mind of these authorities, allow for to buying of some needed time to strengthen their grip on the situation and permits them to crack down any daring attempt of an up-rise against it. Something the Kingdom never experienced since its inception nor that it knows how to deal with in a true democratic sense without reverting to violence against innocent protestors or activists.

Take for example the most recent protest by women in June, 2011 against the ban on driving, which resulted on the arrest of some of the leaders of such movement.  Another recent example has to do with the attempt of Saudis to gather and voice out some demands in a similar fashion as was done by the Egyptian youths, which also was faced by a direct and clear threat by the Saudi authority to warn against any such attempt.  Both events can serve as an example of the real inner intent by these authorities. Which, in turn, is another important and vital reason behind such recent gesture by the Saudi authorities towards their helpless women? After all, if they (the authority) would to announce such changes to the world, then any negative image(s) against the kingdom will soon subside or may even disappear, as it did in the past. In other words, such notion is nothing more than a tactic, intended to draw positive global results.

After all, the Saudi have been successful in diverting any negative global image against them by way of generous financial support to foreign institutions, media outlets, and governments alike. The main purpose is to influence such mediums to present a likable view about the Saudis.  Unfortunately, this time things are not the same, the global attitude towards the region is on the “wake-up” mode, and recent the uprisings against the kingdom and other Islamic states are bringing a global awareness concerning the tyranny of these governments.

The kingdom today is in its pre-boiling stage. Yet, in a little while, the real dilemma will appear as a sign of trouble to come.  The real change is not by issuing initiatives or decrees concerning future changes, which may or may not materialize. The real change is an honest and transparent immediate overhaul!

Until then, whether women can vote or not, should be the least of the kingdom’s worry. The real worry is; WHAT’s NEXT?

 

For more on this you can:

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Women under Sharia Law – The Dilemma of “Wife Beating Protocol”

The Quran is the source of all personal status laws in Islamic countries. Therefore, the rules of religious jurisprudence concerning the position and treatment of women are also based on the Quran. In order to fully understand the position of women in Islam, one must first examine the Quranic rules concerning them. Our dilemma in today’s article has to do with the Quranic command for husbands to beat their wives.

A. Man’s Supreme Authority

The Quran gives a man complete authority in marriage: “Men stand superior to women…” (Q 4.34). The Quran justifies giving this authority to the man for the following reasons:

First, preference is given to him by the nature of his physical ability: “God hath preferred some of them over others…” (Q 4.34).

Second, preference is given to him by reason of his financial ability: “and in that they expend of their wealth…” (Q 4.34).

Apparently this higher position of man does not change even if “a woman has enough money to support herself without needing him to spend money on her, or even if she has so much money that she can spend it on him.”15 This preference is because a man has authority over a woman according to the Quran, the ultimate source of Sharia Law, regardless of his or her economic situation.

The leading authorities of Islam state that this ruling of the Quran is an everlasting one as reported by al-Aqqad:

It precedes the development of civilizations and general legislations and remains past them.”

B. Wife’s Relationship to Husband

In Islam, the wife is a slave to her husband. The Islamic traditions stress that a woman should obey her husband’s commands. The story is told of a man who ordered his wife not to leave the house while he was traveling. During his absence, her father became ill, so she sent to the prophet of Islam asking for permission to go to her father. The response she received was: “Obey your husband.” Her father died, so she then requested permission to go see her father’s body before burial. Again the response was: “Obey your husband.”  When her father was buried, the prophet sent her a message saying, “Allah [god] has forgiven her father because of her obedience to her husband.” In other words, once married, the woman’s complete emotional and intellectual abilities belong to her husband.

In addition to absolute obedience, a woman should revere her husband because Islam teaches that, “If a woman knew the right of a husband, she would not sit at his lunch and supper time until he finishes.” One time, a woman came to the prophet of Islam to ask about her obligations to her husband. He said, “If he had pus from his hair part to his foot [from head to toe] and you licked him, you would not have shown him enough gratitude.”

Obedience and reverence towards her husband are two of the wife’s duties. These duties form an element of worship for her. As the prophet of Islam once said, “If a woman prays her five prayers, fasts the month of fasting, keeps her chastity, and obeys her husband, she will enter the paradise of her Lord.” In addition, Allah will not accept the prayer of a woman if her husband is angry with her.

C. Husband’s Right to Punish His Wife

The Quran gives the husband the right to punish his wife if she goes outside the parameters that he draws for her. It provides men with instructions: “But those whose perverseness ye fear, admonish them and remove them into bed-chambers and beat them; but if they submit to you, then do not seek a way against them...” (Q 4.34).

In fact, in reading the verse above one will notice that these instructions were given to the husband concerning a wife whom he ONLY fears disloyalty, not a wife that actually committed a disloyal act. These instructions include the following step-by-step process:

1. Instructing

At the beginning of marriage, a husband reminds his wife about the rights that are given to him by Sharia Law. He can say to her, “Fear Allah! I have rights due to me from you. Repent from what you are doing. Know that obedience to me is one of your obligations.” If the wife refuses to fulfill the sexual desires of her husband, then he should remind her of his rights over her body.

2. Sexual Abandonment

The Arabic word used in the verse to describe abandonment (hajr) on the part of the husband can carry multiple meanings:

• Desertion

If a wife remains “disobedient,” her husband should ignore her. This means he abstains from sexual intercourse with her as part of this phase of punishment.

• Forced Sexual Intercourse (“tightening the bindings”)

While the word hajr is interpreted to mean “to refuse to share their beds,” the word hajr has several meanings. One of these meanings indicates the hajr of the camel when the owner binds the animal with a hijar, or rope. This disturbing interpretation means that the term used in Q 4.34 (“refuse to share their beds”) can actually mean to bind the wife and force her to have sexual intercourse.

This meaning is the adopted view of al-Tabari, a renowned classical Islamic commentator. Other scholars, who also support this interpretation, state “it means to tie them up and force them to have [sexual] intercourse.”

The Quranic principle of a man’s right to a woman’s body is not open for discussion. Regardless of her psychological or physical state, she has to obey the man’s command to lie in bed and have sexual relations with him. After all, the prophet of Islam repeatedly made statements advocating this view:

If a man calls his woman to his bed, and she does not come, and then he goes to bed angry at her, the angels will curse her until the morning.”

3. Beating

If the previous methods, including instruction and verbal abuse, fail to correct a wife’s behavior, then a husband is given the right to beat his wife. Even though verse Q 4.34 does not specify the mode or limit of the beating, it is believed that the prophet of Islam put a condition on the beating, classifying it as “not excessive.” As a result, when interpreting the phrase “not excessive beating,” scholars offer the following guidelines:

• Avoid hitting the wife’s face.

• Do not break any of the wife’s bones.

• Use nonfatal implements or physical force:

° Such as the use of al-siwak (a twig of the Salvadora persica tree), or shoe laces, etc.

° and the use of hand, etc. [hitting, slapping, punching the neck and chest, etc.]

The wife may receive a beating for every behavior that incites the anger of her husband or for every act that her husband does not like. Current Islamic literature supports the legitimacy of beating and its benefit for “upbringing.”

For example, the Egyptian scholar Muhammad Mitwalli al-Sha‘rawi (AD 1911-1998), who was considered among the top Muslim thinkers in the twentieth century, records his position:

Beating is not a sign of hatred. It could be a sign of love. As long as it is not excessive, it would only cause a small amount of pain. A person might resort to lightly beating the loved one due to desiring what is in the person’s [best] interests and due to caring about the person. A woman, by her very nature, understands that, coming from her husband. She knows that his anger at her and his punishing her…will soon pass away and with its passing, its causes will pass. Therefore, they remain in their relationship as if nothing happened.

Conclusion

Ironically, Islamic literature claims that Islam as a religion has improved the position of women and is the only religious doctrine that honors women. History shows that Islam did accomplish some limited advancement in the position of women during the seventh century in certain aspects such as, limiting the number of wives to four in comparison to the practices during that era in the Arabian Peninsula. Conversely, many of the changes implemented by Islam were not positive. The Quran permits men to beat their wives, making domestic abuse a divinely permissible act rather than just an individual behavior.

It is worthy to note that in various ancient societies and throughout human history, women have lived under the oppression of social injustice. However, our dilemma, when it comes to the position of women in Islam, stems from the fact that Islam is seen as the final religion and source of law by its followers. Hence, the position of women is fixed, and rulings, such as the beating of a wife, must remain in place as specified by the Quran. Though in modern society a woman may work and share in the financial burdens of life, she will still be deprived of equality because the Quran commands it so. Overall, the Quranic rules regarding the treatment of women can still be used today as tools of oppression in the hand of the Muslim man. Any effort she exerts other than that is of no value.”

 

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