Below is an article from yesterday's SUNDAY STAR. Read and do say what you think. Also read the previous post about Hadrami women's point of view on the subject of gender. The two articles do not deal with the same issue, but offer us a wonderful contrast of realities - both are valid and real - if only we learn to accept that the universe is created colorful and yet neutral.
Silence not the women
SHARING THE NATION WITH ZAINAH ANWAR
WHENEVER I give talks on Islam and women’s rights in any part of the world, I am often asked the familiar question from Islamists in the audience: “What right do you have to speak on Islam? You are not an expert. When you are sick, you go to a doctor. When you have questions about Islam, you go to the ulama. He is the expert,” they say triumphantly, as if to end the debate.
Depending on the audience and the mood, sometimes I answer the question flippantly, most times seriously.
My flippant answer is, well, if I don’t like that doctor’s opinion or treatment, I go to another doctor. And if the doctor prescribes me the wrong treatment, I could sue him for malpractice and get him deregistered.
But I can’t do that with an ulama. If I challenge him and his prescription to my complaints of injustice and ill-treatment, I could be accused of going against God, against Islam, against Syariah. I could even be declared an apostate, my name denounced in mosque sermons and have rabid-looking men gather after Friday prayers with placards demanding my detention under the ISA.
But my serious answer is this: When Islam is used as a source of law and public policy, then everyone has the right to talk about the subject. Public law, public policy must by necessity be opened to public debate, and pass the test of public reason.
to read further click here : http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/7/5/focus/4252713&sec=focus