Monday, July 6, 2009


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

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 :


jon pour do care said...

Salam Bro. Anas,

I just 'love' her flippant answer ! Right on target !

PahNur said...

My guy pal is about to get married to a Muslim gal. He is expected to convert. I told him it is lucky that he is a guy. Otherwise, I would have told him to just quietly migrate to a non Islamic country and get married,live happily ever after, embrace Islam only with his (her actually, if we were to have this conversation) heart's full consent.

Thank you for posting a very articulate article, hence putting forth the sentiments of many "oppressed" Muslim women. (Inverted comas intended, because most women do not even realized that they are being oppressed, thinking it's the thing they have to put up in able to attain syurga in afterlife. And we keep saying women are smarter than men...snort!!...)

Abdullah Mohd Nawi said...


Religion is a rather dicey thing, and I have come into many a conflict with many 'ulama' over many an issue...

On our left we hear one ulama saying this, and on our right we hear another saying that..

I do realise at the end of the day, religion is between us and God... If something is considered as oppressive we really have to dig deep in to why is is that way, and whether it was really meant to be that way.
Some of the things that we consider the tenets of religion are not religious after all, but come from a deeper traditional background.

In academic research, we verify the truth of a hypothesis by the process of triangulation...

Perhaps it's time to do the same where ulamas are concerned, be it concerning deen(way of life) in general, or specifically in concerning the rights and roles of women.


Lisa said...

Can women be silence? Ask the husbands!