Women and Religion in the Middle East

2578 words 11 pages
Religion and Women in the Middle East

Religion goes hand in hand with culture, and in the Muslim countries this is very apparent. The cultural importance of men over women may have stemmed from religion, however it was further recognized when imperialist countries introduced capitalism and class divides. “Islam must combat the wrenching impact of alien forces whose influence in economic, political, and cultural permutations continues to prevail” (Stowasser 1994, 5). Now, instead of an agrarian state where both men and women had their place, difficulties have formed due to the rise in education and awareness that women can and do have a place in society beyond domestic living Though women are not equal to men anywhere around the
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The repetition of how ‘unholy’ and disobedient women are means that is the way they are treated, which infringes on their rights. This was apparent in Kuwait, where a monarch (Sheikhs) and the elite ruled with heavy Islamic laws until the 1980s. There were no schools for girls; it was compulsory for women to be covered in only black by puberty, where then they would soon be married; and Polygamy was common place where not only could a man have up to four wives (condoned by Islamic Law) but could also keep female slaves (Beck and Keddie 1987, 174). This is a typical scene in fundamental countries; women with no education, little rights that match the men, and severe punishment if thought to be misbehaving. Though this has changed since the 1980s, it will still haunt their history. Though there are very few states that are run by this ancient Islamic way, there are still groups that carry this out in modern Middle Eastern countries. For instance the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have carried out ritual beatings and stoning of women, and it has been made clear they use the Qur’an as a way of putting women in a domestic place only. Asserted by a female blogger in Egypt ‘It is abundantly clear that the Muslim Brotherhood do not see women rights as natural and inalienable. Their rights


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