Home > Theology / Religion > The trouble with Islam…

The trouble with Islam…

12-Apr-06 02:27 am EDT Leave a comment Go to comments
This is the inaugural entry of a new category on my blog: Religion. Don’t write about it often enough, but I think I will since perriodically I’ve got something to blab about on the subject.
And today’s rant is aimed at Islam, which is a faith I’ve long respected.  Being a Christian myself, I don’t think I can rationally help it as I see myself as worshiping the same God and sharing many of the beliefs of what seems a "cousin" to Christianity.  Many don’t see it that way, but they’re mistaken of course…in my view faililng to take into consideration how God himself might see it.
Anyway, the topic that cocncerns me here is the views many Muslims seem to hold about the role of women in their church.  I’ve seen a number of documentaries on the subject and have studied the faith to a limited degree online and in religious studies at the post-secondary and university level.  And every time I get into the subject, I find myself having to hold back what I fear might be considered prejudice by my Muslim bretheren; I don’t like how women seem to be treated in a fashion that appears superficially at least to be second class.
Almost every mosque practices worship with men at the front, and women at the back quite often even partitioned by a wall away from the men.  Women, if they’re allowed to speak at all to a congregation, can find themselves shielded by curtains or viels so as to be obstructed from view.  Throughout islamic nations women seem to have fewer fundamnetal rights than men; restrictions on attire association, etc., etc.  Things that in any supposed ‘secular’ or western society would be considered pre-19th-century thinking.  And all of it I’ve thought carefully about in terms of my own cultural bias.  But it’s tough for that thought to stick in my mind as justification when women themselves in mid-eastern or Islamic societies don’t agree with such measures being applied.
On top of this, to think that no scripture holy to Muslims specifically dictates many of these measures, or that in the time of the Prophet the reality was that women played a much more significant role often occupying roles and positions of authority in Islamic societies – well it becomes increasingly hard to swallow what we see practices today as somehow being merely cultural bias.
Additionally, the though amongst many within Islam in North America and Europe that the obvious controversy that exists on this subject within the Church might somehow give Islam a bad name is just absurd.  Western socities have been in most cases democratic for centuries and such discourse about these issues wouldn’t do anyting to give Islam a bad name in the eyes of their neighbours.  Such talk has been common in the past in Western societies, so that argument doesn’t seem to hold much water.  And I have to wonder if there’s not something a little more chauvanistic behind it all.  A problem that really ought to be dealt with head-on.
Frankly, Islam is too important to let itself succumb to such biases – particularly when it’s not gospel to any Muslim to treat women in many cases the way they’re treated.  And here’s hoping that some kind – any kind of movement is underway to put such power-mongering to rest as quickly as possible.
Such restoration of women’s place in the Church could serve to teach a few things to certain Christian factions with similar views too!  God willing…
Categories: Theology / Religion
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Terry Glavin


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