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6 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 3:10PM #71
GraceSA
Posts: 1,100
I don't think the responses are biased at all, but accurately reflect the sickness of our communities overall.  Men are taking and abusing authority, moral, physical and otherwise.  That is just how it is.  And often the "scholars" and Imams are backing them up.  Women are often economic hostage to the situation.  Abuse of the strong against the weak.

Oh and since it's important to you I'll distinguish myself as happily married.

And while some Muslim communities in the US may not be so bad.  Most are medieval throwbacks.  And if anyone doubts me, go spend some time at a local mosque.  Try to pray and see where they send you--ask some questions about woman's rights and see what they tell you. Ask for some literature and see what they give you.  Decide for yourself.

I am not going to pretend things are not as bad as they are.

Also- not to signal out the specific women you mention- some of whom I've heard but know little about-  often the women are supporting the terrible situation because that is what is"Islamic" and we will get our reward in the next world.

Grace
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 4:38PM #72
USMuslim
Posts: 167
[QUOTE=GraceSA;206400]I don't think the responses are biased at all, but accurately reflect the sickness of our communities overall.  Men are taking and abusing authority, moral, physical and otherwise.  That is just how it is.  And often the "scholars" and Imams are backing them up.  Women are often economic hostage to the situation.  Abuse of the strong against the weak.

Oh and since it's important to you I'll distinguish myself as happily married.

And while some Muslim communities in the US may not be so bad.  Most are medieval throwbacks.  And if anyone doubts me, go spend some time at a local mosque.  Try to pray and see where they send you--ask some questions about woman's rights and see what they tell you. Ask for some literature and see what they give you.  Decide for yourself.

I am not going to pretend things are not as bad as they are.

Also- not to signal out the specific women you mention- some of whom I've heard but know little about-  often the women are supporting the terrible situation because that is what is"Islamic" and we will get our reward in the next world.

Grace[/QUOTE]

Well, I live here and have been involved in quite a few different mosques in different parts of the country and some are poor when it comes to including women and some are spectacular examples of what Islam truly says about gender relations and the status of women in particular.

I'm sorry, I thought you have been living in KSA, not USA. I've noticed a sea change in just the last six or seven years and it's possible you are not around to see it.

I think there are some Muslim women who assert themselves in a community in ways that are confrontational and not always intelligent. Just because one feels justified in coming down from the balcony or up from the basement, one has to be smart enough to orchestrate the move with finesse and understanding for one's adversary (in this case the old uncles who founded the mosque 20-30 years ago and feel they own it!) Screaming for one's rights won't make one be heard. You have to involve yourself in the activities and work for change from within. I'm not saying this is even possible in some mosques, but in most of those cases, there is another local "competing" mosque that has rejected this incorrect mindset toward women and established another community, a woman can join that community. These mosques are always competing for members and when one excludes women from its daily functions and decision making process is the loser when fundraising night comes around. I've seen it happening all around me.

You have to have patience to see change and you have to be willing to work for it. Talk is cheap.

I do agree that there are women who defend the status quo or defend their horrible husbands out of love for the "martyr syndrome", or helplessness to change their situation. They may have children, no means of support and have been emotionally beaten down to the point that they almost NEED to justify their sad state with fatwas and convoluted edicts, so that they don't have to face the fact they are just simply abused. BUT, this phenomenon occurs within all faiths and all countries, in all economic groups, not just, or even more so in the Muslim Ummah. It may not seem that way to you, being that you are living in a Muslim majority region, in what sounds like a seriously messed up Islamic society. I live as a Muslim minority in a seriously messed up secular society and see things differently. I feel pretty confident commenting on the society where I live, just as you should be confident judging yours, but otherwise, you might spend more time here at home before you are expert on our "medieval mosques".
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 5:18PM #73
GraceSA
Posts: 1,100
"It may not seem that way to you, being that you are living in a Muslim majority region, in what sounds like a seriously messed up Islamic society. I live as a Muslim minority in a seriously messed up secular society and see things differently. I feel pretty confident commenting on the society where I live, just as you should be confident judging yours, but otherwise, you might spend more time here at home before you are expert on our "medieval mosques".

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I was alot more sympathetic to your views till I read this part.  How much time do you spend in the Kingdom? What do you know about how "messed up" things may or may not be here- first hand, as it were? Since this sort of credibility seems important to you.

I spend every summer at a minimum in the States- and it is where I am from, where my roots are, where I was raised.  I am also in touch with American Muslims.  I also am very connected to the "messed up secular" society, that Muslims so love to bash in order to make themselves feel superior- while simultaneously enjoying all the benefits.

I never claimed to be an expert- but medieval mosques is mostly what I've experienced.  And I am entitled to state my experiences, regardless of whether my "credentials" of spending enough time in the US- meet your standards.

Grace
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 6:41PM #74
USMuslim
Posts: 167
[QUOTE=GraceSA;206763]"It may not seem that way to you, being that you are living in a Muslim majority region, in what sounds like a seriously messed up Islamic society. I live as a Muslim minority in a seriously messed up secular society and see things differently. I feel pretty confident commenting on the society where I live, just as you should be confident judging yours, but otherwise, you might spend more time here at home before you are expert on our "medieval mosques".

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I was alot more sympathetic to your views till I read this part.  How much time do you spend in the Kingdom? What do you know about how "messed up" things may or may not be here- first hand, as it were? Since this sort of credibility seems important to you.

I spend every summer at a minimum in the States- and it is where I am from, where my roots are, where I was raised.  I am also in touch with American Muslims.  I also am very connected to the "messed up secular" society, that Muslims so love to bash in order to make themselves feel superior- while simultaneously enjoying all the benefits.

I never claimed to be an expert- but medieval mosques is mostly what I've experienced.  And I am entitled to state my experiences, regardless of whether my "credentials" of spending enough time in the US- meet your standards.

Grace[/QUOTE]

By "messed up " I was referring ing to the status of women in the Kingdom. It seems messed up that a woman is punished for being a victim of rape because she was out of the house without her husband's permission, needing the King to pardon her.Or the fact women still cannot drive a car as another small example. But, I may be wrong since I have not lived there, thankfully. I have worked for Saudis, befriended many Saudis, and my husband worked there for years and I have many friends who lived/live there, but I'm not an expert on Saudi life, so you are right.
American society is becoming sicker in the last so many years. I'm not a young woman, I grew up during the 60's and 70's and compared to nowadays the era of free love was tame. I am raising children here, they are not ensconced in an Islamic school, they attend public school, they have to deal with the culture on a daily basis and it isn't easy to do as a Muslim kid. I do more in the society than spend my  summers here, I deal with non-Muslim parents and teachers, local government, etc. and I think for a large part, the society is rather messed up, in many value-based areas. Any culture whose major news networks spend more air time covering the estate trial of Anna Nicole Smith than it did on the Iraq war is messed up!
I'm not bashing my country, I live here and the work I do is intended to improve the society as a whole, here. I'm not a visitor.  I frankly don't appreciate those who bash the Muslim community...Muslims or non-Muslims. Who is really bashing here?
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 7:40PM #75
GraceSA
Posts: 1,100
Who is really bashing here??????

Well, I suppose it isn't so much about bashing as it is about your continuing efforts to discredit my opinions, because I disagree with you.  You have absolutely no idea how much or in what ways I may or may not be involved with American society, even though you " do more in the society than spend my summers here". 

But I dare to disagree with you- the expert. And so you will, no doubt continue to explain why my views are not based on the firm foundations that yours are, and how you are the only credible one here. 

As I posted before.  People can go find out for themselves. I also suggest they check out the competing mosque since you claim most medieval mosques also have the "enlightened" mosque  in town. Anyway, I don't see why anyone need be patient or work for change.  Based on what you've said, most mosques in America with regard to the abuse of women, aren't doing badly as,  "this phenomenon occurs within all faiths and all countries, in all economic groups, not just, or even more so in the Muslim Ummah"  So the same percent of churches discriminate against women?

Really?  And you also refered to the following of oppressive fatwas as "defending the status quo"?

What's the status quo????

You're all over the place here.
Grace
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 9:11PM #76
USMuslim
Posts: 167
[QUOTE=GraceSA;207047]Who is really bashing here??????

Well, I suppose it isn't so much about bashing as it is about your continuing efforts to discredit my opinions, because I disagree with you.  You have absolutely no idea how much or in what ways I may or may not be involved with American society, even though you " do more in the society than spend my summers here". 

But I dare to disagree with you- the expert. And so you will, no doubt continue to explain why my views are not based on the firm foundations that yours are, and how you are the only credible one here. 

As I posted before.  People can go find out for themselves. I also suggest they check out the competing mosque since you claim most medieval mosques also have the "enlightened" mosque  in town. Anyway, I don't see why anyone need be patient or work for change.  Based on what you've said, most mosques in America with regard to the abuse of women, aren't doing badly as,  "this phenomenon occurs within all faiths and all countries, in all economic groups, not just, or even more so in the Muslim Ummah"  So the same percent of churches discriminate against women?

Really?  And you also refered to the following of oppressive fatwas as "defending the status quo"?

What's the status quo????

You're all over the place here.
Grace[/QUOTE]
Admittedly, my posts weren't very good today...too many interruptions and the site seems to be running very slowly.

"And you also refered to the following of oppressive fatwas as "defending the status quo"?"

I should have said some women defend their unhappy married situations with Bin Baz type fatwas for women instead of recognizing that they are being abused.

Of course you have a right to your perspective, as I do mine. I simply wish that you could see that some of your responses are so negative toward the Muslim community that anyone who is browsing through this forum, looking for information would surely think Muslim men oppress women as a rule and then conclude that Islam oppresses women, just as the American media and gov.t. would like everyone to believe.

I don't find many of your generalizations to be true here in the US. Nor would I characterize a typical American mosque as medieval, and I've been involved with many in quite a few different parts of the country--not just showing up to pray--but have been active in the community.

Regarding Christians having oppressive attitudes toward women...What about the Promise Keepers? What about the Catholic Church? Isn't it oppression when you tell a woman she needs a man (priest) to intercede on her behalf with God? What about all the recent cases of men and women coming forward that were abused by Catholic priests?   I think that Churches and Church leaders have had their share of problems with gender bias and oppression of women.
I never declared myself an expert and I'm no theologian, maybe you are and I'm all wrong here. I guess you'll decide that, because I won't.

I'm simply reminding other readers that some opinions expressed herein are not the mainstream opinion...at least in my opinion they are not!

I don't want to be a bully! But I don't want to be bullied either!
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 9:54PM #77
Miraj
Posts: 5,023
USMuslim, I, too, grew up in the 60's and 70's. I've been an Arab and a Muslima since 1953, the year I was born. I've been all over the US, and practiced law for 25 years in several Muslim countries, mostly in sharia courts. I've made my living dealing with Muslim communites, their cultures, values, interpretations, and justice systems. If you were to debate with someone who is closer to your age group and experience, like myself, you could not use those credientials to invalidate another perspective by tagging them as man-hating, non-mainstream, or on the basis of one's absense from the US.

Wanna try me? I'm not nearly as easy to dismiss as you may believe Gracie to be.

Salaam
Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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6 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2008 - 10:29PM #78
USMuslim
Posts: 167
[QUOTE=Miraj;207423]USMuslim, I, too, grew up in the 60's and 70's. I've been an Arab and a Muslima since 1953, the year I was born. I've been all over the US, and practiced law for 25 years in several Muslim countries, mostly in sharia courts. I've made my living dealing with Muslim communites, their cultures, values, interpretations, and justice systems. If you were to debate with someone who is closer to your age group and experience, like myself, you could not use those credientials to invalidate another perspective by tagging them as man-hating, non-mainstream, or on the basis of one's absense from the US.

Wanna try me? I'm not nearly as easy to dismiss as you may believe Gracie to be.

Salaam[/QUOTE]

LOL-I absolutely was anticipating your contribution and you did not disappoint–and so quickly!

Your "Wanna try me?" statement brings to mind some  Muslim women with their "dukes up" ready to beat up the newcomer in a back alley or a school yard! Age or experience doesn't give one maturity!
I wasn't debating or presenting a case, I was only saying that many of your posts are quite negative toward the Muslim community and often reflects such a one-sided view of the faith to those who don't understand it. There are so many more people who read these things than post on them, and I'm confident that they are all not Muslim, so isn't it important to present all different points of view and speak for another side of the coin?
I wasn't aware that these forums are for just the few of you with your consensus. And, it's becoming boring.
You do shut down quite a few other people with different views from your own. Feels like bullying to me.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 12:31AM #79
Atsila
Posts: 207
[QUOTE=USMuslim;205642]I personally think that many of these responses to this question are biased on the bitterness-toward-men side. It is important to distinguish yourself as a person who has had a bad experience with marriage or Muslim men before making so many negative generalizations about Muslims. Perhaps what is illustrated in the quote above is more typical in GCC countries/cultures but it may not be typical in other places. You are painting an unfair picture of Islam and Muslims when you generalize as has been done many places throughout this thread.
I happen to think that this mindset is not valued in my country/culture (American Muslim). A majority, or at least an equal amount of Islamic studies teachers are female in the Islamic schools. Ingrid Mattson is the president of ISNA, (the largest Islamic organization in the US) and is a white, female convert who is a theology professor at the Hartford Seminary. Zainab Alwani is a core member of the Fiqh Council of North America, she is a doctoral candidate in Islamic Studies and comes from a large scholarly family. These are two women I know of personally that have a public profile some may recognize, but I know many other Islamic scholars who happen to be women in North America.
I feel it is important to point out that not all Muslim communities are as chauvinistic as described here in this thread and on this forum. Women are valued and respected among the educated and thoughtful of the Muslim communities everywhere you go...I know I am valued as a contributing member in the Muslim community in which I live–by men and women.[/QUOTE]


Lee Ann wasn't generalizing; she clearly stated 'SOME muslim men'.  Thank God not ALL muslim men (or men in general) are like that.

wassalam
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 12:44AM #80
Atsila
Posts: 207
[QUOTE=USMuslim;206659]Well, I live here and have been involved in quite a few different mosques in different parts of the country and some are poor when it comes to including women and some are spectacular examples of what Islam truly says about gender relations and the status of women in particular.

I'm sorry, I thought you have been living in KSA, not USA. I've noticed a sea change in just the last six or seven years and it's possible you are not around to see it.

I think there are some Muslim women who assert themselves in a community in ways that are confrontational and not always intelligent. Just because one feels justified in coming down from the balcony or up from the basement, one has to be smart enough to orchestrate the move with finesse and understanding for one's adversary (in this case the old uncles who founded the mosque 20-30 years ago and feel they own it!) Screaming for one's rights won't make one be heard. You have to involve yourself in the activities and work for change from within. I'm not saying this is even possible in some mosques, but in most of those cases, there is another local "competing" mosque that has rejected this incorrect mindset toward women and established another community, a woman can join that community. These mosques are always competing for members and when one excludes women from its daily functions and decision making process is the loser when fundraising night comes around. I've seen it happening all around me.

You have to have patience to see change and you have to be willing to work for it. Talk is cheap.

I do agree that there are women who defend the status quo or defend their horrible husbands out of love for the "martyr syndrome", or helplessness to change their situation. They may have children, no means of support and have been emotionally beaten down to the point that they almost NEED to justify their sad state with fatwas and convoluted edicts, so that they don't have to face the fact they are just simply abused. BUT, this phenomenon occurs within all faiths and all countries, in all economic groups, not just, or even more so in the Muslim Ummah. It may not seem that way to you, being that you are living in a Muslim majority region, in what sounds like a seriously messed up Islamic society. I live as a Muslim minority in a seriously messed up secular society and see things differently. I feel pretty confident commenting on the society where I live, just as you should be confident judging yours, but otherwise, you might spend more time here at home before you are expert on our "medieval mosques".[/QUOTE]

Ok, well I do live 'here' (USA) and there are 'medieval mosques'.  I thought things were going to get better at my mosque, however I just found out that the new imam will be a man who thinks that women shouldn't be seen nor heard, however, I'll willing to wait and see and speak out if things get too crazy.  I don't think that the competing mosques idea happens in 'most cases', but I don't know.  I know where I live there is one mosque and that's it.  If you don't like it, you can stay home, there is no alternative.  The mosque in the city where I work is so bad that I don't even bother to attend.  I hate the fact that there is no alternative.  If there was, I would jump on it.  In the area I live in, there are many, many small towns with, obviously no mosque at all, so they have to visit the mosques in the bigger cities, and again, there is only one.  Driving two hours away to Raleigh (or somewhere else), where there still aren't more choices isn't an option, when you have to work.

The problem is, that people don't like what's happening at the mosques, feel that they are alone and stay at home.  They don't know where and how to hook up with people who want a change, because there's no way for them to know that others are out there searching for the same thing.  Where I live, people have talked about starting another mosque, but that's just talk and they've been doing it for years.  When you push them on it and offer help, they still don't move forward.  You can't start a mosque alone.  Not to mention finding and paying for an imam.  The mosque where I am at now literally took the first (and only) person to come along who was willing to work for peanuts.  Solutions are simple, it's the process to make that solution happen that's difficult, especially in smaller cities.

wassalam,
Atsila
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