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  • In recent months, a number of groups have promoted misconceptions about Muslim beliefs.

  • In particular, broad generalizations about the treatment of women in the Muslim world have been widely used to paint Islam as brutal or inhumane.

  • But for many of the world’s one and a half billion Muslim men and women, this does not ring true.

  • So, what does the Western world often get wrong about women in Islam?

  • To start, public debate in the west often characterizes women in Islam as subordinate to men and in some ways, inferior as a result of Islamic scripture.

  • Men having multiple wives, women being forced to wear facial coverings, and not allowed to leave the home are often used as examples of such oppression.

  • Many believe that Islam’s holy book, the Quran, dictates these rules, and is thus inseparable from the values of Islam.

  • But this is not quite true. While there are, in fact, Quranic verses which say that men arein chargeof women, the Quran also stresses fairness and justice towards women.

  • For example, although polygamy is often justified by a passage in the Quran, that same passage says,

  • if you fear that you will not be able to maintain justice between your wives, then marry only one.”

  • Values concerning the respect of women in the Quran are often overlooked in interpretation and practice.

  • Moreover, the overwhelming majority ofrulesfound in Muslim majority countries which are oppressive to women do not have a direct basis in the Quran.

  • Instead, they are the result of rulings by Muslim jurists since the 10th century, long after the death of the prophet Muhammad, and the writing of the Quran.

  • A closer look at the inequality women face in certain countries shows that it is not Islam, or Islamic teaching which promote oppression,

  • but oppressive governments using religion to maintain control over the people.

  • One frequent example is Saudi Arabia, where women suffer from some of the worst inequality in the world.

  • Their prohibition from driving, or leaving the home without a chaperone, comes up again and again in the media.

  • But Saudi Arabian oppression extends to many other groups, including minorities, and even other sects of Islam.

  • And those rules against women driving aren’t found in any other country.

  • In other words, oppression in Saudi Arabia is largely a problem with Saudi Arabia, not with Islam.

  • Meanwhile, Muslim women in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia see considerably greater freedom, and higher rates of education, while keeping within Muslim tradition.

  • In Indonesia, women have a roughly 90% literacy rate, as compared to Pakistan where the rate is closer to 40%.

  • These more liberal countries are marked by greater democracy, and a blend of cultural influences from other religions.

  • For Muslim women living outside of politically unstable monarchies and theocracies, life is considerably better.

  • And while passages within the Quran do place women in a somewhat deferential role to men, that is arguably also the case in all three Abrahamic religions, including Christianity and Judaism.

  • And in all cases, the real issue is governments and movements that build control around religion.

  • It's important to understand that the repression of women is not simply a factor of extremest Islam, but of extremism as a whole.

  • But women are fighting back, both against repressive governments and Western misunderstanding.

  • Check out this video by Seeker Stories to learn about how women in France are taking back the veil.

  • The veil then has come to symbolize the simmering undercurrent of Islamophobia in the country;

  • One that's only intensified following the Charlie Hebdo and Paris terrorist attacks.

  • But Subbamamud, professor of sociocultural anthropology at UC Berkeley, argues that Islamophobia in France goes way deeper than the veil controversy.

  • It's a measure of the walked way that some non-muslims in France see minority groups.

  • Thanks for watching TestTube News, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos every day!

In recent months, a number of groups have promoted misconceptions about Muslim beliefs.

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What The West Gets Wrong About Muslim Women

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