COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS - ILLINOIS CHAPTER      |      DEFENDING CIVIL RIGHTS. FIGHTING BIGOTRY. PROMOTING TOLERANCE      |      WWW.CAIRCHICAGO.ORG

Why we Support Chicago 2016
  About   |   Contact   |   Donate   |   Site Map   |   About Islam   |   Activist Corner   >> Today is Thursday, April 17, 2014  
Home
Our News
Our Multimedia
CAIR-Chi in the Press
Action Alerts
Press Releases
Events/Workshops
Media Monitor
Hate Watch
The Scoop
Civil Rights Center
Intern Center
Volunteer Center
Career Center
Resource Center
Report An Incident
Write to the Media
Request A Speaker
Make A Donation
Become A Member
Annual Events
Our Partners
Newsletter
Downloads
The Mobilizer Blog
MYLS Website
Our Old Site | Oldest
Contact us





Stop the stereotypes
By Ramah Kudaimi


Response to Chicago Tribune's "A feminist's case against Islam"

As a Muslim woman I was greatly disturbed by the article in the Woman News section entitled ďA feministís case against IslamĒ (Feb. 1). Although the reporter attempts to offer the truth to the readers through the voice of Fadwa El Guindi, this reality is lost between the fallacies Phyllis Chesler is trying to promote.

Any reasonable person will know that one cannot reach a conclusion by basing all evidence on only one personal experience. Yet this is exactly what Chesler is doing. She defines Islamís treatment of women in the context of her one encounter with Muslims in Afghanistan during the 60s. That would be akin to someone claiming that discrimination against women in Western culture is rampant because until 1971, women in Switzerland did not have the right to vote.

As a Muslim, I condemn female genital mutilation and domestic violence. Both these practices have no basis in Islam whatsoever and are definitely not mandated by holy teachings. FGM is prevalent in both Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, where the populations of Muslims are equal to those who practice traditional beliefs and Orthodox Christianity. There are women in the United States that put up with years of domestic abuse: between 1 and 4 million women annually are victims of domestic violence. Both these practices predate Islam and are used against women across religious lines.

Chesler claims that Muslim women must be ďdeprogrammedĒ so that they can realize they are being discriminated against. How does Chesler deal with the fact that so many Muslim women in the West continue to practice their religion, including choosing to cover their hair? How does she deal with the statistics that show that at least 35 percent of Americans who convert to Islam annually are women? There is obviously something in Islam that its female adherents see that Chesler chooses to completely disregard. Perhaps it is Islamís incessant insistence on the equality of men and women. Or perhaps it is Islamís own feminist history of elevating women in social, economic and political aspects of life.

Feminists like Chesler who are crying over the rights of Muslim women should look at their own country to see what discrimination is. Since 1789 only 33 women have served as U.S. Senators. Today there are only 14 female senators, 0.14 percent of the Senate, even though women make up 51.3 percent of the population. America has yet to have a women president, though several countries with strong Islamic influences have embraced top women leaders, including Pakistan, Turkey and Bangladesh.

These are all facts that are absent in Cheslerís book, a book that does exactly what the author herself claims is wrong with Islam: giving only one opinion and demanding that that opinion be accepted. I urge the Chicago Tribune to publish this response in the WN section so that readers have access to another view, which is what journalism should provide.



copyright © 2006, cairchicago.org







First Name:

Last Name:

E-Mail:


I liked it          I didn't like it    I am indifferent   



    




   




28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60604 | T: (312) 212-1520 | F: (312) 212-1530
| Our News | News Briefs | Action Alerts | Press Center | Events/Workshops | In the News | Volunteer Center | Media Monitor | Resource Center | Report An Incident |
Request A Speaker | Make A Donation | Downloads | Multimedia | The Scoop | Our Partners | Careers | Interns | Newsletter | Contact Us | Proud To Be Muslim |
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2005-2011 © CAIR Chicago. Questions or Comments, Email info@cairchicago.org


Site Designed by AmrexMedia.com