The Importance Of Saving Muslim Women

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Do I think Muslim women need saving? It depends on how we determine the word saving. When I think about this question, I come up with a conflicting question, are we talking about cultural saving or religious saving? Are we talking about the patriarchal culture or the sexist interpretations of the Qur’an?
My issue with the word saving is what are we saving them from? They are not the only part of the world that has a patriarchal culture. We, in the United States, still live in a patriarchal culture, it may not be as severe as in the Middle East, however it still exists here today. Women still do not get the same opportunities in the work place, in the education system, and in their day to day lives they experience some form of sexism. So, can
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Is it a man? Is it a woman? Who has the right to “save” another person? The God-complex ensues because often times when someone does something to help another person, (i.e., a doctor or a lawyer) they develop a hero complex. Who all of the sudden decides that someone else needs to be saved? Why does that person think that the society they live in is so much better than someone else’s?
We believe ourselves, in the United States, to represent the Christian faith. We believe that it is our role to show others the “light” and bring them closer to Jesus. But, who are we to say that our religion is egalitarian when in reality, there is also sexism in Christianity? Our religion is just as problematic as Islam faith is. So why do we feel it is okay to say that we are out there saving Muslim women, when they can turn around and say that we are the ones’ that need saving?
“Politically dominant Christianity brought with it not only an implicit radical egalitarianism but also the patriarchal ideas of its originary Judaism, and with these the religious sanction of women’s social subordination and the endorsement of their essential secondariness— through, for example, the biblical account of Eve’s creation from Adam’s rib.” (Ahmed,
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Unfortunately, men have taken the word of God, and distorted it to fit their needs and wants. This, sadly, means that women’s rights were taken away, men were able to take control of their wives, they were able to tell them how to live their lives. If we look at Ancient Egypt versus Ancient Greece, we see that Ancient Egypt was actually a very egalitarian culture. Women had the right to divorce, to marry for love, and the right to own property. In Ancient Greece, men and women only married for the sole purpose of having male heirs. “Girls” were expected to be quiet and submissive and were not supposed to interact with the males since they were seen as inferior. Once Ancient Greece started conquering Ancient Egypt, the women of Ancient Egypt became oppressed and had their rights taken away.
There is plenty of sexism in the Qur’an, just like there is plenty of sexism in the Bible. But does the oppression of women come from the Qur’an or does it come from the cultural standards of that country? So, if we were to save the women, where would we begin? Do we start with the culture and hope that it trickles into more religious beliefs?
Someone in class stated that part of the Qur’an was only written for a certain point in time. If that’s the case, then why do we still hold those beliefs hundreds of years later? How can we say that what God, or Allah, says is timeless if it specifically says that it was
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