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6th most popular story: Muslim woman equal to goats by PRonlineNews

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by Vin Ienco

Manal al-Sharif

The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia is in the news again this week, with the arrest of a 32 year old female Computer Security Consultant named Manal al-Sharif.

Manal was arrested by Saudis religious traffic police for ‘inciting women to drive’ and ‘inciting public opinion’. Two days prior to her arrest, Manal had posted a video of herself on youtube, defying what is in effect a religious ban or ‘fatwa’, on driving. There is no actual legislation for banning women to drive in the Kingdom. Manal was imprisoned for 5 days after also being arrested the previous day, where she had signed a pledge, affirming that she will not drive. A local Saudi news organization, Sabq, claims that it has insider information that Manal’s prison sentence has been extended by ten days, starting from Thursday 26th, May.

Manal’s lawyer stated that ‘since the driving ban, the only one of its kind in the world is based on a religious fatwa, rather than a law. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, whose regime adheres to a strict Wahhabi strain of Sunni Islam, ultimately has the power to decide whether women should drive. This is the pressure from some fathers, brothers and other members of the family, preventing women from taking up this right, along with the ultra-conservatives have come out in full force against Manal with Sheikh Nasser Al Omer giving a sermon on the matter of women driving.

Manal is a vocal advocate on the issue of women driving and with a group called Women2Drive, has called upon women across Saudi Arabia to show solidarity and drive their cars in a nationwide protest on June 17 this year. A 12,000 member Facebook page supporting the protest was removed by authorities, but more pages have since sprouted up in its place.

News site Ansamed reported recently that another Facebook page, with some 6,000 members has now entered the debate, though this page is calling for the beating of women drivers. The page titled, ‘The Iqal Campaign: June 17 for preventing women from driving,’ refers to the Arabic name for the cord used to hold on the traditional headdress worn by many men in the Gulf, advocates the cord be used to beat women who dare to drive.

Muslims and their apologists will tell you the rights for women were laid down by Allah long before the rest of the world. Here is the typical PR line that they would have you believe:

The rights of Muslim women were given to us by Allah who is All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Just, All-Unbiased, All-Knowing and Most Wise. These rights, which were granted to women more than 1400 years ago, and were taught, by the perfect example of the Prophet Muhammad, were given by the one who created us and who alone knows what rights are best for our female natures, Allah says in the Koran.

Who suffers most from this abrogation? Infidels and women. Here are some actual verses from the Koran that contradicts the PR view:

Koran (24:31) – “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known.”

This verse were spawned from Mohammed’s jealousy of his followers lusting after his many wives and slaves and thus, affects millions of women worldwide to this very day.

It has also sparked controversy with various countries looking to ban the Burka, as it represents a symbol of female oppression. So we have a woman’s right to cover up as men cannot be responsible for raping a woman if she is uncovered.

In October 2006, the Grand Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Taj El-Din Hilaly delivered a Ramadan sermon in Arabic in which he made statements concerning female clothing which proved highly controversial. The key part of the sermon was: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”

In March this year, the unmarried partner of Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard had visa issues when attempting to visit Indonesia. The Muslims of that country did not understand this type of relationship and in fact, with so much Koranic verse about women being less than men, Muslims the world over have issues with any women in authority.

Some of the Indonesian delegation had a problem with shaking the Prime Ministers hand.

Islamic or Sharia courts have sprung up in parts of the Non Muslim world. In the UK, there are reportedly over 90 such courts. The line the Muslims use to get Sharia in the door relates to inheritance and divorce. In regards to inheritance, the Koran says:

Koran (4:11 and 4:176) – (Inheritance) “The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females”

Islamic verse in both the Koran and Hadith also tells us the women are unclean, similar to a good goat or cow and incapable of looking after themselves. Luckily Allah made it so that men are in charge of women:

Koran (4:34) – “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women).

Koran (66:5) – “Maybe, his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your place wives better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers, fasters, widows and virgins” Simply put, if a woman doesn’t behave, she can be replaced.

Koran (5:6) – “And if ye are unclean, purify yourselves. And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it”

Tabari Vol 9, Number 1754 – “Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals with you and do not possess anything for themselves.”

All around the Muslim world, a married woman who is raped is called an adulterer and a single woman is a fornicator. As a man surely cannot be held responsible for his own carnal desires, the onus of proof lays squarely on the shoulders of the woman.

Koran (24:4) – “And those who accuse free women then do not bring four witnesses (to adultery), flog them…”

Koran (24:13) – “Why did they not bring four witnesses of it? But as they have not brought witnesses they are liars before Allah.”

Realistically, 1,400 years of abusing women bring us to where we are today with Manal in Saudi Arabia. A believer in Islam is one who accepts that Allah is God, Mohammed is his Messenger and the Koran and Hadith are the ultimate authority. The teachings of the Koran and the evidence in daily articles from the Muslim world and the rantings of Imams and assorted holy men etc. prove without a doubt, the worth of a woman in Islam.

17 U.S.C. §512 compliance: click here to read Vin’s Weekly Synopsis

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Vin Ienco is a writer for various blog and news media and publishes a synopsis opinion on Islam and  Sharia law on a weekly basis. Join Vin at his website, vinienco.com  or contact him by email at vinienco@gmail.com

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