Islam's Captive Women

Date: Sat Feb 02 2002 - 05:56:36 GMT

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    Subject: Islam's Captive Women
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    The title of this piece is itself a redundancy. All Muslim women
    are captives, if they live according to the Koran and the Prophet
    Muhammad. Muslim women are considered to be one-half of a
    human. "Honor killing" still exists and calls for the death of
    women who have lost their virginity before marriage-even if they
    were raped. Murder because of hymens. Unbelievable.
    One of the most touching, heart wrenching speakers I've ever been
    privileged to hear was Taslima Nasrin, at a May 2000 conference
    of the Council for Secular Humanism. Nasrin delivered a talk to a
    pin-drop quiet audience. She is eloquent; she is an M.D.; she is
    kind; and she is lovely. She is also living under a death sentence.
    She outgrew her Muslim upbringing, and began writing against its
    misogyny. Her novel, Shame, however, was the last straw. It
    criticized Muslims' cruel persecution of Hindus. Fundamentalists
    issued a fatwa, a literal death sentence, against her and she was
    forced to leave her native Bangladesh. She has bodyguards now.
    Allah be praised.
    How did Islam become so cruel and intolerant? Easy. It began that
    way. When the Prophet Muhammad uttered his first sura (similar
    to a biblical chapter) Muslim women were doomed. The
    introduction to my copy of the Koran is a whopping 58 pages of a
    defensive harangue about how bad the Koran isn't. Example: "In
    the matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance women are given
    the same rights as men." Oh, really? Koran 4:20 tells men that
    they may take one wife in place of another. They can trade in their
    wives like used cars. Of course there is no equivalent trade-in
    policy offered to women. Koran 4:3 says men should marry
    whichever women appeal to them, "two or three or four"-you
    know, shop around. Collect a whole set! Since male divorce is so
    easy (just say a few words like "Get outta here!" and you're
    divorced-true story) men can have innumerable wives in a
    Further, in Koran 4:34 men are described as being superior to
    women because Allah made them to "excel over the other" and
    because men spend money supporting women. In Koran 2: 223
    wives are described as "tilled fields" that men should, literally,
    plow through. You know, have a good time, get some kids going.
    The Prophet Muhammad had a baker's dozen wives, and countless
    concubines. His third bride was nine years old at the time of
    consummation. But little Aisha was at least allowed to keep her
    toys and dolls when she went to Muhammad's bed. I may throw
    up. Muslim paradise consists of males lounging on couches, being
    waited on by virgins who don't sleep, perspire, get pregnant,
    menstruate, or get sick, and intercourse goes on forever. No
    mention is made of how this could be considered "paradise" for
    the females.
    When stoning men and women for adultery (adultery meaning
    another man's property, one of his wives, has been tampered
    with), the offending male is to stand in a clearing while people
    throw stones at him till he dies. If he runs away, escaping, he's
    safe. Death sentence over. But a woman to be stoned is put in a
    pit, waist/chest high, for "decency." Imagine a "decent" stoning.
    Wouldn't want to see any naughty bits of her body while you're
    bashing her bloody! Tsk, tsk! Of course escape for her is
    impossible, isn't it? These still take place, in some countries, as I
    Another wonderful writer who spoke at the May conference,
    Parvin Darabi, wrote a grim book describing fundamentalist Islam
    titled, Rage Against the Veil. It is about her sister, Homa Darabi,
    who was a child psychiatrist in Iran. She and others were hounded
    relentlessly about observing hijab (dress code) in their practices.
    Seems logical. "Push, Mrs. Ali, it's almost here, but I can't tell if it
    it's a girl or boy because my veil is in the way." Of course there is
    nothing funny about veiling, and its sole purpose is to eliminate
    any possible sense of female personal identity. Because of this
    nonsensical insistence on veiling, Homa Darabi was finally forced
    to give up her private practice and then her professorship at the
    University of Tehran. She never recovered from her despair. On
    February 21, 1994, in the middle of a square in Tehran, she
    poured gasoline on herself and set herself on fire to protest the
    tyranny of her native country. She died, as planned. Allah be

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