Over at her website Heather’s Homilies, Heather Hastie has a new post, “Islam and Women’s Clothing“, which is well worth reading. It began with her reading a paragraph on the website of a local Islam-promoting organization (CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, based in Chicago), a paragraph that’s part of a page trying to explain the religion in the most positive way possible. Among its claims:
What about Muslim women?Under Islamic law, women have always had the right to own property, receive an education and otherwise take part in community life. Men and women are to be respected equally. The Islamic rules for modest dress apply to both women and men equally. (Men cannot expose certain parts of their bodies, wear gold or silk, etc.) If a particular society oppresses women, it does so in spite of Islam, not because of it.
If you know even a little about Islam, or at least about how some Islamic people and countries interpret the faith, you’ll see through this immediately. It’s a masterpiece of dissimulation.
Heather concentrates on women’s dress, but of course you know how sharia law dictates unequal treatment of men and women, like counting a woman’s testimony in court as worth but half the value of a man’s. Women can’t drive in Saudi Arabia, and can’t go outside unaccompanied, or accompanied by an unrelated man, in many places. The claim that Islam has nothing to do with oppression of women is ridiculous. All the Abrahamic religions, which include Christianity and Judaism, have oppressed women. The difference is that Islam is doing it in a far more pernicious way.
But I’ll let you read Heather’s excellent dissection of this grossly misleading paragraph, which involves citing the Qur’an, as well as the hadith as interpreted by Islamic websites. Conclusion: the paragraph above is full of it.