God help us women

{ Wednesday, June 1, 2011 }
Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I've been busy working on my bachelor paper.
I hope it's over soon, because I'm tired of feeling angry and sad the whole day.
My subject is women rights in Saudi Arabia, and my research has left me feeling disgusted.
The imprisonment of Manal al-Sharif for driving is a case in point.
I also read a report on domestic violence that made me want to scream.
All this has left me with the burning question: what did women ever do to deserve such mistreatment?
To me, Saudi Arabia is no longer an Islamic country, but a state that holds tribal values and misrepresents them as being based on the Quran and Sunna (and no, I don't want to get into any discussions about Islam being women friendly or not, I know the truth and so do you if you READ the sources and NOT look at so called "Muslim" countries)
As you can see, I'm in a bad mood and this is not likely to change as long as I read about the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia. A country where a woman driving gets imprisoned, a woman who got raped sentenced to 200 lashes and a member of the religious police who stabs someone half to death walks free.
Shame on you, Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), shame on you!

May God help all the women in the world who are facing difficulties and may He lighten their burdens and shower them with hope, light and love, ameen.


DD said...

Actually this has been on my mind lately too, why do men the world over seem to hate women so much? I mean, I don't understand it, we're such gentle, pretty creatures. Why don't men marry other men if they hate women so much? It's just weird.

Safiyah said...

I wonder that too, DD. I think men are afraid of the power that women can have over them, and want to do everything they can to keep us under control. It's sad really. Women and men are meant to live together in peace and tranquility, but men seem to need someone who's physically weaker to take their frustration out on and to blame for everything that goes wrong.

MarieHarmony said...

Great Post Safiyah. You're right to express how you feel about this. It's simply outrageous to see how men are treating women in some countries. Something I could never understand really.
But I read a book not so long ago that stated exactly what you are saying in your answer to DD.
Women are powerful. They are strong and can do and be everything. And that is scaring for them. They need to have a hand on things, to prove they are stronger.
So they create their own rules, imposing their vision of things to others.
If a woman can't speak or be, she is not a threat any more and men are safe.

But they don't think one minute that God has created us, men and women, to live together and be happy, to complete one another.

Safiyah said...

Thanks for commenting, Marie :) Reading about women in such countries makes me feel very sad. I also realise that women in the West have a lot to be grateful for. I really hope that one day men everywhere will allow women to be who they want to be, and to reach their full potential and then, inshaAllah, we can finally live together in peace and harmony.

Anonymous said...

it is very simple to understand ulemah's of soudi arabia that,there was no vehicles at the time of prophet and nowhere was/has written to ban driving of women .more over women were even riding horse and camels that time.
iran also follows strict islamic rule,but never prohibitted women driving vehicles.
all other muslim countries has no problems in this matter.

Clara said...

good post. when i was considering moving to saudi, i was reading everything i could get my hands on and it left me feeling exactly the same way you feel now. funnily, my bf at that time thought that i approach it from a wrong angle. meaning that women in saudi are really treated like queens and saudi men are the abused ones (i still come across this attitude quite often)!
it's astonishing that freedom, we think is a given, we take for granted! i definitely took it for granted! that's why sometimes, we trade it so cheaply because we didn't have to fight for it, i think.

there is still lots to do around the world with regard to women's rights but i think we are on our way :)
is your paper going to be in english or dutch? i would be interested to read it if it's in english :) my dutch sucks lol

Safiyah said...

@Anonymous: there is no Islamic rule prohibiting women from driving. It's a cultural thing, and I'm sure those religious clerics know that very well. All they can come up with to justify the rule are some lousy excuses that have no Islamic basis, but just prove how much they hate and distrust women. I just wish they didn't have so much influence on Saudi society.

@Clara: yes, I came across this attitude too, and I'm sure there are some very spoiled Saudi women out there who are happy with having to do nothing themselves, but I'm convinced that the majority of women there are not happy with their situation. How can you be happy when you have no legal capacity and no legal protection to fall back on? My research left me feeling very grateful for my freedom and very convinced that I never want to live there. Luckily, my fiancée is not one of the men who claim that Saudi women are treated like princesses, and accordingly agrees that it's not in my best interest to live there.
I think we're on our way too, thank God, although there are still some backlashes to be expected from those who are not man enough to be able to handle a woman's equality.
My paper is in Dutch ;-)

Clara said...

have you heard about the campaign 'my guardian knows best'? i never quite understood the attitude of some men but to see women who will not let other women choose to have a mahrem or not, or stopping them from progress etc is beyond me... sometimes, i feel we are each other's worst enemies.

glad to hear that your fiance can see that it's not best for you to live there :-) shame my didn't think that life in saudi would be suffocating.
good luck with your paper :-)

Safiyah said...

You're absolutely right, Clara. We can be our worst enemies, for every woman that wants freedom there is another who wants to keep women back because she believes it should be like that. And how can someone else know what's best for you? Can he look into your heart? Into your thoughts? Into your soul? I don't think so. It's not because he's a man that he knows something that women don't.
Each human being should have full authority over his or her own life, without interference from someone else.
My fiancé is a very understand man, thank God, who wants full rights for women as much as I do =) As much as there are women who want to keep other women back, there are also men who support us and want equality for us too, and I think those men are the real men ;-)

Safiyah said...


Inspirational Quotes said...

I agree, some Muslim countries are not Islamic at all. And according to some groups of Muslims, depending on interpretation, other groups of Muslims aren't really following Islamic Monotheism. It does get quite complicated, but I think its important Muslims say how they disagree with those practices.

I have always seen your icon on the 'followers' part of blogs, but just stumbled across your blog.
I hope you can stop by my blog!

Inspirational Quotes said...

Looks like I joined the discussion a bit too late... anyway, stay well!

Safiyah said...

Forgive me, I've been very busy with exams this month ;-) I agree, there is not one Islam out there, there are many forms. I also agree that it's important that Muslims speak out against things that go against their religion.

I will also stop by and follow your blog, inshaAllah :-)

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