Sharia law 2
by Andrea Elizabeth
More from this Wikipedia article.
I am pretty traditional regarding women’s roles, and thus am not too upset by these rules:
There are no priests or clergy needed in order to perform rites and sacraments in Islam. The leader of prayer is known as an imam. Men can lead both men and women in prayer, but women do not traditionally lead men in prayer. In practice, it is much more common for men to be scholars than women, however in the early days of Islam, female scholars were much more common. Islam does not prohibit women from working, as it says “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.” Married women may seek employment although it is often thought in patriarchal societies that the woman’s role as a wife and mother should have first priority.
Islam unequivocally allows both single and married women to own property in their own right. Islam grants women the right to inherit property from other family members, and these rights are detailed in the Qur’an. A woman’s inheritance is different from a man’s, both in quantity and attached obligations. [Qur’an 4:12] For instance, a daughter’s inheritance is usually half that of her brothers [Qur’an 4:11]. Sharia law requires family members females or males to support each other as needed; compare female inheritance in Salic law. Men are fully obliged to financially maintain their household, whereas women are not; it is often said that even if the woman is a millionaire and he is poor, he is still obliged to spend on her. She is not obliged to share her wealth with her husband unless she does so out of kindness.
It is pointed out that formerly women under British law had less rights than is described above. All these patriarchal rules work if the men are present and lovingly respect their wives, but unfortunately this is not always the case. Traditionally women and disadvantaged children relied on the charity of others if things didn’t work out well with the father of the children. The argument that people in society felt more obligated to care for these unfortunates carries some weight, and perhaps when women demanded more rights, there was a sort of response from God, “you want to be king too? here, then, see how you like it” with the result that now it is harder for a woman to stay home with her kids even if she wants to. Or maybe, women are just less willing to live in a trailer home nowadays.
Having grown up with the idea that freedom is the highest, worth dying for, priority, I like that women can choose to be educated and have a career, but I agree with the above that children should be the first priority. With emphasis on an individual mother’s right to pursue her own happiness, I feel like children have been left behind, generally speaking.
I never had to take the stand in the court cases we were drawn into, and I am glad. But if a crime had been committed against me, and there wasn’t a credible man (or I guess 4 men) to take up my cause, it would be sad that I couldn’t be heard. But again, if men loose that responsibility, there could be a backlash where men take less care. I don’t know. Seems like a lot of bad things got overlooked in these one-sided societies.
But now that equal rights is the priority in our society, with global pressure on all societies, the cat’s out of the bag. To force Sharia law on people who are used to women being given more equal treatment wont work, imo, unless the woman really is tired of that freedom (and I believe women, as the weaker sex, have less strength to provide for a family and thus burn out quicker). Orthodoxy is facing the accusation of being backward now. Women pastors and priests have almost become normal for most people, so for the Orthodox to deny this is shock enough. Add to that some traditionalist mindset where women are treated like brainless children (though even in Orthodoxy, originally women had more intellectual credibility. What happened at the turn of the millennium? the Schism?), then there’s going to be a clash. I don’t think women should blindly surrender themselves to an autocratic ruler. Maybe I want to have my cake and eat it too. (Told you I like cliche’s. To me they are a way to uphold tradition and community.)
The article’s treatment of non-Muslims in Islamic lands seems a bit white-washed. I have heard numerous accounts of forced conversions and stifling of Christian worship, though it has not been totalitarian since many Christian Churches survive in Islamic lands.