Why rejects Islam

Women's rights in Islam

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Position of women in Islam
2.1. Woman's life in society
2.2. Women's rights in Iraq

3. Women Living Under Muslim Laws

4. Recent developments in Iraq with regard to women's rights
4.1. Aims and demands of WLUML in Iraq
4.2. Problems of the draft constitution
4.3. Effects of the Iraq War on Muslim Women

5. Final considerations

6. Bibliography

Women's rights in the Isalm

Women Living Under Muslim Laws

Considerations of a women's rights organization with a special focus on the historical and current situation of women in Islam using the example of Iraq

1. Introduction

In the present paper, the organization Women Living Under Muslim Laws - a women's rights organization that works for women oppressed by Islamic law in all parts of the world - a closer look. This not only includes going into the history and development of this network, but also the procedures and support strategies of WLUML to investigate. Using a case study - the drafting and introduction of a new constitution in Iraq - the work and demands of Women Living Under Muslim Laws and other women's or human rights organizations. In order to be able to make an appropriate judgment on these demands, an introductory overview of the general position of women in Islam - also in its historical development - must be given, with special attention paid to the role of women in the family. In addition to this fundamental consideration, a look should be given to the specific circumstances of women's rights and the living conditions of women in Iraq: A description and a comparison of the more recent developments with the situation under Saddam Hussein's regime are given. Finally, it should be determined to what extent the actions of the organizations have had a positive effect on the recent successful adoption of the Iraqi constitution.

2. Position of women in Islam

It is particularly difficult to present the position of women in Islam in a uniform manner, since, unlike other religions, Islam is not only limited to the theological, but is also reflected in the law - Sharia. Therefore, the gap between Koranic teaching and historical or social reality is enormous. Women are restricted in two ways: in the social as well as in the legal area.[1] Compared to other religions, their status is characterized by almost complete submission to the authority of man.[2]

In its origins and its historical development, the Islamic world has never adopted so many structures, customs and habits of those peoples in which Islam developed as in the case of the relationship between men and women in private and social life.[3] The low classification, discrimination and disadvantage of women in Islamic countries, emphasized by the critics, has demonstrably its roots more in the ethnic customs and social structures of the peoples who have adopted Islam and less in Islam itself.[4]

As a result, women's rights vary greatly from country to country, even though they are all Islamic states. For example, every Muslim is generally allowed to pray in the mosque. There are clear sayings of the Prophet Muhammad that a man must not prevent his wife from going to the mosque. In some Islamic countries it is unfortunately the case that the traditions and customs there prohibit this.[5]

History recognizes three peoples as the main bearers of Islam: the Persians, the Arabs and the Turks. In the early Islamic period between the 7th and 11th centuries, cultural and social differences with regard to the position of women became particularly clear.

In the Persian legal system, for example, women were not viewed as a subject but as an object of law. Women had to be veiled and take their place in a harem. These strict views, which prevailed in the whole of the Near East, gradually carried over to the previously relatively liberal Arabs. In parts of Iran, women were only allowed to leave the house at night in black robes. There are also reports from 1052 that any woman who spoke to an unrelated man was sentenced to death.[6] The invasion of the Turkish peoples in Iran brought a slight shift in the whole of the Near East to greater freedom: the Turkish people had previously - until they came into contact with Islam - placed fewer restrictions on women and were generally more liberal. Even if it adapted more and more to the civilization of the Near East, women could still enjoy a more public appearance here than in other societies.[7]

Gradually, more and more Asian and African peoples joined Islam. In addition to their own customs and rites, Islamic teaching was adopted. As a result, almost every country today pursues and lives out different traditions. The inhumane oppression of women - as it is practiced in some areas - has therefore hardly its cause in religion. Nevertheless, in countries with a predominance of Islam, an economic dominance of men and an economic dependency of women can be observed in general. Even today, women do not have the same position as men before the law. The best example is the validity of her testimony in court, which is based on a Koranic verse (2: 282). It is written here that one man's testimony is worth as much as the testimony of two women.[8]

In the following, the general position of women like Sharia, i.e. the Islamic law that the Koran prescribes, is presented before the focus is placed on the special situation of women in Iraq.

And it belongs to His signs that HE has created companions for you out of yourselves, so that you can find rest in them, and HE has placed love and mercy between you. Verily, in that are signs for people who ponder[9].

Your wives are for you (like) a field (that you cultivate), therefore come to your field when and how you want […]“[10].

Verses like this explain why women are still treated like man's property today. However, they are by no means a justification for this. The Koran basically expresses an image of women that God intended for human beings, in which man and woman can live together in love and harmony until last day. There is no question of oppression or tutelage. The problem is that the Koran is often interpreted very differently and that facts are interpreted into it that were by no means intended.

2.1. Woman's life in society

According to Islamic law, every adult Muslim should live in a marriage union, as this can prevent a life of sin.[11] Islam rejects any kind of extramarital intimate relationship.[12]

In general, premarital chastity and sexual modesty play a very important role in Islam. A man's honor is primarily determined by whether the women in his relatives keep their good reputation and do not become a disgrace for the whole family. A girl who does not enter into a virgin marriage faces punishment. If this comes out of marriage, the entire family despises them. In any case, she has to expect a divorce. In Islamic societies certain female virtues such as chastity and unaffectedness are internalized to such an extent that hardly any girl would dare to break these taboos.[13]

In one tradition of Muhammad, a mutual protection obligation within Muslim marriage is expressed as follows: The man is the protector of his family and responsible for them. The woman, on the other hand, is the protector of the man's sphere of life and bears responsibility for it.[14] However, it is problematic that the man's role of protecting his wife often turns into a ruling role.

In most Muslim families, the man is the provider: he goes about his work to support his family, while the woman takes care of the household and children. This division of roles is also based on the Koran (4:34). The positive thing about this is that a married woman is always financially provided, as the husband is obliged to provide adequate support for the wife and children. Every married woman has the right to a decent livelihood, housing and clothing, even if she is wealthy and economically independent. In addition, she has the right to demand money from her husband for the services she provides at home and - in the event of a divorce - even for breastfeeding the children. In general, mothers have a special position in Islam. The Qur'an emphasizes the special troubles a mother brings through pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding (31:14)[15].

The woman must not be forced to work. She can only pursue a job if it is her express wish and the family situation allows it. Under no circumstances should the man press his wife to do so. The money that the woman earns through her work belongs exclusively to her. Your husband is not entitled to it. It is noticeable that in Muslim countries there are far fewer positions held by women than in Western nations. Nevertheless, it is not legally prohibited for a Muslim woman to become a doctor, professor or lawyer. When filling social positions, nothing stands in the way of complete equality for women - provided that the moral rules are adhered to, which prohibit a woman from acting as an object of desire and being abused in the interests of men.[16] The family influence is evident from the fact that the man has a say in his wife's career choice, for example. Only those professions come into question that guarantee that the woman cannot be harassed by other men at work. The situation in some countries - such as Iraq, which will be discussed later - is so tense that women are banned from exercising certain public professions, such as judges.

The fact that Muslim girls are denied further education is not due to Islam, but to traditions.[17]

In general, it is important to mention that a woman should never have unnecessary contact with other men. Maintaining faithfulness on the part of women is an elementary marriage requirement. History shows that women were murdered when their loyalty was called into question. From a western point of view, it seems frightening that such so-called honor killings are legally tolerated or punished to a lesser extent. For example, recently the Turkish government abolished a law that provides penalties for men who murder women in the name of honor. The current Turkish government is Islamic-religious. All previous governments, including many expressly non-religious ones, had not touched this law.[18]

The dress codes of women are also due to the maintenance of loyalty, as they are supposed to facilitate this. The Koran prescribes that women should conceal their charms at the onset of puberty in order to protect their dignity and respect (24:31).[19] However, it does not say exactly how this should look. There is no consensus on the form in which women should cover themselves in public. The wording of the Koran is not clear here. The Koran as an authoritarian source of the Islamic way of life knows only a few specific clothing regulations. Regardless of the derivation from the Koran, there is a historically long tradition of headgear for women in Islamic countries. From this tradition, a culturally determined, religiously based obligation to cover up female charms is derived. For the believers, the veiling is then part of the religion because it is part of the life practice of Islam.[20]

A Muslim woman should always wear clothing that covers the body in such a way that the figure is not visible, so as not to attract the interests of the opposite sex. Therefore, clothing should neither be too tight nor be translucent. Since a woman's hair also plays a very important role in her appearance and exerts a certain attraction, the headscarf requirement applies - even if this is not clearly stated in Sura 24:31. In general, however, the obligation to veil is derived from this sura, or interpreted into it. This shows that women's veiling is more culturally than religiously motivated.[21] The clothing regulations apply in the presence of strange men, since female sexuality can create disorder according to the Islamic view. To prevent this from happening, men must be protected from active female sexuality.[22] Within the family and part of the relatives, a Muslim woman can also show herself without a veil - but only to male relatives who are not considered potential husbands.[23]


[1] Compare: Akashe-Böhme, Farideh, The Islamic Woman Is Different, at: http://www.arte-tv.com/ de / geschichte-gesellschaft / islam / 775880.html (November 8, 2005, 8:10 p.m.).

[2] Compare: Akashe-Böhme, The Islamic Woman is Different.

[3] See: Falaturi, Abdoldjavad, The Position of Women in Islam, at: http://www.islamische-akademie.de/falaturi/ stellungderfrau.htm (November 8, 2005, 8:15 pm).

[4] See: Falaturi, The position of women in Islam.

[5] See: Islamischer Studentenbund Essen, FaQ Frau im Islam, on: http://träger.lycos.de/muslimmm/derislam/ faqfrauimislam / (November 8, 2005, 8:20 p.m.).

[6] Falaturi, The position of women in Islam.

[7] Falaturi, The position of women in Islam.

[8] Islamic Student Union, FaQ Woman in Islam.

[9] The Koran. Translated by Adel Theodor Khoury, Gütersloh 21992, sura 30, verse 2.

[10] The Koran, sura 21, verse 223.

[11] See: http://www.inid.de/Wissenswertes/frau_im_islam/view (October 13, 2005, 6.30 p.m.).

[12] See: Islamic Student Union, FaQ Women in Islam.

[13] Compare: Akashe-Böhme, The Islamic Woman is Different.

[14] See: Falaturi, The position of women in Islam.

[15] See: Islamic Student Union, FaQ Women in Islam.

[16] See: Falaturi, The position of women in Islam.

[17] See: Islamic Student Union, FaQ Women in Islam.

[18] See: Mayr, Gabi, Morocco. Women's rights in Islam, at: http://www.g26.ch / marokko_ news_0414.html (November 8, 2005, 8.27 p.m.).

[19] See: http://www.inid.de.

[20] See: Information Platform Religion / REMID e. V., Clothing Regulations in Islam, at: http: // www. religion-online.info/islam/themen/züge.html (November 8, 2005, 8.29 p.m.).

[21] See: Information platform religion, clothing regulations in Islam.

[22] Compare: Akashe-Böhme, The Islamic Woman is Different.

[23] See: Islamic Student Union, FaQ Women in Islam.

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