Equal Opportunity Offender

I was listening to a segment on NPR’s “Day to Day” earlier this week,

Muslim Woman

about Muslim families in a Muslim community in Fremont, California. It was concerning real estate. Specifically, how hard it is for these Muslim families to find a home that allows for proper protection of the modesty of the women. One house-hunting husband, whose wife is kept covered head to toe whenever anybody’s around, said he was looking for what all good Muslims were looking for: a floor plan that would allow his wife to get from the bedroom to the kitchen or bathroom without being seen by guests. So they have to buy bigger homes than non-Muslims, so they will have enough space to create the convoluted back passageways necessary to keep the wifey’s skin private, and it turns out that – surprise! – bigger houses cost more.

Way to keep the womenfolk in their place, Muslim dudes! They won’t be gettin’ uppity and competing with you, will they? Not if they can’t even walk past a visitor in the living room. Keep them in the labyrinth in the back of the house, going to and fro between the bedroom, the kitchen and maybe the laundry room. The hiding will prevent any confusion as to who’s boss, and the covering up should act as a constant reminder of the lowly position of women.

Clearly, this is the order that Allah intends. Otherwise why make men so much stronger and more intelligent than women? Oh, sure, some spoilsports might raise the issue of fairness, or the equality and “dignity” of all people, but these people are inspired by Satan, and besides, they are exactly the non-mahrem men you need to protect the women from in the first place.

OK, I know my sarcastic attitude will offend some of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, but I hope they will be able to take solace in the fact that I’m pretty offensive to everyone, particularly those with harsh and rigid religious beliefs. And in any case, Muslims, think how much easier it will be for you to take over the world and kill all the infidels if you get your women – fifty percent of you, remember – into the act.

Suggested reading: Hijab Basics: The Requirements of the Muslim Woman’s Dress

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10 Replies to “Equal Opportunity Offender”

  1. I want to be tolerant, but I can’t turn my eyes from the dehumanization of women in the name of “religous freedom.” There are still large parts of the world who live with ideals that are less than humane. Frightening and disgusting.

  2. Religion has been the root of some pretty amazing things as well, like our civil rights movement, but there is this nasty flip side for some. What makes this all particularly complicated is that many Muslim women say they prefer being covered up and unseen. It’s depressing and absurd trying to convince someone that they’re being opressed when they don’t feel they are. Eep.

  3. I see I am preaching to the choir here.

    Shephard – Apologies to Erin, but the world’s religions are playing with fire. If you set up a class of priests who have a direct line to God, they will, in time, create “laws of the church” that play to their own prejudices, fears and aggrandizement. And when the penalty is eternal damnation, they can make these laws stick.

    Erin – If you’ve known nothing else, and you’ve been assured that it’s the will of God, I guess you’d go along with it “willngly,” although one could argue that it is not exactly informed consent. Like me saying I prefer Los Angeles (where I’ve always lived) to Paris (where I’ve never been).

    Also, I would suggest that the civil rights efforts of 20th century America were enabled not so much by religion, but by communities, who happened to be meeting in churches.

  4. Larry: I agree. I’m simply pointing out that religious feeling can be a positive motivating force for some individuals and some communities. Do I think it evens out? Not exactly. I’m the first to admit fundamentalism is an ugly business, whether it be religious, political, or intellectual. And anything that successfully convinces a group of people that they are better or worse than another group hands down is sick at a base level. Sad, also.

  5. I heard that story too, and was rather puzzled. Well, guess they’re just gonna have to build their own damn houses, then. Kinda hard for me to sympathize with them. Hey, I’m kinda confused by this blog’s new layout–looks like i have to travel to get to the newest post? I don’t think I got that til just now, and that’s why I haven’t been commenting–i’d see the same post on the home page and assume you haven’t been updating. Is there any way to change that? Just for my convenience?

  6. I’m in the choir, too . . . I think I need to update my bloglines or something because you have posted more than I thought recently! And btw we’re 52%, thank you very much ; )

  7. Religion is all about control of knowledge by the few. Is it just the Muslims? Nope. Granted, from a Western viewpoint, they appear to be the most egregious of the religions. But Christianity does not have the best historical record.

    Hi Larry! Missed you. I need to stop by more often.

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