It never failed to get my goat when Western writers write dismissively of how Islam is the reason Muslim women are oppressed / victimised / depersonalised etc etc etc. The misconception of Islam particularly by Western (or Western-trained feminists) tend to magnify misogynistic practices (that is commonly cultural, rather than religious) into painting Muslim women as victims in general. This writer made a persuasive argument why there must be a better approach towards highlighting the problems faced by Muslim women the world over and why it is important that Muslim women themselves work towards this goal.
I am fortunate to live in a Muslim country where a Muslim woman can get an education, go out to work, get married to whom she wants and wear pretty much what she wants. Reading some of the work by the sublime Fatima Mernissi and the experiences of Muslim women in other countries (particularly west of 101 degrees East) made me truly appreciate how wonderful my country can be.
Not saying that all is hunky dory here for the Muslim ladies; divorce still tend to favour men and the Syariah court is hideously slow and toothless when it comes to child support and ta'liq (conditional divorce; the man swears before witnesses during the wedding solemnisation ceremony that his wife can apply for divorce if he deserts her and/or did not provide material support and/or did not provide sexual relations and/or abuses her. The theory is that in such cases, the wife may bring supporting material to support desertion/abuse claim and the Syariah Court is to grant her a near automatic divorce.).
But surely the first religion to allow women to inherit, obtain divorce and choose her husband can not be all bad, right?