This week half naked women bared all across the cities of the Western world from Paris, Kiev to Melbourne, in a day of protest. Organised by Ukranian based Femen, they demonstrated for Muslim women who they felt needed liberating from Islamists who they called, 'inhuman beasts' on their facebook page.
And although this movement has not been taken wholly seriously, (especially as it's by women who claim they are liberated, but stand stark naked in streets covered in snow) the campaign and its' timing it seems has smashed an overfilled bottle, which will now not stop flowing. No sooner had their 'Jihad Day' started, Muslim women across the globe had mobilised to air their views with a counter campaign on facebook - 'Muslim women against Femen'. The group within a day garnered a 1000 likes, and ignited a fervour of discussion by Muslim women across social media, unanimously agreeing on one thing - Muslim women did not need liberating by Western liberal feminism.
Well firstly, in order to liberate women it is essential to use a tool which will actually do the job, and achieve the goals that women seek - value, protection, rights and access to society. However if you look at secular liberal feminism, paraded by the likes of Femen, it would require a leap of hopeful faith, to view it as a tool for liberation at all. And in order to assess this, let us judge how well it has been able to achieve the goals it set out to, in the first place.
To understand the viewpoint of the woman secular liberalism has achieved, one needs to study the way women are seen and treated. In such societies personal and sexual freedoms have bred a culture of promiscuity where the exercising of ones' desires comes first, before what is right or responsible. With men' desires then as the client, big businesses make revenue by supplying the woman as a sexual commodity in everything from the advertising, entertainment, beauty to a thriving pornography industry. It is without a doubt then in such a secular liberal society, the predominant view of the woman, and therefore the value of the woman becomes attached to how physically appealing she is.
This view taints every aspect of life. Men's relationships with women in the home, street and office are dominated by the message; that women are a sexual commodity. And as a result we see the rising levels of sexual crime, sexual harassment, rape, lack of committing men, fleeing fathers, teenage pregnancies, all plaguing society. Personal freedom may have granted the freedom for the woman to bare all, but the bitter effects that come with that glorified right - Of the freedom for others to treat women how they want - Are not easily swallowed by the rest of the world.
And what about the infamous gender equality? It did not just grant equal education and employment rights, but forced women to emulate men in every aspect of life. This has resulted in women having to deny or delay the unique difference they hold as a gender - Being a mother and the nurturing of a family.
The value, rights and full access to society that feminism sought to achieve since the early days of Wollstonecraft, are nowhere to be seen and we are left with a complicated mess that is still paraded as liberation. But I know nobody denies there are problems, but the way forward as pitched in the West is to keep working at it.
But Muslim women can't buy this. Because it is not about collecting crumbs, it is about holding onto what will ensure the proper achievement of goals that all women seek. And Muslim women believe the ideas and system of Islam has the total capacity to fulfil the goals that all women seek.
Islam holds a unique view of the woman that honours and protects her as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said,
"The world and all things in it are precious, but the most precious thing is a virtuous woman."
Such a view enshrines value of the woman for her character and who she is, over what she looks like. Islam rejects personal and sexual freedoms, meaning no business or man in society has the freedom to exploit, sexualise or demean the woman in society. The predominant idea in an Islamic society of God consciousness creates a mentality of self-policing, where everyone is conscious of how they treat others and how well they adhere to this view of the woman.
Islam then goes further to ensure the elevated viewpoint of the woman and her good treatment, is protected through a comprehensive social system of Islam - Which is often the strong symbol of oppression for such Western feminist campaigners. However the Islamic social system through its' rules and laws actually aims to keep the sexual instinct out of society, so that it cannot create havoc for women in public life. The instinct is not denied, but channelled through the private sphere of marriage, where it is coupled with the integrals of commitment and compassion.
So in public life the dress code conceals the beauty of women, the segregation of the sexes limits sexual agitation between the sexes by limiting interaction, the prohibition of the sexualisation of women in society, as well as the harsh punishments acting as deterrents for sexual relationships outside marriage; all allow women in public life to go out to work, study, trade in a safe and productive environment. It is a public life where their contributions become the focus, not their physical appeal.
Femen still believe that despite the strong voice Muslim women propel saying they do not need liberating, 'their eyes' still show they do. I would lastly have to break to them that whatever eyes, ears or face you look to, both Gallup surveys over recent years which polled Muslim women across the Muslim world highlighted one thing - That Muslim women want more Islam and more Shari'ah. Clear and simple. They have seen what Western liberal feminism has done for women wherever it's trodden its' steps, and they want none of it.
Is that so difficult to understand?
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