Saturday, November 04, 2006
  Sheikh Hilali, Rape, Women, Men and Responsibility
Last week an imam in Australia, during his sermon, compared women to a piece of meat. If you leave the meat uncovered, he said, don't blame the cat for eating it. In other words, if women are going around without "proper" clothing, then don't blame men for ogling, fondling or even rape!

Yeah, offensive as all get out.

Rape, I suppose, can sometimes be about sexual frustration. Date rape, for instance, probably has an aspect of sexual frustration to it. But whether sexual frustration comes into play or not, all rape is about men wanting to impose their will, through force, on women. That or it is being used as a form of punishment against other men, as in a war situation where the invading army pillages the village and rapes the women. Either way, it is a crime of domination, not of uncontrollable sexual passion.

To excuse rape, or other offensive behavior, because women are being too tempting, is 1) to midrepresent what rape really is and 2) to denigrate the male personality. I do not for a moment believe that men are driven to ogling, wolf whistling, grabbing buttocks or breasts, nor violence by the sight of a semi-clad woman. Western society has proven that men indeed can control themselves when it is expected and required of them. Of course, there will still be a small criminal element, just as there will always be pedophiles, murderers, and bank robbers. But the vast majority of men can and do treat women with respect, no matter what they're wearing.

The argument, then, that women have to wear a hijab or worse, a face veil such as the chador, the burqa, or the niqab, in order to be safe from men, is just plain wrong.

Not only is it empirically wrong, it is religiously wrong, at least according to Islam, whence these comments come.

What did the prophet Muhammad do when a man started staring at a woman? He turned the man's face. That bears repeating: HE TURNED THE MAN'S FACE. He did not say to the woman, you're too beautiful, cover up. He did not say to her, get thee inside a chador, or behind a niqab. He did not send her to another room, or behind a curtain. HE TURNED THE MAN'S FACE. Repeatedly. He took action to correct the situation where the responsibility lay -- with the man who was acting unacceptably, ogling a beautiful woman, not by punishing the victim.

This is the methodology Muslims should be implementing.

Islam, Feminism
SO if there's an attractive product on the shelf and a thief decides to steal it,Do you blame the thief or the attractive product?
Where is the justice in this world?
Women are to be blamed for Crimes against themselves?.
This is outrageous!
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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