This Is How Some Cultures View Women

Egyptian ad promoting burqas
This is an ad from Egypt encouraging women to cover themselves to prevent rape (via this post at Pharyngula?.

That’s right girls, if you’re raped, it’s your own fault for being uncovered and letting the flies stick to you. Never mind the education campaign telling men that rape is bad. Responsibility and honour lies with women.

I’ve stated before that I think religion is responsible for oppressing women and Islam is one of the worst offenders. This is just a further example. It’s similar to statements made a couple of years ago by a Sydney imam who compared unveiled women to “uncovered meat” which is available to the cats.


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Islam is obsessed with sexuality. It defines all contact between men and women as being sexual. There’s no such thing as a platonic friendship in this religion. Women are defined according to their bodies and their sexual availability. Men are considered to be beasts with uncontrollable desires. If a man rapes, it’s the woman’s fault for being “too tempting.” I find the whole philosophy to be abhorrent and degrading to both sexes.

There is a debate going on at the moment about the banning of the burqa in Belgium and France. I support the ideals behind it but I think it will ultimately do more harm than good. Education, not prohibition, is the way to go.

Today in the Sydney Morning Herald there’s an opinion piece called The Burqa is an Affront to Feminism, arguing for a ban in Australia. The writer goes astray when ranting about “teenagers today” but she makes a few good points. Unfortunately she doesn’t address this basic issue of sexuality within Islam that creates the whole dilemma.

The comments are running hot. Among them someone has posted the manifesto of the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain. I really like what they have to say so I’m reposting it here.

1. Universal rights and equal citizenship for all. We are opposed to cultural relativism and the tolerance of inhuman beliefs, discrimination and abuse in the name of respecting religion or culture.
2. Freedom to criticise religion. Prohibition of restrictions on unconditional freedom of criticism and expression using so-called religious ‘sanctities’.
3. Freedom of religion and atheism.
4. Separation of religion from the state and legal and educational system.
5. Prohibition of religious customs, rules, ceremonies or activities that are incompatible with or infringe people’s rights and freedoms.
6. Abolition of all restrictive and repressive cultural and religious customs which hinder and contradict woman’s independence, free will and equality. Prohibition of segregation of sexes.
7. Prohibition of interference by any authority, family members or relatives, or official authorities in the private lives of women and men and their personal, emotional and sexual relationships and sexuality.
8. Protection of children from manipulation and abuse by religion and religious institutions.
9. Prohibition of any kind of financial, material or moral support by the state or state institutions to religion and religious activities and institutions.
10. Prohibition of all forms of religious intimidation and threats.

* Here’s another post about women, “modesty” and Islam.

4 Replies to “This Is How Some Cultures View Women”

  1. I find it odd that they would use a lollipop to represent a woman. A lolli. Seriously. That’s like the ultimate “look, I like to suck on penis” tool a woman can use without resorting to deep-throating a banana. Someone should take this and re-caption it to remind men to wear a condom. 😉

  2. Nice post Ms Naughty. The manifesto of the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain is a nice piece of work.

    I don’t think that I can even begin to describe my feelings for the things done to people in general and women in particular in the name of religion.

    My greatest horror though is reserved for the Muslim practice of female genital mutilation (apparently Allah said that it was ok). It leaves me lost for words.

    Here’s to protecting all people from the abuses (sexual and otherwise) of religion.

  3. Funny how no one discusses the other oppressive religious traditions within these cultures, not just Islam, but there is also the practice of circumcision on men (Judaism and Islam).
    Also, female circumcision isn’t a muslim or Islamic practice (not in the Koran), it is an African practice that has been absorbed into Islam via religion.

  4. @TB: Every religion has it’s hypocrisies and problems and I speak out against all of them when I come across these things. But, as mentioned I find female genital mutilation particularly abhorrent.

    The sad fact is that Islam has a long tradition of circumcision of both sexes and isn’t standing up to say “NO! Don’t do it!”. So if your not part of the solution, then your part of the problem.

    This is just as bad as the Catholic Church protecting child rapists.

    You said “it is an African practice that has been absorbed into Islam via religion”. That is worse than stupid (even if it made sense – how does a religion absorb something via religion?). It is attempting to excuse the behaviour.

    You are right that female genital mutilation is not part of the Koran. It is recommended by Allah in a hadith. See the quote below.


    “Similarly, female circumcision was not a prominent practice amongst Muslims during the time of the Prophet. He introduced the practice after migrating to Medina, mainly amongst his male followers. Regarding female circumcision, the Prophet advised in a hadith not to cut the clitoris severely. The “Reliance of The Traveler”, a classical text of sacred Shafi’i Laws, says (Amana Publications, Bestville, 1999, p. 59):

    Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that the circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)

    Previously, circumcision was practised by the Jews. Muhammad introduced it amongst his followers due to his conviction that it makes a man more brave.”

    I hate this practice. I also hate child raping Catholic priests, and religions that manipulate and abuse people, especially women (who seem to cop the worst of it).

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