The woman question

An interesting comment by Aamir Zia in my previous entry has triggered something in my mind. I avoid writing about my religion because I feel it is more about actions than mere words. Undoubtedly, the most misrepresented community in India today is that of Indian Muslim Women. Think about it, is there one woman out there who truly represents the community to Indians who think Muslim women are forced to wear burqahs and get married to a stranger as soon as possible? I can't think of one contender, because none of our celebrities in this category want to take up the issue. I agree, there is a case for believing that we are suppressed and treated like a doormat, but has anyone ever asked a common Muslim woman in India about how she feels about her position? She will tell you that she feels secure wearing a burqa by choice and is proud of her position in her family. I come from a conservative family in which most women wear a burqa and I can assure you that none of them are oppressed. On the contrary, they are treated with respect by their children and husband, and have an equal (often dominant) say in family decisions.

Of course, I will not deny that there is no dark side. But if you point out domestic violence or other marital issues but they are not specific to any religion. What is specific to Islam as opposed to any other religion in the world is that its holy scriptures contain clear rights that women have. If we follow our Holy Book to the word, we can have what comes close to a perfect society. But like any other religion, Islam suffers from misinterpretation by its own followers. Returning to the women question, I just wish people would try to understand the real Muslim woman instead of picking out isolated and misleading examples to represent them.
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