Why Do Women Agree to Being Described as Inferior?

800px-Be_stupid_@_AmsterdamOne of the islamic websites I sometimes visit published this quote yesterday. The source is given as  Sahîh al-Bukhârî 1/267-268.

al-Bukhari said:

101 – Adam told us: Shu’bah told us: Ibn-ul-Asbahânî told us: I heard Abu Salih Dhakwan retelling from Abu Said al-Khudri, who said:

The women said to the Prophet (Peace be upon him):” The men have taken you from us. Give us a day from you. “He decided to spend one day with them and met them, admonished them, and commanded them. He said among other things to them: “There is not a woman among you whose three children die, but they will protect her from the Fire.” Then a woman said: “What about two?” He (Peace be upon him) said, “And two.”

This hadîth consists of several curiosities. One of them is that the women of the Companions were looking for knowledge.

Another is that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) taught mostly men. This proves that the woman can not be compared to the man when it comes to knowledge, patience with the knowledge, the proclamation of knowledge, practice along the knowledge or vocation to knowledge.

It will never cease to amaze me how women can be attracted to a philosophy that describes them thus. Even worse when it’s a religion, claiming to be the guardian of universal and divine truths. What can possibly be attractive about a religion that describes you in this way? And how can anybody claim that women in quotes like these aren’t described as inferior?

Furthermore, I totally disagree with the conclusion made by the islamic scholar. As a teacher I know that you need to spend a lot more time explaining things to the stupid students. The smart ones understand things quickly, the stupid ones need constant reminding and aid. So clearly we must deduce that men are poor students and scholars while the women got it in one.

Polygamy and Christmas

imagesI have always loved Christmas. When I was a child we used to gather the entire family, aunts and cousins and everybody, and spend Christmas eating, singing, playing and reading. It was wonderful!

When our children were small we had started spending Christmas with just the immediate family. Less fuss, more quality time. Still wonderful.

Now of course, my first son and daughter aren’t children any more. When polygamy happened, they demanded Mark spend Christmas with #2. So I spent Christmas with my children, and later with my children and Graham. Mark went to Bimbo, and I suppose they didn’t celebrate Christmas at all. (Mark always loved Christmas). Last year, Mark used his X-mas time off to go to Oman.

This year, things are a bit more complicated.

Mark and #2 are divorced, so he won’t be going to Oman, won’t be spending the holiday with her. And since I now have a little girl, we want to celebrate Christmas in style – the entire family including my son’s fiancée, toys and horseback-riding, a Santa, all of it. So we’re going to spend Christmas in the Chilterns.

So, what about Mark?

According to the schedule, I’m to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Graham, Boxing Day with Mark. But I don’t want to go back to London until New Year’s Eve… And I don’t want Mark to be alone in London all Christmas, while all the rest of us are in the Chilterns. But I also know Graham doesn’t want Mark to invade his privacy in the Chilterns.

So I don’t know what to do.

I am Happy.

Bonfire_NightAs I read through all my posts I realize you have all met Mark. My hurt has sometimes added to his picture. But he’s here for you to see him.

Graham isn’t.

He has never been part of polygamy, he is a monogamous man. He has never entered onto these pages, sometimes he has walked past seemingly no more than a shadow. We have both wanted it that way.

As for me, I came here to find friends to share my pain and loneliness. I was hoping to find people who have experienced similar suffering, to find strength in company. I also hoped, by telling my story I would be able to help other women, give them strength to fight the terrible crime against humanity that is polygyny.

I want to thank all of you wonderful women who have supported me and written to me privately to let me know how you managed to avoid or escape polygyny. I am glad so many of you have chosen to become champions of equality – polygyny can only continue if women allow it. Among the dreadful stories of the Holocaust we must remember Sobibor, where the Nazis were forced to close the camp after the jews managed to escape. And in the end, the Nazis were made to pay for their horrible crimes against humanity.

And women, especially Western women, who aid and abet in polygyny, should remember that Kapos suffered the same fate as the Nazis.

My life is rich now. I have two wonderful husbands and three beautiful children – a family. I am needed IRL, not on these pages. To those of you who have become dear friends I say – hope to hear from you. To those of you who wonder who I am, or indeed IF I am, I say does it really matter? Well, since I’m about to go back to living my life completely in the real world not here, I can tell you that not a single word has been a lie.

Telling the truth is difficult enough, don’t you think?

It’ll soon be November 5.

I wish you all a lovely bonfire night.

A Message

I’m Mark.

I know what many of you must think of me, and I understand why. I accept it if you consider me a bad muslim, a bad husband even a bad father. Honestly I have tried hard to be the best I can be. But just like most people, I stumble now and again and sometimes I fall.

Right now, parts of my life are a mess. But still I’m kind of happy. My life isn’t what I thought it would be, but it’s not bad. Yes, we have issues, yes I have regrets. But I have a lot of good things too.

Right now my main worry is Fiona.

She has been through so much. Polygamy, her brother’s death, the drama of our lives, her extremely demanding work. Now she has become a mother. And recently she went through surgery.

I have asked her to stay away from the blog for a while. It hurts her to stay away, but it hurts her to be here too because she feels great pain every time she reads about other people’s pain. Every time she shares the hurt of somebody else’s polygamy, she relives her own pain.

She has promised me to stay off the blog for a while.

I have promised her to keep it going. Publish your comments and maybe answer a few questions. And sometimes I can pass messages along.

We have agreed to try and keep it like this until Guy Fawkes, a special day for us.

I hope you understand.

I

How Do We “Improve Our Deen”?

ThreeringsWhen women defend polygyny, they often claim that it’s a test meant to improve their and their husbands deen. For men it means more responsibility and that could be claimed to improve a man’s maturity and level of commitment. For women it’s a test of sacrifice. Women must fight their jealousies and insecurities and become generous enough to share their husbands.

So, does it work?

It is obvious from all the comments and e-mail I get that for most women polygyny is destructive, humiliating and excruciatingly painful. The betrayal, hurt and violation of polygyny makes many women doubt their self worth. Many women lose their sense of self and get lost in a void of self doubt and pain. For some women it means losing all religion. For others it means that they must accept misogynist dogmas, that men are superior and have superior rights, in order to survive the pain. Stockholm syndrome is common.

Does any of this increase these women’s deen? Of course not. Not unless you define deen as survival strategies under extreme stress.

What about the men?

Well, according to my experience men get a high out of feeling superior and this can be achieved by polygyny. They feel like macho men having two or more women. They also get a kick out of breaking their first wife, watching her bend to their superior rights. They get an increased sense of divine rights and superiority, combined with some exhilarating s/m ting.

Does this increase their deen? Of course not. No more so than wanking while reading 50 Shades of Grey.

So why do pro-polygynists keep claiming that polygyny is good for your deen, and for the religion of the Ummah?

You tell me.

Reflections of a Muslim Scandinavian gender-equality enthusiast

norfolkfiona:

Well put, and extremely interesting.

Originally posted on Hijab Tales: Unpinned:

IMG_0989.JPG

Growing up in a Scandinavian country, my experience of sexuality, modesty and the concept of hijab are markedly different to even those living in the UK. I say this as is it is common knowledge that globally Scandinavia leads the way when it comes to gender equality. As a child in school it was a mantra that you were conditioned with, and in almost every class one took, it was an underlying truth that directed the way we interacted with opposite sex. I would have to say that personally, I am very grateful for this as I developed a healthy attitude towards my own sexuality and very rarely ever felt that my sex hindered me from certain pursuits or that I had anything to fear from the other boys.

That last point is an important one, as it underlies much of the traditional arguments for female-male interaction in Islamic discourses…

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Polygamy – Is It About Sex?

1013483_354648064665525_279483948_nWomen whose husbands have become polygamous often admit that it’s partly about sex. That men enjoy sexual variety, or that men have higher sexdrive, and hence need more women. Most of the time though, they make it clear that sex only was a sideeffect – their husbands of course had more important things on their minds when they chose to marry more women. They wanted to care for her children, they wanted to complete their deen, live sunnah, or they wanted to do charity by marrying some poor woman. Only bad muslims apparently marry for sex, or lust.

These same women however seem convinced that the reason I married a second husband was all sex. I’m a sexaddict or a sexobject or a sexmaniac. And I wanted to hurt the men I’m married to. Their husbands wanted to be charitable and caring, I wanted sex.

No fool is sadder than he who believes he can fool himself.

So, is it about sex?

Well, I enjoy sex. I enjoy intimacy and the special bond of a physical relationship. And yes, I enjoy variety. I feel good about being able to be woman enough for two men :)

And I didn’t marry a second husband to be charitable. My husband is way to proud to marry a woman who regards him as an object of charity. It’s sad that women believe it’s ok to have their husbands marry women out of charity.

I simply love two men. 

And:

Why would my objectives and motives be different from those of polygamous men?

Polygamy, the Law, the Army and the US

NiqabpureBigamy is illegal in most civilized nations.

Polygamy per se can be viewed differently. If only one marriage is registered and the subsequent marriages are only religious or common law marriages, some nations do not regard polygamy as bigamy, since only one marriage is accepted as legal.

In the US, the law regards religious/common law marriages differently in different states. In some states, like say New Jersey, polygamy is not always illegal since a nikah or a common law marriage is not accepted by law. A second wife hence is not regarded as a wife, she’s just a sideshow.

If however a polygamist in states like New Jersey were a member of the Armed Forces, the situation would be completely different. Such a person, say e.g. an officer in the Armed Services, would be subject to military law. According to the law of the US Armed Forces, not only is bigamy illegal but also the attempt to commit bigamy. Hence, a polygamist who is only religiously married to a second wife, not legally, can still be convicted of attempt. I refer you to the law, you can find it here. As you can see, the law also considers whether the crime committed means that the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. Matters to consider here could be e.g. if the crime was committed in public, e.g. described on a blog. If testimony shows that the crime was committed in a disgraceful way, e.g. causing extended pain and suffering or e.g. was directed at the rights of women while the subordinates of an officer committing the crime were dying in Afghanistan while defending the rights of women, such matters would be considered.

Furthermore, according to martial law, adultery is also a crime. The law says adultery is a crime and must be punished if it can be proven:

  • 1) That the accused wrongfully had sexual intercourse with a certain person;
  • (2) That, at the time, the accused or the other person was married to someone else; and
  • (3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

This means that the punishment would be severe if e.g. facts show that the crime was committed in a disgraceful way, e.g. causing extended pain and suffering or e.g. was directed at the rights of women, while the subordinates of an officer committing the crime were dying in Afghanistan while defending the rights of women. Proof, such as a deleted blog, can easily be obtained by the authorities.

Since polygyny is a crime against humanity and a vile offense against human rights, we who believe in human rights and the law should certainly report all such crimes.

If anybody should know of such a crime, it should be reported to the Armed Forces, primarily, not the police.

If the suspect was in e.g. the National Guard, the correct place to make such a report would be directly to the National Guard, in the case of New Jersey e.g. here.

Since the governor is the head of the National Guard, one should also report the crime to his office, in the case of New Jersey e.g. here.

A convicted polygamist would lose all pensions and benefits.

Women Have a Very High Status in Islam

9151-beautiful-submissive-woman-prostrate-on-floor-chris-maherWe hear it often.

Women have a very high status in Islam

Western women are oppressed. We have to look good, work, take part in society. But in Islam, women are elevated, respected.

This claim always makes me wonder. “Women have a very high status in Islam.” High in relation to whom? Hermaphrodites?

How is this high status women hold in islam expressed?

* “Were I to command anyone to prostrate to someone I would have commanded the woman to prostrate to her husband.” – in Islam the role of the wife is one of submission to her husband who holds the authority over his family, and this hadith accentuates that. So women are of such high status, they should really be prostrating before their husbands, if it weren’t for the fact that we should only throw ourselves on the ground before god.

And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. Men are superior. Women are inferior.

Men are the protectors and heads of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend to support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient to their husbands, and guard in the husband’s absence what Allaah orders them to guard. As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, and  beat them, but if they return to obedience, seek not against them. Surely, Allaah is Ever Most High, Most Great. Women in islam hence are so high in status they must obey their husbands in everything, be governed by their husbands and be beaten by their husbands if they are disobedient.

Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.” So women in islam are told they are deficient in intelligence and religion and less than any man. Women in islam are told they are more likely to end up in Hell – because they are inferior. That’s how high in status they are.

“Beware of this world and beware of women, for the first fitnah among the Children of Israel had to do with women. I have not left behind me any fitnah more harmful to men than women.” Women are awrah – shameful. Women are fitnah. That’s how high their status is.

 Women have a very high status in Islam – beneath everybody else.

 

Around and Around We Go

Magnolia_campbellii_flowersIt’s been more difficult to bounce back than I expected.

Bounce back from what?

Well, first of all from my appendicitis. Since surgery was so quick and easy, I thought I’d feel fine in a sec. It’s taken some time though, and I still feel tired. I think I’ll have to go and have a check up. I’m feeling slightly anemic.

Tamsin’s been keeping us up nights too. Stomach aches. :( Poor little pumpkin!

And it’s a bit difficult to reconnect with Mark.

I believe that when he’s with her, he promises things that he can’t keep once he’s back home. I believe she keeps pestering him to bring her back here somehow, and he says he will. Of course, he can’t. And as soon as he’s back in London, she starts badgering him to make good on his promises.

She texts him, e-mails him, tries to call him when he’s forgotten to turn his cell off. I’ve heard him talk to her – sometimes he sounds very angry, sometimes he tries to cajole her. I don’t understand enough Arabic to be able to make out everything he says, but I get the gist. It’s clear to me that he is, maybe not lying to her, but not telling her the entire truth either. And I know he feels guilty about it, about the whole situation.

So Mark is feeling bad. He misses her too I suppose. And he’s ridden by a guilty conscience, both because he’s hurting her and because he’s hurting me.

Sometimes, I just want to sit down and cry. Or run away from it all.

But here I am. Trying to comfort myself, not with chocolate as I’d like to, but with broccoli and cauliflower. :( Even if I’m a bit down, at least I don’t want to be anemic.