1. The rights to women were always there and is still there. Before Islam, women were treated very badly but it is Islam that liberated us and gave us our rights. We Muslims believe that the roles assigned to men & women work for the benefit of the society. If you think about it, non muslims target the hijab as a sign of oppression. Hijab does not harm the society, it does not hurt anyone. You cannot judge Islam by the actions of the few. If you mean that women are degraded by Talibans, I would say yes, but that is not Islam. What DO you SEE TODAY, pattydb? You did not tell me where is freedom for women if you force them NOT to wear hijab as in some countires. Is that freedom? I laugh at you because you do not understand that western women are slaves to men by baring all to please them, allowing them to use you … is this the FREEDOM? Is this what you call EQUALITY. You are the real slaves by making yourself shameless. Women in the west are portrayed as sex objects. If you want quality, why don’t you ask men pose semi-naked for a car ad and why don’t you grow a beard!Whatever you may say, the truth is MEN and WOMEN are different. They are physically, emotionally, mentally different and you can take all the scientific proves you need. You cannot argue against truth. This is the reality. However much you try, you can never make them equal. You say that maybe I don’t want equal right. That is a very vast statement. I want MY rights as a human and as a woman, I want MY rights as a woman but I cannot take the role of a man simply because I AM NOT A MAN and that goes against my nature. I shall quote here from the Quran (The Book of Islam) : “I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is EQUAL TO THE OTHER” (3:195).Gender can never be physically equal and there is a reason for this and this reason is that each have their own role to play in the society. BUT Spiritual equality, responsibility and accountability, yes God judges in the same way.Who is Maryam? Who is she to dictate the roles that the Creator has assigned? Who is greater? If you really understand the position of women in Islam, you will realise how beautiful she is portrayed. Do not make women cheap. I am all for Women’s rights and freedom in her assigned role. Explain to me clearly how forcing a woman to abandon the hijab which she likes to wear, her freedom. Tell me what is her right? If the woman were to wear a bikini, she is welcome to it but if she wants to cover herself, she loses her rights. Explain this.I find the 17 year old girl more open-minded and more intelligent to the views on Islam than Maryam. I salute her a little.A Muslim Woman

  2. Dear Ms. NamazieI am a 17 year old Shia Ismaili Nizari Muslim living in the United States. I recently read an article in the TimesOnline titled “its time to take a stand against Islam and sharia”. the article opened with a quote from you stating,imagine “A child is swathed in cloth from head to toe every day. Everything but her face and hands are covered for fear that a man might find her attractive. At school she learns that she is worth less than a boy. She is not allowed to dance or swim or feel the sun on her skin or the wind in her hair. This is clearly unacceptable, yet it is accepted when it is done in the name of religion.” I do not argue the credibility of such statement as i am well aware that in certain parts of the world, this scenario is rather prevalent. however i do wish to present an ulterior case, imagine a woman plastered across fashion magazines and the media wearing minimal clothing deemed as a sex icon. Such is also a prevalent scenario in the west. If the Muslim world views the image of a woman as one covered up then the western world views a woman as a revealing sex figure, where high emphasis is on external beauty. I am sure, to this comment you will definitely mention that such is not the case for all women, and i would like to counter your argument by mentioning that your presented scenario is also not predominant. I am a Muslim girl, born in Pakistan, raised in a western society in a Muslim family and i do not wear the hijab.In fact i am free to walk in skirts, sleeveless shirts and for the most part dress how my friends belonging to other religions do. Additionally i have never felt that my religion has oppressed me in any shape or form, rather has given me inspiration to voice my opinions and educate myself to be a leader in my society. The problem i believe thus is not with Islam, rather it is the interpretation or should i say the misinterpretation of Islam. As a shia muslim i believe in the Imamat – or the progeny of Prophet Muhammad ( PBUH) through Imam Ali. However what is interesting to note in this is that the lineage was passed through Bibi Fatima – the prophet’s daughter to her husband – Ali ibn Abu Talib. Additionally, the Holy Quran mentions nothing is rather vague in its regard to the covering required for women. In fact , Allah states “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty…And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and adornments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers…(a list of exceptions)” [Chapter 24, verses 30-31] Also, “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons…that they should be known and not molested.” [Chapter 33, verse 59] These provisions given by Allah firstly no where mention that a woman must be covered from head to toe, and second in the context of the time and I believe still today give women a stature of respect. The role of the woman in Islam is thus not one of oppression, rather one of respect. However when this message is skewed and presented through fundamental forms as what has happened with the Islamic Republic in Iran and the Wahhabi dominated political realm in Saudi Arabia, the world and sadly many Muslims submit to the authorities of such interpretation. I respect your views on Islam and human rights, but am merely writing to you to remind you there are Muslims – Muslim women who live and practise their faith as equals alongside men. I can definitely say I am one of them. I have never felt shy or scared in questioning any aspect of my religion to leaders in my mosque and cover my head in prayer only when i feel like i should out of respect. I encourage you to learn and expose yourself to other interpretations of Islam, however at the same time i strongly respect your opinion.

  3. Maryami was so focused on getting us all thinking about concrete ways to end this gender apartheid i didn’t even see that horrible backbiting comment from a Muslim woman who is probably a man.He/she should read: Woman’s inhumanity to Woman by Phyllis Chesler. I am serious. She/he needs to read this book to see if she has pick up too much male identification for her/his own good.Maryam Stay Strong — the suggestion that the world recognize the horror attached to gender apartheid is brilliant.Keep writing. Maryam Namazie writes:”In 1973, as a result of international attention and widespread opposition to the apartheid system in South Africa apartheid was recognized as a crime against humanity.On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, let’s together proclaim that sexual apartheid is a crime against humanity. Brilliant, too bad someone like Samantha Power is too busy with Obama to write about women’s genocide.

  4. To the Muslim woman who commented.If you look at Islam and the way women live in & under it now, & if you are honest enough to accept the facts that are undisputable, unambigious then it is quite clear what role women have. You talk about rights that women had in Islam before others…what happened to them? You must be joking if you think that the reality we see TODAY means equality for women and men. Maybe you don’t want equal rights. Fine, but the rest of womankind wants them. & we will not stop until all women have them. Obviously your notion that god gave us all our roles should excuse all of this & silence us all.HOw boring to come up with the illegal wars & dying children arguments (although these are sad facts), trying to divert & silence necessary & vital critic against misogyny. Haven’t you got any real arguments that refer to the issue?Telling people like Maryam not to drag others into this, as she should ‘go down alone’, is an insult to every woman on this earth, especially for those who suffer from oppression, violence in all its forms, including the barbaric misogyny in Islam. Long live Maryam Namzie! Long live International Women’s Day!

  5. Hi maryam:i agree with u about islam and i dont want be a muslims and i dont fear say this to world and i will be easy.i search in islam and i know in koran doesnot exist humanrights.i like to be free and dont have any religion.we try to be free free free free.weman in koran are out of service.hope for freedom

  6. Feminist Policy on Iraq and Afghanistan This is a special post to all Hillary-voting feminists. We all want to do an action together – to begin to act as 3rd wave feminists in our own worlds, yet together. I believe we must begin to articulate a feminist foreign policy for Iraq and Afghanistan that Hillary can adopt which will be accepted by the majority of US citizens. A Feminist Foreign Policy will have as a goal the liberation of middle east women from Sharia law and will elevate the goal of equal gender rights in a civil democratic society, maybe even based on Israeli democracy. Feminists Democrats should offer a platform that addresses the needs of women in Iraq and Afghanistan. The feminist position on would advocate equal rights for Iraq and Afghanistan women with reconstruction democracy training and the implementation of a civil secular law system. We should eventually offer amendments to the constitution which will form a secular society with secular non-religious law. But it is better if democracy comes from the bottom up. So reconstruction should begin at the surge level.At the beginning some separate gender activities may be needed to protect women and enforce their rights.Democracy training reconstruction in Iraq instead of rapid withdrawal can be the feminist democratic platform. The CNN reports from Iraqi citizens say this is what the people of Iraq are asking the US to do now. A soldier said: We need a book of democracy because what we want is personal freedom. That is what we want all this suffering to result in – freedom for the individual in Iraq. The Iraqi also said, We have all this oil – the people should not be so poor. As part of the democratic platform on Iraq, the US should work out economic treaties with Iraq that benefit our both countries. That see workers organized into unions which are independent and protected from government and criminal interferences.We can use the oil revenue while creating a solar/wind society with economic opportunity for males and females . We can leave behind a good public secular school system for girls and boys.The boys on the left in the democratic party want to do another Vietnam withdrawal throwing the people to their enemies. Because they are rich spoiled brats who feel no sense of obligation to those they use to get ahead. These are the Obama elites of the US. They live like kings and that is their mindset. Let’s get out now, there is nothing in it for US.Feminists should insist on the Japan/German model of reconstruction which led to friendly relations rather than the estrangement we have had from withdrawal without reconstruction in Viet Nam and Cuba all these years. Feminists should Reject the male left’s policies toward Iraq and Afghanistan. It is hard to do but we must speak out for women. You have seen the boys are not with us – now, before it is too late we must speak up for women.This must become part of Hillary’s Iraq program, not withdrawal but reconstruction training in democracy; with the end of gender apartheid as the primary goal. Specifically, reconstruction with women trained by US soldiers, armed and functioning as protective associations for women’s rights – guarding women’s centers and shelters, enforcing sexual abuse and domestic violence complaints, working with male units.The democracy – freedom guarding functions of such units could be praised all over the country as a teaching method.The abuse shelters and women’s villages are where women’s economic development takes place. There carpentry, plumping, solar green jobs, sanitation can be taught. Women’s home building companies can be formed and guarded.We woman identified feminists must start to organize around this now or a great opportunity for democracy with equal rights will be lost in the world. See CNN report from Iraqi troops, Kira Phillips in Baghdad. This is film of Iraqis telling US media what they need -saying what is needed. The video may still be somewhere on the CNN website.Iraqi want democracy training. Training from US troops, democracy training from western TV programs – – free fair election laws. Iraqi are watching this US election on their TV sets and trying to learn from it (that is why our voting booths and polling rooms should be on TV).Most Iraqi seemed to want want Clinton to win -(Hillary’s withdrawal plan showed a concern for Iraqi people’s welfare whereas Obama just wants to get out). Iraqi want one person, one vote, privacy in voting, separate men – women polling stations, simplified voting, to learn about federal, state relationships and responsibilities, Iraqi want jobs, green jobs for males and females.See also,CNN, On Deadly Ground: Women of Iraq. CNN Sat and Sun night, the 15th and 16th. Let’s all watch together.Feminist must insist on a reconstruction that helps Iraq achieve secular society with all our individual personal freedom. We must insist, through the surge, on a secular system as the only way to freedom and peace between the religious factions and non Muslims in one society. The US has done this – we know what works. We must teach separation of church and state — we must make this position our feminist foreign policy for Iraq and Afghanistan. That is the Iraq reconstruction plan that can unite the country. Sharia law should be abolished in Iraq and Afghanistan and secular law taught in the schools. We Hillary women could demand feminist reconstruction be in the platform at the democratic convention. We want trade and economic development to result in economic advancement for all our people; US, Iraqi and Afghani.Remember, let’s all watch CNN this weekend and see Women of Iraq.

  7. It seems to me that Maryam has a warped understanding of Islam. Just because she does not want to live the life that Islam offers, she made it a point to start a crusade against it in the name of “rights”. Is the guilt coming down on her hard? Or is it the luxury of fame? It is hard to tell.What does one mean when they talk about ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’? Is it the ‘freedom’ to stop people from wearing hijab if they want to? Is it freedom to occupy another country and kill children? What are the ‘rights’ of dying babies in the war zone? Or don’t they have any? If you feel so empty in your life then why don’t you fight for the rights of dyign children who have no voice. Don’t try to be so righteous for your own selfish reasons. In Islam men and women compliment each other. Women are beautiful in Islam and are treated as such. Men and women have duties over each other. Women have their rights and they had their rights long before women in the West had. Islam gave men and women their respective responsbilites. This does not mean that women are below men or men are above. It is the thinking of women that makes it seem like that. And who the hell is she to say that in Islam women are below men. Isn’t it God who made us and so isn’t upto Him to give us our roles? Who is she to overide God’s Orders.Maryam, I advise you to go back to who you really are and be proud of your birth rights. Life is short and we return to God in the end who will judge us according to His rules..not the rules of UK or any council that you create.And if in the end you decide to stick to your warped ideas then be brave to go down alone, don’t drag others.A Muslim Woman

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