These are some ramblings written in response to Ginny’s post here
Just some thoughts in response.
All of what you say is true.
However, I’m a Muslim because I believe in Allah, that Quran is His word and Mohammed (peace be upon him) is the final Prophet. In many, many ways it would be/would have been much easier for me not to be a Muslim, especially in my younger days. Maybe I could have been Unitarian or a Quaker instead, but once I read the Quran (or Yusuf Ali’s translation to be accurate), that was it, it was game over for me. I’d found God and I wanted to do as He said (or at least try to).
I fell in love with the Prophets (peace be upon them) and the Mothers of the believers and the Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them all) and they felt not like historical figures but kin.
We know that Allah (subhana wa t’ala) loves mercy, love, kindness and beauty. We know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was brave, loving and endlessly patient. That the Mothers of the believers were strong, fiercely intelligent and respected by all.
When people try to twist things about the role of women, I always remember my favourite hadith, the one where the Prophet (peace be upon him) received the first revelation and was scared and cowering. Who was the first person he turned to? Who did he trust? His wife Khadija.
That people twist these words and actions for their own ends, it doesn’t surprise me. When I was younger I was fascinated by Communism and the idea of building a truly fair society. I am still baffled at exactly where in Marx’s words, people found the incitement to build death camps, to ruthlessly control and purge all opposition. But they did.
As for life in Muslim-majority countries, it is truthful to say that Islam is often not the biggest factor in way people live the way they do. Post-colonialism, economics all play a part.
We also have to look at gender dynamics. On this earth currently, men have far too much power over women. Sadly, history shows us that those with power and privilege rarely concede it without a struggle, and they will seek to regain any losses rapidly. Women and the men who respect them and want to work in partnership with them, will have to work hard to achieve our rightful place. In fact even knowing that we have those rights, is the first part of the struggle.
As a woman I feel that ‘bad men’ deprive me of enough in my life. I can’t walk in certain places after dark, have to watch who I talk to, be careful where I sit on public transport, take a longer route because it’s ‘safer’ then the short cut, be extra scared of strange noises if I’m alone in the house at night, or footsteps walking too closely behind me.
They’ve taken too much from me already. I won’t let them take my faith.