30 August, 2005

Muslim Rights

I saw on the news yesterday that a couple of liberals want to ban Muslim headscarves from schools, because "it is a challenge to our freedoms and way of life" which is the biggest bit of rubbish I've ever heard. This is assuming that anyone who wants to be associated with the Muslim religion is a terrorist, which is so absurd it's obviously not true.

Once we begin infringing on the rights of people because of their religion or nationality, the terrorists have won. The terrorists don't truly care about gaining equal rights for Muslims in Australia*, and don't care if their actions cause the Australian government to retaliate against Australian Muslims (except to add fuel to their propaganda). The terrorists want power, and are using whatever causes they can to secure it for themselves. If the western world suddenly made peace with the Islamic nations and gave into all of their desires, there would still be terrorists, and a lot of the current ones would most likely still be terrorists. They would just move onto a new cause.

At least the French don't show such an obvious dislike towards one religion in their ban, and ban religious insignia in schools without prejudice. Thankfully though, John Howard (in one of the few decent things he's ever done) has publically disagreed with the liberals, as he's attempting to discuss with Islamic leaders about curbing extremists (which is what America should do instead of going around invading Islamic countries, but that's another rant).

It just angers me when I see this sort of narrow-mindedness, and from our country's leaders nonetheless. But it was most likely just a publicity stunt to get their names in the paper, and to get the lowest Australians who agree with them to like them.

Pro-polygamy Womans Rights Group

Today I saw at Eleri's blog that in Egypt a group of Arab women are saying that women should be encouraged to use their right to marry a married man. This is an interesting take on the issue, and is quite different to the Western debates, instead calling upon religious reasons to support polygamy.

It's a very interesting issue, but as a "decadent Westerner" I do feel that promoting polygamy for the reasons that these women are, will lead to more problems then it will solve (although I may be wrong because of my ignorance of the lifestyle and culture in Egypt).

In Egypt a women's rights group along with movies and pop-culture tend to stress the bad conotations of polygamy and the problems it cause. However this new women's rights group are claiming that it will fix social problems such as divorce, adultery, working mothers/wives and the stigma of being a single older female.

If people begin getting married instead of divorcing their wives or comitting adultery, I think that would cause many more problems then it would solve. It will cause resentment and anger along with fights and most likely eventual divorce anyway.

However this doesn't mean that marrying two women will inherently cause fights between the wives. If the both women approve of the marriage, it can solve problems. We're taught in Western society that it's impossible to love two women, but if it isn't (I don't think I'd be able to though) and the women agree, why shouldn't they? (Egyptian law does allow this, but America and Australia certainly don't).

A womens rights group activist claimed that it would be the same as displaying women in a slave market, which in my opinion is complete rubbish. I believe that for the most part, the women are agreeing to the marriage (whatever their reasons), so it's certainly not the same as having a slave market. The article also claims that polygamy is just to satiate a man's lust and pleasure. While I'm sure that's certainly true in some cases, as far as I know Islamic religion doesn't allow for adultery (this is a pure guess). By discouraging polygamy, Egyptian men are more likely to go have sex with strangers (as their religion doesn't encourage monogomous relationships) for lust. But polygamy can encourage men to marry for love.

However this goes back to the reason to marry. The article says:
Some women accept polygamous marriages out of loneliness, religious piety or fear of divorce. Others find it too humiliating and opt to divorce their husbands.

Nagwa, who asked to withhold her surname to protect her privacy, says she wedded an already happily married man rather than stay single at 40. She said he proposed to her with his first wife's consent because he felt a religious obligation to protect a Muslim woman.

In my opinion that's wrong and not healthy, and will cause more problems then it solves.

I personally think problems inherent in polygamy would be done away with (to a certain degree) if it was a marriage where everyone involved is married to each other. None of this "man with two wives business" or "woman with two husbands" but instead a relationship with three people, where each is married to the other two. The wife is married to the wife and the husband, the other wife is married to the first wife and the husband, and the husband is married to each of the wives. If the husband wanted out of the marriage, the two wives would still stay together.

Is it possible for all those people to love each other? I don't know, but if it is, why should we outlaw it? I know that such a set-up isn't likely in Western civilization anytime soon as it would involve allowing homosexual marriages (which many still outlaw), but I can't see any non-religious reason to outlaw it.


Blogger Zakariya said...

Well with regards to Muslim ideas on polygamy the first wife has to approve of the husband getting a second wife. It really does prevent divorce. Also, a man is required to treat the women equally.

Furthermore, there are more women than men in any country except India where women receive poorer treatment in early development. So, in a Muslim culture where the ideal is for everyone to get married this issue actually comes up.

Also, the man does not sleep with more than one at once. They are somewhat separate.

Furthermore, the reason it is not allowed for women to marry multiple men is simple. You cannot know whose child is whose.

Now one should know that it is not encouraged for men to have multiple wives, but if he wants more kids or is tempted to have affairs it prevents problems.

In the West a man can have only one wife, but he can have 100 mistresses. How is this more morally sound? It is just silly prejudice without rational thought.

2:36 am  

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