What have they got against Muslim women?

comments     Mariam Mokhtar     Published     Updated

If Malay women are like marionettes whose actions must be controlled by others, then Muslim men are like martinets, the strict disciplinarians who demand that others adhere to their rigid rules.

Have you noticed that new edicts about control are almost always directed at Muslim women? How often do you ever hear about men being warned to act properly?

Women are told: Cover your head. Cover your aurat. Stop dreaming about being a beauty queen, gymnast or ballerina. Avoid gazing directly into men’s eyes. Stop wearing jeans, use a purdah. Don’t ride kapcais (small motorbikes), with men. Don’t breed dogs.

Every insecure Muslim man and organisation treats the Muslim woman as if she were a brainless, sexual object, whose main role in life is to breed more Muslims. How often are Muslim men told to stop objectifying women? Are they taught to respect women?

The Saudi Arabians have their Wahhabism, which some Malays have wholeheartedly embraced, to get fast-tracked to heaven. The emphasis is on ritual and punishment. Men are told to control their wives and daughters, so that the husband can be assured of a safe passage to heaven.

Despite the equality between the sexes, Muslim women appear to get more attention from Muslim NGOs, PAS politicians, officials from the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) and other religious authorities.

The nation’s favourite pastime appears to be bashing Muslim women. On Valentine’s Day, the National Muslim Youth Association (Pembina) warned Muslim women against using emoticons in text messages. Why not warn the men, too?

Pembina is probably taking their cue from a Saudi-based preacher, Wajdi Akkari, who claimed that emojis are “haram” because symbols, like Satan, the Angel, and the hands-clasped-in-prayer, are “Christian”.

Banning Muslim women from using emoticons was not good enough for this NGO. Pembina also warned women not to use perfume. Why are men not banned from using after-shave? Is it because they should grow beards?

When a child becomes a victim of statutory rape, the Muslim rapist escapes conviction by marrying his victim. The religious authorities just shrug off the accusations that condoning child marriages gives men a licence to commit paedophilia. What do they do? They offer lame excuses about the male’s right to marry child brides, and his religious obligation to marry up to four wives.

If he fancies another woman, he avoids adultery by marrying her, but if he already has four wives, he simply dumps the wife he likes least, and gets hitched to his latest paramour. So much for equality and fairness for the Muslim girl. Can you see why the population of single mothers is increasing?

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