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Muslim women lawyers aim to reconcile traditional beliefs with secular society

Feb 1, 2013, 11:09 am CST

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Very informative article.  Thanks!

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 01 29, 12:13 am CST

It was really good to know some of the community women are coming forward to know the law that will be useful for others who are unaware of the US Justice system and the Law of the land.

Thnaks.

By Syed Hussain on 2013 01 29, 7:28 am CST

Sharia law is not compatable with human rights.  Sharia law is oppressive and barbaric to women, gays, minorities, christians, jews, hindus and other non and ex-muslims.  Keep religion out of the US legal system.

By tim17 on 2013 01 29, 10:54 am CST

The purpose of a religion is a selfish to become a selfless (Muslimeen).
The purpose is lost, prehistorical traditions and culture remains.
Please share to understand your re-legion.
‘TRUE ESSENCE OF RELIGIONS’ To unite all.
www.fazelsubian.com

By Fazel Subian on 2013 01 29, 3:40 pm CST

I highly recommend “The Trouble With Islam” by Irshad Manji—a very good explanation of how tribal cultural traditions have corrupted and eclipsed some of the actual doctrines of Islam. 

@3 - I would make the same argument about laws based on modern Christian beliefs as well.

By Another Andy on 2013 01 29, 5:12 pm CST

This is an inspiring story. Hopefully these women are at the start of something larger, as Islam can only be reformed for the modern world from within. However, the problems they face are interestingly summarized in the following phrase:

“But a growing number of scholars, many of them women, argue that when it is properly understood, Islam not only allows but demands that women be full, active and even noisy participants in the world.”

That is an incomplete statement at best, not only because it is contradicted by 1400 years of experience, but because it is impossible to say what the “proper understanding” is of anything as complicated, vague, inconsistent, and contradictory as any holy book, let alone an entire religion. Consider the disputes we face here everyday over a text as concise and relatively simple as our Constitution.

Laws governing civil society should not be dependent on religious text, but ought to stand alone on a secular foundation. If you think it’s tough to amend our Constitution to better reflect the needs of our society in the modern day, try amending the Quran (or Bible, Torah, etc.). It’s no coincidence that the U.S. is the best place to be a Muslim woman.

By NoleLaw on 2013 01 29, 6:18 pm CST

In the 1960’s and early 1970’s I was educated in a school in Pennsylvania where many of the teachers wore a long, black head covering not much different than a hijab.

Those teachers were nuns, the Sisters of St. Joseph. The school was part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, of the Roman Catholic Church.

Why is it so hard for Americans to accept the traditional garb of another culture? 

To those afflicted with Islamophobia, look to the good aspects of the faith, and its millions of peaceful followers.

Islamic banking that is consistent with the principles of sharia law prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees (known as riba, or usury) for loans of money.
That sounds better than predatory Rothschild-style central banking that has ruined the West.

By peace and love on 2013 01 29, 6:39 pm CST

Quran (9:29) - “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

By Steve on 2013 01 29, 7:16 pm CST

@ 8 - Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34.

Do you have a point?

By NoleLaw on 2013 01 29, 7:43 pm CST

@7: “Why is it so hard for Americans to accept the traditional garb of another culture?”

I think the opposite is true.  Americans are very accepting, unlike many other cultures.

By Marc on 2013 01 29, 8:08 pm CST

@10 - I actually think I agree—we are certainly more accepting than at least several other cultures, though we still have a long way to go in many regards.

Let’s call a spade a spade here.  We are not talking about a kimono or a fuzzy Russian hat.  We are talking about an article of clothing that is *designed* to subjugate women and keep them inferior.  (And no, I don’t buy the “we’re honoring them by covering them” schtick.) 

I believe it is appropriate to condemn that garb and disapprove of it for its net effects on society and the welfare of women everywhere, and I don’t believe that makes us ethnocentric.  The motives are simply different—it isn’t xenophobia I feel when I see a women who feels she has to cover herself.  It’s sadness for the effect on other women in her culture and a righteous indignation that any human being would be treated that way—and indoctrinated to accept it.

By Another Andy on 2013 01 29, 8:16 pm CST

@7.  I accept every religion and every culture and every garb.  However, keep your religion in your church, mosque, temple.  Religious laws have no place in America.

By tim17 on 2013 01 29, 9:07 pm CST

From the article - this alone should get sharia law banned in the US.  “Moreover, the standard of proof of adultery under the Quran is impossibly high, requiring four witnesses to the act of penetration.”

I can rape your wife and have 3 of my friends watch me.  since there are only 3 witnesses who watch me penetrate her and I get off free because there is not a 4th witness.  sharia law is barbaric and oppressive toward woman and non-muslims.

By tim17 on 2013 01 29, 9:13 pm CST

There should really be some sort of screening mechanism on this site to keep non-attorneys from commenting here. How embarrassing that the level of discourse on a site ostensibly aimed towards attorneys is little better than Yahoo!. It is a poor reflection on the profession.

By NoleLaw on 2013 01 29, 9:19 pm CST

Tim17—Is English not your first language?  Not one word of the above article supports the imposition of sharia law anyhere. 

You might as well be whining about halal meat.  Nobody cares whether or not you eat that either.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 01 30, 12:21 am CST

#11—I couldn’t disagree more with your characterization of the burqa or the hijab.

I’m neither a Muslimnor a woman.  But I lived some decades ago among Muslims for periods of years in Afghanistan (Peace Corps volunteer, where I was one of the first men in Afghan history to teach Afghan women anything) then Iran, where I taught at different universities—one coed, the other not.  I had a lot of women students, friends acquaintances and colleagues. Some were more religious than others. 

In Afghanistan most covered their hair; in Iran, most did not.  But those that chose to did so less for religious reasons than out of a sense of wanting to conform to what was, in their culture, a different norm of feminine modesty than we have today in the west—much like a most western women would prefer not to go about in public with their breasts uncovered, whereas a 19th century woman in Polynesia or parts of Africa would think nothing of doing so. 

If you’re going to get all upset about religion subjugating women and forcing them to cover themselves up to an absurd degree from a mainstream western point of view, then don’t stop with Muslim women.  Consistency demands that you also go after ultra-orthodox Jewish women who cut or shave their own hair and wear wigs, and who do not go out in public without wearing headscarves and fully covering their arms and legs, and who never sit among men in their houses of worship or at social gatherings…...just like their Muslim sisters.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 01 30, 12:35 am CST

I do feel that my characterization is accurate.

I agree with you that all of those other forms of denigration of womens’ bodies should be equally condemned.

By Another Andy on 2013 01 30, 3:47 am CST

Did Attorney Abdelkader imply that Aisha bint Abu Bakr started the first ever civil war in the history of Islam? “Aisha bint Abu Bakr a scholar, jurist and political leader who also led an army into battle.”
That was one of the saddest and darkest era in the history of Muslims indeed.

By Raid Mohammad on 2013 01 30, 4:45 am CST

#16.  They can wear the hijab, burqa, etc if they so choose.  I have no problem with personal freedoms.  Keep sharia law out of our society is all i am saying. 

and yes it does - “Muslims are bound by their religion, but they can change their culture.”  if you follow the law of the quran, you oppress women, minorities, non-muslims and ex-muslims.

By tim17 on 2013 01 30, 1:56 pm CST

Tim17: I can’t believe this has to be explained, but adultery and rape are not the same thing. I really hope you’re not an attorney.

By Joamiq on 2013 01 30, 5:49 pm CST

#19—The best way to avoid inaccuracies as you express would be to remember that religions are best evaluated not by what’s in their scriptures or the writings of disputatious commentators, but by how actual adherents to the religions live their lives.  Mostly (particularly in Christianity and Islam) believers tend to ignore the stupid, violent, intolerant stuff in their respective scriptures as they go about their very ordinary lives. 

Of course there are fanatics on both sides, with Ayatollah Khameini, Ayman al-Zwahiri and Revs. Terry Jones and Fred Phelps readily coming to mind.  But it’s as unreasonable to judge Islam by the former as Christianity by the latter.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 01 30, 6:08 pm CST

I don’t want to (and won’t) get into a religious debate here.  But for whatever it’s worth, I think there might be good arguments that one of those is clearly metaphorical in context of the teaching as a whole, while the other is less so.

(Now, the Old Testament is an entire other kettle of fish…)

By Another Andy on 2013 01 30, 7:25 pm CST

#22—Metaphorical in context?  You can’t mean the New Testament.  That sort of talk could have gotten you burned at the stake as a heretic barely a few centuries ago—and it surely would get you socially shunned in parts of the USA’s Bible belt today.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 01 30, 10:30 pm CST

this is an inspiring piece,it has actually inspired me to strive to achieve my dream of becoming one of the best attorney in Ghana.more so being a Muslim woman I need to work hard .
I will like to attend your training next summer. thank you.

By ummu zakari on 2013 01 31, 9:00 am CST

I suddenly feel very humbled by #24.

She got the point of this piece.  And the rest of us missed it entirely.

By Another Andy on 2013 01 31, 2:30 pm CST

shari’a law is completely barbaric, and has no place in the US or in any country that believes in human rights and any degree of personal freedom.  the problem is and always has been the convenient “interpretation” of the quran to mean whatever some extremist wants it to believe.  It is not a religious issue, it is the fact that their interpretation of the quran is used as a vehicle to control people.

And those same extremists would change all the rest of us infidels (anyone not a believer).  Look up dhimmitude and taqiyya.

By Infidel on 2013 02 01, 2:37 pm CST

These women are well meaning but their objective is absolutely hopeless.  Islam has a well documented history of the oppression of women and non-believers.  Islam cannot change its essential nature, and these women are deluding themselves if they think they can cause Islam to change.  Their only option is to leave Islam, and its misogny and ignorance, behind.  Islam is not worthy of the time and attention of this group of obviously intelligent and well intentioned people.

By Brad on 2013 02 01, 2:42 pm CST

Brad—I can’t think it’s hopeless.  Look at how far women of other religions have come in overcoming historical oppression.  As a jewish woman, I have freedoms unimagineable in my culture just decades ago.  In the 1980s, I was not permitted a bat mitzvah that would have me reading from the Torah, because I was a girl.  Now, in that same synagogue, I could be a rabbi or cantor.  It’s the moderates who love their faith who drive the change, and I applaud and admire these women for striving to do exactly that in the face of so many difficult obstacles.

By Jill on 2013 02 01, 3:50 pm CST

AndytheLawyer:  Thank you for your comments; you’ve articulated some of my thoughts on this better than I could have.

#27: Christianity also “has a well documented history of the oppression of women and non-believers.” Can you please present me with evidence that would indicate that Islam’s “essential nature” is less conducive to women’s rights than Christianity’s “essential nature”? Because as I recall, Christian scripture treats women as property, while Muslim scripture mandates that women have rights.

By Elle on 2013 02 01, 4:08 pm CST

Culture is not the same as religion: truer words were never spoken.  We have a culture in the U.S. that is more secular and inclusive than anything our planet has ever experienced.  Muslim women have an opportunity here to grow and define themselves that can be found nowhere else.  Whether we call the deeply held beliefs among us religion or ideology, these beliefs must take their chances in the free marketplace of ideas, without preference or prejudice by our government.  If this freedom is embraced by other cultures around the world because of the clearly obvious resulting happiness of religiously emancipated people, then our good example has done its proper work.

By sunforester on 2013 02 01, 5:03 pm CST

@29-  Elle- I would love to read where muslim scripture gives women rights- can you tell me where I might find that?  Thank you-

By Infidel on 2013 02 01, 5:28 pm CST

Enough with the tu quoque. 

No religion that has been made, administrated, or developed by men is very supportive of the liberty of women.

(Yes, I’m generalizing.  Yes, I’m sure there are exceptions.  It’s probably still an accurate generalization.)

By Another Andy on 2013 02 01, 5:30 pm CST

@ 30 - “We have a culture in the U.S. that is more secular and inclusive than anything our planet has ever experienced.”

Have you ever heard of western Europe? Or maybe even Canada? Our culture is relatively fundamentalist compared to much of the first world; thirty percent of American believe God plays a role in the outcome of sporting events! As if, assuming there is a God, He/She/It is paying any attention; and why would He, He already knows the outcome.

One wishes Americans stopped idealizing this country so hyperbolically. 

That said, you’re spot on that secular values and secular laws are what secure people the freedom that is their birthright. Though in any case, these women are on the right track, and one can only wish them the greatest of success.

By NoleLaw on 2013 02 01, 6:23 pm CST

Oh and the cite to the above stat, should anyone be curious, is publicreligion.org under research.

By NoleLaw on 2013 02 01, 6:24 pm CST

#29: The Qu’ran mandates that women receive at least some inheritance if their husband or father dies, that women have the right to education and work, that women have the right to own and keep their property, and that they should not be forced to marry anyone against their will. 

One example:
“You who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr (bridal money a husband gives his wife) you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably.” (An-Nisa 4:19)

Is Muslim scripture sexist? Does Muslim scripture, taken literally, deny women equality and allow for oppressive traditions? Absolutely.

Taken literally, does Muslim scripture allow women much more freedom and autonomy than Christian scripture? Yes.

As an atheist, I may not understand the comfort of religion. However, I fail to see how the “essential nature” of Islam is any less conducive to women’s right than the “essential nature” of Christianity, which seems to have somehow reconciled itself with women who own property, don’t cover their heads, and don’t marry their rapists. #27, what is Islam’s “essential nature” and how is it misogynistic at its core?

#32: My argument is not tu quoque. I am not arguing that Christianity’s “essential nature” is prohibitive of women’s rights and that therefore one may excuse Islam of the same. Clearly, many Christians have reconciled their beliefs with gender equality before the law. I simply fail to understand why Brad thinks that Muslims are incapable of doing the same. If he (or anyone else) can present me with a logically reasoned argument that indicates that something “essential” in Islam prevents Muslims from reconciling their beliefs (or overcoming cognitive dissonance) in the same manner, I will acquiesce.

By Elle on 2013 02 01, 6:34 pm CST

@ 35 - To play devil’s advocate, at least some currents in Christian theology have always accepted the separate nature of religion and religious laws on the one hand and the secular world and secular laws on the other hand. Think of that old line, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, etc.” Granted, that is not how much of the Christian world operated for most of its history, but that distinction is there.

Islam is quite different from that (at least in my understanding), in that, at least if taken literally, it attempts to govern, and not just inform, all aspects of life.

By NoleLaw on 2013 02 01, 6:45 pm CST

Point taken.

There’s always hope!

Christianity itself has a very long way to go before completely liberating women.  My grandmother attended a church where women wouldn’t show their ankles and couldn’t cut their hair.

I suspect, in the end, that fundamentalism of any religion is much less about what God wants and much more about creating and perpetuating power structures—almost always in favor of men.

By Another Andy on 2013 02 01, 6:46 pm CST

#36: If only “some currents in Christian theology” have paid heed to that aspect of Christianity, I have a difficult time attributing it to Christianity’s “essential nature.” That being said, it’s still a point worth considering.

#37: I completely agree with your analysis of fundamentalism.

By Elle on 2013 02 01, 6:58 pm CST

I consider myself pretty liberal on most subjects, but when I see women in hijabs or the abbayas, and there are many where I live, I feel a great sense of fear on behalf of my daughter’s future.  I can’t help but associate the wearing of hijab by women as an act of self-abasement, and as Muslim immigrants become more numerous and more assertive about the rights of Islam and the place of sharia law in our culture, I can’t help but fear for the future of women’s rights in this country.  I feel the same fear from the actions of the Christian fundamentalists (Akin and Mourdock, anyone?).  Islam, for me, and in particular the treatment of women and wearing of restrictive cloting, will always be associated with the oppression of women.

By Donatra on 2013 02 01, 7:01 pm CST

Separation of church and state. Meaning religion and state. Sharia law has no place on US soil as a legal system flying beneath the radar of our own, our even in US courts as a cultural defense. You move here you abide by the laws of the land.

By You call this coffee!? on 2013 02 01, 7:25 pm CST

@ 38 - Yeah, the whole term “essential nature” with respect to something as complex as a global religion makes no sense at all.

By NoleLaw on 2013 02 01, 7:33 pm CST

@ 40 - What if you agree by contract to have a dispute resolved in accordance with Sharia? There is much more to Sharia than stoning women and cutting off hands.

By NoleLaw on 2013 02 01, 7:35 pm CST

Why is it so hard to convince people that “Shaira Law taking over our country” is a made-up issue by talking heads to capitalize on ignorance, fear, and bigotry?

It’s like the whole danger-in-Halloween-candy thing.  One event happens, gets misreported and distorted, and suddenly everyone thinks it’s happening everywhere.

By Another Andy on 2013 02 01, 7:36 pm CST

@42 - You just ruined it for me.  There went my weekend plans.

By Another Andy on 2013 02 01, 7:37 pm CST

I somewhat agree w/#39, Donatra’s comment: even though I appreciate the liberal interpretation giving women more rights, seeing Muslim women accept submissive roles including wearing hijab or burka suggests otherwise; and unfortunately there are many interpretations of the Quran but most tend to restrict women’s rights.  I feel that all religion should be questioned whether or not presumed the word of God because, let’s face it, all religious texts are written by men.  Thanks.

By Kiran on 2013 02 01, 7:38 pm CST

@42 - sounds like the parties to that contract would be properly following US law and the sharia principles wouldn’t be flying beneath the radar or acting as a separate set of rules.

By You call this coffee!? on 2013 02 01, 7:40 pm CST

@46 - Then could you name a particular incident that has actually happened that you’re thinking about and that you’d like not to happen again?

By Another Andy on 2013 02 01, 7:43 pm CST

@47 - honor killings, arranged marriages. etc.

By You call this coffee!? on 2013 02 01, 7:44 pm CST

@44 - You can always just get stoned yourself…

By NoleLaw on 2013 02 01, 7:46 pm CST

(1) It’s not islamophobia, but islamopissedoffia. A phobia is an irrational fear of something. And to ignore the actual problems of Islam would be foolish. (2) Yes, there certainly are Moslems who want to impose Sharia on the US. And if you doubt me, take a look at Europe and how our lovely Moslem brethren are dealing with Europeans (France, Dnmark, Sweden, etc. (2) That some Moslems are becoming acculturated instead of demanding that we adopt Moslem ways is very encouraging - particularly given “honor” killings which, by the way, are authorized by the Koran.

By George Renneberg on 2013 02 01, 11:38 pm CST

If Islamic law can in any way be interpreted as limiting women or imposing restrictions against freedom, why would anyone want to continue in the faith? Just leave. Especially in America. I understand that in Muslim countries it might not be physically safe to do so. But in America you’ve got a fighting chance to stay alive. If one feels they need a religion there are many out there from which to choose.

By Fred on 2013 02 01, 11:57 pm CST

#51: What religion’s scripture/doctrine/dogma can in no way be interpreted as limiting women or imposing restrictions against freedom?

By Question on 2013 02 02, 12:04 am CST

#52: You missed my point. If you feel that any religion restricts freedom, etc., and has mandatory rules, then do without any religion. Just live by the golden rule and do every thing in moderation. My understanding of modern religions is that Islam still has the more stringent restrictions, i.e, women wearing veils, or some type of hair covering;

By Fred on 2013 02 02, 9:12 pm CST

That’s my understanding, too, Fred#52.  But it’s actually worse.  People jump in and say that all religions have some degree of restriction on women, but to my knowledge, only islam allows and/or encourages honor killing, beating and stoning to death—particularly violent acts against women.  You don’t read about these being promoted in present day Christianity, Judaism, or any of the other “major” religions.  Hell, you don’t even see it in one of the most restrictive “religions”—fundamentalist LDS- they simply ex communicate or shun you.

By Infidel on 2013 02 03, 3:10 pm CST

I won’t make the mistake of saying what I think on this topic, but while I consider myself a Christian,  I would like to provide two Facebook resources that OFTEN give me news relevant to this issue of human rights in Islam, but you have to “friend” these two sources, and, for the second one, not mind lots of profane comedy (Atheists have the best sense of humor), so if this post doesn’t get deleted, and if you want my two best sources of human rights news in the Muslim world, go friend these two people, ww.facebook.com/michelle.parker.1485537 , and ww.facebook.com/GSHMP

Don’t be turned off by the 90% nonsense that comes from these two sources. Focus on the 5 to10% of human rights reporting on the Muslim world. That is the only reason why I’m sharing. Think of it as “Sharing Sharia” .

Now that I think about it, I’m about 90% sure this post gets deleted.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 02 03, 9:15 pm CST

Can you give the grounds for why you consider these resources accurate?  I am not challenging, only would like to know more about someone before “friending” them.

Also, I don’t see anything in your post that would qualify for deletion, unless there are rules of which I am unaware.

By Infidel on 2013 02 03, 9:23 pm CST

Accuracy. An excellent point Infidel @ 56. I cannot provide proof that either are accurate. I myself was suspect of “Michelle Parker,” for a while, she friended me, I didn’t friend her. 30% of “her” news is flat out tabloid material. Actually, you don’t need to friend her,. 100% of her news is from yourjewishnews.com .  More than 50% of it is pure tabloid trash, but after my initial shock, I now suspect “her” reports are at least mostly true. But a significant portion of yourjewishnews.com relates to human rights in the Muslim world. The other source, well, he’s just an Atheist with a sense of humor, and a desire to make the world a better place, without religion, and he’s surprisingly close to my heart He drops the bomb on Christians with as much gusto as he does the religion he was born into, God bless him! I’d like to meet him and hear him speak one day.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 02 03, 10:55 pm CST

Well, being friended by “Michelle” is a lot better than going to yourjewishnews.com. I think she filters what she sends me on Facebook. 90% of yourjewishnews.com seems tabloid trash, true or not.

I think I should not recommend yourjewishnews.com. But I admit that I truly like being a “friend” of “Michelle Parker.”

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 02 03, 11:04 pm CST

Here’s one I just got. 

Surprisingly appropriate for this thread. I only added a single break between the http://  and the rest.

http://
english.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/02/03/264031.html

I love Michelle Parker on Facebook.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 02 04, 2:56 am CST

And here is a recent link from my Atheist “friend,” who I admire so much. (I only put a single break between the www and what followed it, so, at least on my computer, I can copy it “as is” and paste it into my browser, which appears to automatically fix the break.)

http://www
.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/16/egyptian-court-sentences-entire-family-to-15-years-for-converting-to/?test=latestnews

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 02 04, 3:47 am CST

Honestly, If I were the moderator, I’d start deleting my posts. So, after this one I’ll stop. This just in from my Atheist friend:

http://www
.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/03/fayhan-al-ghamdi-_n_2610841.html

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 02 04, 3:54 am CST

Thanks for the follow up, Tom.  Burkas for Babies was interesting, to say the least.  And I had already read the article about how one muslim cleric beat his 5 year old daughter to death because he questioned her virginity.  Sadly, islam is used as a pretext to commit horrible crimes against women, and its varied interpretation allegedly gives license to the extremists to pretty much do whatever they want against a woman.

By Infidel on 2013 02 04, 2:53 pm CST

Elle.  I love your defense of “The Qu’ran mandates that women receive at least some inheritance”.  Reminds me of the days when we though Negros could have 3/5 of a vote in this country as they worked on the plantation.

Maybe you should qoute the verse so we can see how fair it is.

Qur’an (4:11) - (Inheritance) “The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females”

By tim17 on 2013 02 04, 9:19 pm CST

Comment removed by moderator.

By tim17 on 2013 02 04, 9:20 pm CST

tim17@64-  That is one incredible source.  And those are some horrific stories, including the one about the 20 year old Victoria Secret worker who recently had acid thrown in her face when walking back from work in London by someone dressed in a niqab. 

muslim women lawyers are going to have a hard road to hoe, for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it is their religion’s zealots who will stop their advancement.

By Infidel on 2013 02 04, 10:01 pm CST

I fully agree with Professor Aziza al- Hibri that Islam never discourages women from seeking education and participation in all family social, legal and spiritual aspects of life no matter where she is living. Professor al-Hibri is right in her viewthat United States is the best model for all Arab countries. I love it.

By Zaheer Parvez on 2013 02 05, 10:04 pm CST

‘merica’s ‘bout freedom to practice any religion you want.
If you’re being prejudicial against my client, YOU ARE IN MY WAAAAYYYY!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBLTW-KLdHA

By Go Noles! on 2013 02 06, 3:52 pm CST

@67 - freedom from what.

The Messenger of Allah (Mohammed) said, “Whoever changes his (Islamic) religion, kill him.” Al-Bukhary (number 6922).

By tim17 on 2013 02 06, 5:07 pm CST

@68 Sad but true.  Brought to you by the religion of peace and tolerance.

What is so bizarre about the Koran (or Quran, I am not sure which spelling is correct anymore) is the fact that it contains many conflicting provisions, which essentially allow fundamentalists to interpret it any way they wish—which is invariably, violently against women.

If you read the Koran, you will see in the beginning it is gentle, and espouses tolerance for others not of islam.  Later in the book, Mohammed proclaims that it is ok to have child brides (Aisha was 9 or 10 years old when they married),  to be a violent warrior, to abuse women and to treat non muslims harshly. 

I spent some time in Amman Jordan a few years ago. A religious scholar there told me that the way most scholars interpret the Koran is that the more recent writings are the ones that take precedence over the earlier ones when there is a conflict.  So, if that’s true, it will be even harder for the muslim women lawyers to gain a foothold in any place that practices even moderately enforced islam.

By Infidel on 2013 02 06, 5:56 pm CST

There is no place for Sharia Law in a democratic society. That’s all.

By AM on 2013 02 11, 1:01 am CST

When a woman wears a hijab in a western society, it is not immediately interpreted as ‘modesty’. What physical attributes does she mean? Her hair?
Sorry, but whenever I see a woman wearing a hijab as a representative of a profession (presuming the profession requires intelligence and critical thinking), I can only think of the contradicting that the hijab represents. While being modest, this mode of dress is demeaning to women because it also reinforces the backward idea that women are so sexually risque by showing their hair. Their hair! If that is not an outmoded custom/view, whatever you may call it, I don’t know what is and no, these women who ‘choose’ to wear it don’t convince me of any open mindedness, but only confirm that their thought processes are still clouded by medieval beliefs reinforced by their religion.

By Anna on 2013 02 11, 1:07 am CST

Comment removed by moderator.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 02 11, 1:16 am CST

Thank you for this fascinating article. I linked to it on the Lilith blog here (http://lilith.org/blog/2013/02/sisters-in-law). Hope this is ok to share.

I am a bit dismayed by the amount of time people in the comments are spending talking about women’s dress choices. If you are paying more attention to their/our clothes than to their/our words, you should consider whether you are part of the problem.

By Tara on 2013 02 13, 6:57 pm CST

As-sala mu alikum. My pray is always for all of our sisters .I am from NEW YORK city. But everyday i have been seen Anti-Islam Ads in New York City Subway station.It makes me Upset .But i want to do something about it. Please give me some suggestion and i want you to be involve   in this issue. Please i want Peace and Justice in this country And my request is go for it to success. Pl provide me one of our sister Email and contact information.It is really spreading 3 for state also. please do not give up.My phone number is 646 318 4617

By Mazeda A. Uddin on 2013 02 26, 6:31 am CST

As-sala mu alikum. My pray is always for all of our sisters .I am from NEW YORK city. But everyday i have been seen Anti-Islam Ads in New York City Subway station.It makes me Upset .But i want to do something about it. Please give me some suggestion and i want you to be involve   in this issue. Please i want Peace and Justice in this country And my request is go for it to success. Pl provide me one of our sister Email and contact information.It is really spreading 3 for state also. please do not give up.My phone number is 646 318 4617.I will be waiting for our justice AND PEACE.TX

By Mazeda A. Uddin on 2013 02 26, 6:33 am CST

You could start by getting the community of Muslims to vocally and publicly denounce sharia law and violence against women.  I read a lot, but never read about moderate Muslims denouncing the extreme acts of other Muslims.  You could ask some of the less moderate Muslims to show tolerance for those who do not believe.  The ads you refer to were put up in response to the anti Israel ads that were run not long ago, on many of the same bill boards.  There is a deep perception, whether correct or not, that Muslims want to impose their beliefs on all the rest of us, rather than assimilate into our society.  Muslim extremists promote their agenda that they live to kill Americans.  We know about Dhimmitude and Takiyya: Those beliefs have allowed sleeper cells to flourish here for years for a nefarious purpose.  Those are dangerous and insidious beliefs and create a deep suspicion in the non Muslim community.

By Infidel on 2013 02 26, 6:54 am CST

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