No matter whom we are or where we are in the world, one cannot deny that human rights and civil liberty are the foremost, after politics, controversial subjects of discussion of our time. By all odds, the most debate-provoking topic in any human rights discourse is the issue of women’s rights. It is so because the nature of women’s rights demand holds compound societal dimensions that can bring about everlasting cultural effects on all people.
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In the Arab and Muslim countries, equal rights laws (where do exist) are either devoid or deactivated, mainly in the name of its inconsistency with Islamic laws and archaic societal traditions. However, in few Arab countries, like in Lebanon, for instance, where the constitution clearly affirms equality of all citizens. Nevertheless, in practice, most constitutional equal rights terms are vacated in favor of sectarian regulations, religious rules and hence male chauvinism.
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Arab penal laws still incorporate exonerative clauses of which domestic violence and the so-called honor crime are tolerated. While Arab legislative bodies are tuned out to realize that the lack of serious criminalization and penalization of crimes against women, such as marital rape, carnal abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment and child marriage, is spreading the feel of fear, pain and injustice among half of Arab citizens—not to speak of the accompanying emotional distress and resentment.
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Under some disputed misinterpretations of many Muslim clerics, equal rights for women in the Arab law of land are seen to oppose Islamic teachings and traditions , since the text, in the short eyeshot of those Muslim sheikhdoms, points to the contrary: to the supremacy of men. Arab women have been indoctrinated and influenced, as of childhood, to live in the shadow of their male family members (fathers, brothers, husbands and their own adult sons), no matter of their individual qualities or education.
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Unfortunately, the author (a Muslim man) doesn’t write mention the Koranic verse 4:34 that sacralizes wife beating by the eternal, irrevocable words of Allah. And here are other Islamic doctrinal problems for Muslim women who want gender equality.
But we’ve just read that most Muslim women have been indoctrinated to accept their inferiority and “to live in the shadow of their male family members.” How sad.