Muslim women





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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Muslim women
By Thinkingoutloud (Thinkingoutloud) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit

From what I have read and observed, nearly all Muslim women seem to have significantly less rights and lower status when compared to Muslim men. This really bugs me. It reminds me of the way certain racial groups were mistreated in South Africa several years ago. What I am uncertain of is whether this is really a problem (maybe Muslim women like their controlled lifestyles). If it is a problem, is there anything we Americans should do? If we should do something, I am not sure what that would be. Any thoughts?

By Zuka (Zuka) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 08:26 pm: Edit

wow, did you just find this out?

By Idiias (Idiias) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 08:47 pm: Edit

honestly bill, you're just thinking out loud. Do you know how many muslim woman are living in America? The religion isnt whats controlling them...its their society...their country.

By Poison_Ivy (Poison_Ivy) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 08:56 pm: Edit

Zuka: :)

By Neo (Neo) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 09:22 pm: Edit

Ditto Idiias -- it isn't the religion.

By Haithman (Haithman) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit

What are you talkin about? I am muslim and all the women in my family are equal to the men. Stop watching CNN...

By Waffle (Waffle) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:36 pm: Edit

Don't make unfair generalizations about Muslim women.

By Asianalto (Asianalto) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:40 pm: Edit

I read that historically some of the problems you're referring to developed because, in order to ensure proper inheritance, men kept a very close eye on their women, taking away some freedoms, making them cover up, etc, particularly on the coast of East Africa in the Swahili City States.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 01:44 am: Edit

haithman, you live in the US. If you lived in Saudi Arabia, Iran, pre-war afgahnistan... things would be a lot different, with Sharia being the law of the land. Woman cannot even drive in Saudi Arabia.

It is not muslim women that are unequal, it is muslim women in certain muslim theocratic shitt holes in the middle east.

By Haithman (Haithman) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 02:05 am: Edit

I know about Saudi, I have cousins that live there. And though it isnt like the US, it would be totally wrong to say that women are oppressed there. I dont agree with alot that goes on in the middle east, actually I hate most leaders in the middle east because they have no idea what they are doing and they let other countries come and take over while these kings and presidents just sit idly by on their chairs and take peoples money. Look at the EU, different nations, different currencies, no oil, but look at how they have come together to create something stable. Everyone in the middle east speaks arabic, share the same culture, and have huge oil reserves that could make a union extremely wealthy, but noo...all of them just want to sit, relax, and watch as other nations take them over.
But please dont make all of these generalations about all muslim women being oppress, mistreated, and treated lower. I am sure that women are being mistreated somewhere, of course. But it is not as widespread as you think.

By Haneen (Haneen) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 02:26 am: Edit

what u see on TV doesnt represent muslim women.
If they treated well and they are respected that doesnt mean their freedom is taken away. Yes there are million of women who are mistreated but they are not all "muslim " women.

By Feuler (Feuler) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 03:25 am: Edit

In addition to what the others have said I have a comment about:

"If it is a problem, is there anything we Americans should do?"

That sounds like a pretty dangerous mindset- we, "as Americans," have some responsibility to go out and change other cultures because we think they are being immoral? Americans are not the world's moral crusaders (and our track record certainly shows we certainly would fill the roll terribly).

By Rono_G (Rono_G) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 03:50 am: Edit

bah. wow, a vigilante eh??

the he1l, this is ridiculous. the US practically loves Saudi Arabia.. look at how much oil it has.. welcome to the world of politics. the US would never intervene and tell Saudi Arabia that their shariah law and their obvious discrimination of women was evil............ well until their oil runs out, and then Thinkingoutloud - you can launch another war on the middle east, and rescue all the women!! wooooohooooooo!!

By Zas1987 (Zas1987) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 12:15 pm: Edit

I agree with all of you before who mentioned that it's not the religion that oppresses women, but the society they live in! As a Muslim girl growing up in America, I have come to realize how wrong those societies are which tell women they can't do this and that and only men can do it. If anyone wants to really learn about the religion of Islam, one piece of advise i can give you is to NOT GET ANY INFO FROM THE MEDIA!! I can't stress this enough - the news makes a mess of the religion.

By Joe1220 (Joe1220) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 01:32 pm: Edit

"and our track record certainly shows we certainly would fill the roll terribly"

You're right, the US has a pretty bad record. What were they thinking when they attacked those poor innocent Nazis?

Who did they think they were when they ended ethnic cleansing in the Balkans? the nerve!!!

What gave them the right to embargo South Africa and end apartheid? arrogant yanks.

If you ask me, the US just one big evil tyrant. They should have left those Nazis, dictators, ethnic cleansers, and racists alone. After all, who are they to say the practices of another culture are wrong?

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 02:01 pm: Edit

Oh my favorite topic Joe ...

Those are three circumstances Joe, but what about the rest. The second one you might want to rethink because it sure took a long time and it was more of a show by NATO that they are not so weak to have this happen in their backyard than anything else. Look the tactics -- aerial bombing that allowed the atrocities to continue for longer than they should have.

Now let's look at Somalia -- that sure was a good idea and it was meant to usher in the age of interventions like you are calling for. And what happened there? The United States and UN went nuts (it's not all in that movie by the way). Enough said.

Since you've brought up some history of how the US has done "good" in the world, let's show the other side. How about when the US supported the Khmer Rouge (which was committing genocide at incredible levels) because they were enemies with the Vietnamese? How about when the United States supported Hussein against the Iranians at the time when he was gassing the Kurds? How about the time the US sat back and watched 800,000 people die Rwanda? Or if you want to go back to the Balkans, how about the many times the US let so-called safe zones fall without lifting a finger?

I'll stop for now.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 03:01 pm: Edit

With the U.S. it's sort of "damned if you do", "damned if you don't". The U.S. has always been accused of being over-involved and in addition, other nations cry foul when they feel it's being under-involved. Where's the median?

By Feuler (Feuler) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 03:28 pm: Edit

Unfortunately I'm not knowledgeable enough on history to give a fully developed rebuttal to Joe (though I recommend EVERYONE read Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" because that's chock full of good examples that I don't remember now). But I do have a few points:

The US was not acting ALONE in Europe in WWII. It was part of a unified effort supported by many nations, not it's little whim (*cough* IRAQ). Also, we weren't there because the Nazis were racist or evil, we were there because they were aggressive against our allies.

History is written by the victors. We are always the victors; that's why we write history. So of course you hear about when we overthrow evil dictators, but you don't hear about all the evil dictators we have supported or even set up. Especially during the cold war, we would support governments solely on whether they oppose communism, and in many cases we overthrew democratically elected governments and set up more anti-communist dictatorships.

I know nothing about the US being involved in South Africa, so I can't respond to that. But I might point out one distinction, though: Apartheid in South Africa was a result of European invasion and colonization, so it had been pressed upon them in the first place.

I guess my main points are:
-The US should not act unless it has the support of most other nations. Firstly so we don't make more enemies, and secondly because many heads are better than one, and since when do Americans know better than everyone else what "should" be done?

-Action is justified when another nation is being aggressive in some way. If all it is doing is within its own borders and does not affect anyone else, it is very hard to justify action (not impossible, but again, it would have to be supported by MANY nations, not ONE).

That was a very poorly written post, but I hope I got my points across to some extent.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 04:02 pm: Edit

The problem Candi is that every one of those times that the US has become involved has been self-interest (Cold War interventions especially) or the tactics have been ill-advised (Somalia namely). Every time that the US has not become involved has been because of politics (Clinton feared another Somalia in Rwanda) or self-interest again (Cambodia, Iraq). I'm not sure what the median is because every situation is unique, but it's important to understand that US foreign policy has not been based on compassion but self-interest (usually economic). If this is what US foreign policy is then Joe is calling for a complete change that although great on paper is completely unrealistic.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 04:06 pm: Edit

Then the problem with that is if you don't expect the U.S. to be involved based on its own self-interest, you are implicitly stating that the determination of involvement should be for altruistic reasons, effectively making it the "World's Policeman". Is that fair and equitable, especially if one cannot even trust other nations in concert (the U.N., whose job it is to do that very same thing) to act in such a manner?

By Lisasimpson (Lisasimpson) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:28 pm: Edit

haithman is muslim?

::swoons::

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:35 pm: Edit

I'm not expecting the US to be involved (in uni-lateral engagements) in anything but self-interest. History has taught me that. What I'm saying is that the UN needs to become accountable and that has a lot to do with the United States. I'm not saying the rest of the UN is by any means perfect (it's not), but the US does hold a lot of power. Would the UN have gotten involved in Rwanda if the US had demanded it? There's no way of knowing, but it wouldn't have hurt.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:39 pm: Edit

And I'm just saying that measures of accountability should be applied equitably. If anything, since it is the UN's job (and not ours'), they should make the first step.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:42 pm: Edit

Right but the UN needs the US support as the only super power in order to do anything.

By Waffle (Waffle) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:44 pm: Edit

The UN lets tyrannical dictatorships and countries that oppress their people into a democratic system. This doesn't mix well. The UN is bogus.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit

But the United States is very much behind those efforts to keep people oppressed. Look no further than Saudi Arabia.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the UN right now is the solution. Read anything about Rwanda and you will hate the UN too. But remember that US support of UN actions did at one time have major pull within the organization.

The point is that it's the only viable option right now. Unilateral action by the US is an option in extreme cases, but too much bad has come of it before. Plus the US doesn't act unless it's in their best interest.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:52 pm: Edit

Yes, and the it will get that support if it stops being corrupt and self-serving, i.e., "Oil for Food" scandal. Why anyone would have their doubts about supporting such an entity is completely justified.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:55 pm: Edit

"Plus the US doesn't act unless it's in their best interest."

You act as if that in itself and of itself is a horrible thing. The U.S. isn't the U.N., it doesn't serve in its capacity as the U.N. and it shouldn't be doing the U.N.'s job.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:56 pm: Edit

I think we are playing the chicken or the egg here.All I can do is look back at history and shudder at the many times the US did not get involved when it should've and did get involved been it shouldn't have.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:59 pm: Edit

I can't believe that you would end with such an overly simplistic and reductionist statement...Whatever...

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:59 pm: Edit

I'm not saying it's a horrible thing. I don't like it, but it's the way it is. To act as if the US can rid the world of oppression is ludicrous. It's just not happening. That's why anyone who praises the liberation of Afghans and Iraqis are deceiving themselves.

But the US can do some things within the framework of the UN to do some good in the world. They should've supported some things like going into Rwanda as an international organization which could've saved many, many lives.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:01 pm: Edit

I don't know what you are talking about ... I'm just saying that the US has notoriously made some bad decisions according to my perspective and that you have a different perspective on this. Plus I'm not done.

When I say not getting involved, I mean either not supporting an international intervention or supporting the government committing the atrocities.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:02 pm: Edit

Then you are validating my statement that says that you believe that the U.S. should act altruistically (which is something the U.N. is supposed to do, unlike the U.S., but doesn't), which you said you didn't. You believe we should have policing duties.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:05 pm: Edit

Where did I say that the US should act unilaterally in policing the world? I may have said that under extreme cases the US should become involved, but that's it. I'll throw out Rwanda again -- if the UN was completely unwilling to get involved at all no matter how much pressure the US put on it, then the US should go in. I think the murder of 800,000 people demands special action.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:08 pm: Edit

"I'm not expecting the US to be involved (in unilateral engagements) in anything but self-interest."

"What I'm saying is that the UN needs to become accountable and that has a lot to do with the United States."

Those are two direct quotes ... and that's all I'm saying.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:09 pm: Edit

"Where did I say that the US should act unilaterally in policing the world?"

No one said anything about unilateral action, but your posts hint that the U.S. should go above and beyond the U.N. in the U.N.'s OWN duties. That is patently unfair! Do you see what I mean?

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:11 pm: Edit

To better re-state myself:

How is it more incumbent upon an individual nation to do the job that an entity designed to do such?

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:12 pm: Edit

Where did I hint that the "US should go above and beyond the UN in the UN's OWN duties"? Under extreme cases, special action is demanded, but if I insinuated that it should be done commonly then I'm sorry. That's not what I was trying to say at all.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:12 pm: Edit

That individual nation has quite a bit of power with that entity designed to do it. I'm just saying that the United States should be acting within that entity to do good in the world. I'm not expecting the United States to go into Sudan by itself to stop the atrocities. I am expecting the United States to put a hell of a lot of pressure on nations within the UN or the AU to stop them.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:16 pm: Edit

Who's to say that under any circumstances (other than those that threaten us directly), that the U.S. should supplement the U.N. in its duties?

I'm not saying that the U.S. hasn't made any ill-advised choices, that's undeniable, but since when should we hold to the U.S. a level of accountability not upheld throughout the world?

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:21 pm: Edit

Because I expect better of the United States.

I replaced my double post with something else by the way.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:26 pm: Edit

"Because I expect better of the United States."

Good, you're entitled. At least you admit that you hold it incumbent upon the U.S. to supplement the job of the U.N. I don't agree, but that's your belief.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:42 pm: Edit

I have a hard time believing that you think that the US shouldn't stop something like the Rwandan genocide if it can.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:56 pm: Edit

We don't live in an ideal world, we could give poor African farmers our surplus of food. Sounds good, right? An altruistic, noble act. But look how it would turn out. Next year, they would expect more food and the next more, creating a dependence that would only further destroy the economy. The problem is with altruistic, noble acts on the behalf of a single nation is that it creates a never-ending cycle, and with the instance of Rwanda, why would the U.N. ever want to do its job if it could trust the U.S. to do it? In the end we would wind up further over-extending ourselves, something no one wants.

There are no easy answers.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:58 pm: Edit

I know that there are negative side effects, but 800,000 people ... that calls for exceptions.

At a minimum, you must agree that the US should've pressured the UN to do its job.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:02 pm: Edit

But in the end, you're simply saying that the US has incumbent upon it duties that no other nation/entity does. Can't we at least agree on that and call it a night?

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:07 pm: Edit

I'm not saying that no other nation does. I can criticize many others. I do belive that the US does have an obligation as the most powerful nation in the world to prevent something like genocide.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:08 pm: Edit

Just so you know, I think the best thing that can happen is for the AU to get involved in Sudan. It's always best for the US not to get involved unless it's absolutely unavoidable.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:09 pm: Edit

*And in circles we go*

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:11 pm: Edit

*Finds herself in agreement with Craig's last statement*

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:19 pm: Edit

I agree with craig, that the US has responsibilty to stop genocide. The UN and other nations have proven to be cowardly and uninterested in trying to stop most of the evil in this world today.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:22 pm: Edit

Just remember, I'm talking about the extreme, which is genocide.

Just so you know, the US has a lot to do with the UN's actions in the past ten years. Who knows what the UN would've done if nations like the United States, Britain, France, Russia, etc. had supported interventions in nations like Rwanda.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:29 pm: Edit

Yes, Jlg3d3, but then the UN will be the first to attack the U.S. if something goes wrong or is handled improperly, never mind the fact they are the ones that should've been there in the first place. Hence the saying, "Damned if you do, damned if you don't."

By Neo (Neo) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit

That stupid saying is just a cop out, Candi. Stop repeating it over and over again.

First Craig and a few others responded to Joe's post about U.S. involvement, pointing out (correctly) that the primary motive for U.S. involvement throughout the 20th century was self-involved (the economy-->money). Then you said nothing was wrong with that, because the U.S. wasn't the UN. Then the two of you went round and round in circles for about twenty posts.

But if you insist that the U.S. isn't responsible for the caretaking of the world, then you've got to admit, that the U.S. does indeed get involved for reasons of self-interest. You can't have it both ways (the U.S. helps more than everyone else, the U.S. isn't selfish). That just doesn't make sense.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 08:05 pm: Edit

"That stupid saying is just a cop out, Candi. Stop repeating it over and over again."

Thanks for replying maturely.

"Then you said nothing was wrong with that, because the U.S. wasn't the UN."

I didn't say that either. I basically said, "What do you expect?"

"But if you insist that the U.S. isn't responsible for the caretaking of the world, then you've got to admit, that the U.S. does indeed get involved for reasons of self-interest."

I said both. No arguement.

"You can't have it both ways (the U.S. helps more than everyone else, the U.S. isn't selfish)."

Didn't say either. Where are you pulling this from?

You've got to make correct statements about my position before you start attacking it. I'm not looking at the situation from the "U.S. good" or "U.S. bad" reductionist way of thought.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 10:47 pm: Edit

To better illustrate my point, I will delineate some rather simplistic rules concerning the nature of group dynamics (since it is particularly pertinent here).

1. When is a member of a group compelled to act altruistically?
If it is reasonable assured that other members will reciprocate and/or appreciate such gestrues. If it is reasonably assured that such gestures will eventually "pay-off" in a measurable, meaningful way. Ultimately, a desire to maintain group cohesion (and its subsequent inclusion) will drive it to search for ways to act in such an altruistic manner, unless it is contraindicated.

2. When is a member of a group compelled to act in its own self-interest (forgoing the veil of altruism, because ultimately altruism is self-serving)?
If it is reasonably not assured that members of said group will reciprocate and/or appreciate such altruistic measures. If all other members are apparently dominated by such self-interest, either explicitly or implicitly. As previously stated, a measure of altruism is desired (if possible), because its harmonic balance is preferable to the uncertainty of rampant self-interest.

I think that rather succintly explains a rather complex matter that is hindered greatly by emotionality and the assigning of greater schemes to rather simple phenomena.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 11:07 pm: Edit

Let's get away from all of this theory bs. Would you had done exactly what the Clinton administration did with respect to Rwanda (that is, nothing)? You can talk about "emotionality" and "group dynamics" all you want, but would you sit back and watch 800,000+ people die without doing anything to stop it?

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 11:15 pm: Edit

Craig, listen...Sure I care when anyone dies, and this, undeniably is a tragedy, but you are using the same tactic Moore used with O'Reilly...Repeatedly asking whether he would sacrifice his own son to secure Fallujah (an emotional hot-button), instead of dealing with the issues at hand.

I know you're a good guy, and I believe that strongly (and to you I may seem insensitive, when I'm truly not), but I am certain the best way to comprehend a situation is to look at it objectively and reasonably.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 11:23 pm: Edit

800,000 people dying is the issue at hand.

I guess I will never understand why someone can say that not jamming a radio signal which instructs people to kill other people is the right solution.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

Craig, we're never going to agree, and frankly, that's okay. I'm just saying that if you want to understand such issues you have to look at a situation in its totality. That's all.


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