Throughout history, in civilizations where slavery has existed, one of the main cornerstones was that a slave could not leave the master's house or property without the master's permission. Today, in the Islamic world, the slave population includes one-half of their total population: women. The result is at least 200 million Muslim women cannot leave their homes without their husband's, fathers or nearest male relative's permission. Male members of the Islamic world say that a woman should only leave her home three times in her life: when she is born, when she is married, and when she is buried. Any other time a woman is allowed to leave the house, she must wear a veil, hijab, chador or burqa and be accompanied by a male relative, for women cannot be alone outside the house. In many countries, such as Saudi Arabia, a woman cannot travel out of her town or country without the written permission of her nearest male relative, and she must also be accompanied by a male relative when she is permitted to travel.
These practices allow total male dominance and control; these practices allow slavery. Yet we in America are silent. We accept the slave masters' justification of slavery, because it is hidden under the cover of culture and religion. We buy into this deception because it is politically incorrect for us to say anything negative about a culture or religion. All religions and cultures are equal, aren't they? I say they are not - not if they promote the enslavement of women.
What is enslavement, if not the boring, unfulfilling, degrading world these women must endure? They are generally not allowed to be educated, simply because they are women. If they do become educated, a husband can prohibit his wife from working. If she cannot work, she loses all freedom, for she becomes completely dependent on the man for food and shelter. Women are commonly murdered to preserve the "honor" of the husband or his family. Add to these horrors the practices of polygamy, wife beating, wearing of the burqa, genital mutilation and forced sex. A rape victim, not the rapist, is punished. A divorced woman automatically loses her children and the right to see them. The list goes on. No wonder so many Muslim women commit suicide.
In 1985, the president of Pakistan established a commission to investigate the status of women. The commission's report, quoted from the book, Price of Honor by Jan Goodwin, states "the average woman is born into near slavery, leads a life of drudgery, and dies invariably in oblivion. This grim condition is the stark reality of half our population simply because they happen to be female." Not surprisingly, the government suppressed the findings, and conditions have deteriorated since this report.
The moment an Islamic woman is forced to marry (as early as nine years old) and move into a man's family home, she becomes his slave. For her, life becomes a new series of injustices because she had the audacity to born a woman. It begins with the payment of a dowry. This alone shows that she is simply property - much as a TV set is in this country. In the first few months of marriage, her husband's family might decide that the dowry they received was not enough or to their liking. For the crime of an insufficient dowry, the young wife will likely be burned to death by the husband or a male family member, unless the young wife's family is able to increase the dowry. Since law or tradition permits this despicable act, the perpetrators are very seldom arrested or punished. This barbaric practice, called dowry burning, is a common practice in Pakistan and other areas.
As you read this, perhaps you are thinking that you know Muslim women who are not treated this way, and that is true. Approximately 300 million Muslim women are not treated in this manner. But this still leaves at least 200 million Muslim women who are treated as slaves - more women than live in America.
Why are these crimes against Muslim women so prevalent and savage? There is an old saying that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Over the last 200 years, and especially during the last few decades, the Islamic clerics, Wahhabism, organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizballah, and other male-dominated groups have used their power, religion, culture and the lack of education for women to control women and therefore control entire societies. The subjugation of women is about power and control. When you control and dominate the Islamic women who raise the children, you in essence control future generations.
In these modern times of the 21st century, how can there be slavery on such a massive scale? In the United States, if one person was considered a slave, the media would go nuts and the world would be in an uproar, so how can there be at least 200 million women slaves spread throughout an entire religion and culture while the rest of the world simply turns its back and walks away? The simple reason is that we allow and condone slavery as long as slavery is said to be "Islamic tradition." How many articles do you see written in newspapers, how many programs on television, about the slavery of Islamic women? How many demonstrations in the streets do you see again slavery? The answer is almost none. Perhaps the reason Islamic women are slaves (and treated worse than most slaves were treated historically) is that we don't care, or we choose to ignore it, or we consider it politically incorrect to challenge a religion or culture, or we are afraid to say anything because it is hidden under the guise of religion or culture. The Islamic world and Islamic clerics are running a very successful scam, and the rest of the world is buying this scam. It's time we do something about this injustice. The question is what can we do? Here are some ideas.
Write letters to your congressperson, senator, and the president. Write articles such as this for newspapers and magazines expressing your objection to slavery. Organize demonstrations against slavery. Call into radio talk shows and express your views about slavery. Send e-mails to all your friends expressing how you feel about this despicable practice. What is important is we need to stop doing nothing, and start taking action now against the enslavement of 200 million women.