We hear it through most media channels. The most frustrating part is trying to dispel the stories people read and see. I am a Muslim woman, thankfully born and raised in South Africa. I am a mother, daughter, sister; I am a friend, and a colleague. I pride myself on “freedom of speech” which helps me to educate rather than incite. My religion is deep in my heart and soul. I will not apologise for being me.
The frustrating part is that religion has been distorted and manipulated so often that the Islam I find myself defending isn’t even the Islam that I necessarily believe in; it’s a warped version that has been contaminated by cultural norms and masculinity. I often find myself defending my faith, having to explain to non muslims that my faith is not one based on double standards.
I don’t believe for one moment that the God who created me wanted me to walk out of my front door using only half the IQ he gave me; nor is my brain deficient, that someone else has to think or feel for me. I am human just like any male counterpart!
We are constantly stereotyped and compared to Middle East. True! We are bonded by religion, but our communities and societies are different.
Some countries are governed by Tribal Laws and Patriarchal Laws, and this may not necessarily be Religious Laws. If a woman is raped, she is not forced to marry her rapist. A perfect example of Tribal Law. We have never denied that many Muslim women in various parts of the world are being oppressed. But it is sad when people draw parallels between those who are correctly practicing Islam and those who distort the essence and exploiting Islam.
Muslim women have a right to education, to chose who they marry, to conduct business affairs etc.
We have had all these rights under Islam for over 1400 years.
I can vote. I was not forced into marriage, I have my own career, I watch movies, I catch up on news which means I am allowed to watch TV, I shop at La Senza, I work outside the home, I'm pursuing my dreams, I even have my own bank account. I am allowed to drive, I have my own blog, hence freedom of speech....
It’s the misuse of the religion for political, fundamentalist or extremists’ agendas mixed with “misogynist” views which results in this TOXIC view of ISLAM. Islam is now seen as a religion of violence, hatred, a tribal mentality, terrorism and female oppression. Wish a learned scholar would interpret the Tenets of our faith correctly instead of someone on YouTube.
So am I oppressed?
All I can say, dare anyone take away my GOD given rights.
There is no simpler way to break it down; choice is yours; I won’t oppress you into my way of thinking. Muslim women have their own voice and are capable of representing themselves!
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