Thursday, July 03, 2008

Religious (in)equality

For religion to survive in the modern world, it needs to adapt to its reality, especially when it comes to equality between men and women concerning religious practices. As men and women should worship God in the same way, women should also have the same rights as women in assuming religious responsibilities.

But in the Revealed Religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), men exploit verses showing the supremacy of men over women in matters of religion. There was also the belief that women should be seen and not heard as when they speak they shouldn’t show their faces and when they show their faces, they shouldn’t speak.

In Morocco, there have been attempts to “liberalise” the religious field by appointing female preachers. Morocco has appointed 50 women as state preachers for the first time as part of the government's drive to promote a more tolerant version of Islam. . But it is still a long way for them to be Imams, that is conducting prayers in mosques or reading Friday’s sermons or become the heads of regional religious councils.

There is still the issue of inheritance. In Islam, a woman gets only half of what a man gets when it comes to sharing inheritance after the death of a relative they are entitled to inherit.

Religion will continue to be a dilemma when it comes to deciding between what is divine and mundane. It isn’t convincing to tell women to bear with the supremacy of men in religious matter because if they are good practising and acquiescent, they will be compensated for that in the after-life with eternal bliss in heaven.

It’s a matter of habit. Now women can hold every top position, including heads of states. They can be in the armed and police forces and judges- to cite just some examples - to enforce the law, so why can’t they hold the highest position in religious matters. Partly, it has to do with the mentality of men who still see a woman deficient both in intelligence and spirituality!!!


Livingsword said...

Hello Abdeliah nice to meet you….

You bring up a number of interesting points. I am a follower of Jesus and it would be fine with me if “religion” does not survive. Following Jesus is about a relationship with God not “religious rules”. It is about life transformation, not self-help and being “good”.

The Bible does “allow” for women in leadership along with men; however the roles are delineated differently. One is not superior to the other; both are equal servants of God.

I have read the Quran 7 times in English. I see no way that a woman could be an Imam that would not do violence to the text. If people are willing to break that rule what others would they be willing to break? Why bother with it at all if it has to be bent and broken?

Just some humble thoughts to you from across the planet…

Abdelilah Boukili said...

Hi Livingsword,
Thanks for your comment.

As it seems men still look for evidence in holy texts to back up their notions that women have no place in religious leadership.

Looney said...

Abdelilah, I was brought up being taught that there is a third way. The modernist says men and women are interchangeable in every way. Then there are those who insist that women are different and inferior. The third way says that they are different with different roles, but certainly no less inferior and men have a special duty to treat women carefully and with respect. Is there room for a third way?

Abdelilah Boukili said...

I think both women and men should be given equal opportunities. There are differences even within the same sex. There are strong people as there weak ones. There are those who can make judgements as there those who make bad ones.

Bunc said...

I strongly agree with you abdelilah. There should be no pre-ordained expectations of what men or women can and cant do and their status, the roles that they can play in society and their treatment re inheritance etc should be equal.

In my view all three "religions of the book" are based on an inherently misogynistic approach to women which always seems to try to constrain their roles in life. However Looney tries to dress up his "third way" it still boils down to "men know best".