A final blog (for now)
I’ve talked about Muslim women and international law. Where are they? Where am I? I am sitting here at my keyboard, a lump of protoplasm surrounded by skin. International law is external to me. The Islamic people are external to me. Do I have a right to interfere with these external things? Do they have a right to interfere with me?
The word “right” shows up in these questions. Does the right come from them? Or does it come from me?
If international law says that the Islamic people and I have rights, who authorized international law to say it? In his comments to my blogs, “Obtestor” keeps saying that it is the women of the world who have told international law what to say. It is they who have decided what everyone’s rights shall be. Is Obtestor articulating a powerful insight here? Or is he just trolling for a date?
If my rights are part of my belief system, where did I get my belief system? Most belief systems are formed in childhood. In the Muslim world, boys and girls are raised together in the women’s quarters. When a boy is born, there is great fuss and celebration. But the women do not seem happy when a girl is born. They convey their displeasure to all the boys and girls who are in their care.
A young boy is fussed over and spoiled by all the adult women. As a result, the boy usually becomes a brat. He hits his sisters, steals their food, and behaves like a tyrant toward them. His mother and all the adult women back him up. If he hits a girl who is younger than he is, and hits her for no reason, the women will yell at the girl and maybe hit her. They will tell the little girl that she has displeased the boy, even if she hasn’t.
Finally, when the boy is six or seven he’s sent to the men’s quarters to live with a tutor under the authority of his father.
We might say, looking at all of this, that the women are merely preparing the children for the life of extreme inequality that lies ahead of them. The male person can do whatever he wants; the female person must learn to like it, whatever it is.
Who am I to criticize these people? Hasn’t my belief system been instilled in me just as their belief system was instilled in them? When I was a child, I was told, by adults I trusted, all about God. I was told that I could pray to God and that He would listen. I prayed a lot. I tried to start conversations, but I knew that God was a little too busy to answer me.
However, I no longer believe these things. I have trouble even figuring out what the concept “God” might mean. I don’t say that God doesn’t exist, but I also don’t say that God exists. I think I was very lucky to be able to read books and be exposed to ideas, and given enough time to think in solitude, that I could mentally disengage from these childish things.
I don’t think that Muslim women have the opportunity to disengage. Their childhood brainwashing is just too thorough. What the young Muslim woman said in my previous blog are things she deeply believes. She has been sincerely brainwashed.
I don’t think I was quite as thoroughly brainwashed as a child because I’ve rejected all the things I was taught. I would not have been able to reject them if I had been as completely brainwashed as the children of Islam.
I have evolved a perspective of the world and my place in the world that I believe is not entirely the product of what any other person or group of persons have ordained for me. I think I see the world more objectively than Muslim women see it. Of course, I could be wrong about this, but just the possibility that I am wrong doesn’t make it wrong. Someone would have to prove to me that I am wrong.
So here’s how I come out. I may be a creature of my belief system, but it’s MY belief system. And an important part of it is that no human adult should ever have legal or moral superiority over any other human adult.
I look at the Qu’ran. Even though Ali in a comment says I should be taking seventh century texts with a grain of salt, he would probably be even more outraged if I instead quoted a later translation. I am also sure that the same words I am quoting are read today by millions of Islamic people. As you recall, those words of the Prophet are: “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other.”
And I say to Muslim women: Reject these words. Do not allow a seventh century Prophet to run your life.
And I say this because I cannot say the opposite without denying my own belief system. I cannot say the opposite without denying my own humanity. I believe I am right and their system is grievously wrong.