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Islam The choice of Thinking Women – PART 2- SOCIAL POSITION OF WESTERN WOMEN’ TODAY

By Ismail
Adam Patel

SOCIAL
POSITION OF

WESTERN
WOMEN’ TODAY


Now that women conceive
to be in charge of their own affairs, does this mean that they have
reached
the pinnacle of gender equality? Has the “new woman” of today overcome
the oppression and subjugation of the “bad old days”? Does the
liberation
of women signal the advent of a new, morally correct world? Has
liberation
achieved real emancipation and freed women from injustice? Have we seen
the last of oppression, infanticide, prostitution, rape, divorce and
single
parent (usually single mother) families? The answer, according to the
feminist
should have been an emphatic yes, but is sadly, a dismal no!

The old customs
practiced
by the supposedly “uncivilized” peoples of ancient Rome, Persia, Arabia
and Judaea are alive and well but under a new guise. In this modern
advanced
age, instead of killing innocent girls at birth, we are aborting them
in
the womb and discarding their mutilated corpses like offal. Abortion is
murder, and it has never been heard of a woman’s “right to choose”
being
accepted as defense in a homicide case! Doctors and other abortionists
are finding ever more gruesome ways to kill unwanted babies. The
latest,
which goes by the grotesque name of “partial-birth abortion” involves
the
partial removal of the foetus from the womb; the head is left inside
the
mother, and the abortionist (does he or she deserve the title of
Doctor?)
pierces the back of the skull with a sharp instrument, inserts a
catheter,
and removes the brains. Then the remains of the murdered child are
fully
removed. This horrific procedure was devised as a way to get around
U.S.
laws which state that any child born alive has human rights, and its
death
would be viewed as murder by the courts. What sort of sick, twisted
mind
can dream up something like this? Why should a living child in the womb
be deserving of fewer rights than one which is already-born?

Women with children are
still
casually abandoned, as in former centuries. Now the phenomenon is known
as “single parent families”. Instead of going to market to purchase a
woman,
men now resort to prostitution, or even rape. In by-gone times, men
murdered
women they had no more use for (consider the blood lust of Henry VIII,
founder of the Church of England, and how he disposed of some of his
wives);
nowadays women are driven towards drugs and alcohol, and ultimately
kill
themselves. This is labelled as “suicide”, and saves men from doing the
dirty deed themselves. The old Spartan way of having women
“inseminated”
by strong men, is now replaced by genetic engineering and artificial
insemination
via the sperm banks, which achieve the same thing under the auspices of
science and technology, the “gods” of their modern age. All of this is
regarded as Progress.

Women’s equality in the
West
is a charade. For how long can the world continue to ignore women’s
misery
and the disaster towards which all are heading? The only way to a just,
fair and secure future for all is through the pristine teachings of
Islam.
Muslims have the awesome responsibility of conveying this message
correctly
and effectively to the people of the world.

According to popular
belief,
the twentieth century has seen the greatest advancement in equality for
women. In particular, the period after the Second World War, from the
late
1940s until the present, is hailed as a golden era. But during this
period,
atrocities of all kinds against women have increased by more than 25%.
A survey into the world of government statistics reflect a true picture
of the plight of women in today’s world.

ABORTION

In Britain, registered
abortions
have increased almost ten fold since abortion was “legalized” in 1968.
In that year, there were nearly 22,000 registered abortions, compared
with
nearly 180,000 in 1991. Since records began, there has been a steady
increase
in the numbers of abortions performed each year. Of the 180,000
abortions
that took place in 1991, 1lo,ooo were carried out on unmarried women.
Only
1% were done for medical reasons. In 1993, 819,000 women in England and
Wales had abortions. The results of population surveys indicate that a
third of all conceptions that occurred outside of marriage were
terminated
by abortion in 1993.

Over 3,000 abortions
were
carried out on girls aged 15 and under (16 is the “age of consent” in
Britain);
and over 31,000 termination’s were carried out on girls aged 19 and
under.

The figures for USA are
even
more horrific. Abortion rates have increased since records began and
there
were over one million ‘recorded legal abortions’ carried out in 1994.
The
Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research organization affiliated with
Planned
Parenthood (America’s leading abortion provider – it is rather like
calling
a butcher a lamb’s confidant) estimate the total number of abortions
are
typically 10 to 20% higher than the official government statistics.

In Canada where the
womb
is considered to be a safe place for the unborn by the Western
standards
has nearly half the abortion rate of USA. However, for 1992, this
equates
to 25% of all pregnancies being terminated by abortion.

In Japan, the ‘most
advanced’
industrial country of the World, where time is money and money is the
substance
of life, has abortion rates twice that of USA. The nation suffers from
over 2 million abortion each year.

The most stupendous
blood
bath of the innocent unborn life has been carried out in the Former
Soviet
Union. The Soviet Union suffered an incredible 12.8 million abortions
in
1965 out of a total population 233 million. At present almost three
quarters
of all Soviet women’s pregnancies end in abortion.

The trivial nature
abortion,
human life and women’s sentiments are held in the Western world was
brought
to the forefront when a Charity organisation ‘Marie Stopes
International’
opened six day centres across England. They provided a ‘walking, walk
out’
abortion ‘that could easily be completed during a working woman’s
lunchtime
break. Their leading abortionist ‘Dr’ Tim Black horrified the nation
when
he disdainfully described the method of abortion by Suction as the
‘minimal
service interception’ a ‘seamless service without medical drama or
moral
censure’ and a ‘quantum leap in service delivery’. Abortion, a
traumatic,
sorrowful and a grievous moment for every unfortunate woman has been
reduced
to the language of shopping.’

It is worth taking some
time
to ponder over these figures. Although it is easy to be blinded by such
large numbers, we should not forget that each of them is much more than
a statistic. Each number represents the murder of an innocent, helpless
baby by supposedly “civilized” human beings.

The freedom of choice
under
the guise of first World civilisation has allowed the hideous slaughter
of unborn children which has claimed over ONE BILLION lives throughout
the world over the past 25 years.

In the “barbaric” past,
infant
girls were killed for economic reasons. Now children are killed to
destroy
the evidence of adultery, fornication and mischief! These figures
account
only for those abortions which were registered. As for illegal
abortions
and those carried out in private clinics, only Allah knows exactly how
many babies were killed.

RAPE

It is not easy to find
accurate
figures on rape. Many incidents are not reported, and the police
statistics
do not include cases where the allegations have been withdrawn. It is
safe
to assume, therefore, that the official figures are an underestimate.

According to the
British
police, in 1984 there were over 20,000 cases of indecent assault and
nearly
1,500 rape cases in Britain. The London Rape Crisis Centre estimates
that
there are between 5,000 – 6,000 rapes per year; the true figure may be
much higher. Since 1984, the number of recorded sexual offences has
risen
at a slightly higher rate than recorded crime in general. By 1994, the
number of recorded sexual offences had risen to 32,000. If we accept
the
higher figures, we may say that, on average, one rape occurs every hour
in England. In other words, by the time you finish reading this
chapter,
someone, somewhere in the country, will have become yet another rape
statistic.

The USA, a country
proclaiming
the greatest freedom of rights has the World’s highest rape rate. It is
4 times higher than Germany, 18 times higher than England and almost 20
times higher than Japan. In one state of Utah alone the rape rate is
44.6
per 100,000. In 1995, 2,071 Utah children under the age of 18 were
sexually
abused: 633 of these children were under the age of 6.

In the USA, 1.3 women
are
raped every minute. That equates to 78 rapes each hour, 1,872 rapes
each
day, and 683,280 rapes each year.

Looking at such
figures,
the question springs to mind: who is committing these barbaric acts
against
women? Are these the acts of mentally disturbed characters roaming the
streets? The popular stereotype could not be further from the truth. In
1980, only 2% of men convicted of rape were referred for psychiatric
treatment.
The reality is shocking and disturbing: over 75% of women who are raped
have had some prior contact with the man who raped them.3 They are
raped
by acquaintances, people they know and probably trusted. A close friend
or relative rapes 16%.

A study carried out by
the
National Council for Civil Liberties showed that 38% of men use their
power
and position at work to rape women. A Retook survey found that
88%
of respondents had experienced sexual harassment at work. In the UK,
86%
of managers and 66% of employers had experienced such problems. The
British
Civil Service found that 70% of those surveyed had experienced sexual
harassment.

In Britain, even in
that
bastion of law and order, the Police service, the problem of sexual
harassment
is serious. Female officers with twenty-five years’ service in the
force
may be subjected to harassment. Examples of offensive incidents include
being spied on while in police stations showers, being “casually” shown
pornographic pictures, and being physically groped. One female officer
said, “You go into a room and three or four men will run their hands
over
you to see if you are wearing the ‘full tackle,’ i.e., suspenders. It
happens
frequently”.’

Rape has a devastating
emotional,
mental and psychological impact on the victims and their families. USA
census reports, 1.3 million currently have a mental disorder due to
rape,
called Rape Related Post Traumatic Disorder (RR-PTSD). 3.8 million in
USA
have previously had RR-PTSD, and roughly 211,000 women will develop
RR-PTSD
each year.

MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE

The latter part of the
twentieth
century has seen an increase in cohabitation i.e., couples “living
together”
before marriage. Nearly half of women born in the 1960s said that they
had cohabited at some time. This social trend is supposed to iron out
any
difference between partners and ensure that they are compatible before
they tie the knot and make the commitment of marriage. This “trial run”
is meant to increase the chances of a successful marriage, but the
truth
is that the increase in cohabitation has been accompanied by an
increase
in the divorce rate. Britain now has the highest divorce rate in the
European
Union. In 1983 there were over 147,000 divorces granted by the courts.
By 1994, this number had increased to 165,000.

In USA the divorce rate
has
increased from 708,000 in 1970 to 1,175,000 in 1990. Whereas during the
same period the marriage rates have remained virtually static, despite
the rise in ‘marriageable age’ populations

Tables of divorce
statistics
do not convey the suffering of partners whose marriage breaks down, or
of their children whose world is torn apart by the parents’ separation.
The number of marriages in Britain has decreased, from 389,000 in 1983
to 341,000 in 1994. Of those, nearly one-third end in divorce, and the
most common grounds for divorce is adultery.

The silent sufferers in
divorce
families are no doubt the children but even the partners are not saved
from the trauma. Divorce now ranks as the number one factor linked with
suicide rates in USA, outstripping other important social and economic
predictors. Divorced people are three times more likely to commit
suicide
than people who are married.

The more human beings
rely
on their own intellectual reasoning and abandon the guidance of their
Creator,
the greater their suffering.

SINGLE PARENTS

There is yet another
set
of depressing statistics that has been increasing since the advent of
so
called “women’s liberation”. In the past ten years, the number of
births
to unmarried mothers has risen from nearly 90,000 in 1982 to 215,000 in
1992. Of all the babies born in 1992, 31% were born to unwed mothers.
Nearly
2,500 girls under the age of 15 gave birth, and over 23,000 new mothers
in that year were aged under 20.

As the number of
illegitimate
births has increased, the number of babies born within marriage has
decreased,
from 890,000 in 1961 to 511,000 in 1994. The reality behind these
statistics
is that women are bearing most, if not all, of the responsibility for
raising
these children. This form of oppression of women should not be ignored;
men must be made to shoulder the responsibility and be accountable for
the children they produce.

An official survey has
demonstrated
that the number of families with children headed by a lone parent has
risen
to more than one in five (over 20%); in the North West of England, the
figure is closer to 30%, or one in three. The same survey shows that
fewer
than 60% of women aged 18 49 are married. Even more alarmingly, growing
numbers of single mothers are typically trying to cope on very little
money:
42% of them had a gross weekly income of less than £100. The
impact
of poverty on educational achievement, crime rates, health, moral value
and self esteem has been well documented and has led to reports in
Britain
and elsewhere of an “emerging underclass” whose future is indescribably
bleak.

The burden of family
care
on the Western women has been escalating and in 1994, the USA had 9.9
million
single mothers having to maintain and take care of their children
compared
with only 1.6 million single fathers. The ‘normal house’ with a father,
mother and children has become an illusion in the Western world and is
reaping havoc. The USA – In 1970, 40% of household were made up of
married
couples. In 1995, only 25% of households are made up of married
couples.
The social impact of single parenting on children is devastating. 75%
of
children in chemical dependency hospitals are from single parent
families.
20% of children in single parent families have a learning, emotional or
behavioral problem. 63% of suicides are committed by individuals from
single
parent families.

The burden on woman
created
by ‘single parenting’ is one of the most brutal forms of oppression.

HEALTH

When it comes to health
matters,
women fare less well than men, especially when it comes to mental
health.
Single mothers, in particular, suffer poorer health than women in two
parent
households. General Health Survey data indicate that lone mothers are
more
likely to have both long standing and recent illness, and are less
likely
to assess their health over the last twelve months as good. In this
survey,
only 43% of single mothers described their health as “good” and nearly
39% reported a long standing illness.

Women also suffer
poorer
psychological health than men. They see their GPs (family doctors) more
often for mental health problems, and are more frequently prescribed
drugs
for anxiety and depression. Women are more unwell and unhappy than men
because of the work they do and the conditions in which they do it
created
by the capitalist system for the acquiring of profit margins.

If you were to question
a
randomly picked sample of the population and ask them, “Who suffers
more
from mentally-related disorders” The majority will reply: women.
However,
this has not always been the case. Studies from 1850 until the Second
World
War show that men used to be more prone to mental disorders than women.
In the majority of studies prior to 1950 or the Second World War, the
overall
rates were higher for men.

In the case of women’s
mental
health, the findings differ sharply from the 1950s onwards, with the
advent
of so called equal status. A report by B P Dohrenwend in the American
Journal of Sociology
shows that while prior to 1950, for every 7
men
diagnosed as mentally ill, only 2 women were similarly diagnosed, after
1950, the ratio changed to 22 women for every 2 men. This catastrophic
reversal in mental illness statistics accompanied the rise of “women’s
liberation” in the West.

This increased
incidence
of mental illness among Western women since the Second World War has
occurred
because “… women find their position in society to be more
frustrating
and less rewarding than do men ..”5 The reason for this greater sense
of
frustration may be found in the unfair burden which is placed on the
“liberated”
women She is expected to display masculine traits in the workplace, but
is also supposed to maintain her “femininity” – a dual burden that is
too
heavy for many women, who may eventually break down.

Mental illness
researchers
have also discovered that single persons are more prone to mental
illness
than those who are married, and their prognosis is not as good. As
early
as the turn of the century, Durkheim noted that the severing of the
marital
tie is particularly dangerous for mental health, as indicated by a high
suicide rate among the widowed and divorced. Since that time, all
studies’
comparing the mental health of those who are widowed or divorced with
that
of those who are married have also found that the rates of mental
illness
are higher among the former. With the rise of the divorce rate, the
prospect
of women’s mental health looks particularly poor.

ALCOHOL AND SMOKING

The Western development
of
the equality of the sexes has been accompanied by an increase in the
vices
that were previously thought to be a male preserve, namely the
consumption
of alcohol and tobacco. According to a recent report published in the
Sunday
Times, the number of women drinking more than the “recommended limit”
is
rising. The survey shows that the number of men exceeding this limit
has
fallen to 26%, whilst the number of women doing so has risen to 12%.

Smoking used to be a
men’s
vice, as for a long time it was deemed improper for women to smoke.
However,
the number of women who smoke is now more or less the same as the
number
of men who do so. Although anti-smoking campaigns have led to many
adults
quitting the habit, tobacco companies have responded by targeting
younger
people, on the premise that if they can get teenagers or children
“hooked”
they will continue to have a ready market for their product. Reports
indicate
that more young women than young men are starting to smoke, which
indicates
that in the near future the majority of smokers will be women.

PORNOGRAPHY

The rapid growth of the
pornographic
industry since the 1950s has, again, mirrored the progress of
“equality”
in the West. Pornography does not present women as human beings with
feelings
and needs, but as mere available commodities to be used and cast aside.
Women are led to believe that by selling their bodies, they are
achieving
equality, but in fact they become subordinate to men who use the idea
of
equality to exploit women for their own desires and financial gain.

In the 1980s, a further
step
in the manipulation of women appeared. Sheila Jeffreys, a feminist,
wrote:
“When the campaign against pornography first got underway, it was
possible
to attack pornography as a male product designed for male consumption.
This is not true in the 1980s. Women are being told – by libertarian
theorists
that because ‘women are equal now,’ it is all right for women to enjoy
pornography. This ideology serves more to defeat women’s emancipation
than
to pander to it. The idea of selling pornography to women from the
1980s
has become a more sophisticated and effective way of bolstering male
power”.

Pornography is the
biggest
media category world wide. It enters our homes via television and
magazines,
as well as video, film and satellite media. Globally, pornography
generates
$7 billion annually, more than the legitimate film and music industries
combined. In the US, pornographic films gross $1 million daily, and
outnumber
films of other genres by 30%. In Britain, 20 million copies of
pornographic
magazines are sold each year, producing an annual revenue of over
£500
million. In Sweden, a large “sex shop” may offer over 500 titles of
pornographic
magazines, and a corner shop can offer up to 50 titles. It is estimated
that 18 million American men buy a pornographic magazine each month.
Pornography
throughout the world is becoming ever more violent and gruesome, and is
spreading further via the new technology: pornography on the Internet,
including “hard-core” and child pornography, is a growing problem
worldwide.
The Western world is also exporting this deviant trend, which exploits
women in the most abhorrent fashion, to the so-called third world.

This is the state of
affairs
to which Western “civilization” and its Progress” and “equality” have
brought
humankind, where women are victimised in ever increasing numbers to
vices
and mistreatment that any sane person would abhor and seek to eliminate.

To summarise, within
the
last hour the following have taken place in England: one woman was
raped,
eighteen people got divorced, 20 women had abortions, and 24 children
were
born to women without husbands. These same events will be repeated in
the
next hour, and in the hour after that. As you go through your daily
routine
of sleeping and waking, this sorry state of events will continue, and
the
number of victims will continue to escalate.

What possible answer
can
there be? How can these barbaric crimes against women be reduced, if
not
eliminated altogether? The path of supposed equality between the sexes
is only making the problem worse, and any sane person can see that the
world is moving away from a civilized state towards a position of
barbarity
and ignorance (jahiliyyah). Very much like that which
prevailed
before the advent of Islam. In a society which considers itself to be
at
the forefront of civility and human concerns, how can the low standards
of morality that prevail nowadays be accepted?

What are the solutions
to
these problems? For the people who are blessed with sincerity and
understanding,
there is no need to search far afield. Who better to guide, than the
Creator
of men and women, Allah Himself? When comparing Western practices to
the
values of Islam, it will soon be apparent where people have gone wrong
and how Islam may steer people back on to the right path.

The single most common
cause
of the problems discussed above is the fact that Western society
encourages
the free mixing of men and women. The natural modesty of one sex
towards
the other is regarded as backward, unfashionable and uncivilized. Any
effort
to retain a sense of modesty is immediately labelled as “oppressive” or
“repressive”. Yet considering the disastrous consequences of free
mixing,
from the above statistics, the appropriate course of behaviour to be
undertaken
is clear.

Recent Psychologists
reports
agree that when there are two persons of opposite genders in enclosed
surroundings,
sexual ideas and connotations are bound to pass through their minds.
The
casual and frequent manner in which such encounters are allowed to
occur
in an atmosphere of free mixing sets the stage for most of the
calamities
suffered by women today. Acting upon these impulses leads to all the
woes
of modern society: Abortion, divorce, single parent families, suicide,
rape and all the other heart breaking social ills. Fourteen hundred
years
ago, the Prophet Muhammad warned humanity about the hazards of free
mixing
and advised extreme caution. In this matter, he informed us that when
a man and a woman are alone together, the third one present will be the
Shayran
(Satan), working to implant mischief between the two.

As stated earlier, 75%
of
all rapes are committed by men who know their victims personally. In
the
workplace, 38% of men in positions of power abuse their position to
take
advantage of women working with them. The most frequent cause of
divorce
is adultery, which is made easy by the free mixing of the sexes. The
reason
that children as young as 15 are getting pregnant is because the
schools,
which were once segregated, have become “co-educational”, and are now
dens
of iniquity where peer pressure reigns supreme and promiscuity is the
order
of the day. The abortion rate simply reflects the low esteem in which
human
life is held.

In the Western world,
equality
for women has meant looking the same as men, doing the same jobs as
them,
and exhibiting the same behaviour and characteristics as men. Western
societies
have paid the price for this unnatural approach, by suffering huge
losses
of morality and human values. Equality of the sexes does not mean that
both men and women should look the same. In a society where money,
beauty
and masculinity are what counts, a woman has to work, dress and behave
like a man and at the same time stay pretty like a model in order to
stand
on equal terms with men. This is to the detriment of her moral values
and
feminine nature.

Islam has set out the
unique
and complementary roles of both men and women, an issue which will be
examined
more closely later. First, the misinformation campaign directed at most
Westerners which conveys to them that Islam preaches inhuman practices
and the Oppression of women need to be emphasised. Opponents of Islam
usually
maliciously manipulate the fact that Muslim women are required to dress
modestly, and are prohibited from mixing freely with the opposite sex.
A further whip is drawn to bash Islam with by distorting the facts
regarding
polygny. They misconstrue these Islamic teachings as evidence and
portray
Islam as preaching suppression of women. The West has been so
successful
in propagating these distorted views that even some Muslims have fallen
victim to it. This should hardly come as a surprise when it is known
that
Muslims tend to be more familiar with Western literature than their own
Islamic heritage. In Britain alone, between 1960 and 1978 over 22,000
books
and 43,000 journals published material slandering the teachings of
Islam.
When every form of media and education such as, television, schools,
teachers,
friends, colleagues, books, newspapers and magazines are all conveying
this distorted message that Islam oppresses women; it is no wonder that
those who are poorly educated, in the facts of the matter, are so
easily
distracted away from the right path.

To counter this tide of
misinformation,
a general need to educate society at large about the true Islamic
teachings
regarding women needs to be urgently undertaken. The Qur’an and ahadith
are
quite explicit on this matter and the next chapter explains the proper
status of women in Islam according to these sources.

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