The book has been in my work bag since I bought it. As usual, I let my concentration to read this book distracted by many other things, including reading many other books at the same time. LOL. I didn’t mean to show that book to my workmates demonstratively but of course since I often “carry” the book, and once in a while I put it on a big table in the teachers’ room of my workplace, some workmates of mine have seen this book.
Yesterday a Catholic workmate of mine asked me, “What is the book about?” simply I answered, “Well, so far, Alquran has been interpreted by men so no wonder if the result is very male-dominated. And this book contains the different perspective; showing that if Alquran is interpreted by women, using women’s perspective, the result is absolutely different, even in some cases, shows contradictory interpretation.” This workmate of mine nodded, didn’t ask me further.
This afternoon, another workmate of mine said to me jokingly, related to the same book, “I told you not to read books about gender much. It is not good.”
I responded, “It is not good for you guys because women realize their rights much better so that this world will not be male-dominated any longer.” LOL.
It reminded me of the middle age before Bible was translated into many other languages. Common people couldn’t read it; moreover understand it. Only limited ministers whose way of thinking had been “shaped” by Church could read it. And since they all had been indoctrinated the same way, of course all of them resulted in the same interpretation; they taught the congregation about the same thing, only from one perspective.
After reading the article entitled “Women In Islam Versus Women In The
Judaeo-Christian Tradition: The Myth & The Reality” by Dr. Sherif Abdel Azeem at http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/humanrelations/womeninislam/womeninjud_chr.html#_Toc335566653 accessed on May 18, 2003 it made me question myself. According to Sherif Abdel Azeem, the illustration about women in Judeaeo-Christian Tradition shows the very low position given to women, but why in the reality, people consider Islam as the most chauvinistic religion of all? Islam that “lets men have more than one wife” is considered to degrade women’s position much more than the other two celestial religions mentioned by Sherif Abdel Azeem?
I related it to the fact that until now, Muslim people must recite Alquran, in its original language—Arabic. For me, Arabic is much more difficult to learn than English (because I already become an English teacher? LOL) Many Muslim people recite Alquran everyday; however they don’t understand the meaning. To understand the meaning, they turn to the Tafsir (the interpretation of Alquran) produced by men. To help themselves understand Alquran and apply its teachings in their daily life, they turn to Alhadith written by men. They also turn to Fiqh which was written by men too!!! The result? You know that …
Again, I want to quote what Fatima Mernissi said:
“If the rights of Muslim women become problems for Muslim men, it is not because of Alquran or Islam itself; it is because these rights contradict with the wants of the elite Muslim men.”
If women themselves don’t struggle to reach their equality with men, for a better and equal world for both men and women, who else will do that?
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