Crime against women

The ugly fact remains that not all is well with women in countries that should have been role models in this respect
Crime against women
Representational ImageFile/ GK

We really live in absurd times. Our reason seems to have gone gaga along with the forbearance to digest truth gracefully. Mere symbolism has become our rescue slogan.

It gets all the more ludicrous when people attach moral sensibility to the sheer growing of long beards or covering of heads.

Had this been the criterion, the ethical dilemma in some of the Muslim countries where beards and headscarves are quite universal, won’t be the sizzling issue.

A matrimonial ad about a few Saudi and Kuwaiti men with HIV positive was published years ago in one Sayidaty magazine, a sister publication of Arab News. In response, a young woman sent a letter to the magazine, agreeing to the marriage.

The magazine staff was surprised and conjectured that the lady might be mentally ill or was casual about the offer.

However, to get the real thing, the magazine traced her whereabouts and interviewed her on the condition of anonymity.

It was found that she is a quite young veiled woman from Riyadh.

She was a divorcee and had six children. Her fateful odyssey started at the age of 16 when, after finishing her prep school, she was married to an old man. It was a marriage of convenience since her family lived in abject poverty. The old man practically jailed her and also warned her against socialising.

After some time, she came to know that her husband was already having two wives and 16 children. Nonetheless, she carried on, and in seven years gave birth to six children.

Things took an ugly turn when an old sheikh decided to marry-off her eldest daughter, who was just a juvenile, to a 44 years old man to get rid of some of his debts.

She gave in on the condition that he would divorce her immediately after her daughter’s marriage. The old man agreed and divorced her.

The story developed further when this woman remarried secretly a rich man, aged 51, looking for a better life for herself and her children. After eight months of marriage, her second husband also divorced her for sake of keeping his first wife and children. Alone, she struggled to feed her children and seeing no alternative, she was willing to marry even an HIV patient – which was nothing short of suicide. She was virtually embracing death so that she may live.

The said magazine communicated her wish to meet one of the HIV patients. He welcomed the offer initially but later on backed out on being informed that she was married twice and had six children.

This is not a poignant tale of only one woman, but hundreds of her ilk who are victims of the worst kind of oppression in countries wherefrom otherwise the best treatment towards women should get reflected in all aspects.

Inexplicable atrocities are inflicted upon women, and worst still, justified and defended in the name of religion through organizing dance concerts and fashion shows are equally disparaging and in no way a mode of extending grace to women’s rights.

The fact is that such incidents can never be sanctioned by religion. That ignorance piled up with arrogance has made people misinterpret and misrepresent religion, which is another tragedy. Women continue to get charred in the cauldron of dogmas and dictums that have no religious backing whatsoever.

The ugly fact remains that not all is well with women in countries who should have been role models in this respect. And given the glorious period of Islamic Governance they witnessed and flourished in, it becomes all the more paramount.

Conversely, in the present situation, it’s a tall order to expect Muslims to act as saviours when their own house is not in order. Political expediency, parochialism, the shift of emphasis, and trivial issues being projected as major priorities, are some of the vital causes of the decline and disintegration of Muslims as a community.

As such all that is guaranteed to women by Islam in a practicing, if not ideal, Muslim society seems to be an elusive dream.

Needless to point out the plight of women is no better in non-Muslim nations, and studies in this regard are more shocking and shameful. The practices like Sati, Devidasi and Asura, etc., continued to flourish in some parts of the Indian subcontinent till the recent past, though illegally.

That hapless, poor and socially deprived women of Bangkok, Burma and Nepal constitute a major chunk of that ‘workforce’ called sex-workers is not a hidden fact.

As far the Europe and America, the less said the better. The dream of ‘emancipation’ continues to take a heavy toll and tyranny against women is registering new highs, spreading in newer hues and breaking all the records.

The current mess in Kashmir is a part of the same story, except for the inclusion of the conflict element which has aggravated the scenario, making it more grim, dismal and disguising.

From gruesome domestic violence to various forms of abuse and exploitation of women, we are in dire straits. Even in the very small dealings of our daily lives, we display double standards towards women of the house and those outdoors.

What we can do is hang our heads down in shame, without justifying our duplicity and deceitfulness under the garb of symbolism or chop logic. Let’s accept that religion has not touched us, not to speak of loving and living it.

Mere Friday sermons, construction of numerous mosques, visiting shrines, growing of beards, covering of heads, and floating Maslaki Jung for self-supremacy—are no indispensable indicators of ‘righteousness’. The prevailing catastrophe around us is a testimony to it--

Dil Hai Musalmaan Tera Na Mera

Tu Be Nimazi, Main Be Nimazi

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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