Gender Equality: Article Analysis

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There are several key questions raised in the 2006 article “Does the Qur’an Support Gender Equality? Or, Do I have the Autonomy to Answer the Question?” by Asma Barlas. As the title suggests, one of those is whether the Qur’an supports gender equality or whether it is a holy text that teaches men they must oppress women to be compliant with scripture. Barlas (2006) further asks whether the Qur’an has suffered from some egregious misinterpretation by translators and later groups like the Taliban so each can justify female oppression. The author further addresses the issue of a male God and notes that He has no gender in the Qur’an. Therefore, Barlas (2006) asks how Islam can be considered a patriarchal religion when God is prohibited from …show more content…
These include religion and female oppression; the Qur’an as a holy text being used to justify sexism and misogyny; how translators may interpret the Qur’an to suit their ideas about female inequality; and how Muslims are viewed globally based on the actions of certain groups like the Taliban. Clearly, religion and how the Qur’an is used to justify certain actions against women by some Muslims is an overarching theme in the article. Barlas (2006) asserts that this was demonstrated in the Taliban’s anti-women program, which dictated women could not work, were forbidden to show their feet in public, and must cover their heads and faces with burqas. This has much to do with the manner in which the Qur’an has been translated and interpreted to suit men who desired to oppress women. Therefore, this means that in order for males to justify treating women as unequal partners, beating females, and taking away their freedoms, they used religion and distorted the Qur’an to serve their own purposes. Thus, rather than examine the text’s true meaning, these men bastardized the original words of the book through self-serving translations and chose to ignore that the Qur’an speaks to both men and women equally, according to …show more content…
For instance, Western culture has chosen to demonize the Qur’an and view it as a backward, sexist text that oppresses women (Ware, 2014). According to Hixon (2013), the West has demonized the Qur’an and Islam as a religion that promotes intolerance and war, which appears to be incorrect notions. I further concur with Barlas (2006) that many of these beliefs are because of the actions of the Taliban and other such groups who have used the Qur’an to justify horrific acts, including the unequal treatment of females. This is unfortunate as to do so is to condemn a billion and a half Muslims as being radical, sexist, and backward (Johnston, 2011). This is unfair and puts all those who read the Qur’an or practice it's teaching in a bad light by associating them with those who distort the book’s true word. I further find that Barlas (2006) is correct that throughout time and memoriam, sexism has been a constant theme and is not unique to Muslims. Van Gorder (2014) posits that Islam should not be considered any more sexist or oppressive to women than Christianity or Judaism in Europe and North America. According to course notes during Islamic period, veiling was not compulsory, as only modesty was stated as a mandatory virtue. The Prophet Muhammad stated that his wives were to be veiled, and the people that followed the religion of Islam had to follow in their footsteps also. It was only

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