| Sep 17, 2010 | Comments 0
Despite major consensus amongst a large number of philosophers and historians that the
principles and teachings of Islam caused a fundamental change in the position of women
compared to the prevailing situation in countries in both East and West at the time, and despite
the agreement of a large number of thinkers and legislators that women during the time of the
Prophet (PBUH) were granted rights and legal privileges not granted by man-made laws until
recently, propaganda campaigns by Westerners and people with a Westernised perspective
consistently accuse Islam of being unjust to women, of imposing restrictions on them, and
marginalising their role in society.
This situation has been made worse by the atmosphere and conditions prevalent across the
Muslim world, where ignorance and poverty have produced a limited understanding of religion
and family and human relations which occlude justice and a civilised way of life, particularly
between men and women. The small group of people who have been granted opportunities to
acquire an education and abilities have also fallen into the trap of believing that achieving justice
for women and capitalising on their abilities is dependent upon rejecting religion and piety and
adopting a Western way of life, as a result of their superficial studies of Islam on the one hand
and the effect of life’s diversions on the other.
Only a very small number of people from these two groups have managed to escape and cast off
their cloaks of ignorance and tradition. These people have studied their heritage in great depth
and detail, and have looked at the results of Western experiences with an open mind. They have
distinguished between the wheat and the chaff in both the past and the present, and have dealt
scientifically and objectively with the problems which have arisen. They have refuted the false
charges made against Islam with eloquent arguments, and have admitted to concealed flaws.
They have also re-examined the sayings and customs of the Infallible Ones in order to
distinguish between what is established and holy and what has been altered and distorted.
The responsible behaviour of this group has established new directions and new ways of dealing
with the question of women in Islamic societies. They have clearly not yet tackled all problems
and found final solutions for the many legislative gaps and deficiencies, but they have laid the
ground for the emergence of a new model for Muslim women, who are both strong and
committed to the legal and effective foundations of their society.
With the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the blessing of its leaders, which is the
main religious authority for the participation of women and their effective political and social
participation, the scope for strong debate over women in Islam has been significantly expanded.
The model of Muslim women in Iran has spread to Islamic resistance movements in Lebanon,
Palestine other Arab countries and even the Western world, and as a result, propaganda
campaigns against Islam have abated to some extent.
The emergence of Salafi Islamic movements such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and similar
Salafi movements in Saudi Arabia and North Africa, and their fanatical way of treating women,
have provoked nervous onlookers fearing an Islamic resurgence into launching new propaganda
campaigns accusing Islam of inspiring terrorism and being backwards and unjust towards