Broken Bangles

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Broken Bangles

"Women are not given the right to instigate divorce because they are prone to emotional and irrational decision making. A husband, however, can divorce his wife at any time he so wishes." Ayatollah Ali Moghtadai.

With all due respect, after reading the Ayatollah's comment, I could not help but wonder at how an Islamic leader could come up with such a ridiculous and demeaning statement regarding women. But what was more frustrating was the fact, that even though Islam exerts its influence over every aspect of a Muslim's life, from diet to his lifestyle, it has failed in fourteen centuries of existence, to eradicate injustices to half of its followers-women.

Imagine a country where a woman who is raped must produce four witnesses to the crime or else be locked up in jail as an adulteress. Worse still, imagine a country where a woman is locked up in jail to be raped.

No, this is not just Pakistan I am talking about; this is any given country of almost all the Muslim World. Be it Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan , Afghanistan or Egypt or Iran - we Muslims have failed in virtually everything. But if there is one thing we have succeeded in, it is distorting the image of women in society; family, religion, politics, at the work place – you name it we've done it!

Afghanistan has, perhaps, contributed the most in damaging the soft image of Islam with the Taliban playing havoc with women's rights after the Russians withdrew from the country after years of occupation. The Taliban then sought to eradicate any advances women had made during the Russian reign. Women were not allowed to attend school or work; worse still, they were denied medical care since they could not be examined by male doctors. Some women had found a means of income by baking bread. When the Taliban found out, they burned them alive in their own ovens. A full veil is compulsory and women are not allowed to travel outside their homes without a male relative....
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