Islamic Women...Is There an End to their sufferings?
The question proposed in the title is basically a direct response after going through Geraldine Brooks’ essay “Nine Parts of Desire; The Hidden World of Islamic Women” in its second chapter. Geraldine poses several ideas and personal experiences in which she tries to understand the mystery of the perpetuating repressive and barbaric practices (genital mutilation, infibulations, hysterectomy, and honor killings) that have nothing to do with Koranic teachings. She starts her essay in a detailed description of a gruesome and shocking scene of a hysterectomy procedure that took place under poor and unequipped conditions (Brooks 33). Many women that were subjected to such practices ended up dead. For such manner, Dr. Abrehet Gebrekidan, a gynecologist, offered the Eritreans help since her skills will ensure their survival (Brooks 34). Furthermore, the Kuran refused the existence of the dreadful genital mutilation procedures, but the women were not educated enough to read it (Brooks 35). And despite the consequences of such procedures, they believed that such procedures were to safeguard the girls’ chastity where the honor of the fathers and brothers depended on (Brooks 37). As for men, they believed that these operations are equivalent to their honors, therefore they must repress women sexualities by turning off their pleasure sites otherwise they will end up as prostitutes (Brooks 35). The prophet Muhammad, who is the ideal person of all Muslims, believed that women should enjoy sexual intercourse with their husbands. And that it is forbidden to take away women desires (Brooks 39). According to Muslims, specifically Shiite, adultery “sigheh or muta” is acceptable and sanctioned by a cleric where the couple are together mainly for having sex and providing money (Brooks 43). Brooks also mentions the idea of honor killings that were and still adopted in some Islamic tribes. They believe that fathers and...
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