May 27, 2013
The Gendered Misinterpretation of the Qur’an In the Islamic Culture in Afghanistan
In the Islamic culture, gender roles for men and women vary greatly and have been clearly defined by the sacred Islamic text, the Qur’an. The principally accepted interpretation of the Qur’an does not encourage abuse or oppression of women, however in practice, many women are suffering and being persecuted under religious laws and Islamic governments. This is occurring in several parts of the world but the focus will be placed specifically on the Islamic nation of Afghanistan where women’s rights are all but non-existent. As a result, women living in these nations experience many varying forms of inequality throughout their lifetimes. Cultural practices in conjunction with misinterpretations of the Qur’an, have lead to unfair treatment of women from childhood to marriage and through motherhood.
The cultural inequalities between females and males in the Islamic culture begins from birth. Stated in the Qur’an, disappointment and shame is brought to new parents upon learning that their baby is a girl.
When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or
bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on?(Qur’an 16:57-58) While this religious teaching typically encourages couples to prefer to bear male children, it does not encourage the abuse or murder of female infants. Female infanticide is a common problem in Afghanistan, and although the Qur’an does not discuss it, cultural views have led to female babies being considered invaluable, or even a burden. The cultural oppression of girls who survive to childhood affects their education as many parents do not find it...