Equality for Arab Women
The following televised debate took place on an Arab television station on June 1, 2005. It demonstrates how things are changing in the Muslim World, and how Muslims themselves must find ways to make their own changes. I here provide you with links to the various segments of this debate, carried on YouTube®, leaving comment to you. I have provided here only a few interesting quotes from each segment. If you have time to listen to only one of these, listen to Dr. Tareq Mohammed Al Suwaidan speaking passionately about what is wrong and must be changed in Part 6.
I particularly urge my readers from the United States and Europe to look at these segments. You may be surprised about what you see here!
BBC Doha Debates, Sponsored by the Qatar Foundation: June 1, 2005
The proposition for this debate was:
“Arab women should have full equality with men.”
Toujan Faisal, 1st woman elected to the Jordanian Parliament, speaking of an understanding between the “great powers” and Arab leaders: “They don’t want us democratized. How can you empower women when the whole nation is not empowered; when men themselves cannot have a saying in their own lively issues…. Women are the Trojan Horse through which Western influence can be achieved.”
Sheik Jihad Brown, Muslim scholar born in the U.S.: “Blurring of culture with religion…. Equality is not the term we use. It’s not our discourse. This is not how we discuss the relationship between a man and a woman. Equality is a term, a construct; it’s an idea. It’s not a natural human right that every human being was born with … It’s a philosophical concept that comes out of the 18th Century French Revolution.”
“We need women training.”
“Give me the right to choose.”
“We need to find our own solutions.”
Khola Hasan, Author and Lecturer: “Women are fighting femininity in the West.”
Western “obsession with emancipation” has destroyed family values.
“We can have equal rights by law, but I don’t think it should be imposed on women … “
Dr. Tariq Mohammed Al Suwaidan, Presenter on Islamic Television Programs and Supervisor of Engineering at the Ministry of Oil in Kuwait:
“There are girls here in the Middle East that are forced into marriages, this is wrong! It’s Islamically wrong; it’s wrong in every aspect. It is happening. We need laws to protect women from that! There are men who are marrying a second wife for no reason. This is wrong! We need laws to protect women from that! There are women whose inheritance is taken away, and there are no laws to protect them. This is wrong! The whole society should stand against this … When we give women the right to choose, I hope they don’t choose to be like men! Because most men are worthless! Unfortunately.” [Applause]
Dr. Al Suwaidan: “Freedom is not given, it is taken!”