With the exception of the very few Prophetesses mentioned in the Old Testament, all the messengers of God mentioned in the Abrahamic religious (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) texts are male. Islam does not even make any references to any Prophetess. Furthermore, the founders and the early pioneers of all the other major religions are also predominantly male. If there is such a thing as gender equality then why would a just God deprive womankind of their share of Prophethood?
Therefore, those who have their faith in gender equality that is rooted in feminism which forms part of the current secular values would naturally conclude that religions are man-made: synthetic. But this conclusion also in turn raises another question, why men have been so successful in dominating women, shaping history, society and civilisations? So, one may argue that known human history actually demonstrates the non-existence of gender equality. It is a recent invention by some idealists; in contrast, religions have always existed throughout human history as if it is an essential part of human nature.
Gender equality is the equality of sexes on every aspect to the point that the gender differences should become totally immaterial in determining the laws and values. It implies that the concept of moms and dads, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives etc. should cease to have any meaning with time. Similarly, the distinction between homosexual and heterosexual relationship would also vanish. In the name of gender equality should we reach a point where the only distinction remaining would be the bodily organs? And it is for the advocates of gender equality to clarify the limits to which this should be allowed and pursued.
For those who have conviction in religion there is little scope to deny the role of gender in determining values, rights and responsibilities that are often diametrically at odds with the idea of gender equality. Male dominated Prophethood was one example, another one is: polygyny. It is clearly permitted in Islam and also found in the Biblical texts (Prophet Solomon and David). This phenomenon can also be seen in the animal kingdom, where the male species are the ones usually spreading their seeds. In contrast, women have not been given similar right to acquire multiple husbands (polyandry) and also human history shows polyandry to be of rare occurrences.
Final example of crucifixion is a reminder to those Christians that have taken up the fashionable trend of Islam-bashing using secular notions of gender equality and feminism. If you believe in gender equality can you explain why God almighty sacrificed his only begotten son in order to redeem the sins of mankind? Should He not have sacrificed a male and a female? More fundamentally, why God almighty did not even have a begotten daughter in the first place to sacrifice?
Yet, paradoxically, religious movements within the Abrahamic religions have sought to reinterpret religious texts in order to accommodate the idea of gender equality. In fact, they take so much pride in this activity that they call themselves a modernising ‘progressive’ force. But why should this be a one-way lane where religious values that are divine, reinterpreted to comply with man-made secular values? This means that the ‘progressive’ ‘religious’ movements are using secular values as the ultimate arbiter: clearly they are a fraudulent religious movement. Their activity is undermining the divine text from within that makes them more dangerous than the clearly visible belligerent apostates and infidels.
Christian and Jews have officially succumbed to the secular-feminist agenda of gender equality as they have started to allow female priests and Rabbis to conduct services and this is just the beginning. Note, it may well be argued their respective religious texts do allow for female, priests and Rabbis but the point is, the impetus for these changes has come from outside. The forces of secularism in the driving seat dictating compliance to gender equality.
In copycat style manner, following the footsteps of female priests and rabbis, Amina Abdul Wadud led a mix congregation of male and female Muslims in a Friday (Jumma) prayer for the first time in the 1500 years of Islamic history. Again the impetus for such acts emanates from the hostile secular environment. After the prayer, she are her clique stated that they were instilling gender equality and women’s rights. Ironically, Amina Abdul Wadud did that whilst wearing the Islamic headscarf (Hijab) which is considered by many to be at odds with gender equality and a symbol of the oppression of women!
Her claims of reinterpreting the text to establish ‘justice’ for women displays her arrogance. Let us put aside the ‘evil’ and impartial men. At the very beginnings of Islam there were the wives of the Prophet (SAW) with many other female personalities, followed by the successive generation of women scholars for centuries. Do we assume that they have all failed in their fundamental duty and hence overlooked their legitimate right to lead the Friday prayer of mix congregation? To the contrary segregation of prayers was established from the onset, as women were instructed to pray behind the men. If that is the case then how women can lead the men in prayer while the rest of the women are behind the men in the first place.
In any case, justice for Amina Abdul Wadud is not from within Islam but a reformed version that is in compliance to her preconceived secular values like gender equality; – the real arbiter. And not surprisingly she also favour homosexual marriages and detests the clear cut penal codes in the Quran. A clear act of apostasy!
Gender equality is only an example of the general drive by the moderate brigades to constantly prove the compatibility of Islam with secular values. If Islam is proven to be compatible to secular notions, what reasons remain than for adhering to Islam? Why not simply adopt the original yard stick of secularism instead of clinging on to the secular-compatible ‘Islam’. The exercise is very much an own goal scoring and completely folly. Given the choice between a genuine Rolls Royce and a close imitation it is well-known what most rational people would opt for.
The moderate brigade constantly shout about Women’s rights in Islam as a means to deflect criticisms emanating from the secular camp without once thinking about the credentials of those who are dispensing the criticisms. Do the critics have the right? To answer this question we need to examine their track record against what they preach. If they pass the test only then it makes sense to entertain their charges. Otherwise it is a pointless exercise to entertain the words of hypocrites.
As an example, the critics say polygyny as prescribed by Islam is wrong. Those who pose the questions do not officially practice polygyny but are virtually in a permanent state of polygamous relationships and even more given the level of infidelity, moral decay and a rejection of the traditional marriage that are often replaced with the so-called open relationships. In reality, the least monogamous societies are those who advocate and pretend to be one. Also, ironically, it is the Muslim societies driven by a strict moral code exhibits greater levels of successful monogamous relationship, despite being given the right to commit polygyny.
One cannot establish equality to any level without establishing genuine mutual respect from the heart. Waving the flag of women’s rights, wanting to be seen politically correct is simply pretentious. To illustrate the point, just ask the liberated women would they would feel safer in a lonely place with a group of devout Muslim men or a group of rowdy young men coming back from a party! If the men are drunk, they often lose their inhibitions and their inner traits surfaces. Their language and behaviour gets coloured by their sexual appetites. Iraq is another example, how many of the captured women were killed, raped and abused like it was done in Abu-Ghraib and other places by the flag bearers of women’s rights! In contrast, Jessica Lynch to the recent Italian journalists was released unharmed, treated well by their own words.
Finally, gender equality does not automatically result in tranquillity, harmony and a happier society. Self evident from the constant rise in divorce rates, single parents, drug dependencies, climbing suicide rates, sexual abuse etc. Relationship between the two sexes is not just a matter of treating them identically in every aspect. It must take everything into account and who better can answer that except the creator Himself. Alternatively we can choose to use our minds to determine the relationship. But that is simply guess work as nobody knows precisely what the rights and responsibilities should be, between the sexes so that a stable relationship is acquired with tranquillity.