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Should we always excuse abuse if it falls under "religion"?

This story is so disturbing, because it assumes that women are always to blame for men's inability to control their behaviors.  A cleric in Saudi Arabia has issued a fatwa demanding that even infant girls wear burkas so that they aren't victims of sexual molestation. 

Get that? 

Babies. 

It's bad enough that they demand that girls wear burkas once they reach puberty.  It's bad enough that women are considered minors in that extreme version of Islam.  But to suggest that baby girls must be covered from head to toe so that Muslim men aren't tempted to rape them?  That's a sign that there's something terribly wrong with the men in that culture, and I'd suggest that it's their religion that corrupts them.

Here's the article.

My question is, then, in line with similar ones I've asked before.  How much do we excuse in the name of religion?  Isn't it clear that women and girls are not given any choice in these situations?  Is that acceptable because it's what their religion decrees?

Answer Question
 
jsbenkert

Asked by jsbenkert at 12:06 PM on Feb. 4, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (28)
  • This article is based on one cleric. He hardly represents an entire religious community. I'm no fan of Saudi Arabia for many reasons however one persons opinion doesn't deserve this much focus in the news.

    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:55 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • can't control their urges? Why don't the men of Islam pray for better self-control, rather than try to control every aspect of women's lives

    turn this around. Wdonn't you american people have more self control and stop trying to control every aspect of another people's live.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:43 AM on Feb. 5, 2013

  • Please clarify, anon.


    Do you think that my post is somehow controlling other people's lives?  If I think it's wrong for women to be subjugated to men, for cultural or religious reasons, or for gays to be imprisoned or executed simply for being who they are, or people who don't follow the "right" religion to be imprisoned or executed, does that make me "controlling" if I speak out against it? 


    What, exactly, is your point?  Are you defending those who trample on the rights of individuals?

    jsbenkert

    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 8:36 AM on Feb. 5, 2013

  • I think the reasoning is extreme. But in my religion (Judaism) we do teach children to dress appropriately. I don't have girls, but my boys wear a yarmulke and tzitzit every day. They're not obligated as minor to do so, but it's a way to start raising them in this path. It's not "abusive" to raise children within one's faith, including dress.
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 5:22 PM on Feb. 5, 2013

  • "Maybe we can't force a change, but we don't have to shrug our shoulders and say, "well, it's not our business how you treat your women and children" and look the other way. We need to start saying out loud, "This is not okay." We need to stop excusing it as "cultural differences"."

    The feeling is understandable, but then where do YOU stop? Do you tolerate ring necks? Male circumcision? Arranged marriages? At what point does your tolerance kicks in to say "well, it's not something *I* believe is right, but in the interest of cultural plurality, I'll let it be"?
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 9:12 PM on Feb. 5, 2013

  • I think we've allowed too many abuses in the world by saying that it's not our business.

    You do realise that what you are is proposing war with another country(s) because they do not do or believe as we do?
    Who should decide what is right for the people of a given country or city?
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:33 PM on Feb. 5, 2013

  • I do not believe we excuse abuse in the name of religion-
    As far as Arabic countries and getting involved- I have mixed feelings- my heart says stand up but my brain says otherwise-
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 9:18 AM on Feb. 6, 2013

  • I don't think abuse should ever be excused, whether it falls under religion or not. Women and girls in that part of the world are treated horribly. I wish the women could all just refuse to have sex and procreate with those men and start a new society where women are valued and respected, while preserving the other, more positive parts of their culture.
    Iamgr8teful

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:22 PM on Feb. 7, 2013

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