MINDSET: Violation of these rights is because of false beliefs, ideas and ideologies
by Harun Yahya
THE anniversary date of rights being given to women is celebrated at certain times in many countries every year: women's right to an equal education with men, the right to work in public offices, the right to vote and stand for office, women's right to divorce, etc. Yet few people are aware of the peculiar mindset behind these celebrations against which the world is used to.
This strange mindset begins with the question: By what way of thinking were women's rights taken away in the first place? And how is restoring women's natural rights to be regarded as a "sign of civilisation"?
Women are born together with their rights; Allah has given them these rights. The Quran is our guide, in which these rights and superiorities are described, and in which women are praised and awarded the greatest value.
In the perspective of the Quran, women can be heads of state whose opinions are sought, people with a cause and also a flower symbolising beauty and delicacy. Women's responsibilities in the Quran are no different to those of men. At the same time, however, since women are valuable, they are always under protection. Allah regards women as superior in the Quran.
The way that people have violated women's rights for various reasons is therefore the product of false beliefs, ideas and ideologies. The elimination of these prohibitions produced by false ideologies isn't as much a success to be celebrated as much as it is the removal of what should be regarded as a significant cause for shame.
Despite the esteem in which Islam holds women, we can see all too clearly the horrific scale of the abuse of women in some Islamic countries. Some communities implement the practices of a dangerous and nonsensical faith instead of Islam.
Women are made into second-class citizens through a good deal of nonsense that is utterly incompatible with the Quran. They have been devalued, and attempts have been made to exclude them from society, social life and even life itself.
As we know, these policies of rage and oppression toward women that have persisted for many years in some countries is enshrined in some nations' laws and daily life.
However, with the recent outbreak of civil conflicts in fragile regions of the world, radical groups espousing nonsensical ideas have become more visible and a corresponding rise in the number of areas under siege have worsened the terror and abuse against women.
Levels of attacks, such as the killing, torture and rape of women, are extremely high in places such as Iraq, Syria, Kashmir, Afghanistan, East Turkestan, Sudan, Somalia and Rakhine; yet the conflicts and the accompanying death tolls have overshadowed this important truth regarding women.
In its 105-page report titled No One is Safe, published on Feb 5 this year, Human Rights Watch dealt with the plight of Iraqi women being held in prisons despite being innocent, and being beaten, tortured and raped. It concentrated on the shocking nature of cases of kidnapping, torture, execution of women and rape.
There is good reason for the report targeting Iraq: it was intended to reveal the appalling state of women's rights in an increasingly free Iraq that is aiming to rebuild democracy, albeit with great difficulty. On that basis, it is not hard to guess the position of women in countries that have not yet reached the stage of democratisation.
Hillary Clinton's statement from 1995 that "women's rights are human rights" is very true. However, efforts to change people's opinions, protests, outraged reactions from angry groups or artificial attempts at Westernisation will not produce the desired results when it comes to making that conception a reality.
In order to realise that women's rights are human rights, Muslim societies under the influence of obsolete ideas in particular need to be told how women are regarded in the Quran.
The abuse of women is not a problem unique to Islamic countries, of course. It is a tragedy brought onto them by numerous perverse ideologies. Yet if that abuse can be prevented in Islamic countries in particular, this will bring a resolution to the problem in the world as a whole.
There is no doubt that women being subjected to such awful practices as murder, torture and rape can be prevented by the spread of a mentality based on the superiority and protection of women as described in the Quran.
Societies that value women will become role models for other societies, and will lead to the elimination of wrongful practices toward women across the world.
If one wishes to escape the harm done by a false belief or ideology, the solution is to exchange that false belief for a true one.
It is, therefore, essential to tell societies about the value that Allah attaches to women if women are to be valued as they deserve and not oppressed. The only way to do that is through education.