Gleichberechtigung von Frauen in der westlichen Tradition – Ask A Muslim

Gleichberechtigung von Frauen in der westlichen Tradition

Western attitudes towards women

The Western attitude towards the female gender is a reaction to a long history of oppression that was mainly rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Perhaps one can say more precisely that the modern attitudes sprang from the post-Reformation philosophies – ideas that appeared during the ´time of enlightenment´. The Islamic worldview forms a contradiction to this because it is based on the teachings found in the revelation of God to the Prophet Muhammad. According to Muslims, the viewpoint that Islam represents can be used by mankind at any time; their meaning and usefulness is not limited to a particular historical era, geographic location, or civilization. The issue of ‚women‘ is only one of the controversies between these two worldviews, between that of the secular liberal humanists and that of Islam. After all, what is the situation and position of women? Can we say that women have a higher position in one culture and are oppressed in another?

The West prides itself on defending women’s rights, viewing itself as a protector of women around the world. Western thinkers believe that women in the West are getting more and more rights while Muslim women are still oppressed by a medieval religion!

Muslims, on the other hand, believe that Islamic ethics actually offer true freedom for both men and women, and that the West promises freedom that does not actually exist, but is simply a modern form of slavery wrapped in plastic words.

Let’s look in history at how women were viewed in the pyramid of Western traditions. The West sees itself as an intellectual heir to the Greco-Roman tradition and many Western ideas can be traced back to the writings of early Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. If we read her works, we will find that her image of women was not exactly beneficial. Plato showed contempt for certain men by comparing them to women. Bertrand Russell once wrote: “Aristotle believed that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was married twice, it never occurred to him to verify this claim by looking into his wife’s ´mouth´.
The Church adopted much of the Greco-Roman philosophies about women. Women were condemned to endure the pain of childbirth for their sin, causing Adam to eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2: 4-3: 24). Women are seen as the source of sin and evil in man, burdened with the inherited guilt and guilt of the biblical Eve. The Bible says:

“And I found a woman more bitter than death, who is a safety net and knit her heart and shackles her hands. Whoever pleases God will escape it; but the sinner is caught by them … and I kept looking and I didn’t find it: out of a thousand I found a man, but I didn’t find a (sincere) woman among all. ” (The preacher Solomon 7: 26-28)

„No wickedness comes close to the wickedness of women … Sin started with women and thanks to her we all have to die.“ (Ekklesiastikus 25:19, 24)

Jewish rabbis have listed nine curses that women have been

charged because of the fall: “He has given the woman nine curses and death: the burden of mentorship blood and virginity blood, the burden of pregnancy and the burden of childbirth, the burden of raising children, her head is covered like that of a mourner, she pierces her ear like a permanent slave or a slave who serves her master, no faith is given to her as a witness, and after all – Death. ”[4]

To this day, Orthodox Jewish men recite in their daily morning prayers: „Blessed be God, ruler of the universe, for not making me a woman.“
The women, on the other hand, thank God every morning for “You made me according to your will.” [5]

[1] ‚Impact of Science on Society‘ (1952) ch. 1, by Bertrand Russell, a British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 – 1970).
[2] ‚Engendering Origins: Critical Feminist Readings in Plato and Aristotle‘ by Bat-Ami Bar On; State University of New York Press, 1994, p. 106.
[3] More details can be found in ‚Women In Islam Verses Women In Judeo-Christian Tradition: The Myth & Reality‘ by Dr. Sherif Abdel Azeem. Most of the following quotes come from his work.
[4] Leonard J. Swidler, Women in Judaism: the Status of Women in Formative Judaism (Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press, 1976) p. 115.
[5] Thena Kendath, “Memories of an Orthodox youth” in Susannah Heschel, ed. On being a Jewish Feminist (New York: Schocken Books, 1983), pp. 96-97.



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