Women in Islamic countries remain, second-class citizens – unless there is a real revolution. Mona Eltahawy urges in her book ““Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution”, and in her lectures, (https://youtu.be/U61w2Ou3yFk) held worldwide to induce this revolution. She has traveled through the Islamic countries of North Africa to the Middle East collecting the life stories of women with different backgrounds. Mrs. Eltahawy wants to eliminate or at least continually lessens this “toxic mix of religion and culture” which infuses the whole Islamic world and continues her fight for Muslim women around the world despite the physical and psychological threat. Eltahawys points out in her new book that the repression of women is increasingly brutal: Humans in the name of Allah are abused, exploited, held without rights – simply because they are female, see http://iranian.com/posts/notes-on-mona-eltahawy-s-new-book-why-the-middle-east-needs-a-se-49692
Remarks from the Author:
Many years ago my neighbor was a young Muslim couple and the neighborhood voiced suspicion that the husband beats his wife. However, I could observe that the woman (she had no headscarf) was wearing the pants at home, and she screamed without being touched by her husband.By another Muslim couple (he Shiite and she Sunnite) the man forced his wife to wear a veil completely covering her hair and body and did not allow that a man was shaking her hand. Later I met her again without a headscarf and smartly dressed with much confidence. Because of the aggressive religious behavior of her husband she left him and joined an Austrian man from Tyrol. She told me that she feels now much worthier and has a better chance to get a good job. I know about two women, one with an elegant headscarf and the other without, – but both always dressed elegantly-, enjoyed a higher diplomatic status in the Egyptian politics than their spouses, but it didn’t matter. During business trips and holidays in Egypt, I realized that not a few women are managers and among others supervised in hotels the cleaning staff including men. Many modern young women born in Austria, mostly well educated, didn’t wear a headscarf before, but now changed their mind: they want to emphasize their identity. My conclusion is that the problem is not the toxic mix of culture and religion alone, but the missing tolerance, empathy, and ethical education: Can it be learned in a short time to speed up the integration of young Muslim men?
The gender equality is an important goal of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and correlated with the other 16 SDG goals. I propose the dimension “culture and religion” to position as the fourth dimension in the middle of the “Triple Bottom Line“ triangle to indicate the relationships between this four dimensions.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
Years ago I worked with Muslims in Vienna and abroad (diplomats, projects, and investments). Although religious and strictly adhering HALAL, the practice of religion was not so fundamental as now. Today their thinking and actions are more Sharia-oriented: secular Muslims are probably in the defense. Particular young people whose understanding of their religion is problematic and alienated from our values. The integration particularly of young men looking for a better life and status in Austria, – mostly grown up in a traditional society and gathering their clan later -, entails the risk that parallel societies develop in our democratic society not sharing our values and Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education; SDG 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, SDG 16 – promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all. Fortunately, modern Muslims living in Austria appreciate our attitudes and values and are critical like modern Christians to their religion when it comes to humanity, equality, education, freedom, peace and empowerment of all women and girls.To avoid the risk of creating parallel societies liberal Muslim associations (like in Austria) should be involved in the process of integration of those young men harboring opportunities as well as to defend threats. However, Islam experts agree: most extremists remain to be an extremist.
“… those refugees looking for shelter (in Germany), must obey our laws and traditions and learn German, multiculturalism leads to parallel societies, multiculturalism remains an illusion…”. (Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel to the refugee crisis)
Roland Leithenmayr VfV