by Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
The painful tale I have to tell -- after having lived most of my life in several Muslim countries.
A God Who Hates Women is the title of my latest book, a memoir. I was driven to write it to counter the unfounded claims of many Western pro-Islam or Eastern Islamist scholars.
In detail, I reveal how Western Muslims scholars are not educated or informed enough, but rely on fallacies created to give the illusion of wisdom. Unlike these so-called scholars or Western imams, I lived most of my life in several Muslim countries. I grew up in both dominant Muslim sects, predominantly Shia and Sunni nations (the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria).
Rather than depicting fantasies and baseless theories, I attempt to show readers, through my firsthand experiences, what life in a Muslim country or under the Sharia law is actually like. Although this book focuses mainly on Islam, oppression and women, my next upcoming book, “The Renegade: Memoir of Struggle, Defiance and Enlightenment,” sheds light on the untold truth about Islam, and many things I have remained silent about.
For a woman who lives in a Muslim society or under Shari’a law, "choice" is an alien word. Inequality, violence, injustice, abuse, and discrimination are daily nightmares.
Some women become tools of the dominant Islamist culture: they join the system to please the authorities and to get rewards. Others have found no way to survive other than to be forcefully subjugated, controlled and dehumanized.
Many Western pro-Islam and Eastern Islamist scholars argue that Islam is the "religion of peace" and that Islam respects women. They add that Islam has raised women’s socio-political and socio-economic status in the society.
One of the most common examples that Muslim scholars focus on to try to show that Islam supports women is the story of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the businesswoman and wife of Muhammad. One writer who brags about Islam’s impact on women argues that Khadijah is a Muslim woman who “was a successful and esteemed business woman.” She goes on to list further examples of this woman's supposed independence: “She turned down many marriage proposals,” “She asked the Prophet to marry her,” “She was an ideal wife; theirs was a true love story,” etc.
The argument that Khadijah is an example of Islam is altogether anchored in fallacies. Khadijah is paraded around as an example of how Islam influenced women to be strong. But the fact is that Khadijah was not the product of Islam. She was the product of pre-Islam or what Muslims call Jahiliyyah (the state of ignorance of guidance from Allah).
The writer who perpetuates the myth of Khadijah is repeating whatever the imams are preaching here in the US. I heard these kind of arguments, word for word, from other imams teaching in schools in the Middle East where they tried to brainwash me.
Reportedly, Khadijah even made Muhammad sign a contract that he would not marry anyone else as long as she was alive. After Khadijah, Muhammad went on a marriage spree, as his Islam allowed it. After instituting Islam, his wives were the first to have to wear scarves, they couldn’t talk to strangers face to face, etc. This is how Islam began influencing and controlling women gradually. Like the Islamic State, Islam emphasizes slavery, particularly the possession and selling of captive women. And this is what the Islamic State bases its behavior on. It was only in the pre-Islamic era that women were mostly free and could even initiate divorce.
Some of the questions that I seek to pursue in this memoir are: How does the religion of Islam contribute to the act of subjugating and dehumanizing human beings? Specifically, how and why are women treated like second-class citizens? Can endurance and courage overcome the daily abuse caused by this religion? In order to reveal the answers to these questions a myriad of my own memories and firsthand experiences are woven together in this story, as I guide the readers through the mire of religion and culture.
A God Who Hates Women is a journey through an endless maze of Islamist violence and civil war. It’s a journey through a battlefield riddled with archaic cultural, religious demands and explosive emotions. It is a journey that one woman (my mother) navigates with bravery and determination as she fights against an Islamist and patriarchal society in an attempt to survive. The book illustrates the underlying character of Islam and leaves no question about the actual value of women in this society.
Finally, I would like to ask the imams to answer the real questions, which are: What is the role of women in a Muslim society, both before and after Islam was instituted? What is the actual Islamic doctrine on women? Legally speaking, women are the second-class citizens in almost all cases, court testimony, inheritance, child custody, etc. This is what Allah clearly states in the Quran. How many Muslim girls in Muslim nations are deprived the right to choose their own husbands? How many young girls under the age of thirteen are forced into marriage due to the legal framework of Islam? How many are deprived from working because their husbands or brothers follow Islamic doctrine, which dictates women’s first priority is to please their husbands? How has Islam facilitated and encouraged these oppressions? How many Muslim girls are allowed to choose another religion without facing repercussions?
I hope I have shed light on these questions in A God Who Hates Women by touching on troubling issues with clear and detailed clarifications, in an attempt to combat the misinformation that is being promoted as truth.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.