I think it is very common for people to be confused or misinformed about a faith or culture that we have not had much contact with. Like many we pick up things through the movies, television and by word of mouth and believe what we hear to be true. Most of us have at one time or another had a preconceived notion about someone else, it is very common. It can help us understand other cultures, people with different beliefs than we do if we dig a little deeper and learn more about them and their way of life. This is very true with the Muslim/Islamic faith, especially the women. Here are five of the top common misconceptions about Muslim women.
1) Muslim Women Are Forced To Wear Hijab – Being forced to wear a hijab is probably the most common misconception about Muslim women. A hijab is the headscarf worn by many Muslim women, it sometimes includes a face veil. Many Muslim women choose on their own accord to wear a hijab. They do so to feel more empowered, they feel they are not being judged on looks but who they are.
2) Men Are Considered Superior Than Muslim Women– This is another common misconception, their beliefs are men are the protectors of their wives, not above them. Islamic women have rights and responsibilities that are equal to men, even if they are not identical. The reason for this is since women have different physical capabilities as men, and also different emotional needs. The women are looked upon with great respect because raising children is so important, they are crucial members of society.
3) They Cannot Have A Job Outside Their Home– It is true that they do encourage women to make taking care of their home the first priority. But there is no law that says they cannot have a job. They can have a job, run their own business and no one has any claim on her earnings, this includes her husband.
4) Muslim Women Cannot Have A Education– This is also another one of many false misconceptions. The Quran, which is the central religious text of Islam, encourages all Muslims regardless of sex to seek knowledge. It repeatedly asks all believers to recite, think, read, contemplate besides learning the signs of God around us in nature. In Islam there is no limit on what kind or field of education a woman chooses.
5) Muslim Women Do Not Have The Right To Divorce Their Husbands– The last on my list of the top common misconceptions about Muslim Women are very widespread. This is untrue, the divorce laws in the Quran apply to both men and women equally. A woman has the right to divorce her husband as long as she follows the laws that are set by the Quran.
ABC News – abcnews.go.com/Primetime/WhatWouldYouDo/story
Islamweb.net – www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php
Submission.org – submission.org/women/mis.html