Are Women Really Oppressed in the Middle East?

Essay by adrienne5583High School, 12th grade April 2007

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The Islamic views of morality and what is right are different from the Christian beliefs and what is accepted in a western world today. The statements in the Koran and the Bible differ from what is expected from modern society. I don’t believe that a practicing Christian living in the west can totally understand the expectations and laws of Islam’s, and how the laws seemingly ‘barring’ women are unfair.

Looking at the laws as stated in the Koran, women are described as being made as a mateto man, rather than below them, “O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another, and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you” (Koran 4:1).

Also, although women are told to cover, they are not doing so in a restrictive way. The Koran tells women that their bodies are sacred and must only be viewed by spouses and loved ones, “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and...