Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Glass Houses and Heaven

Many of those who learned of  the agenda of the Malaysian Obedient Wives Club were outraged, and rightly so.  Others rubbed their hands with glee - ah more stones to chuck at the Muslims!  But such snide and self-righteous barbs at Islam in general and Muslim women (in Malaysia) in particular can often smell of wilful ignorance and academic skullduggery.

Let's survey the wider issue of the plight of women worldwide - especially those in the West.  Many bits and pieces are not easily available in the international news media.  Some you discover tucked in the nooks and crannies of the national papers, the local provincial rags or magazines and journals.

Here is some of the material I've collected in my magpie's nest.

 On Jewish women and get.

So, they are also subjected to 'gantung tidak bertali' - like the 'oppressed' women of Islam!

On Rape in Universities
  The NST (11 June 2011) reported on a National Union of Students poll of 1,500 women students where 17% of the respondents (one in six) had been victims of rape, 12% of attempted rape by, in most cases friends and acquaintances.  Did this occur in some backward, despotic banana republic?

It happens to have occurred in Australia, one of the "beacons" of  female emancipation.  So Malaysian parents, take heed about sending your daughters to Australian Universities.  If the situation had been reversed, I'd give Australian parents the same caution.

Women's Body Parts
Mrs Obama is a highly regarded and successful lawyer in her own right. But national British papers like the Sunday Telegraph (9 May 2009) are mainly interested in her 'exceptionally toned upper arms"
 Anne Elliot, the heroine of Jane Austen's "Persuasion" puts it to Captain Harville, 'All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one, you need not covet it) is that of loving longest, when existence or hope is gone.'

So what do women want today?  Long-lasting and Selfless Love, a la Anne Elliot?  Nyaah!  Most want  'Angelina Jolie's pillow lips, and J-Lo's derriere'  and Lady Gaga's lifestyle.

It seems that in Brazil, the plastic surgery industry provides not only nose and breast jobs.  They will remove ribs to tuck in the waist, insert implants for a fullsome backside.  As for liposuction - it's a common every day service.  But they do provide a welfare service.  Once a year a famous plastic surgeon offers free operations to the poor.  Now, that's what you call equality.

The Protection of Women and Children in Britain

  • I  copied the words in the above  notice when the spouse was going for his scan at Leicester's General Hospital.    Note the low age limit of pregnancy.      But don't be surprised.    A workmate of mine was very proud of being a great grandmother when her granddaughter had a baby at the age of 12.

  • The system attributes women's 'self-destructive' habits to Depression.  To me this is more of a 'chicken and egg' situation.  Which comes first?

  And as for Malaysia....

I have no training in Hermeneutics.  As far as I'm aware, of all the world's major religions, Islam especially has granted women the right to be treated as equal human beings with men, as a partner in this life.  They have been created with a soul - just as men have.  Men and women have mutual rights and responsibilities.

Last Sunday I was watching a woman's programme on RTM 1 about the impact of the OWC on the place of Muslim women in a marriage.  I must admit I could not bear to watch much of it.

When the Datuk/Dato Ustad was asked about how women should deal with a husband who plonks a second wife into the marriage, the answer given, in gist, was ' be patient' with the situation. If you cannot find happiness in the marriage, you can look forward to a place in Heaven for being forbearing.

Heaven help such women.

There's a Malay saying :  Dibuat kerana Allah, menjadi kerana olah.   (Done for God, but it becomes a dodge.)

Help!  I feel like looking for a 'tempurung' (coconut shell) to hide under.


Wan Sharif said...

I can use one.. tempurung I mean ;)).

Anonymous said...

What's the fuss?
God, thru his prophet asked the wives to be obedient to the husband. And husbands to follow fully the teachings of Islam(not just on having 4 wives). Irrespective of what the circumstances are a wife have the right not to follow the orders of the husband if it is against the religion. And the dutiful husband should follow every little thing that is presribed in Islam and not just matters related to the bed.
The injustice is when we, calling ourselves civilized, criticized these group of ladies who I believe are educated & intelligent, forming a club to practice one of the teachings in Islam. I don't think the gay and lesbian club received so much bad publicity than them.


BaitiBadarudin said...

This problem of reining in 'your man' seems to be a universal problem, regardless of religion or culture. If they don't take second, third or fourth wives, they'll have girlfriends or mistresses at some point in their lives. Even Tammy Wynette had her own share of philandering/abusive husbands ...

Anonymous said...

Dato Ustad tu bepura2 jer.Betopengkan agama.Astagfirllah.


Anonymous said...

Great Post!

ph said...

"Annoyed" @ 3.00pm a member of OWC ??

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Wan Sharif,

However tempurungs are hard to find in the Supermarkets.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Annoyed.

According to a report in the Malaysian Insider (4 June 2011) the OWC vice-president Dr Rohaya Mohamad told reporters ( the quotation marks I indicate in this reply were inserted by the Reporter) "If you look at the world today, women are already being treated as sex objects ..... in magazines, on TV .... so why can't they be sex objects to their husbands? It is legal and permitted by God."

Do these women seriously believe that part of a Muslim wife's function is to play the role of a sex object - like a harlot, a lap-dancer, or a strip-tease performer which are all 'services' considered reprehensible in all religions and cultures? Where in Islam is it considered that this 'wifely duty' is legal and permissible?

Is it a part of OBEDIENCE for a wife to perform like a paid prostitute? And when a husband demands this service as a condition for staying home with his wife and children, is that an act of OBEDIENCE to the tenets of Islam?

How can OWC be assured that their imitation of a whore will stop husbands from shopping for prostitutes? They must think so little of Muslim men, good, thinking obedient (to Allah) Muslim men to believe that this is what they expect from their wife and the mother of their children and grandmother of their grandchildren.

You may think that these recommendations are based on education and intelligence. We are all given intelligence but how we use it is another matter. Mere education does not turn people into sensible and sensitive human beings. There are other considerations like intellect and discrimination and self-respect which it appears are sadly lacking in the agenda of this Club - how else could they commend the wiles and techniques of the street-woman to their fellow Muslims? And to justify this in the name of Islam?

Such a criterion for maintaining a happy marriage leaves our future Muslim wives with no other option than to plunge into the world of smutty pornographic videos and publications, familiarize themselves with the Kama Sutra for instance, go to underground sex-shops to equip themselves with whips,chains and whatever else their future husbands may fancy!

Or perhaps Global Ikhwan can corner the market for the above gadgets and gizmos and other teaching aids for Muslim customers in Malaysia, Jordan and Indonesia. With their plans to expand to London, Paris, Rome and Frankfurt - it should place this OWC Agenda in the same league as Amsterdam's sex-shops.

Just a few questions. Will the "lessons on sex and the art of seduction" (again this is the MI Reporter quoting the good doctor) require human performers? If so, will they be Muslims? Also what 'technical' and 'academic' ( my inverted commas) qualifications are required for the instructors?

Marriage is a loving bond between man and woman blessed by God. It can be hard work and requires a lot of compromises and sacrifices but certainly no one in their right minds would accept that recommended by OWC as a religious obligation.

Muslim men and women are partners. Harmony and happiness in a marriage is the responsibility of both. The onus does not fall on the woman only, as judged by the OWC.

To believe that 'a man who is kept sated and satisfied in the bedroom would have no reason to stray' (again the reporter's quotes) is an insult to Muslim women and a betrayal of the essence of the Muslim man - to bring him down to the level of a randy tomcat.

Islam and Muslims have never been as vulnerable and preyed upon as they are now. They are the bete noir of the world, especially of the Judaeo-Christian West.

Some of us try to counter their attacks by picking on their hypocrisies. But the antics of the OWC only feed the feeding frenzy.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you BaitiBadarudin.

This is a universal problem but only OWC has a uniquely weird solution.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you wawa.

Did you watch the programme?

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Anonymous 3.20 am, June 15.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you ph.

I also wonder.

Anonymous said...

Do these women seriously believe that part of a Muslim wife's function is to play the role of a sex object? Any muslim would know that Islam brought up the status of women from the dark ages. Doesn’t matter what the doctor thin or feel; what’s more important is that one woman or one club doesn’t represent the thinking or the moral value of the whole religion.
I’ve seen enough to assume that some statement printed in the newspaper are put in such a way to sensationalized the issue rather than putting truth or relaying the real message. No point to argue any further.

Whore, prostitutes, sex toys - Harsh words aren’t they? Did the OWC really said that or are we dancing to the tune of the west that run wild with any smell of Islam? If they really do say that, then I’ll cease to make any further comment and forget the rest of my comments below.

Look, what I want to put forward is that this is just a club which is just "a group of people who shared the same interest". It’s not like the women’s lib, or the slut walk or the gay movement or a communist party. So give them a break and guidance but don’t break them! Personally I think they’re running on thin ice of becoming a ‘show off’ club (which is not right), but in defence of fellow sisters in Islam (not that SIS huh….) I’d really like the public to give constructive criticism to them rather than dampening any spirit to uphold the teachings in Islam.

I have faith in the religion not on the people who professed or say they practice it. So if any group or for this matter a club, wanted to practice one of the teachings….by all means we should be helping and guiding them, not condemning and painting the worst ever picture that can ever arise from this simple act. Religion also tells us to help others. I know of a true story of someone who gave money to a passer by in distress only to be shown a knife and parted with more than what he can afford. So if a group wants to start a donation club or a Good Samaritan club, shall we condemn them by saying that such act will only make more beggars among us and questioned its effectiveness in really helping the poor?

anak si-hamid said...

Reply to Annoyed June 16.


1. ...that this agenda of the OWC has been 'sensationalized', that the truth has been subverted, then perhaps you could inform the OWC to launch another Press Conference to set the picture straight by inviting "a large number of news organizations, including correspondents from major foreign wire agencies". (Again, I'm not taking an extract from a pro-Government newspaper but the Malaysian Insider.) If the OWC's objectives are anything like your perception - that this can be likened to 'a donation club or Good Samaritan Club' and possess some kind of 'effectiveness in really helping the poor', then I shall also sign myself "Annoyed"

2. .... that those who find the OWC's agenda offensive are being duped into 'dancing to the tune of the west', do check the MI and all other news portals for the statements made by the VP. Dr Rohaya says (according to the report):
"If you look at the world today, women are already being treated as sex objects ... in magazines, on TV ... so why can't they be sex objects to their husbands? It is legal and permitted by God" and:

"A good wife is a good sex worker to her husband. What is wrong with being a whore in bed to your husband?"

If these statements were uttered by the likes of Pamela Anderson, Sarah Palin, Lady Gaga or Madonna people would just raise their eyebrows and ask. 'What do you expect from these airheads?'

And again, if you think these statements are misquotes do inform the OWC and ask them to sue the MI and all other local and international news providers.

As for the word 'whore', according to the OED, it is a synonym for 'prostitute' and means 'Woman who offers her body to indiscriminate sexual intercourse, esp. for hire.'
When a woman begins to use the word 'whore' to attach to her functions, then bells will start ringing and all other accoutrements of whoredom will get into the frame.

3. .... that you would 'like the public to give constructive criticism to them rather than dampening any spirit to uphold the teachings in Islam', that is tantamount to saying that current criticisms damages the spirit of Islam.

I, for one, as mentioned in my posting do not possess the training in Scriptures, to be able to quote Chapter and Verse on religious issues. I leave that to the professionals. But I think I am not wrong, by Islam's tenets, to know that the guidelines of the OWC to keep husbands at home are untenable.

If you want to present the view that this is just a club of 'people who share the same interest' - you could also apply that to the other groupings you mentioned like women's lib, the slut walk(?), the gay movement or the communist party(?). I have no quarrel with them - they can live the life they wish as long as they do not draw me into the net of a shared faith.

[I find myslf limited by lack of 'space'. The continuation will be in the next window.]

anak si-hamid said...

..........to Continue

But when a group of educated and intelligent Muslim women publicly prescribe their version of how Muslim wives could keep a marriage intact, then other women, educated or otherwise, middle class and working class should use their intellect to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Women can discuss with each other their problems and their joys on their marriage and family. But what goes on within the four walls of the bedroom is not for public perusal or public chatter.

As they say 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. If the OWC have called in the world's Press to demonstrate their 'intentions' and ways to avoid Hell, then others have the same right and duty to express their displeasure, to put it mildly.

In one sense I agree with your view 'one woman or one club doesn't represent the thinking or the moral value of the whole religion.' It is precisely for that reason that the OWC's agend is not palatable and applicable to solving the problems in Muslim marriages.

Ironically it was the OWC who choregraphed the dance, composed the song, wrote the lyrics and presented it to Western and the world's press on a golden platter - almost like Salome's dance. This truly redeems the fantasies and prejudices of the Orientalists.

As a result, it leaves those who take on the diatribes of the Islamophobes with no ground to stand on.

Finally our perceptions of this issue are like two parallel lines that will not meet. We both have the right to keep our views. Any further exchanges will be a re-hash of the same and we both have better things to do.

All the same, thank you for your forthright and interesting comments.

Wake UP! said...

There are now women's rights movement because the male mistreated the female species.

Anonymous said...

Hish ! Dr Rohaya Mohamad ------try to keep your fantasies in the bedroom ! If it turns both partners on..then let them ! Its like teaching a baby how to walk !

Anyway the bottom line is the sense of decency and fair-play ( did I say fore-play?) in the men (and sometimes women too) that matters....and of course rightly guided faith too.

Anonymous 3.00pm.....you telling us the educated and intelligent cannot be criticized ? To me I read this blog as 'freedom of expression and criticism'.........just as your comments were approved and posted by the blog-writer...

mana meow

Mr Bojangles said...

Apologies for chipping in so late in the day. But I think it's an almost lost cause for those in the opposing camp of the OWC in the battle of the bedrooms.

Recently there was a course held for senior government officials' wives on how they should conduct themselves at public functions, drinking and dining properly, etc.

At the closing ceremony the KSN's wife gave a sermon that could have been taken out of the OWC's manual. To wit that wives should be dutiful and demure, please their husbands and, I jest you not, dance and sing for them. This was followed by a live demonstration of the singing and dancing part.

So you see the rot has begun. Soon it will be a free for all with perhaps the FLOM herself leading the charge.

The whole thing would have been quite laughable except that these fruitcakes probably really believe they are doing the nation a service by such education, and that it is their right as spouses of important people to spend precious public resources on operas like this.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you WAKE UP,

You are so right because these are just males and females, not men and women!

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you mana meow,

You've said it right. Just tell these women to Hish-up!

anak si-hamid said...

Mr Bojangles,

You're welcome any time. Yes, you're right, the rot has set in at all levels.
Remember the old proverb? You can't make a silk purse out of sow's ears.