Thursday, October 26, 2006

Who is to blame for infidelity and sexual assualt? Australian Muslim cleric creates uproar!

Another article on the BBC Website caught my attention this week. Now I know full well the media reports things completely out of context to distort what was said in order to support the journalists particular angle. That taken into account I still find this article astonishing if this cleric meant even what he claimed he was indicating. To quote the article:

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside... and the cats come and eat it... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat?" he asked.

The uncovered meat is the problem, he went on to say.

"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred," he added.
Sheikh Hilali also condemned women who swayed suggestively and wore make-up,

Now even the most generous of readings of that indicate that he puts the blame of Marital infidelity or pre-marital sex strictly in the lap of the woman, let alone the possible implications of sexual assault. It is basically saying, to pull his analogy apart, that men are nothing more than animals driven by instinct and that faced with a beautiful half naked woman will have no choice but to attack or have sex with her.

This if I am not mistaken is one of the leading reasons why Muslim men insist on their wives etc being covered up in public where they may be observed by other men. The lady who was suspended for wearing her veil when in class teaching children said it was only in the presence of a male teacher that she insisted on wearing it.

The point being, unless I am completely missing the point is that it seems to be in the Muslim male mindset, either culturally or for religious reasons that a woman should be covered for fear she might cause a man to jump her if she were to show any part of her skin. Placing the responsibility on the woman and not the man to control his impulses. If that is not some form of oppression to women I don't know what is. If anyone can enlighten me on any other reason the wearing of the veil and the covering up of a woman in Islam is required I would love to hear from you. Now of course I accept that not all Muslim's follow such strict dress codes and are more moderate etc!

Now I am a devout Christian and I think that a woman should dress reasonably modestly and not wear clothes that leave so little to the imagination that they may as well not be there. After all it is often what is not revealed that is sexy rather than just letting it all hang out. Wearing very little does however encourage the sexualisation of women as objects and not people, the media being very responsible for that. That said it is squarely on a man to act responsibly when faced with any woman no matter how attired. A man is entirely responsible for his actions and has a choice in his actions and how he behaves. Hence if a woman does choose to wear very revealing attire in public it is up to the individual man to behave in a morally correct way.

Now to take it back to my title. Sexual infidelity, in this context being sex outside marriage is obviously the responsibility of both parties. It is a choice made by both, usually and is nothing to do with what one may be wearing in in any given situation. Again extra marital affairs are nothing to do with the dress code of the woman and are the choice of both parties regardless of circumstances. Any sexual assault is squarely the fault of the attacker and not the attacked. No amount of perceived provocation can excuse any form of attack on a woman or man.

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