Contrary to popular belief, Islam demands respect for women

NFL players such as Ray Rice and others have infamously made national headlines for alleged abuse. Unfortunately, some of our very own Longhorns are facing the same charges. Martez Walker, of the Longhorn basketball team, has been suspended indefinitely after being charged for assaulting a woman, and both Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander, of the Longhorn football team, were suspended indefinitely after being arrested and charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony. This streak of violent acts making the headlines exposes a longstanding reality of sexual violence, causing alarm to many communities. Actress Emma Watson recently gave a speech at the U.N that highlighted the HeForShe campaign, “a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.” On this same note of solidarity for justice, the Texas Muslim Council, a representative body of all the Muslim organizations at the University of Texas at Austin, released a statement on Tuesday spurning such acts and calling for community wide solidarity against this “stain on humanity.”

Eight Muslim organizations make up the Texas Muslim Council, representing a diverse Muslim demographic. Their public statement came out of an obligation to speak up against what they see as an “injustice that threatens justice everywhere.” They argue that remaining silent makes one complicit in any form of oppression. This is also an opportunity to make clear that while the Muslim world does experience gross violations of women’s rights, Islam is very clear on protecting women’s rights. The unfortunate reality of women’s rights in the Muslim world is the result of culture corrupting religion and ignorance betraying the legal sources, like the Quran.

Islamic law is derived from three sources, the Quran, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and the traditions or actions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). From each of these sources, the message of love, affection and mercy are consistently made clear. Of the many instances, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is said to have consoled his wife, lain in her lap and assisted in housework. Such narrations and traditions exemplify what the Quran preaches…

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This is from The Daily Texan, that says it serves the University of Texas at Austin. The author is one Syed Rizvi. The piece is accompanied by note explaining:

Editor’s Note: “Peace be upon him” (abbreviated “pbuh”) is a salutation for the prophets of Islam. Who receives salutations depends on the school of thought. It is a mandatory practice per the Quran and hadiths.

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Someone needs to tell the Islamic State. The UN reports a rather grim picture:

Islamist forces have committed gross human rights violations and violence of an “increasing sectarian nature” against groups including Christians, Yazidis and Shi’ite Muslims in a widening conflict that has forced 1.8 million Iraqis to flee their homes, according to the 29-page report by the U.N. Human Rights Office and the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

“These include attacks directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, executions and other targeted killings of civilians, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence perpetrated against women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction or desecration of places of religious or cultural significance, wanton destruction and looting of property, and denial of fundamental freedoms”…

Women have been treated particularly harshly, the report said: “ISIL (has) attacked and killed female doctors, lawyers, among other professionals.”

In August, it said, ISIL took 450-500 women and girls to the Tal Afar citadel in Iraq’s Nineveh region where “150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves”.