“There was a time when the Christians and the Jews debated endlessly whether the woman was a human being or not; and whether she had a soul or not; and whether she was taking everybody to Hell or not.
Some of them called her the Instrument of the Devil. Others gave her the name Gateway to Hell.
But everybody pretty much agreed that she was somehow a lesser human being, fundamentally lacking in the human essence and spirit.
But in the Middle of the Seventh Century – 1400 years back – Islam came and put an end to all that nonsense. Once and for all. At least so you would have thought.
But, as it turns out, not if the Muslims could help it.
For, eventually, they too decided to dive into the same Lizard's Hole the Christians and the Jews were occupying before them. Just as the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, had warned them they would.
But, unlike the Jews and the Christians, the Muslim concern was not if a woman had a soul or not; and if she led them all to hell or not; but, rather, if a woman could have a leadership role in life or not.
They also agonized in their spare time – and all their time was beginning to become spare – about what kind of clothes they would like to see a woman wear.
Not all Muslims, mind you, but yet quite a few among them. Especially, many of those who thought they were the better ones among Muslims – more ostensibly God-fearing; more manifestly conformist; and more punctiliously observant of the required Islamic “rituals.”
And somehow, paradoxically and inexplicably, less tolerant and less accommodating of others than their Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was.
As if that was their mandate from God: Going after the female half of their species and telling them what to wear and how to behave.
So, the Muslims gladly wore the broadly misogynist mantle inherited from the Christians and the Jews, even though they opted for only the lighter and milder version of it.
In the process, the Muslims forgot their own glorious Islamic teachings and traditions of female emancipation, equality and empowerment.
And in many cases they went after the womenfolk with a vengeance under one pretext or another, even though all this was fairly benign compared to some of what was going on elsewhere.
And most certainly there never were any burnings at the stake – a la Joan of Arc at the hands of the British in France or in line with other burnings of putative witches that took place for instance in Salem, Massachusetts, in the New World.
In the process, the Muslims gave up education and science and turned their back on innovation, creativity, pragmatic problem solving and enlightenment.
They also replaced personal liberty with social and political tyranny and exchanged a democratic and egalitarian way of life for hereditary monarchy and dictatorship – and for all sorts of feudal and authoritarian power structures and arrangements.
And they filled their mind with all kinds of idle thought and empty space.
I have always refrained from honoring these debates by joining them. But let me ask these faux-super Muslims this question anyway – this one question that to me is most simple and elementary.
Those who spend endless hours and days debating if a woman can be a leader or not; and if she can be in charge of something or not; and then they drag the glorious and blessed name of Islam in this perverse, foolish and futile debate; all they need to do is just think about one thing.
That is all they need to do. Think about one thing. Answer one simple question.
Let them ask themselves: Just who was the owner, master – and leader – of their kitchen, when their gourmet meal was being prepared the previous day, and who was in charge of that cup of sumptuous tea or coffee – or some other similar drug – that their wife placed in their hand that morning?
And then let them allow their imagination to wander. And let them ponder all the Might-Have-Beens of that kitchen and all the likely brews that could have taken the place of that cup of life-giving early morning or afternoon tea or coffee.
All the different kinds of poison, some slow to act and some faster to work their havoc; some most painful and excruciating and some with their deadly effects barely visible to the naked eye.
No, under the eminent, capable and compassionate leadership of their women, their cup of tea was still a cup of tea and the food they had been consuming all of yesterday was nothing but food.
The result is that these ingrate men live on – maybe only to ungraciously malign their women another day.
They are still alive and breathing – these ungracious and ingrate and somewhat foolish men – and continuing to make their mischief.
No, their wives did not use their total mastery of their culinary territory to put an end to their existence with a chalice full of hemlock.
Instead, the women of their household – and practically every other household on earth – exercised their leadership in the most positive, supportive and nurturing manner that they have been doing for who knows how long.
And then what many of these male Muslims need to do thereafter is to hang their heads a bit in shame and turn to God Almighty and repent from their folly and their arrogance and their foolishness." (Dr. Pasha)