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    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Men are from Mars, Women are "Haram"

    It's officially reported in all major news sources (if it reached CBS, it's everywhere) yet not officially confirmed by the main source, The Grand Muftis of Saudi Arabia supposedly agreed on a fatwa that will ban women from working as Cashiers. You know, that evil sinful job of taking your cash and giving you back your change, and may or may not approve your coupons.

    The fatwa states, since Women cashiers will be exposed to men, this will "obviously" lead to an increasing chance of men being infatuated by women, thus leading to more possible mischief, thus the end of the world as we know it (I added the last part). The constant exposure of women is forbidden, and they shouldn't work as Cashiers, leading to the fatwa of stating it's Religiously Haram. Case closed..

    From the looks of it, soon enough, we won't greet a new day with a "good morning", we'll just stick with "good haram". God knows what evils the day holds.

    I really hope this is an over blown rumor, because it seriously needs to be confirmed/debunked by the council. If it's not, then make jump..

    Its frustrating to see Saudi women stuck in such an annoying stigma, a matter that is already causing a great divide amongst the public. They're not fully recognized as individuals, they're barely given any proper civil and religious rights, and they're not able to do anything about it. All because of the interlaced system that basically promotes one chromosome over another.

    To the nay sayers: That's how it's being received, and that's how it's being carried out, despite the original intent and how pure it is. If you can't see it, get a reality check.

    Whenever and wherever a woman is introduced to a certain field as a contributing member of society, she has to be banned first, and later recognized.

    Women in Schools: banned then approved.
    Women in the Private Sector: banned then approved.
    Women in the Government: banned then approved.
    Women in Hospitals: banned then approved.

    Do you see the pattern? we suffer from amnesia?
    ..will we ever learn from history?
    ..must we go through this again and again and again?

    We're not getting any younger, and people in need of work and money NOW still need work and money NOW. It's not a matter of leaving these issues pending until later resolved in a whiff of mercy. In reality, it's a serious matter that hurts, not only the economy, but the fabric of society that actually wants to work because they WANT to contribute, let alone the rising number of those who NEED work to survive.

    How many families are hanging on whatever income their only working female can bring? Not every woman is married, by the way, so the guardian who should look after her might not be there in many scenarios. And now, you're banning the slightest possibility of a woman to work and get a salary? And for what, to avoid future mischief?

    How many people should put their lives on hold until we resolve what doesn't need to be a problem in the first place? It's a cash register job, for god sake!

    Unemployment in Saudi Arabia is a serious issue to be considered, only when you're looking at the male demographic alone. When looking towards the females who should either be male-supported, or in need of a sane-god-fearing-guardian demographic, it's a disaster.

    Dear Sheikhs,

    I like to note that in the public eye, if it's of any concern (while it should be, incase it isn't), you're putting women in front a huge fork in the road. It's either a life style they're too misfortunate to obtain/afford or begging and poverty?
    Similarly, What about the women begging in the scorching heat at every traffic light? Or the scattered ones in front of Mosques? Or the burdened ones walking from one charity organization to another just to get a bag of rice?

    Maybe, dear Shiekhs, you don't have the financial woes that is spreading like a cancer amongst those you approve/disapprove of, maybe that's why it's not on the top of your list. Maybe your pursuit of a better life choice for females MISTAKENLY (positive assumption) excluded the harsh reality they need to go through. But they're there, whether you acknowledge the fact or not.
    There's no room for double standards in Islam, yet, we're leading that category. Am running out of my 72 excuses, so help me out here.
    Search in Early Islamic History. Women were in the working field, teaching in schools, battled in wars, and took highly-influential positions in several social and political aspects of life. It's there, it was done, it's in the history books you apparently "approved" for us to study.
    Why is "Haram" becoming the norm, instead of spending a little bit more time studying practical ways to implement what was apparently "Halal" before?
    Why is "NOW" any different?

    We all have families, How can anyone rest, knowing that their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters won't be able to afford minimal wage when times are rough?
    Your fatwa answered that..

    According to Saudi Social News, Prince Bandar Bin Abdullah Bin Sa'oud Al Kabeer (I had to list his full name to avoid confusion) heavily criticized the fatwa, asking the Sheikhs not to involve culture in their thinking process, which led to very faulty results. He also noted that Islam did not state it's Haram, but it needs more of a wise Ijtihad (study or analysis), so why make this harder and larger than it's proper proportion. Moreover, He criticized how their opinion affects the overall of the case, and how they're forcing women to choose harsh and crude paths to finance themselves and their Dependant families.



    1. I do believe there's more to it than just the on going 'halal/haram' issue. Things in general and especially for Saudi women, are almost always banned then approved. It's not about religion, it's a power struggle.

      You will not fight for your rights, you will not impose them, you will not earn them, you will not request them.

      It must be bestowed upon you by 'us' when you no longer want it is bad as you once did, and when we no longer feel our authoritative commands are threatened by your never ending requests.

    2. The whole problem is in our traditions, if we just manage to enlighten people and show the difference between the religious 'haram' and the cultural 'haram', we would be in a better situation... I stil have some hope!

    3. I agree, The separation of Tradition+Culture and Religion, in the public understanding of both, is proving to be a great necessity.

      Then again, I like to remind myself..

      "Learn from Yesterday, Live for Today, Hope for Tomorrow" -Einstein

      Hopefully, change will happen before my brain decides to lose hope on me :D

    4. @Amal: that was an excellent quote!
      Please check out the facebook page "WE WANT WOMEN IMAMS". Several prominent Muslim Feminists are a part of this group: