Misogyny?

Among its other niceties, like killing those who don’t submit, the Koran has this lovely paragraph concerning women (Sura 4:34)

Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Don’t you especially love that “…and beat them?” This verse is one of the many that gives Islamic apologists problems in the West. It is, after all, according to Islamic tradition, the literal words of God himself. Not a very loving god when it comes to women, I’d say.

Well, Christians are, as well, sometimes acused of misogyny because of this injunction against women speaking in church (1 Corinthians 14):

33…As in all the churches of the saints, 34the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

This is harsh enough, but it has been argued around by many mainline denominations who have women as pastors, priests, and deacons. But Christianity is based on Scripture, and women have their own place, and their own dignity as human persons, given by God. The “submission” isn’t one way, fellas.

The more important message for Christians is in Ephesians 5:

28…husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…

Islam is a religion of violence, and that it commands men to beat their wives is but a glimpse of its violence. It is hardly a surprise that women have few human rights in the Islamic world.

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