Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fifteen Tips for Muslim Men talking about "Women in Islam"

Some men assume that they are to lead the conversation and some even believe that they know it better. All that arrogance needs to be shed OR stripped

Mike Ghouse
Fifteen Tips for Muslim Men talking about "Women in Islam"Guidance for Muslim men on how to deal effectively with the stereotypes and misperceptions about women in Islam.

Sadly, some Muslim men make the problem of outsiders' perception of women in Islam worse without realizing it, instead of clarifying the issue. This is rarely, if ever, done intentionally. However, what’s clear is that some guidelines are necessary for brothers when talking about the issue of women in Islam. Here are some suggested tips:

1. Let the sisters speak
No matter how well-spoken, eloquent or intelligent a brother is, the bottom line is this: he is not a Muslim woman.
That means no matter how much you, as a Muslim man tell a non-Muslim woman how wonderful hijab is, it will be harder for her to accept this because you have never worn Hijab and you are not a woman.
Whenever possible, have sisters answer questions pertaining to Islam and women.

2. Be careful of mixing up the ideal with the reality
One non-Muslim writer once remarked how when talking to Muslims about Islam compared to the West, Muslims take the ideal of Islam and compare it to the reality of the West.
The fact of the matter is there are very ugly realities when it comes to the treatment of women in many parts of the world, including the Muslim world. Muslims must recognize the reality of domestic violence in the community, even though Islamic ideals would never condone such ugly behavior.

3. Don’t sacrifice speaking out against injustice in the name of protecting Islam’s "image"
"Tackle the issue and the image will take care of itself," advises Sr. Kathy Bullock, a convert to Islam based in California. Don’t fall into the tendency to ignore pressing issues for the sake of protecting Islam’s reputation.
In other words, if someone brings up the issue of honor killing in Jordan, acknowledge the reality but make it clear that this is a sin and a crime in Islam and as a Muslim you condemn it. This in itself is enough. Trying to justify or make excuses for it or covering it up is not going to score image points for Islam.

4. Don’t respond to unspoken accusations
A number of times, Muslims automatically start an apologetic tirade defending the status of women in Islam before a person has even said a word. Let the other person initiate questions, and answer calmly and confidently. You may be responding to an accusation that was never even in the person’s mind in the first place.

5. Ask WHY
Do this before launching an apologetic tirade against any accusation. For instance, a man in Spain once approached a scholar, saying he felt Islam was a man’s religion. Before rebutting him, the scholar asked him why he thought this way. The man replied that whenever he looked at mosques, he saw only men.
By knowing why, you can develop your answer accordingly, and tackle the issue head-on in an honest and direct way.

6. Agree with people as much as possible
Start off agreeing with a person. It will completely turn the tables on the discussion, as many people begin discussions on women in Islam assuming Muslims are completely against the notion of women’s rights.

7. If you don’t know something SAY SO
If a person tells you they’re from X country you’ve never heard of and Muslim women are treated in a horrible fashion what can you say about it?
I have never heard of that, and I don’t know are simple enough. Don’t start apologizing, or denying that it happens. Tell the truth.

8. Don’t be condescending
In Islam, looking down on a fellow human being is a sin, whether the person is a male or a female. Don’t think you know all there is to know about women in Islam, and don’t speak in this manner either. Allah does not love arrogance, and only Allah has full knowledge of all things.

9. Don’t interrupt
This is a problem in a number of cultures, men interrupting women and other men when they speak. Not only is this rude behavior, it takes away from your message. People are less likely to listen to you if you come across as a rude boorish individual. Don’t do this to others, especially sisters.

10. Don’t assume all Muslim sisters are the same
Just because your mom, who was born and brought up in a Muslim country, and has never had a problem with hijab does not mean that other Muslim sisters have the same experience.
Muslim sisters are as different as brothers, as are their experiences with issues like hijab.

11. Become more attuned to the "new Muslim woman"
Muslim sisters today are not the same as those of yesterday. Many Muslims sisters know more, and they prefer more interactive lectures as opposed to the passive style normally used. If you’re giving a talk, be ready to have interjections from Muslim sisters. Welcome these, don’t shun them.

12. Choose your words very carefully
If you’re doing a presentation on women’s issues in Islam or responding to a basic question, make sure to choose your words extremely carefully. Know the exact dictionary meaning, as well as the meaning in everyday usage. Words are extremely powerful, and they leave an imprint on the hearts and minds of people. You want that imprint to be positive, so be careful.

13. Actions speak louder than words
You can speak beautifully about women in Islam on behalf of the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), but if throughout the year, sisters have been denied access to the prayer room, or the right to participate in decision-making in the MSA, then think of how silly your talk is.Make sure your personal and organizational behavior falls in line with your words.

14. Don’t stereotype all Western women
"Table dancers" or "cheerleaders" is how one Muslim sister described the way Muslims tend to stereotype all Western women. Let’s not forget: we hate it when Muslim women are stereotyped as oppressed, so we should not be doing the same to others.
And lest we forget, a growing number of Western women are becoming our Muslim sisters, and very practicing ones at that.

15. Seek women’s perspective on issues
You know mom, who loves you so much and makes your dinner? She’s a woman. Your sister in school? She’s a woman. If you’re blessed to be surrounded by practicing Muslim sisters in your home, take advantage of this by seeking their views on issues like hijab, domestic violence, community participation, and media stereotypes. There’s nothing like hearing the truth presented from those who truly live it.

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Email to: SpeakerMikeGhouse@gmail.com

Voice of Moderate Muslims

Voice of Moderate Muslims
Voice of Moderate Muslims

Moderate Islam Speaker

Moderate Islam Speaker
Moderate Islam Speaker

quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797



We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.

URL- http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/08/planned-muslim-response-to-quran_18.html

Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.