As I was waiting for instructions from my colleague on something I couldn’t understand, I decided to go through my news feed on Facebook. With the Holy month going on, I found a lot of religious posts ranging from the health benefits of fasting to special prayers for special days within the special month. Amongst the ocean of religious posts, one particular post caught my attention; 3 things that destroy one’s ‘emaan’ (faith).  Two of the things included arguing with a foolish man (I still have to figure out how one’s faith can be destroyed by arguing with someone not very bright) and ‘going to parties of the rich’ (Literal translation).

Luckily for me, I don’t have any ‘foolish’ friends. None of my friends are rich either. So far, my emaan was safe. However the third point not only shattered by emaan but also made me question why such absurd posts go viral on social media. The point stated that the company of women destroys one’s emaan. Since I’ve been in the constant company (literally) of a woman for 23 years now, there is absolutely no way my emaan is still intact.

Fatwas these days are extremely easy to find. Why don’t I find one against ridiculing women? On the one hand I am told that my religion gives women more respect than any other ideology, yet on the other hand I find such absurd posts saying women destroy faith. This can be linked to yet another popular notion that most of the men in hell will be there because of women.

Women, as it can be seen, are to be blamed for all the evil in the world. You see, if a man commits adultery, it will be because a woman compelled him to. If he scans a woman from head to toe and lands in hell for that, the woman is to be blamed. She should have known better than to wear such revealing clothes to get the poor man thrown into hell. If a man rapes a woman, the woman is obviously to be blamed. How convenient.

While the champions of these theories may state that all these are backed by religious literature, nobody will speak about the incident where the Prophet told his cousin to look away instead of telling a woman to cover up.

Throughout history, men have tried to suppress women and ridicule them. It angers me to the point of madness to know that there are people out there who still blame women for their ‘lost emaans’.  What infuriates me further is the fact that suppressed women actually agree to such nonsense. It isn’t surprising to find a woman actually believing that it is because of her that all the evil in the world exists.

Why is there so much ambiguity when it comes to the status of women in religion? While the self-proclaimed guardians of religion boast about how their religion is the only ideology that gives women their rights, they go on to say such derogatory things about women that nobody seems to object to. Enter Mr. Junaid Jamshed.

Mr. Junaid Jamshed, in a video that is open proof of not only sexism but also deemed ‘blasphemous’, claimed that women are ‘as twisted as a rib’ (Literal translation) and then went on to pass highly derogatory remarks not only about women in general but about one of the Prophet’s wives. Of course, this made the Muslim Ummah’s blood boil for a total of two days and 11 hours after which the entire Ummah cooled down. Very conveniently, before running off to London, Mr. Junaid Jamshed posted a video of himself crying ad asking the Muslim Ummah to forgive him. While I thought that would be the end of his career, I wasn’t surprised to see him back in Ramadan, doing his usual Ramadan transmission. Who cares if he said a bunch of derogatory things about a woman? Who cares if this man openly speaks of women as if they were his inferiors? The same women he sells his overpriced (and highly overrated) lawn ‘Joras’ to. Speaking against women is acceptable.  Women are the root of all evil. Women destroy ‘emaans’.

The Muslim world can either keep living in ignorance and stick to the stance of how Islam is the only religion that gives women their rights, or can open its eyes and see the very frequent women bashing that has become a major element of the Muslim world. From harmless jokes about wives killing their husbands at the mention of a second wife, to posts like the one that inspired this piece, women bashing gives the world a very wrong image of Islam.  There are already countless individuals tarnishing Islam’s image.

If the Muslim world wants to improve things, the least it can do is start treating its women right.  Perhaps, in a hundred years, Islam will no longer be associated with suppressing women. At the moment, these self-proclaimed guardians of religion have left no reason for the world to believe otherwise.