Monday, December 22, 2008

Great stride forward for Muslim women

We all know that women are not allowed to travel alone, and must be accompanied by a mahram, who is usually a relative (like a brother) who can ensure that they arrive to their destination unmolested by the general Islamic public. This is, of course, for their own good.

The fact that this makes it impossible for women to live lives as if they are normal, functioning adults. Which is pretty much the point.

Now, you may have noticed that eight year old children in the West sometimes travel on airplanes unaccompanied by an adult. Does this mean that eight-year olds have more maturity than the average Muslim 30 year old single woman?

Of course not, you Islamophobe!

Aafaq.com reports on a new Saudi fatwa that allows an adult woman to travel by herself in closed, safe environments like airplanes, as long as a mahram accompanies her to the plane and another one is with her when she gets off. The logic is that the crew members are trained to stop the good Muslim passengers from harassing or raping the defenseless woman, so therefore she is as safe as if she had her brother with her.

(Of course, this is not yet normative law in Saudi Arabia, but a brand new innovation that will take decades or centuries to take root.)

So it is clearly insulting to even imply that eight year old American or European boys have more maturity than adult Muslim women. As this fatwa shows, progressive Islamic clerics hold that their level of maturity is exactly the same!