The Proper Perspective
In order to gain a better understanding of the situation of the women in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule, it is vital to define the terms, �freedom� and �oppression�. According to Webster�s dictionary:
1. The state of being free; exemption from the power and control of another liberty; independence.
1. The act of oppressing or state of being oppressed.
2. That which oppresses; a hardship or injustice; cruelty; severity; tyranny.
Although these definitions are set, people�s discernment of what freedom really is and what oppression really means vary according to their own perspectives, beliefs and largely by societal influence and pressure. So, a society as in the case of the Western, in which a lewd way of life is common, prevalently directed and guided by peoples� lusts and desires, the people have begun to perceive other societies and ways of life which do not share and follow their level of exposure and looseness, as �inferior� and/or �oppressed� and one that lacks freedom. The reality is that many people, in particular most feminist organizations in the West share this outlook without even realizing that such thoughts sow the seeds of disrespect and contempt and when such views spread and escalate to a larger level, they lead to forceful conversions and attempts to change other societies regardless of their culture and religion. Similar to communism where the government forces it�s ideology onto people forcing the people to cast away their religion, culture and traditions. Similarly, the cries of feminism and their attempts to change the condition of women throughout the world by enforcing their ideologies, is an indirect form of oppression. The model of the �free� Western society and it�s lose culture is used as a yardstick to determine whether women throughout the world have �freedom� or not and whichever society does not comply with the criteria of �freedom� according to the Western culture, is blatantly called, oppressed. How selfish and ignorant. The faulty rationale used by the ignorant feminist groups to initiate the media crusades against a society which upholds religious laws, morality and unwavering justice; in attempts to combat �oppression� ends up being the epitome of oppression itself.
Oppression is not only imposing injustice and cruelty on a physical level, but also on emotional and psychological level. Feminist groups who accuse Afghanistan for being a country ruled by a government which �oppresses women� and �denies freedom� to it�s citizens, have failed to see the two extremely important points which thrash their false accusations with as much ease as stomping a roach.
The West is under the misconception that their perception of freedom and oppression corresponds to that of the women in Afghanistan. So, hollering and cries of resentment are heard from many in the West while the women in Afghanistan peacefully continue to live their lives oblivious to the useless and pathetic bellows. Little do the feminists and their supporters know that in the eyes of Muslim women, none are more oppressed than the Western men and women who share the corrupt feminist ideologies. A question arises that why exactly is there such a great difference in the outlook of oppression and freedom between these two societies which exist in the same time period? As mentioned previously, an individual�s beliefs and the societal influence plays a major role in molding the minds and views of the people in each of these two strikingly different societies. Further analyzing the meaning of �freedom� as understood by the two societies reveals the reality of which society is �free� and which society is �oppressed�.
The Western society, which has a history of being male-dominated, who in turn have oppressed the women and denied them even their basic roles and rights, are suffering an extreme backlash today. Women who had initially fought for their rights have now become extreme in their ideologies and as a result, have forsaken their God-given roles in their pursuit to be either �equal� to the man or �better�. This unmistakably shows the primitive thinking that has clung in their minds of those considering themselves to be inferior to the man. According to the Western woman, she can be �liberated� and �free� from her �oppressed� womanly roles if she tries to be like the �great� man. What makes such women so certain that what men have is so great that they are willing to abandon their own identity and roles? This is a very oppressive attitude which is the root of many problems facing Western society today as the women, in pursuit of recognition, acceptance and �equality� end up digging their own graves for their psychological, physical and mental well-being. Little do these women realize that they once again have played themselves into oppression but this time, it�s in disguise.
Islam recognizes the strengths of a man and of a woman as bestowed upon them by Allah Subhaanuhu wa Ta�ala. The roles of man and the woman are complementary to each other and are equally important in society, just like gasoline and engine are in functioning of a car. Without either of them, a car cannot function. And if one is present or fulfilling its role, while the other is not, then the car is still useless.
�Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).� (Qur�an, s. 16, v. 97)Allah Subhaanuhu wa Ta�ala, has given mankind the Qur�an as a guidance and sent His last Messenger, Muhammad (sallallaahu `alahi wa sallam) as a practical example to obey and follow if indeed it is success that mankind yearns in this life and in the Hereafter. In the Qur�an and the sunnah of the Prophet sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam, we have been shown a perfect way of life which deals with all of its aspects from the moment one is born until the moment one dies. This way of life is unique as Allah Subhaanuhu wa Ta�ala has made it conducive and applicable for all times to come. Allah Subhaanuhu wa Ta�ala has fashioned the man and the woman in a perfect manner and has bestowed upon them special qualities and abilities that are distinct but complementary to each other. These innate qualities enable the man and the woman to naturally and easily lean towards their respected roles, also laid down by Allah Subhaanuhu wa Ta�ala . Any action by an individual which goes against the fitrah (innate natural disposition) will only create difficulties and problems for that person and if such rebelliousness persists and spreads, then the society is preparing for a downfall. So a Muslim woman accepts her Allah-given qualities and does not fight against it or tries to imitate the man�s qualities and roles when there is no need of doing so.