news Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | March 11, 2015 | 04:41 pm IST

Arab woman columnist Suha Al-Jundi, who writes for the website Elaph, wrote a cutting article on Islamic laws and customs that ‘oppress’ women on International Women's Day.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has published excerpts from Al-Jundi’s article.

Al-Jundi begins her piece by saying “I wish to celebrate the lofty status which Islam has granted to the woman and the great respect it has for her, which is manifested in the following ways”.

She then, in 12 points, sarcastically describes how women are often treated as inferior beings.

“[Islam] obliges a woman to wear a hijab the minute she reaches puberty, even if she is ten years old. This, in order to guard the woman and her chastity, and ensure that men will not be aroused and licentiousness will not spread. If the woman suffers vitamin D deficiency as a result of insufficient exposure to sunlight, she should take fish oil capsules. If she can't find any, Allah will reward her doubly for her ability to endure suffering”, she writes.

One of the points reads, “If a man summons his wife to have intercourse with him and she refuses, the angels will curse her, even if [she refused because] her husband does not respect her, does not make her feel cherished and safe, or because he smells bad”.

“Only three things”, she writes, “ – a house, a beast of burden and a woman and– may be regarded as [sources of] bad luck. It is a great honor for the woman to occupy this sensitive and important position...”

Al-Jundi concludes by saying "To all [my fellow] oppressed women, happy new year."

Read her full article here.

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