August 4, 2009

My Thoughts on CEDAW

A little late to the party, I suppose. I honestly didn't think the discussion would keep going till now, but people can't seem to give it a rest. And by people I mostly mean organizations pertaining to the Islamic Brotherhood.

Firstly, let me state something very clearly, I KNOW that Jordan is an Islamic country. I know that the personal status law which applies to people of all religions living in the country follows the Islamic law. I do know that.

What seems to bother the Brotherhood and more recently the Council of Ifta' are articles 15 and 16, which in a nutshell, guarantee women the freedom to travel and reside freely, as well as equal rights in marriage, occupation, etc. I will not go into discussion as to why would Islam disagree with the previous notions, because in the end it is a personal opinion. But this i will say: Jordan is not Saudi Arabia. We don't apply Islamic teachings to every part of our lives. We don't force women to wear headscarves, we don't force people into mosques at prayer time and we won't chop your hand off for stealing. The Jordanian constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and by that I don't just mean the right for non-Muslims to practice their rites of worship, but also the right for Muslims to choose whether to apply the teachings of Islam to their lives or not.

And that is why I don't think CEDAW should pose a problem. If certain women don't believe it is their right to travel freely, then by all means, don't. No one is forcing you to. What CEDAW does is guarantee this right for people who don't agree with that. What it does is provide women with the choice. I find nothing wrong with that, and if truly there is no compulsion in religion, then this shouldn't even be an issue.

Go ahead now, proceed to chopping my head off in the comment section xD