This article, rather than contributing to any form of scholarly debate, merely highlights the same age old criticisms and attacks of the Orientalists. Judging the entire religion of Islam through the lens of Western perfection will no doubt cause it to appear defunct. Similarly, judging any other religion or culture through the same lens will produce the same results. Has the writer not read the Bible or the Bhagavad Gita? The reality is that nowhere do we find gender equality. However, Islam is the only religion, that having recognized the differences between males and females, protects each within their own unique spheres of life which they have been created for.
Although, every flippant statement of Kanwar’s can be counter argued, I will just take one point. Mahfooz Kanwar claims that “At birth, all infants are equal, but Islam makes then unequal”. This statement would be true if Kanwar was living in some form of Utopia, but if he is living on Planet Earth, then he would be shocked to learn that it is far from the truth. Women are still today fighting for basic rights in the most developed countries. Has Kanwar not heard of the Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum? Women in the most developed nations are still fighting for equal pay, equal access to jobs and political representation.
The truth of the matter is human civilization and history is full of examples where one group; by virtue of them being physically, mentally, intellectually or financially stronger, perceives themselves to have the right to subjugate the other. Rather than argue back and forth over the meanings behind Arabic verses from the Holy Quran, I challenge Kanwar to show one example where the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him, used force against any one of his wives. In the words of the Prophet himself, “the best among you is he who is best in his treatment of his wife” (Abu Dawud).