February 26th, 2012 16:31 EST
Muslim Women Lost Many Rights and Freedoms in The Arab Spring and Winter
I was very hopeful for the Women that took to the streets during the Arab Spring and Winter; however, what was as much of a "Women`s Revolution" as it was a Democracy Revolution in the Muslim World it has been the Women that have gained less...
Muslim Women took to the streets because they were tired of being covered from head to toe in searing heat. They were tired of slaving for a man that under radical religious laws allows him to give his attention to several other women. Women were tired of being beaten, burned, mutilated, and acid thrown in their face in the name of Mohammad. They were tired of not having a voice, a vote or self-value. All in all women were tired of being tired...
I remember a chat with a Muslim woman on an overnight train ride. This informal interview of this brilliant young woman, which had a wonderful Diplomacy background, fluent English, Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian was quite impressive. Yet, her story and cultural hardships gave me a clear understanding that under radical Muslim laws she would have no voce; therefore, her thoughts and opinions would be of no value to her, her family, or the constructive Muslim World. In her mind she saw that her education, time and hard works over a decade or so wasted and would really have little to no value within the Muslim culture.
I did what I could to encourage her to rise up, and be different and encouraged her to write and share with the world her voice. I felt that she could condemns the lack of Human Rights " and oppression that women face in the Muslim culture. Her moderate thinking was very pleasant to hear in comparison to most Anti-American Muslim voices. We discussed her near 250 page Dissertation as well as my thoughts and works within the Middle East to try and make it a much more constructive place.
The talking points were:
1) Religion was banned during Soviet times, and though it may have been cruel the Russian/Soviet policies actually de-radicalized the Muslim communities, in southern regions of Russia and Ukraine, which she felt to be a plus compared to her time spent in the Middle Easter countries.
2) She recognized Turkey`s history during the Ottoman Empire, and how that it is now more of an Ottoman Enterprise; whereby, Turkey does business with the Euro-Zone and the West. Our thoughts were that through business interest we also bring about the recognition of similar values; values that most Mediterranean Countries hold. In turn, there is little religious radicalization unlike the exploitation, and hate, which comes from the isolated countries like Iran.
Her other strong point was recognizing Israel spending a great deal of money lobbying the U.S., and others for assistance in the Middle East and supported it to protect their security. Wow, a Muslim woman understanding why Israel is concerned became the shocker of the train ride. She clearly understood and supported Israel`s reasoning and did not blame Israel or the United States for the problems in the Middle East. This amazing young Muslim woman recognized that Turkey and the Muslims within Europe (14 Million out of 600 million within the Euro-Zone) were not radical, and viewed Iran and other extremist groups like the "Muslim Brotherhood" as the real problems for not only political issues, but for the violence and oppression of women.
I conclude that Muslim Women lost many rights and freedoms in the Arab Spring and Winter and that it is up to the United States, and the United Nations to stand beside these women. For they are a real voice of reason, which can bring about true Democracy, Development, Peace and Prosperity to the Middle East.
Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons