Politics and Values in the Middle East السياسة والقيم في الشرق الأوسط
Hasan A. Yahya, Ph.Ds
There are certain points related to Arab and Muslim values concerning women, parenting and politics. In this article we cover these issues especially in the Arab and Muslim countries. In child rearing, parents deal differently in terms of the child sex and terms of place. They give girls everything they wanted. They treat them sincerely and kindly. And when they are at the right age, the family chose a good husband for her, in what called in sociology, arranged marriages which is popular in the Arab and Muslim world. a good man, the family knows. But some young ladies had ideas of their own. This difference may be noticed in terms of place. Where in villages and traditional way of people’s life, females rarely consulted. In the city, however, rejection of marriage proposals by force under arranged marriages rules is also common with villages rules in most Arab and Muslim countries, it is less in rate. Therefore, women are increasingly rebelled in both places. They have choices: one is to refuse the proposed person. And reject fulfilling the marriage contract. Or for other reason such as going to complete their education at the university, in local or far communities. When countries compared in term of Arab and Muslim countries and western countries the difference is large on the issue of parenting and marriage of young and old females. If they are married, in traditional cultures, they usually do not love the selected person at the beginning. In Saudi Arabia, and almost all other Muslim and Arab countries, woman still should not be allowed to raise her voice, or travel or even drive her own car. The voice is called “Awrah”, a “shameful act” by women to raise their voice when men are present. In many of these countries, women have no opinion beside her male brother, as well as the younger children in the presence of the elder male child in the family.
In fact, in the Middle East, as well as in many developing countries, girls come second to boys in the small family as well as the society in general. Unfairness of how a boy is favored more than a girl in almost all aspects of life, even in the most open-minded families, because of the fear, the insecurity and the loss of virginity and honor among young women.
In many of traditional countries, a woman is considered of a “lower, inferior sex” by choice, some say, because the Islamic culture promotes certain ethics in terms of women behavior. Al-Ghazali have shown in his writings, about women, over seventeen qualities for women were mentioned as qualities characterize women as having less position naturally compared to me. Therefore, she should not act like a man. Today, politically speaking concerning government leadership, except in few countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Turkey, and less extent in some Arab countries. The man is considered as the master, the initiator, the decision maker, and have the over hand in marriage or in the family, or even the government. Many of religious groups (Salfi or Muslim brothers groups-like) stretched all over the Arab countries proclaim modernity in their political views, but they reject the idea of ruling in high rank political positions. Women still perceived as Awra (shameful object) in the family. As the case in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and almost all other Arab countries. A young brother can control his elder sister, this is common in Arab and Muslim countries.
As she’s the wife, not the slave as some people like to say. Soon after a woman marriage she usually live in the extended family, but these days the newly married couple have their own house. They may leave to other community as we said, and fell in love in that different environment. No girl or boy may fall in love “deliberately.” Even a veiled woman, but women usually conceal their love from family. It is sometimes told to close female friends. Lover in Arab and Muslim world become in danger position, some people consider love as illegal and forbidden. But lovers may die for their love as Majnoon Layla,(Qays and Layla story) and Majnoon Buthainah in the Muslim literature. They may sacrifice themselves for the lover safety. But they still faraway from western values toward equality among sexes.
Sociologically speaking, interpretation of such inequality can be traced in human history. Even in the most so-called civilized societies in the west, women still face discrimination in many areas. An example can be given in the field of profession. Many studies show that women mostly have less salaries and less opportunities even in universities with high characteristics of democracy and reasoning. But compared with developing societies the rate of discrimination is covert in modern societies but still common in traditional countries. Many social scientists believe, that changing the place from village to the city does not mean changing traditional values common to the village. This reason may be the main factor helps religious groups in many Arab and Muslim countries are promoted in social life and considered ideal types of life. As far as these values continue, especially among the disadvantaged communities, any political system will be incomplete, as far as the separation of religion from the state is not actually practiced. In this conclusion, the writer does not encourage dismissing the religious (emotional-beliefs) values of persons and families or communities concerning social issues, but in politics almost all religions discriminate in ruling and practicing equality, justice and human rights. Examples can be seen in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and most other Arab and Muslim countries. Inequality and injustice are common in many other developing countries as well developed countries without the rule of law, where all are citizens have equal rights, and all may be treated as equal treatment according to the fair laws of humanity.(976 words) www.dryahyatv.com