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Equality? ‘Real Muslim women in Mali don’t want it – it’s un-Islamic!’

TENS of thousands of people in Mali’s capital, Bamako, have been protesting against a new law which gives women equal rights in marriage.

The law, passed earlier this month, also strengthens inheritance rights for women and children born out of wedlock.

The head of a Muslim women’s association says only a minority of Malian women – “the intellectuals” as she put it – supports the law, according to the BBC.

Several other protests have taken place in other parts of the country.

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A young Malian girl pictured being multilated with a razor blade. Photo: Robert Skinner

The law was adopted by the Malian parliament at the beginning of August, and has yet to be signed into force by the President.

One of the most contentious issues in the new legislation is that women are no longer required to obey their husbands.

Hadja Sapiato Dembele of the National Union of Muslim Women’s Associations said the law goes against Islamic principles.

Dembele told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme:

We have to stick to the Koran.A man must protect his wife, a wife must obey her husband. It’s a tiny minority of women here that wants this new law – the intellectuals. The poor and illiterate women of this country – the real Muslims – are against it.

According to this site, violence against women, including wife beating, is tolerated and common in Mali, where Islam is said to be practiced by around 90 percent of the population.

Furthermore, at least 93.7 opercent of women are subjected to female genital mutilation.

41 responses to “Equality? ‘Real Muslim women in Mali don’t want it – it’s un-Islamic!’”

  1. Gordon says:

    Do these "real muslim" women not realise that (a) nobody is going to force them to see themselves as their husbands' equals and (b) they are making islam look stupid!

  2. GrumpyBob says:

    That is possibly the most unpleasant photo I've seen on the internet. Well, for a long time at least.

  3. Har Davids says:

    I agree with GrumpyBob, but the 'real Muslims' of Mali don't agree with us. But does this mean we can stop supporting this country? After all, it might be considered meddling in one of Allah's back-yards. And there do exist countries that want to enter the 21th century.

  4. Tim_Danaher says:

    So, the true puropse of Islam (and religion in general) is revealed: keep 'em poor and illiterate.

    GrumpyBob… indeed.

    Hmmm… ex of C+ forum by any chance?

  5. barriejohn says:

    So, the "real Muslims" are illiterate then, are they? Much as we'd suspected really.

  6. barriejohn says:

    Erm… how do you "make Islam look stupid" then, Gordon? Shurely shome mishtake!

  7. GrumpyBob says:

    Yep, used to post to Cycling Plus forum, but kind of never got to grips with BikeRadar! I run several bike-related websites (e.g. teamgrumpy.org), as well as a biology & atheism site…

  8. Tim_Danaher says:

    Aha! thought so… good to see you here. Unfortunately there don't appear to be any AndyOxons posting here that we may marvel at their cognitive dissonance, but keep a look out for posts by Pastor Tom Estes. If he didn't exist, you'd have to invent him…

    Got a link to the biology & atheism site?

  9. Jonor says:

    Back to the picture, no surprises about the urine, i would too without anaesthetics.

  10. barriejohn says:

    It's Wonderful Life, Tim. You only have to click onto GrumpyBob above and it'll take you straight to his comment stream! (Don't say you're more of a technophobe than I am, as I won't believe you!!)

    http://www.robertsaunders.org.uk/wordpress/

  11. Angela_K says:

    As if we need yet another example of why people should be educated, the greater one’s knowledge all the better for making reasoned decisions; of course this would be unislamic: educated women – that would never do. I agree the photograph is both upsetting and offensive; shame the tabloids don't publish it.

  12. J.C. says:

    "The poor and illiterate women of this country – the real Muslims – are against it." This little sentence says so much…

  13. mikespeir says:

    I would have had a much happier day if I hadn't seen that picture.

  14. Broga says:

    GrumpyBob. Agreed. And it is even worse, in one sense, when you know how much of it continues in this country. FGM. And when you try to stop it, or this used to be the case, the authorities become very cautious. "Best consult the community leaders first." You know what happens then? Zilch. So much for concerns about child abuse. No wonder we need a Secular Medical Forum.

  15. Angela_K says:

    I agree. Where are the NSPCC and Ester Rantzen and her mates? They are usually all over the TV screaming child abuse when someone dares even to shout at their sprogs. Of course it isn't PC to expose or criticise religious practices, no matter how barbaric.

  16. barriejohn says:

    I always though that FGM stood for Fucking Gormless Muslims! Oh, hang on a minute – that's what it does mean!!

  17. D.S. says:

    I just love how there's outcry against every form of female circumcision, but none about any type of male circumcision. Not that I agree with either, but not all forms involve removal or damage to the clitoris.

  18. Helen M says:

    Nice one BarrieJohn, for the new meaning to FGM. Of course though, FGM is not just a Muslim custom. When I see and read this, it just makes me more determined than ever to carry on with my own work. This article just demonstrates to me just how much work needs to be done. Yes, pictures like this tend not to be published. If they were the world might just have to sit up and take notice. This scene is happening every 15 seconds in the world. Yes, 15 seconds. A lot of children.

  19. Tim_Danaher says:

    Ah. Cheers, BeeJ…

    mind you, in my defence, I've been having terrible problems with this new commenting system on Mac / Safari 50-50 chance when I click on something I get a 'php / sql error yourbroswerhassentarequestthatcannotbeunderstood, or some such.

    Anyone else having trouble? And isn't Barry on a Mac?

  20. William Harwood says:

    "Why do those busybody Yankees want to deprive us of the privilege of being slaves? If that nice Simon Legree didn't keep us busy picking cotton from dawn till sunset, we might have to think for ourselves. And then where would we be?
    signed
    Uncle Tom"

  21. Stoneyground says:

    Just like Mohammed then, makes you wonder why Allah, in his literally infinite wisdom chose a guy who couldn't write to write down his revelation to all humanity. I think that the same problem applied to Joseph Smith but at least in that case God had the sense to wait until after the invention of the printing press.

  22. barriejohn says:

    Actually, I think that Mohammed was such an accomplished con-man that he managed to pull the wool over even Allah's all-seeing eyes! He had him quite convinced that he was a man of towering intellect and erudition, whereas in actual fact, as we all now know, he was a pig-ignorant(!), uneducated, barbaric, sex-crazed madman. You can just hear The Compassionate One groaning: "How did I get it all so wrong?"

  23. Broga says:

    Angela K. NSPCC. You have either made a lucky guess or you know something I know. I regard the NSPCC as the most contemptible bunch of piss artists ever. I tried to get the Advertising Authority to ban their fucking dishonest adverts but they wouldn't do it. Refused to agree that he adverts showing child actors suffering and little kids in cots were misleadling. I also tried to get the NSPCC to admit publicly that the money they were conning out of poor rural people was heading out of the area and into London to pay the fattest salaries and expenses around. They have NO legal powers to intervene directly. Phone them and they phone an overworked social worker or inner city GP. They do have a slick propaganda machine based on fuckwit celebrities who know no better and do love feeling good.
    Rantzen? Bored publicity hound. Longs for the limelight. Has a consumer programme on TV and thinks she could run the country.
    PS I sent a large bunch of documents to an MP about the NSPCC. No reply. Disappeared despite being sent registered post.

  24. Broga says:

    Angela K. NSPCC. You have either made a lucky guess or you know something I know. I regard the NSPCC as the most contemptible bunch of piss artists ever. I tried to get the Advertising Authority to ban their fucking dishonest adverts but they wouldn't do it. Refused to agree that he adverts showing child actors suffering and little kids in cots were misleadling. I also tried to get the NSPCC to admit publicly that the money they were conning out of poor rural people was heading out of the area and into London to pay the fattest salaries and expenses around. They have NO legal powers to intervene directly. Phone them and they phone an overworked social worker or inner city GP. They do have a slick propaganda machine based on fuckwit celebrities who know no better and do love feeling good.
    Rantzen? Bored publicity hound. Longs for the limelight. Had a consumer programme on TV and thinks she could run the country.
    PS I sent a large bunch of documents to an MP about the NSPCC. No reply. Disappeared despite being sent registered post.

  25. Broga says:

    Fair comment. But clitoral slicing from baby girls, held down so that some ignorant hag and with no ananaesthetic is far worse. It goes way beyond that but it continunes in Britain and these little girls are cut while their mothers weep and their grannies say it must be done. In passing, they are still beating the crap out of young kids in the London area to " drive out the devil." Supervised by some religious ignoramus.

  26. barriejohn says:

    Most charities are the same now – multi-million pound businesses that long ago lost sight of the reason why they came into existence. Have you ever tried to report animal cruelty to the RSPCA, or tried to get a wild animal treated by the PDSA? They only spring into action when there are TV cameras in the vicinity! And the NSPCC are doing nothing new – Dr Barnardo's photos were all posed!!

  27. tony e says:

    In life, I like to view myself as a tough sort of bloke.

    And then I see stuff like this, and I cry…………

    How anyone could do this to a kid?

    I want to get my hands on people like this, and really hurt them.

  28. Angela_K says:

    Broga, I agree the NSPCC is a money making machine just like so many other “charities” The Charities Commission is as effective at policing as the FSA is at controlling banks.

  29. barriejohn says:

    I don't consider it "fair comment" at all, Broga. In fact I can't believe it! The topic here is Muslim violence against women, so we're obviously not discussing male circumcision!! That has also been roundly condemned elsewhere, especially on the gay blogs that I visit, and rightly so. And the amount of "damage" done is totally irrelevant: both male and female circumcision amount to nothing more than primitive, barbaric forms of child abuse. Once again, the religious get special disensation to carry out practices which anyone else would be prosecuted for.

  30. barriejohn says:

    I don't consider it "fair comment" at all, Broga. In fact I can't believe it! The topic here is Muslim violence against women, so we're obviously not discussing male circumcision!! That has also been roundly condemned elsewhere, especially on the gay blogs that I visit, and rightly so. And the amount of "damage" done is totally irrelevant: both male and female circumcision amount to nothing more than primitive, barbaric forms of child abuse. Once again, the religious get special dispensation to carry out practices which anyone else would be prosecuted for.

  31. barriejohn says:

    I don't consider it "fair comment" at all, Broga. In fact I can't believe it! The topic here is Muslim violence against women, so we're obviously not discussing male circumcision!! That has also been roundly condemned elsewhere, especially on the gay blogs that I visit, and rightly so. And the amount of "damage" done is totally irrelevant: both male and female circumcision amount to nothing more than primitive, barbaric forms of child abuse. Once again, the religious get special dispensation to carry out practices for which anyone else would be prosecuted.

  32. Broga says:

    I really don't know. What I do know is that these good christian slave bosses usually found time to let the house slaves – don't know about the field slaves – have time for a bit of preaching of the word. Blessed are the poor etc. Their other unlovely practice was, while their nice white wives in their frilly gowns, bred occasionally the bosses were often down amongst the "nigger women." They had a truly amazing way – unless you know their christian mind – of ignoring their own kids. They were "half human blood."

  33. Broga says:

    Angela. I love dogs. And I hate a dog being abused. So I thought I might have a look at Guide Dogs for the Blind. Can't go wrong there, can we? That outfit, a few years ago anyway, had so much money they couldn't spend it all. Their boss(es) had nice interest free mortages and the rest.__My money goes to small charities I know – and they are often local and involving children. The local hospice, oiled seabirds, money to help kids in Africa with a simple operation to save their sight etc…. Big charities I am very suspicious. They NSPCC, when I wanted to know what the fuck they did from the Advertising Standards – and I quote – said "They spend much time with MP's and other opinion formers to ensure that they keep the issue of child abuse well to the fore." __My reply, "What about the old lady near me who has stopped giving to the local hospice because she wants to help Little Miles, the well paid child actor."__Answer: "There is a notice on the screen saying Miles is represented by an actor."__

  34. Rosemarie says:

    We have all been told that it is the grandmothers who insist on female genital mutilation. However, if the men and boys could be educated and persuaded to demand an uncircumcised girl for a wife this horrible practice would die out in time.
    As for the women demonstrating against the new law I bet they were put up to it by their men.

  35. Eric Hayman says:

    "Why do those busybody Yankees want to deprive us of the privilege of being slaves? If that nice Simon Legree didn't keep us busy picking cotton from dawn till sunset, we might have to think for ourselves. And then where would we be?
    signed
    Uncle Tom"

    And I thought it vwas the British Royal Navy that led the supposed abolition of slavery.

    Also, I 'd never think I'd see "principles" and "Islam" in the same sentence.

  36. Drunk Stepdad says:

    Trust me, I was not trying to say cutting out a clitoris without anesthetic is an OK practice. But is the practice of slicing the clitoral hood without anesthetic any worse or better than male circumcision without anesthetic either?

  37. Drunk Stepdad says:

    So it's wrong to try to put some sort of perspective on things? Again, I'm not saying that it's a good thing, but it's insincere to talk about female circumcision without discussing what is actually discussed. If we are talking about the wholesale removal of the clitoris, then by any means is it disgusting. If we are talking about the splitting of the clitoral hood, or the removal of the inner labia, well, we need to take the same stance about the removal of the foreskin. Unfortunately, the same people who are outraged about any form of female circumcision (if they are even aware that there is more than one type) are quite alright with removing the foreskin of male babies.

  38. […] Amadou Toumani Toure said he was sending the gender equality law back to parliament for review for the sake of national […]

  39. jjm says:

    I am unable to understand why the people are trying to become God by defying the basic humanism.. if any body part may not have been required, it wouldn’t have existed.. and no one has any right to distort the God’s creation..

  40. JohnC says:

    Islam isn’t stupid. Unthinking and blind adherence to backward customs is. Such narrow mindedness is seen throughout Africa and Western Asia, amongst all religions. Europe, North America and East Asia are more progressive, that is why they are developed or developing countries. The Islamic world is by-and-large a backward world, but that isn’t really due to the religion, but the customs of the people.

    The problem with Islam, as such, is that it is a religion of hatred and intolerance. But that is another topic.

  41. Lesley Hedges says:

    The countries where female genital mutilation takes place are all ruled by men. If they wanted it to be illegal they could do it within a few weeks. Most also make sure that women are less well educated, even at primary level. Lets not just blame the ‘grannies’, or pretend that child abuse does not happen in so-called ‘Christian’ countries.