Islam vs. the Patriarchy: how Islam fought for women’s rights, and how Islam is being used by some Muslim ruling elite and Non-Muslim elite alike to push for war

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Islam tried to get rid of the patriarchy, and in many cases it worked. Islam put limits on how many wives a man could marry, as long as a man treated his wives equally, but being a humanistic religion, the Koran says a man will never be able to treat them equally. I believe the reason it says this is because what Islam wanted, eventually, was to have a society where men only would want to marry one woman. But if Islam imposed just one wife plus celibacy until marriage, no man at that time would convert. At that time men had harems of women, plus mistresses.

Women could divorce if they wanted to, did not have to die if their husbands died, and could remarry as many times as they wanted to. Women in Saudi Arabia and many parts of the world did not have these basic rights. After Islam, women could inherit property, buy/own/sell property, vote, and their husbands had to provide for them, while if a woman chose to work, he could not, nor his family, take anything from her. Even if a family is poor, the husband has no right to take anything that belongs to his wife. In some cases women inherit more then men, but other times men inherit more, because men have to provide in Islam. For women they can choose to work or not work.

Female infanticide was abolished. Islam did not abolish slavery, but in the Koran, it says over and over, to free a slave in order to earn good deeds or seek forgiveness from God. I think it would have been too difficult to abolish slavery because people would not convert as it would hurt their lifestyle or businesses, or so they thought. Eventually slavery ended, (but a modern form of slavery persists in the world) as people began to realize it was wrong. Slaves were given rights, a slave-master could not force himself on a female slave. And if a child was born, the child was legitimate, could inherit, and had to be treated like any other child of a man. There is no concept of a illegitimate child in Islam. Labor had rights, they had to be paid before their sweat dried. Anyone could become Muslim, ALL races were equal. Animals had rights. Children had rights, for instance once a child was a teen a parent cannot force a child to practice Islam. A young person can practice and their conviction or oath of faith is accepted if they can tell the difference between right and wrong.

Even so in 2017, some Muslim and non-Muslim societies are ignorantly against the basic concepts of Islam and human rights are abused. Sometimes Muslims treat other Muslims badly. There is such a thing as a self-hating Muslim. It’s hard to not wonder if the faith is messed up because of a few rotten apples. For instance, a lot of people question why did the Prophet marry Aisha who was so young? Here is my take on it:

Aisha was not just any girl off the street: she was the daughter of Prophet Muhammad’s best friend. His friend was rich, and from a wealthy family. What did he have to gain from the Prophet when the Prophet was poor? Nothing. Then why would a father let his daughter marry someone if he thought it was bad? He wasn’t in a unfortunate situation and Prophet Muhammad barely could give Aisha anything for the wedding. Maybe connections? Politics? Maybe. But Aisha’s father had been Prophet Muhammad’s best friend for years. He already had a solid relationship.

Aisha was the only person who was very young that he married. Everyone else, was either a widow or a divorcee. If he had a ‘thing’ for kids he could have married many more if he wanted to, but didn’t.

Prophet Muhammad, didn’t have children with any of his wives except his first whom Aisha was jealous of, even though she had died many years ago. Prophet Muhammad’s first wife was Khadija, she was 40, his boss, a widow, and SHE proposed to him when he was 25. Even in 2017 these are unusual things. He accepted her proposal and he loved her the most. He had 7 kids with her. After she died, he was devastated. He practiced contraception with his future wives because he didn’t want them to have to raise children alone as he had so many commitments. At that time, a man desired many wives, and many children, especially sons. All of Prophet Muhammad’s sons died during or after birth, so for a man of that time doesn’t it make sense that he would want a million sons to secure his future? But no he doesn’t try with any of is wives even when he was young and could easily have remarried to do so.

At that time, (we are talking about 1400+ years ago) child marriage was completely the norm, in Asia, Africa, and Europe. In Europe it happened all the time even up until the 1900s (check link). Reasons for this happening are numerous, but Islam makes a difference between forced and consent. In Islam a woman, man, or child cannot be forced to marry. But a very young person is old enough to know whether they want to marry or not, and Aisha was engaged to another man prior to Prophet Muhammad.

Aisha was a warrior, she lead a battle, she worked, she would ride camel’s/horses herself, and was a leader in the community. Long after Prophet Muhammad died she carried on as a distinguished figure in Saudi Arabia. She never said anything bad about Prophet Muhammad even after many years past his death.

Even so it is 2017, and the world has changed. I don’t agree with child marriage, but then again children are having sex. I’m not saying they should marry, but if elementary school kids are having sex, that means they have the desire. If they are sleeping with kids their age that’s one thing, but if they are sleeping with someone older then it’s bad? It’s still all bad and sad to me and this is happening in America, including the rest of the world. Talk to any doctor and they will tell you they have had a patient come in where the child was in elementary school and she was pregnant. Problems are everywhere in every society, pointing fingers won’t solve the problems. Terrorism is not a new thing and is not solely carried out by people who claim to be Muslim, but unfortunately America continues wars that will only lead to more death and destruction. In Islam indiscriminate killing is not allowed and though there are quotes of killing, that is under the context of war with very strict conditions that have to be met. People of course will have their own interpretation and will misquote the Koran in order to serve their agenda or vision of hate, including those who claim to be Muslims. It’s called politics, in the sense that if you have an enemy, isn’t it easier garner support to get rid of them if you can claim moral superiority or convince people to your interpretation of the law? Isn’t it easier to further an agenda for a country by claiming its a common threat to national security? That’s why there are so many dictators who were once Army generals who thrive on power because of a system of hatred spewed by the media to convince the masses that the dictator is needed for security and war is the only option on the table to deal with the “kafirs, terrorists, heathens, pagans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Minority XYZ, Salem Witches, etc”? In fact, in Syria, the reason Assad claims to bomb his country is because it’s been infiltrated by terrorists. Or it could be what the media in America wants us to believe is the motive for why Assad is bombing his country. Terrorism is now the blank check for getting rid of whoever you want or need.

Rulers use faith, identity, society, the constitution, nationality, money, whatever the people identify with the most, that’s what a corrupt ruler/organization/media/family/ruling elite/etc., will use to get the masses to agree to something. It’s just history repeating itself over and over, with a few changes in names, places, and faces. Some Muslim rulers or the elite class, will abuse Islam and bend the rules in their favor, but try to convince others that their interpretation is the factual one. The media in America also presents its own interpretation of Islam, in order to serve it’s own agenda And different organizations/individuals many of whom are not American and/or are from abroad have paid millions to push a negative message (check link).

There will always be a new enemy, a new war. It was Hitler, the Japanese, The North Koreans, The communists, the Russians, the…and the list will go on. After ISIS will the war end? Here’s a quote:

“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.” George Orwell
English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 – 1950)

T.

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Venice Italy: Short Guide

We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.

Once when I was a child, I read a piece about Venice Italy in National Geographic. As I looked at the photos, one stood out to me: of a long-legged woman dressed in all black walking on a narrow path with both sides lined in water. A city on water. I also read that the city, because of global warming, was slowly sinking, and I imagined that woman running out of space to walk…the beautiful Italian architecture gone. That’s when I made a small wish to one day see that city.

Venice has huge appeal and is known to be a romantic spot, but one doesn’t have to wait till their honeymoon (or romantic interlude) to visit. Venice itself is very close to the mainland, and the Marco Polo airport (Marco Polo was from Venice!) is a short bus ride away. You can purchase your ticket to ride the bus without having to make reservations in advance. I’ve also heard of trains going into Venice from other cities. Once in Venice I would say just roam around and enjoy the views. It is hot in the summer, and cools down in the evening. There’s walkways and bridges everywhere so it’s easy to get around on foot. Try to get a hotel close to the entrance of Venice, that way you don’t have to lug your luggage around as there are no cars/roads in Venice! Me and my friend stayed at the Venice Hotel Arlecchino . It was right by where the bus’s drop off from the airport. You can see the famous sights in a day. Gondola rides are kind of expensive, almost 100$ but you can split the cost with up to 6 people.

Venice is known for some things, such as glass products, but what I love about Italy is: the cheap coffee,  delicious food, desserts, and Gelato! You will see leather goods too, another thing I love that Italy is known for (if you buy from a local craftsman or lady, the prices are really good, some leather products being less than 100$). There were also some affordable clothing stores as well. The only thing I regret not doing is seeing the Bridge of Sighs and the Da Vinci Museum however there are other Da Vinci musuems such as the one in Florence. Here are some places I went to eat and try that I observed were less touristy (I’m not a snob! Lol what I mean is I observed Italian’s eating from these places):

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A nice break from walking. I think that the cafe was called Hausbrandt (as written on the dishes) Their dessert was fresh and delicious! In Italy you drink coffee at the counter. Take away/table service is an additional charge. 

 

 

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This is a chocolate shop that makes other things including pistachio spread: Italy has amazing Pistachio’s! I bought some chocolates to gift to my family, and they loved it! 

Drugstore Gems: Cheap Skincare

Skincare

Alot of people say I do not look my age, and ask me for skincare recommendations. I don’t mind dishing out the deets: I actually like it. Unfortunately, a lot of skincare is very expensive, and there can be pressure to look a certain way for women. However, I have been using a combination of skincare products, and drugstore products do work!

I have been using skincare products since maybe middle school. I would as a child watch my mom taking care of her skin. I have been doing some basic things which have probably helped a lot: wash, moisturize, protect. Here are my suggestions:

Cleansing: In the morning/night I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and every once in a while I use the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash in Pink Grapefruit. The Cetaphil is very gentle and slightly moisturizing but it will not wash off makeup. It comes in a huge bottle that lasts forever so it’s worth the price. The Neutrogena is stronger and great for washing off most makeup or for preventative measures against zits/pimples. I never had acne growing up, but its a good cleanser, though a little strong. I have to apply some toner or moisturizer after using the acne wash, but I usually do anyway.

Serums/Moisturizers: It took me a while to find a good moisturizer from the drugstore. They were either too heavy or too light. You can technically use any toner or even rose water for instance, then apply serum and moisturizer (day and night). I really like the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Restorative Night Cream. Using in conjunction with a toner and the Loreal Revitalift Volume Filler Serum it really works! I use the cream during the day, and at night I use the the toner+serum+moisturizer. It makes my skin smooth and soft looking, not greasy at all. The Aveeno cream is I believe 15$ and the Loreal Serum is 20$, both at Target.com. Other options that I loved from Target were Korean brands, like Laneige. However they have moved, from Target and are available on their website and will become available at Sephora later in the summer.

Other Gems: Target or drugstores have other gems that I have been using for years. I really like Physician’s Formula powders. I use their translucent powder to set my makeup using a Sonia Kashuk powder brush. The brushes last for years and are a bargain. Buy the individual brushes, they are better quality. Sonia Kashuk is only available at Target, and Physician’s Formula usually has a section in most drugstores/Target. I also really like the Ivory Body Wash if you need a recommendation there. If you need a body cream to help get rid of dead skin/bumps on your skin a dermatologist recommended to me the Eucerin line (advanced repair or smoothing repair) that has AHA in it. However AHA will make your skin sensitive to the sun so wear sunblock.

Some additional good news: Peach and Lily will be bringing some Korean skincare lines to CVS Pharmacy soon at different price points and affordable items too! Check out their website/blog for more details.

*Pro-tip: skincare is not just about what you buy and apply to your skin. It’s mostly about your lifestyle: stay hydrated, sleep well, eat well (but not too much), exercise, wear hats/sun gloves/put car shades/wear sunglasses/ or just avoid the sun. Keeping clean. Don’t drink/do drugs/or smoke. Too much caffeine is bad for your skin and fat free dairy products affect skin too. Don’t stress yourself out. I think out of all of these, sleep is so important to skincare, low stress, staying hydrated, and avoid the sun. You can fake a tan! It’s not worth the permanent damage. It’s better to get some sleep then stay up thinking at night or playing on your phone (as tempting as it is), waking up at a reasonable time, and then try to find solutions to your problems. Just saying. I know it’s hard, but you will feel so much better. Everyone has problems (no matter how perfect their social media accounts) or fat their bank accounts. Even so, if things are going well for others wish them well. If things are working out for others that means there is hope. Think of that.

I hope these suggestions help as they can save you time and money given the convenience.  Thanks again and check back soon!

T.