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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Miss Nada Al-Ahdal - a new Malala in the Arab world

Thank God for the display of courage by Nada Al-Ahdal, an eleven year old girl who refused to get married or sold off to some old fart against her will. Thanks to the CNN and western media for bringing Nada Al-Ahdal story to the fore. This is my reactionary note, and I hope the Muslim world wakes up and restores the liberation Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) brought to women to be free, to be educated and to determine their own future and be herself. Full CNN video and my op-ed at: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/07/here-is-another-malala-in-yemen-nada-al.html

Video: http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2013/07/31/dnt-jamjoom-nada-story-yemen.cnn.html

I sincerely hope the conservatives among us will speak up against this non-sense of child marriage, and getting one's daughter married instead of sending her to the school.

The good news is the child protective agency took a stand and I hope they continue to do the good work. It was good to see the little girl signing the settlement agreement. 

Big stories came out of Hyderabad India, where the rich old men from Middle East and Africa went there, and bought the girls from the parents, and a month later, abandoned her and fly back.  Indeed for a long time Vietnamese, Filipino, Czech, Russian and other women were in a similar situation.

This is a reactionary note, and I hope the Muslim world wakes up and restores the liberation Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) brought to women.

 When Malala spoke up for the rights of girls education, the conservatives among us made every effort to destroy the good by cooking up stories that she was an agent of CIA or she was an agent of the west. Where the heck were the conservatives when she was prevented from going to school and shot in the head? Malala is not alone, a lot many girls are being harassed, but the conservative big mouths remain silent and no one would have known about it, had it not for the western media. They are God sent to bring the issues to fore, so the moderate Muslims can start speaking up.

Let me be clear selling daughters is not a Muslim thing; it is practiced in most communities including Hindu, Sikh and others in Asia and Africa. In India in the state of Haryana and Gujarat there is a severe shortage of women due to the ugly practice of killing the girl babies,  and the boys end up sharing one woman by his friends or even brothers for money. Google it out and learn yourselves first hand.

As a Moderate Muslim, I condemn this practice and urge the useless 57 member Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) to take steps to bring in legal changes in each one of the member nations, which will lead to social changes over a period of time. It takes guts to drive any thing in life, they need to get rid of their executive director and get someone who can get things done. I will be happy to do that. 

We need to restore the work of Prophet Muhammad. 1400 years ago he liberated women from the traditional slavery to men – she was free to marry, divorce, own the property and business, and she was not a chattel any more. Not only that she did not have to obey her husband if he was a hurdle in practice of her beliefs.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer committed to building cohesive societies, and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More details at www.MikeGhouse.net

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