A woman's view of Islamic jurisprudence



In reference to the opinion article by Diana Hamade The UAE's women need better recourse to justice (January 4), the UAE is an Islamic country and in being so adheres to Islamic jurisprudence as derived from its religious books. Not all countries in the world follow Islamic jurisprudence, so naturally there are differences in the legal systems practised around the world. As a country that takes pride in its religion, it would be foolish to expect the UAE to change its laws just to suit the laws of other nations because, for one, they call for equality of gender. One need only look at the statistics of violence and abuse against women in countries that claim equal status for women in everything.
Patriarchal structures, legal authority over women and a woman's testimony being only half of that of a man in court are all a part of Islam. The reason why women should not be left to travel far distances alone and the role of a wali or guardian in marriage have a paramount role in a woman's short-term and long-term safety and security. They are in the best interests of women and are meant to protect a woman and give her respect and good standing in society. Now, if a man takes advantage of that, doesn't treat her with respect, doesn't educate her, doesn't give her her due rights in Islam or abuses her, then the system and laws are not to be blamed but the irresponsible man is to be caught and tried under law.
I too had feminist ideas once upon a time and thought that Islam was primitive and out-dated and only led to abuse of women with its laws partial to men. But today I am an enlightened woman, liberated with the knowledge of the wisdom behind Allah's laws and the rights that Islam has given a woman, many of which I never knew. That knowledge alone has given me the courage to demand my rights when I don't get them.
F Baasleim, Dubai
 
Time for reform of Arabic teaching
The news article Schools detail problems with Arabic instruction (December 29) reported that outdated textbooks and boring teaching methods are hampering Arabic education in the UAE. Working in the world of education improvement in the MENA region is really like working anywhere else.
No matter how great the textbook is, it can never be good enough to guarantee good instruction on its own. Alternatively, even the best teachers benefit from a current up-to-date curriculum and good texts for developing engaging lessons.
But when it comes to Arabic language teaching, it seems that it is a rare occasion when teaching and learning methods are in concert with well-developed modern learning objectives and texts.
It has taken me six years in the MENA region encountering the problem again and again to finally accept that the issue is widespread.
But in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where there are so many teacher experts from all over the world and where Arabic is the official language, I find it hard to believe that we don't have the capacity to resolve this issue and offer a solution that can be widespread through MENA. A little sincere collaboration and knowledge sharing will go a long way.
Sonia Ben Jaafar, Abu Dhabi
 
Reactions to slam on Mills & Boon
The article by Alex Ritman E-books Kindle passion for ripping yarns (January 4) lamented that female romance novels have flooded the e-book market. Oooh, a touch of masculine superiority, have we? I have a doctoral degree (magna cum laude), several professional journal credits, and (gasp) I enjoy reading and writing historical romance.
Despite the slings and arrows cast at it by self-appointed critics, romance is what keeps the publishing houses afloat. So they can publish the lovely stuff that doesn't sell.
Arabella Stokes, Dubai
Obviously the solution is not to speak to anyone with an e-book as they are clearly not up to the author's standards. One person's rubbish is another person's War and Peace.
And while romance readers may prefer anonymity, they also prefer to save money, which many of them do with e-books. I doubt most of them are actually ashamed; they are probably merely used to being sneered at by people who think they have a right to judge them.
Karen Newton, US
Romance novels outsell all other genres. Most are purchased by college educated women over the age of 40. "Trashy", "slushy", and "garbage" are such tired cliches.
Lori Lyn, Abu Dhabi
 
Mutual knowledge is always good
The news article More Arabs getting to know spouse before marriage (January 4) reported that higher education is causing more couples to know each other better. Not knowing your spouse before marriage is not a good idea, regardless of tradition. There was a time when it used to be "hip", however that's not the case anymore.
Amy Spencer, Abu Dhabi

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How to vote

Canadians living in the UAE can register to vote online and be added to the International Register of Electors.

They'll then be sent a special ballot voting kit by mail either to their address, the Consulate General of Canada to the UAE in Dubai or The Embassy of Canada in Abu Dhabi

Registered voters mark the ballot with their choice and must send it back by 6pm Eastern time on October 21 (2am next Friday) 


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