A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Culture vs. Islam and discrimination against women

Although the proposal was already rejected, so there’s no need to sign anything, I’m including this sample of some of the banners that were going around the internet in protest for a different reason;

Quite interesting way of putting already-existing reality into perspective, don’t you agree? I’m not religious, but I would have seriously hated to see this small area allocated to the female gender taken away from the women who are.

The proposal to shift the prayer area drew stiff criticism from Muslim women across the globe. In protest at the proposals, a petition had been posted at the website, which has so far attracted over 1,000 signatures.

Aside from the fact that 1,000 signatures is really a very, very small number (and probably composed of a lot of men), it’s refreshing to hear that Muslim women protested.

Quick story of the day, an old lady friend of my mother’s went to perform the Hajj a few years ago. The rules of prayer and hajj state that a women must have her face and hands uncovered while performing these rituals. A mutawaa (religious policeman) was going around yelling at the women doing the hajj that year to cover their faces, so my mother’s friend refuses and tells him that covering the face is against the rules of hajj. What does he say? “Ghati o edba7i’, which translates to “Cover and sacrifice a sheep”. Sacrificing a sheep is a way to atone for mistakes that happened during hajj.


Moment of Silence and Rememberance


Riyadh Once More


  1. The news wasn’t well understood, women inside the haram have 53% of the places from official sources !! And the project was to add additional places to women and not to remove any current place.

    Hatem from Holy Makkah :)

  2. sim

    What the mutawa said just goes to show that the ‘religious police’ are not so religious and are more concerned with following traditions as opposed to the true teachings of Islam.

    Concerning the petition…Woo Hoo!

  3. Hatem, yes, I read that in the article too, but they are talking about the whole of the haram and not only the mattaf, the area right outside the kabaa, which is the one being discussed now. Currently 1/4th of the mattaf is for women, and as the article says, ‘This was merely based on a proposal (made by a special panel)”.

  4. Hi Ruba,
    I like your blog, interesting issues discussed
    expressing yourself with creativity,
    Read this book , available for free from
    and you’ll never post for a such a subject again,

  5. Yousef, your comment greatly amused me, I am usually the one doing the anti-preaching preaching, never the other way round. I will surely read the book, it sounds very interesting.

    Just to make clear though, the post isn’t about religion to me, it’s about human rights, equality, and the rights of women to worship the same way as men.

  6. Sad

    Dear Roba, also consider that the greatest violence agianst Arab women today is committed by the US, israel, and most Arab regimes. More Arab and Muslim women are killed by Americans and Jews in Iraq, Palestibe, and Afghanistan than by honor crimes and any form of oppression. More Arab women suffer as a resul to systimatic corruption practiced by most Arab regimes and their beneficiaries that deprive these women from education and a better life. Do you have the guts to confront these realities or do you prefer to point finger at some conceptual enemy or blame the poor and the weak for the failures of the strong?

  7. Sad, what are you talking about? Who mentioned strong and weak and violence and education deprivation and conceptua enemies? What do all these buzzwords have to do with women praying?

  8. Ruba, you’re welcome!
    This God’s Debris is really interesting, it’s one of the best I’ve ever read. trust me, after reading it, your brain chemicals will start to behave in a more intelligent way! :)
    if you will like it, tell me so I lend you the other good book for Scott Adams called The Religion War, amused enough ?

  9. ya akhi ma ba3raf, hadol il nas ili bi so3oodiyeh ya imma motakhallifeen 3aqliyan 3an jadd aw jahala, o momken il tinain.

  10. I’m curious about the reason you chose “Culture vs. Islam” to be part of the title, knowing that that was the only use of the word “culture” in the entire post, and that you indicated that to you this wasn’t a post about Islam.

  11. I am shocked at the mottawe3 story!

  12. Hamzeh, simply because that’s what it says in the banner…

  13. LibyanWarrior

    Thank you Roba for this post, and your help against the fight on Arabofacism.

  14. lol duh! Well I think I have a good excuse; it was a little late at night when I wrote that comment.

  15. they call themselves religous men, and they ask ppl to do and not to do this and that and they put rules for ppl, but they dont apply these rules on themselves …

    those religous men in Meccah what they really do is sitting on the door of Meccah and keep looking to woemen …

  16. b.

    Quite interesting way of putting already-existing reality into perspective, don’t you agree?

    Indeed! I thought the same when I saw the banner.

    A mutawaa (religious policeman) was going around yelling at the women doing the hajj that year to cover their faces[…]

    I think the situation for ‘religious’ Muslims everywhere will improve when the Wahhabi tyranny in Saudia is toppled. (necessary disclaimer: YMMV, of course ;))

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