Richard Dawkins is apparently angry at a Muslim-Atheist debate that was held in London on Saturday 9th March between Prof. Lawrence Krauss and our colleague in Muslim apologetics, Hamza Tzortzis.
At the event, the Muslim organisers, catering to the preferences of some of the attendees, made available to people so inclined, areas suggested for women or men only. Apparently the Atheists took extreme umbrage at this, and Lawrence Krauss threatened to walk out of the debate! Now the news that Muslims held an event at a London University that was ‘gender segregated’ has hit mainstream newspapers in London – with many Atheists, such as Dawkins calling for ‘heads to roll’ and for Liberals to take a stand on Liberals values!
However I find the Liberals and Atheists lack of integrity and consistency, disturbing. Have we heard them complain that the sexes are segregated for public toilets, sports, prisons and some schools?
Furthermore, how is gender segregation an infringement of equality? If the event was equally open to both genders to attend and participate, then where is the inequality? There were no positioning of seats due to privilege; I heard from a colleague who attended the event, that men were sitting at the back of the room – will the Atheists and Liberals seriously suggest that Muslims treat men as less-equal to women now?
Lastly, to break the sacred taboo, can Liberals and Atheists even justify why humans are equal in the first place? I mean, according to the natural world, we are NOT equal. Humans have different intellects, strengths, sizes and physical abilities – so where do they get the idea that humans are all equal? Equality, in Liberalism, is nothing but a quaint affectation, harkening back from their long forgotten past. A past which Atheists and Liberals never dare philosophically delve in to, because they know where it leads. The only reason to base the belief in Equality, is upon the old Christian idea that all Human souls are equal in the eyes of God. For as the Professor of Political Science, Hunter Baker said “If we are equal, it must be in the eyes of God, for we are not equal in anything else”.
Seeing as both Liberals and Atheists already silently approve of commonly accepted forms of gender segregation in their society, and have failed to explain how gender segregation is even unequal in the first place (let alone their intellectual bankruptcy to even justify the concept of Equality), their protestations against the event and the Muslim organisers ring hypocritically hollow, and smack of a double-standard excited by an Islamophobic prejudice.
In response to my previous post on Atheists and segregation, the UK Atheist Campaigner Nicola Young Jackson commented:
“Abdullah Al Andalusi rightly points out that there is socially acceptable forms of gender segregation. I would argue that we shouldn’t be segregating in any part of society. Even sex education should be mixed. We are all basically the same and the sex we are born with is hardly the best indicator of who we are. Something I am confused with is the joke about same sex toilets? They’re more efficient – end of! Sport is interesting, especially as Sarah Taylor is now playing in a men’s team.
Perceived gender segregation is an infringement on equality as it is saying that men and women are intrinsically different. Imagine if black and white people could sit in their own sections, if they wanted. If a black or white person didn’t want to mix with people of a different colour, they didn’t have to. That would be a horrible atmosphere.
Do you now see the liberal’s view point? We are all human beings. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, Tetris-high-score, nationality, sex gender, religious observance, faith/beliefs, hair colour, blood type, star-sign, political views, whether we are menstruating/pregnant, sexual orientation, academic performance, IQ, how many kick-ups we can do, state of health, past experiences, past action, age or disability. We are all human beings and should be treated as such.
I really don’t think the people campaigning are Islamophobic, although I understand why you think so. By branding them as Islamophobic you are not listening to what they are saying and are generating hate and anger, which is not helping matters”
Abdullah al Andalusi’s response:
Thanks for the comment on the post. The point of my original post, is that Atheists do not protest against the socially accepted forms of segregation, yet cry havoc at the harmless segregation Muslims may practice in lecture halls. It was the double standards of those Atheists who always complain conspiculously only when people of Theistic belief are involved, that I was rebuking.
However there are some problems with your subsequent criticisms above. Just because you argue that there shouldn’t be gender segregation at all, does not mean your argument is valid, just by dint of you making it. You need evidence and reasons to compel people to do something different then what they do today and are happy with.
For example, your advocacy for gender mixing in toilets leads one to only wonder in horror, at the kind of society where women would be forced to use toilets occupied by strange men, and visa versa. Considering this could involve situations including having to use toilets during late nights and/or in secluded areas, I don’t think your suggestion would be popular with women.
If you are interested in studies on sex segregation in schools, these show beneficial outcomes with gender segregation helping students to focus better, and improve their behaviour.
If that is so for the learning environment of schools, then why do you say it is it wrong for the ‘learning environment’ of one-off lectures and debates?
As for sports, if you let men and women compete side by side, there will still be segregation, albeit due to the laws of human sexual dimorphism (physical difference in genders). Plato argued for equality between the sexes for such things, but he expressed that not so much should be expected of women (ref. Plato’s Republic). The reason they segregate women in sports, is so most of them have a chance to avoid being denied a career due to relegation against male atheletes/sportsman.
As even the Corston Report, comissioned by the Feminist Baroness Corston, states, ‘Women and men are different. Equal treatment of men and women does not result in equal outcomes’
You say that humans should not be segregated according to any attribute they possess – however what about wealth? If you go to a movie, theatre production or even airline – seating effectively is segregated according to the wealth of the passengers/attendees. In those situations, wealthy people are exclusively given privileges not accorded to the rest of their ‘equal’ bethren! How are you going to ‘equalise’ that? Communism? (go on, you know the Atheist inside you wants to).
You say that we should not segregate according to health/ability? Then please inform me of the next Atheist campaign against disabled parking spaces, disabled toilets and state benefits and privileges accorded to disabled people by law – which the other ‘equal’ humans don’t get to enjoy.
You say that people should not be segregated according to experience or academic achievement, yet the jobs market regularly does this – for in a meritocratic environment, merit leads to segregation.
Lastly, you say that people should not be segregated for past action, well pray tell, when will we see Atheists condemn the Western justice system for segregating humans from society, who have committed bad actions in the past (i.e. crime)?
The final point in my argument is, we are not basically all the same, even amongst humans of the same gender (e.g. in physical size, strength, intellect, height, health, wealth). Seeing as you have no intellectual basis to justify why all humans are equal, and considering that we Muslims believe all humans are equal in the eyes of God – the argument should not be whether Muslims should advocate equality, but whether you Atheists should .
Abdullah al Andalusi
Categories: Atheism, Current Affairs
The ridiculous argument by Nicola is probably why Western women are converting to Islam in large numbers. Islam gives them equality without restricting the benefits/privileges. It is far better than “western feminism” which ignores reality!.
I didn’t know Richard Dawkins was even relevant anymore…
LOOOL. Good one.
What I find ironic is that they the atheist brag around respecting personal choice and freedom of choice but when the muslima decides to sit in different places than the muslim men and muslim men wants to sit separately its all about :
‘look how the Mooselems are’.
I demand Gender equality no segregation etc etc
If they want us to respect their freedom of choice why cant they do us the courtesy ?
Nice Article Br. Abdullah. Keep it up! Your debates are inspiring and your arguments are usually unique.
Typically non-Muslims ask, “why gender segregation; would it cause more rapes or sexual attacks on women?” Or something absurd along the lines of this; it’s a loaded question and they want to hear you say “YES” for them to respond back because and simple “No” seems like you conceded anyhow.
The it can be explained is that with an example of washroom as you stated in the article. It is not that the gender-neutral washrooms will increase in rapes (perhaps will but for the sake of argument and lack of data…) but we have segregated washrooms because a large portion of women and men both feel uncomfortable sharing washroom facilities and thus society accommodates them. It doesn’t take away anyone’s rights and nor does it make women or men inferior/superior to each other for doing this. Similarly at an event where majority of women and men feel uncomfortable sitting with opposite gender there is no inequality if men and women sit separately and perhaps there is a family section where families can sit together (if required).
I’ll debate any Muslim, about why sex segregation is a terrible idea. Who is the best defender of sex segregation? Give me their name and I’ll hook up a video debate on the subject.
so you think men and women should share showers in public baths? Or men and women should compete on equal terms at the Olympics? Or share the same toilets? Or prisons should incarcerate men and women together? What planet are you from?!
“At the event, the Muslim organisers, catering to the preferences of some of the attendees, made available to people so inclined, areas suggested for women or men only. ”
Only the second sentence and you are already making a gross lie. Such integrity!
What is laughable is indeed you way of discussing a topic. Dropping bombs of claims, containing you interpertations of texts instead of quotes, lumped together and then laughing away like a maniac. I understand why the brothers and sisters do not wish to dignify you with a response.
Some of you contentions are indeed answered in theses articles:
There are of course other responses which could be given, that the defect was limited to those two aspects only for example.
As for women entering jannah there are many texts to prove that. If you actually had knowledge of the Quran and the sunnah you would know that. But I suspect that you pick up stuff from certain sites, and perhaps do alittle copy and paste work.
The fact that women do inherit something alone proves that they have ownership. After the prophet (pbuh) passed away ‘Aisha continued to dwell in Medina, who possesed her house?
She did. I could give more examples but I do not believe that I have to.
BECAUSE YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS MAKING AN ASSERTION WHICH GOES AGAINST THAT WHICH IS KNOWN AND ESTABLISHED.
I know not even any ultra-conservative or fundamentalist scholar who says that women can not posses wealth or that they are like animals, subhuman.
If you wish to counter what I have said, then provide quotes from authorative translations or quote texts with references in original arabic along with arguments for why your interpertation is correct, and I do know Arabic quite well, and I can adress commentaries, so I will in sha’ Allah give you a run for your money.
If you do not wish to do so, then I suggest that you take you rantings elsewhere.
Hmm. Plenty of examples of misspelling in my comment and some parts of it are not completely clear and coherent.
I also apologize for being a bit harsh against the commenter (whose comments have been removed), but the manners of that person just made me explode (thus the hasty writing)
I always wonder when atheists complain about gender separation between Muslims which party is the one being treated unequally?
Is it the men?
Is it the women?
Separation between men and women means that men do not get to be with women and women do not get to be with men.
Atheists may not prefer that arrangement themselves but it is complete nonsense to describe it as ‘unequal’.
This Andalusi person is so morally and intellectually bankrupt it is really sad. It is totally beyond me how a human being living in the 21st century can be so ignorant and so backwards in their thinking and attitude towards other humans.
Society has finally managed to take a stand against segregation and owning other humans and this guy wants to go back to the caves and drag a woman in by her hair. Despicable.
What is even worse is that is being exploited for its propaganda effect declaring it an issue of Islam versus atheism.
Man is no longer the keeper of women. Live with it or go and try and find a culture where this is still accepted and then move there.
“Society has finally managed to take a stand against segregation and owning other humans”
The point you are missing is that not all segregation is bad; there are both positive and negative forms of it.
Segregation on account of skin colour is obviously a negative form because there is no logical reason for it and it offers no rational benefit.
But, for example, if a head teacher segregates a group of 14 year-olds on account of academic ability so that the strongest in each subject are taught at their pace and the weaker are taught at their pace, then this is a beneficial form of segregation because it benefits the group as a whole.
Similarly, in tennis, men and women do not play in mixed singles matches; apart from Martina Navratilova and maybe a couple of others, women would be out of their depth in such a match because of differences in physical ability.
So here again, segregation is beneficial.
And it is in this light that you should examine segregation of men and women socially, in the work-place and so on, which Islam promotes.
Is there a logical reason behind this type of segregation and does it bring about overall benefit for the society?
Islamic society is based on the family; if families are strong and live peacefully together then society will be the same, but if the family disintegrates, then society as a whole is likely to follow suit.
I would add that most societies, Islamic or not, operate on this model and it has so far never been replaced by anything better.
And obviously a family is going to be stronger when both parents are there to take on all the work and responsibility involved; it is much harder when one parent tries to do this job on his/her own.
So it makes sense that some rules are laid down to help family members avoid getting into situations that may lead to the parents splitting up or children are brought up by one parent only and so on.
This is where segregation among the sexes fits in.
Because even though social mixing between males and females does not always result in extra-marital affairs or unwanted pregnancy, you cannot deny that these things do happen and on quite an alarming scale.
Divorce rates are very high with adultery being one of the most common reasons cited
Teenage pregnancy rates are also high, with Britain being the highest in Europe.
Nor can you deny that if men and women do not mix, apart from with close family members, then the likelihood of these things happening is greatly reduced, and consequently, the society benefits.
In other words, gender separation makes sense and it is beneficial for society.