What Islam really says about women | Alaa Murabit

So on my way here, the passenger next to me and I
had a very interesting conversation during my flight. He told me, “It seems like
the United States has run out of jobs, because they’re just making some up: cat psychologist, dog whisperer,
tornado chaser.” A couple of seconds later, he asked me, “So what do you do?” And I was like, “Peacebuilder?” (Laughter) Every day, I work to amplify
the voices of women and to highlight their experiences and their participation in peace
processes and conflict resolution, and because of my work, I recognize that the only way to ensure
the full participation of women globally is by reclaiming religion. Now, this matter is vitally
important to me. As a young Muslim woman,
I am very proud of my faith. It gives me the strength and conviction
to do my work every day. It’s the reason I can be here
in front of you. But I can’t overlook the damage that has
been done in the name of religion, not just my own, but all
of the world’s major faiths. The misrepresentation and misuse
and manipulation of religious scripture has influenced our social
and cultural norms, our laws, our daily lives, to a point where we sometimes
don’t recognize it. My parents moved from Libya,
North Africa, to Canada in the early 1980s, and I am the middle child of 11 children. Yes, 11. But growing up, I saw my parents, both religiously devout
and spiritual people, pray and praise God for their blessings, namely me of course, but among others.
(Laughter) They were kind and funny and patient, limitlessly patient, the kind of patience
that having 11 kids forces you to have. And they were fair. I was never subjected to religion
through a cultural lens. I was treated the same, the same was expected of me. I was never taught that God
judged differently based on gender. And my parents’ understanding of God
as a merciful and beneficial friend and provider shaped the way
I looked at the world. Now, of course, my upbringing
had additional benefits. Being one of 11 children is Diplomacy 101.
(Laughter) To this day, I am asked
where I went to school, like, “Did you go to
Kennedy School of Government?” and I look at them and I’m like, “No, I went to the Murabit School
of International Affairs.” It’s extremely exclusive. You would have
to talk to my mom to get in. Lucky for you, she’s here. But being one of 11 children
and having 10 siblings teaches you a lot about
power structures and alliances. It teaches you focus; you have
to talk fast or say less, because you will always get cut off. It teaches you the importance
of messaging. You have to ask questions in the right way
to get the answers you know you want, and you have to say no
in the right way to keep the peace. But the most important lesson
I learned growing up was the importance of being at the table. When my mom’s favorite lamp broke,
I had to be there when she was trying to find out how and by who,
because I had to defend myself, because if you’re not,
then the finger is pointed at you, and before you know it,
you will be grounded. I am not speaking
from experience, of course. When I was 15 in 2005,
I completed high school and I moved from Canada — Saskatoon — to Zawiya, my parents’ hometown in Libya, a very traditional city. Mind you, I had only ever been
to Libya before on vacation, and as a seven-year-old girl,
it was magic. It was ice cream and trips to the beach
and really excited relatives. Turns out it’s not the same
as a 15-year-old young lady. I very quickly became introduced
to the cultural aspect of religion. The words “haram” —
meaning religiously prohibited — and “aib” — meaning
culturally inappropriate — were exchanged carelessly, as if they meant the same thing
and had the same consequences. And I found myself in conversation
after conversation with classmates and colleagues, professors,
friends, even relatives, beginning to question my own role
and my own aspirations. And even with the foundation
my parents had provided for me, I found myself questioning
the role of women in my faith. So at the Murabit School
of International Affairs, we go very heavy on the debate, and rule number one is do your research,
so that’s what I did, and it surprised me how easy it was to find women in my faith
who were leaders, who were innovative, who were strong — politically, economically,
even militarily. Khadija financed the Islamic movement in its infancy. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her. So why weren’t we learning about her? Why weren’t we learning about these women? Why were women being relegated
to positions which predated the teachings of our faith? And why, if we are equal
in the eyes of God, are we not equal in the eyes of men? To me, it all came back to the lessons
I had learned as a child. The decision maker, the person
who gets to control the message, is sitting at the table, and unfortunately,
in every single world faith, they are not women. Religious institutions
are dominated by men and driven by male leadership, and they create policies
in their likeness, and until we can change
the system entirely, then we can’t realistically
expect to have full economic and political participation of women. Our foundation is broken. My mom actually says, you can’t build
a straight house on a crooked foundation. In 2011, the Libyan revolution broke out,
and my family was on the front lines. And there’s this amazing thing
that happens in war, a cultural shift almost, very temporary. And it was the first time that I felt
it was not only acceptable for me to be involved,
but it was encouraged. It was demanded. Myself and other women
had a seat at the table. We weren’t holding hands or a medium. We were part of decision making. We were information sharing.
We were crucial. And I wanted and needed
for that change to be permanent. Turns out, that’s not that easy. It only took a few weeks before the women
that I had previously worked with were returning back
to their previous roles, and most of them were driven
by words of encouragement from religious and political leaders, most of whom cited religious scripture
as their defense. It’s how they gained popular support
for their opinions. So initially, I focused on the economic
and political empowerment of women. I thought that would lead
to cultural and social change. It turns out, it does a little,
but not a lot. I decided to use
their defense as my offense, and I began to cite and highlight
Islamic scripture as well. In 2012 and 2013, my organization
led the single largest and most widespread
campaign in Libya. We entered homes and schools
and universities, even mosques. We spoke to 50,000 people directly, and hundreds of thousands more through
billboards and television commercials, radio commercials and posters. And you’re probably wondering how
a women’s rights organization was able to do this in communities
which had previously opposed our sheer existence. I used scripture. I used verses from the Quran
and sayings of the Prophet, Hadiths, his sayings which
are, for example, “The best of you is the best
to their family.” “Do not let your brother oppress another.” For the first time, Friday sermons
led by local community imams promoted the rights of women. They discussed taboo issues,
like domestic violence. Policies were changed. In certain communities,
we actually had to go as far as saying the International
Human Rights Declaration, which you opposed because it wasn’t
written by religious scholars, well, those same principles
are in our book. So really, the United Nations
just copied us. By changing the message,
we were able to provide an alternative narrative which promoted
the rights of women in Libya. It’s something that has now
been replicated internationally, and while I am not saying it’s easy —
believe me, it’s not. Liberals will say you’re using religion
and call you a bad conservative. Conservatives will call you
a lot of colorful things. I’ve heard everything from, “Your parents
must be extremely ashamed of you” — false; they’re my biggest fans — to “You will not make it
to your next birthday” — again wrong, because I did. And I remain a very strong believer that women’s rights
and religion are not mutually exclusive. But we have to be at the table. We have to stop giving up our position,
because by remaining silent, we allow for the continued persecution
and abuse of women worldwide. By saying that we’re going
to fight for women’s rights and fight extremism
with bombs and warfare, we completely cripple local societies
which need to address these issues so that they’re sustainable. It is not easy, challenging
distorted religious messaging. You will have your fair share
of insults and ridicule and threats. But we have to do it. We have no other option than to reclaim
the message of human rights, the principles of our faith, not for us, not for
the women in your families, not for the women in this room, not even for the women out there, but for societies
that would be transformed with the participation of women. And the only way we can do that, our only option, is to be, and remain, at the table. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “What Islam really says about women | Alaa Murabit

  • islame asks woman to walk like letter boxes, to have their genitelia mutilated. 1 man can marry 4 women but 1 woman can marry only 1 man. 2 woman's witness = 1 man's. islam is misogynist

  • Allah says in the Holy Quran: O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

  • The Islamic Countries are angry as the international declaration of human rights is copied from Quran without their consent and in protest they are refusing to sign it.

  • You can Watch the best translated Islamic sermons on this channel. The sermons are translated from Arabic to English. Don't forget to subscribe to watch more

  • The archangel Gabriel asked the devil for aide into stealing 7 stars from my head about his Muhammad and the Quran of whom take side counsel from fallen angels of Azzezel Jibrel Gabriel and Satan with Muhammad, Our Heavenly Father called them false gods of fallen angels who wanted to be worship as gods including subliminal Santa Revelation Chapters 1 14 Old Testament and the ones stripped ugly from Glory and alienated in space

  • Our Heavenly Father said he will Judge and he called it Judgement Day and bounded the devil pet dragon under the bottomless pit of sand under the Sea for Judgement Day, so doesn't it make sense to ask the Judge for forgiveness

  • After the archangel Gabriel asked the devil for aide into stealing 7 stars from my head Christ said even the ones who Pierce him will know his Vengeance of the Roman's Catholic synagogues and St branches thereof outside of his Covenant. No one may claim his Temple of worship as their own not even fallen angels of St Gabriel churches

  • Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy of obligations and Christ prescribed Saturday to be the Sabbath day in full filling that law and the Roman's change it to Sunday without authority from Our Heavenly Father outside their lanes for Mary again and broke his Covenant

  • The Roman's wrote hundreds of Bibles with false gods between the scripture mainly psalms and gave out their Roman crucifix cross and including the new Testament blasphemy from Rome outside their lanes for Mary again

  • The archangel Gabriel told Muhammad Friday without authority from Our Heavenly Father outside of his Covenant of the Sabbath day. CHRIST said Vengeance is his outside of his Covenant of the multiple religions of rebellious angels who wanted to be worship as gods including subliminal Santa Revelation Chapters 1 14 Old Testament who started behind those walls of the Roman's synagogues and Mary who wanted to be worship as gods including the archangel Gabriel and St monkey branches thereof separate from Christianity.NO one may claim his Temple of worship as their own not even fallen angels of St Gabriel churches. The archangel Gabriel told Mary to rename the son of God Messiah to born Jesus Christ without authority from Our Heavenly Father who named his son Messiah before sending him to the Earth.Our Heavenly Father said love thy God with all thy strength and do not worship false gods or idols. False gods are fallen angels who wanted to be worship as gods including the ones stripped ugly from Glory and alienated in space of rebellious angels who influence digital wireless technology of forbidden knowledge outside of Earthly Places and undermine mankind intelligence with their forbidden knowledge like robotic answering phones, self checkout robots , the digital world monsters

  • The forbidden knowledge tree came with many branches and twigs and consequences , Our Heavenly Father bounded the devil pet dragon with 7 heads breathe of fire bounded underneath the bottomless pit of sand under the Sea for Judgement Day, so doesn't it make sense to ask the Judge for forgiveness

  • Was it not a twinkling angel that started from the Garden of Eden of what not to do with angelic beings , Mary was compromised by a twinkling angel something like Eve in the Garden of Eden and Muhammad like Adam, was it not a twinkling angel that started from the Garden of Eden of what not to do with angelic beings

  • Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy of obligations and Christ prescribed Saturday to be the Sabbath day in full filling that law and the Roman's change it to Sunday without authority from Our Heavenly Father outside their lanes for Mary and broke his Covenant

  • Classic liberal garbage. She goes to a free Western democracy and develops her own ideas about Islam. Try doing the same in a theocracy in the Middle East where Islam is the state religion.

  • Go to another country with a minority Muslim population and push false Islamic propaganda so the naive women and leftists bide time for more Muslims to immigrate in by fighting with the right until you have enough Muslims to implement sharia law and take over the west. I can't believe people cant see this

  • Islam means love,peace and solidarity.
    Allah loves His each servant, man or woman ,young or old…He gives us many blessings What about us,as human being ? Do we really show our love to Allah?
    Do we really feel peace in our hearts?
    To feel real peace , remember Him morning and evening.

    “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”
    Ar-Ra’d 28.verse

    By means of the dhkir of Uwais Al-Qarni,I have found peace and rest,known my nafs ,got closer to Allah.Allah has given favors,accepted my prayers,showed real dreams alhamdullilah
    I certainly advise everybody to do the dhkir.

  • What you say and what you do are two different things.. Do what you say and say what you do! Talking will not change the islam culture and treatment of women in muslim countries.

  • the role of faith for women is getting beaten up after marriage and getting abused at 6 years old by pedophile men in the name of marriage

  • It dose take two women to refute one man in testimony, so they would need help on being heard. 7 that's the age you get FGM. Let's read the books together I'll point it out to you.

  • 11 Children, and they move to Canada with them all from Libya. Exactly what is wrong here summed up in that statement.

  • Woman and man… ARE THE SAME!!! I'm a homosexual (lesbian) and when I will grow up I want to marry a woman!
    I'm a girl and I live in a country where women and men have the same rights, Belgium.

  • Its not what islam says about wemon. The question is, is the islam statement about its origins true? Historical and archeological evidence proves islam is fake. So, to use islam as a base to argue a point is useless.

  • Islam says many things, most of it horrifying, which is to be expected of make believe invented by a warlord in 7th century Arabia. The question why continue to believe it, read a book instead.

  • Lol of course she loves her religion in a country where she's given all kinds of privileges for it. She doesn't even need to work, she "builds peace", she's a professional victim. Move to Afghanistan to live there and "builds peace" for a decade and then tell me you love your religion, lady. *wink wink

  • Islam About Woman! ☺
    Funny Things you just said.
    I can Teach you Islam Better Than your Prophet. 🙂

    Narrated Abu Hurairah:
    that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) delivered a Khtubah in which he exhorted them, then he said: "O women! Give charity for you are the majority of the people of the Fire." A woman among them said: "And why is that O Messenger of Allah?" He said: "Because of your cursing so much." – meaning your ungratefulness towards your husbands. He said: "And I have not seen any among those lacking in intellect and religion who are more difficult upon people possessing reason and insight than you." A woman among them said: "And what is the deficiency of her intellect and religion?" He said: "The testimony of two women among you is like the testimony of a man, and the deficiency in your religion is menstruation, because one of you will go three or four days without performing Salat."

    Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2613

    So Don't give Us this Type of "TAQIYA". 😇

    Go and Cover yourself, I can see you. ☺



    Description: The veil and its meaning in Islam and the Judeo-Christian tradition, as well as a brief look at the Islamic stance towards women.  Part 1: The concept of veiling in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

  • Sharia Law: A man goes and rapes a random woman. The women is deemed the rapist. The man is deemed the innocent victim of the evil rapist's enticement to rape her as she did not dress modestly enough and enticed him to rape her. The women then gets stoned to death for rape. This is really what happens in Islamic countries.

  • Imagine preaching about how strong women are while being muslim while at the same time knowing if a strand of hair escapes your hijab it's literally the green light for a man to sexually assault you and then your family murder you because you asked for it. You want to watch a real woman talk about the muslim faith, and be serious about horrible it was and how happy she was to escape it, look up Anni Cyrus.

  • Fact God hates women
    Why do you think he made them so weak,stupid,painful birth, and more prone to genital infections and have menstruation every month.

  • Christ taught his Disciples how to pray in secret because of the Fallen angels who try to incept prayers and Christ told them in the closet with the doors closed and ask of Our Heavenly Father in secret and has no partsuch of Muhammad. Muhammad took side counsel from fallen angels of Azzezel Jibrel and Satan and apart of the 1/3 that fell from Heavenly Places mentioned in the Old Testament Revelation Chapters and Our Heavenly Father commandments of false gods

  • Christ told us that the truth is like a mustard seed that man stole including the Roman's Catholic Church and st monkey branches thereof outside of his Covenant. No one may claim his Word , Book , Temple, or Covenant as their own not even fallen angels of St Gabriel churches or St Gabriel Covenants before Muhammad.

  • Christ told us that Vengeance is his because Our Heavenly Father said he will Judge and he said it worldwide so every tongue could understand him and he called it Judgement Day even in Arabic

  • Look! another taqyyia muslima spreading misinformation to try to convert gullible, naive western women to islam in order to swell the ranks of islam, so when the time comes and muslims hit their magic number, they leave the (peaceful) stealth jihad aside, and start the (violent) civil-war-jihad.

  • As an ex muslim I tried to keep an open view on her speech and tried to hear her opinion. But her entire speech is filled with so much misinformation and blatant lies about the religion.

    Yes every woman isnt opressed in islam but islam does provide a socioreligious basis to undermine the freedoms and rights of women. The personal experiences of each women differ based on the family and local culture they grew up in.

    She says she uses scriptures but she fails to mention the facts that scriptures allows for women to beaten by their husbands. I guess that would be too uncomfortable to talk about. I can go on and on about the issues with the religion but its pointless, you either get it or you dont. Unfortunately she disregards the opportunities she recieves in Canada just to cling on to her heritage which i guess is hard to dissacciate from and look at critically.

  • She talks big but religion is the biggest problem recognize or not it's the problem. don't car how much you think it's doing good it's hasn't done anything worthwhile on 2 thousand years or more

  • I wonder how she explains and accepts that the Quran allows and even demands that husbands may be violent towards their wives. Or that apostates of Islam or homosexuels and adulteres should be killed. Or that Quran demands that Muslims must fight Christians and Jews until they submit to Islam and pay protection money whilst being humbled. Did her parents not know this? Or did they just "forget" to teach her these "nice" aspects of Islam?

  • All this may b true.. But in real women r slaves.. Men r officially rulers dictators n controller of a, womens soul… As mentioned by Allah talah as well besides him if any one else is to b worshipped that vl b her husband… So She clearly has no right to think no right to take decisions.. Just accept her fate as a slave…

  • I see all these comments saying that's cuz you don't love here or there but what does that have to do with Islam? Islam is a faith not culture or geographic location. You people are simple.


  • Generally speaking, Men are cowards. They like to use and abuse us women and leave us for a younger lady when they lose interest in you. They are an absolute disgrace to the society and they should be crucified. I rather maintain my youth and strive to look gorgeous so that if my future husband decide to bang someone else, I would be able to have option. Most of them are so fucking ugly that you cannot use them as a backup option. 😋🧸💕

  • I am nearly 70 years old Japanese man, I have a brother and two sisters,the other day we had met altogether…Topics was They spent a lot of money for hardly bending knees and loosing memories…20 years ago they laughed at me Convert to Islam


  • Sorry but, it is super hard for a muslim man to actually hear they have duties towards their wives (besides being the bread winner). Seriously, all of them get defensive immediately, and resort to all the sunnahs and hadiths they can, just to prove how women, at the end, to please Allah, needs to first serve their husbands, and this "serve" has a high range. And even for the ones who says "women should serve but man also needs to honor them"… Well, it just looks very good on the paper because in reality, you see tones of women being mistreated, abused or even being hit by their husbands and when they talk with their shaiks, immans, what they have in return is "try not to make him mad and continue to be a good, patient, compassion wife bcs Allah is gonna grant you a high place on heaven for you marital jihad". Everything looks beautiful on speech but in reality….well women have no much saying aside obeying the men in their lives.

  • I love how Muslim spend more time telling non-Muslims about what is the REAL Islam rather than telling other Muslims that portray the FALSE Islam. Why is that?

  • I see a lot of women in my community who have your optimism.. I used to be like that too.. I thought I could convince them with scripture or hadith but honestly they will just accuse you of heresy. Women will never have a seat at the 'religious' table. Just the other day I saw a Facebook page for an Islamic scholar who had her picture up.. normal picture of her face nothing special, and the comment section was honestly disgusting, from both women and men. It's sad really and you don't see comments like that on a singer's or actress's profile. It's truly baffling how pious people get toward women in these fields, but act completely normal toward women who don't engage with religious topics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *