In my life, I have heard a lot of bad words about Muslims and their attitude to women. I guess, 99% of people in my country, Ukraine, consider Muslim men to be monsters that do not take a woman as a human being, and Muslims at all – to be terrorists. Mostly, it happens because 1) Ukrainians are Christians, 2) Ukraine is not very multicultural country (of course, there are representatives of various religions, but they still look like minority); 3) mass media shows Muslims from the negative side. As a result, a rare woman in hijab is thought to be an Islamic extremist with a bomb, hidden under the skirt, and Ukrainian people try to stand aside from her.
To be honest, I was thinking the same way until I have started university, being 16 years old. A new life-start gave me a chance to check all info I receive, to find reliable sources about Islam, not to believe TV channels and so on. Also, the sphere of international communication opened for me; this fact is essential, because it gives a possibility to ask totally different people for their opinions and to form a relatively objective position.
So, after reading the Quran, some books, written by religion scientists, and talking to Muslims from Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, India, also Ukraine and some parts of Europe, I realized a lot of things. These new discoveries, undoubtedly, touch upon the attitude to women. Muslims do not receive any directions from Allah to hurt women; therefore, Islam doesn’t preach the culture of treating women as non-humans. As well as the majority of Eastern (and even not Eastern) religions, Islam just puts woman behind the man’s back. Owing to the large number of misunderstandings, men, who are aggressive to women, refer to the Holy Quran while treating the weaker sex badly. However, it just proves one of main convictions of my life: “There are not bad religions but only cruel souls”. And while everybody is focused on how bad Muslims are, the rest of the world, both religious and non-religious, continues doing the same things, and even worse.
I really do not understand those Ukrainians who tell that men from East are awfully aggressive. They would better look at themselves; the statistics says that Ukrainian hospitals register around 1000 women, hurt by their husbands, every month. What about those cases that are left unregistered? I am sure that they would have an impressive number too. So what happened to this world? Why do we judge people by their religion? A real human being will never hurt another human being, especially a woman, who is a weaker sex. The images of God can differ, but no sober-minded person will motivate cruelty as something, required by God. In the end, God of every religion calls people to be happy and love other human beings.
I am not a religious person. I have certain beliefs, but I prefer to save it as something personal. However, I respect Islam as well as Christianity and other religions as deeply as it is possible from my side. And when somebody says that Islam permits violence, I try to explain that it is a misunderstanding. Then people ask: “You want to say that there are good and bad Muslims?” And I answer: “There are Muslims and those, who just pretend – here is the difference”. The Muslim will never make a woman suffer just because he is Muslim. Maybe some other reasons? Well, then it is not about religion anymore.