IKEA airbushes women out of catalogue distributed in Saudi Arabia

Wow. It looks like the furniture giant IKEA thought it would be within their best interest that for their catalogue in Saudi Arabia, women should be removed from the picture – literally.

Ikea is being criticized for deleting images of women from the Saudi version of its furniture catalogue, a move the company says it regrets.

Comparing the Swedish and Saudi versions of the Ikea catalogue, Sweden’s free newspaper Metro on Monday showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the company’s home furnishings.

An example:

       

And there were several other omissions, including a picture of a picture of Audrey Hepburn, and even the removal of a female IKEA designer.

While Saudi Arabia has some terrible laws around women’s rights and participation in the public sphere, there is still no policy against portraying women in advertising, though there are guidelines around the way women are depicted in them (such as showing too much skin). I guess they thought it would just be easier to just remove them altogether.

Pretty quickly after Swedish media picked up the story, IKEA released a statement apologizing, saying: “We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group values.” Values like, you know, not erasing women’s existence.

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34 Comments

  1. Posted October 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Rather than criticizing Ikea perhaps we should go to the root of the problem and actually criticized Saudi Arabia and the patriarchal religions that treat women like third class beings.

    The problem isn’t Ikea it is the belief in imaginary magic invisible sky daddies that mandate the abuse of women.

    There is no god. Men created these gods as a tool to oppress their followers and women.

    • Posted October 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Bravo!

      What is it with this blindness towards some of the most oppressive regimes on the planet? Oh, don’t say anything bad about Iran or Saudi Arabia – you know, like, that’s Islamophobic.

      But anything slightly off-message from a white, liberal, northern European government, or corporation, now, that’s really bad.

      Sometimes I despair.

      • Posted October 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        “What is it with this blindness towards some of the most oppressive regimes on the planet? Oh, don’t say anything bad about Iran or Saudi Arabia – you know, like, that’s Islamophobic.”

        There is nothing wrong with critisizing regimes-as long as you know what you are talking about. what tends to piss people off, like me for example, is when it becomes obvious that your opinion is based on common ignorance which is paraded as fact which only help uphold the false excuses of the oppressive regime you are apparently trying to challenge. This sort of practise is why women of colour and women of “moniroty” religions end up turning away from mainstream feminism.

      • Posted October 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        “What is it with this blindness towards some of the most oppressive regimes on the planet? Oh, don’t say anything bad about Iran or Saudi Arabia – you know, like, that’s Islamophobic.”

        There is nothing wrong with critisizing regimes-as long as you know what you are talking about. what tends to piss people off, like me for example, is when it becomes obvious that your opinion is based on common ignorance which is paraded as fact which only help uphold the false excuses of the oppressive regime you are apparently trying to challenge. This sort of practise is why women of colour and women of “minority” religions end up turning away from mainstream feminism.

    • Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      “patriarchal religions that treat women like third class beings”

      oh goodness not this crap again.

      “The problem isn’t Ikea it is the belief in imaginary magic invisible sky daddies that mandate the abuse of women.”

      the “sky daddies” dont “mandate the abuse of women”-its the men in power who do that and hide their actions behind some excuse. if you got rid of the belief in God the problem would remain-there are many athiests who use science to argue why women are not as strong as men and therefore should not have the same rights as men.

      this argument is used to justify banning the burqa-for some reason some people think getting rid of it would suddenly liberate women. the cloth doesnt oppress anyone-the people who insist women must wear it are the ones who oppress-but hey any half assed excuse to give yourself a pat on the back without actually solving the problem.

      you should learn to seperate religion from culture, maybe then you wont sound like such an ass.

    • Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh, please. Women are intelligent enough to make their own choices about their own religious beliefs whether you like them or not.

      • Posted October 1, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Angel,

        In Saudi Arabia?

        • Posted October 2, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          So Saudi Arabian women aren’t intelligent enough to make their won choices but people living half a world away who have no idea about their lives and situations are?

          Yes, the Saudi Arabian government uses *an interpretation* of Islam to oppress women, but according to millions of other Muslim women around the world, that’s not what Islam is about.

      • Posted October 2, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        Sexism and homophobia are bad, but religions with antiquated views on gender and sexuality are good. Got it. Let’s all continue to believe that it’s progressive and “intelligent” for people to think that women’s hair follicles are somehow more immodest than those of men.

        Also, Alita, you’re right; sexism didn’t originate with religion. However, religion definitely helps with the stagnation of society. Religion places tradition and ancestor worship on a pedestal, and when it comes to the Abrahamic religions, xenophobia and self-hatred are core tenants. I’m not sure why so many people claim to dislike racists, but are quite fine with the notion of others believing in an eternal hell where people different than them burn forever. That opinion is definitely respectable, right?

        “there are many athiests who use science to argue why women are not as strong as men and therefore should not have the same rights as men.”

        They are not using science. Unless, of course, you think that actual scientific evidence points to women being inferior. I don’t think you’re that much of a misogynist, though.

        “-the people who insist women must wear it are the ones who oppress- ”

        You mean Allah? I agree.

        For the record, though, I don’t believe in banning anyone’s religious garb.

        • Posted October 2, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          Sexism and homophobia are bad, but religions with antiquated views on gender and sexuality are good. Got it.

          http://oppressedbrowngirlsdoingthings.tumblr.com/

          • Posted October 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, religious texts that talk about women being inferior (that goes for ALL of them, including Christianity) are oppressive. I’m not trying to say that women are oppressed any more or less based on their specific religious convictions.

        • Posted October 2, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          oh goodness here we go again

          “Let’s all continue to believe that it’s progressive and “intelligent” for people to think that women’s hair follicles are somehow more immodest than those of men.”

          I cant speak for any other religious or cultural belief but in Islam the rule is the same for men as it is women-dress modestly. how different cultures and countries interpret this varies.

          “Religion places tradition and ancestor worship on a pedestal, and when it comes to the Abrahamic religions, xenophobia and self-hatred are core tenants. I’m not sure why so many people claim to dislike racists, but are quite fine with the notion of others believing in an eternal hell where people different than them burn forever. That opinion is definitely respectable, right?”

          As you have brought Abrahamic religions into this-and Islam being one, i am only going to say this in relation to Islam, as unlike you i dont talk about things i dont know crap about.

          if you knew the first thing about islamic teachings about the day of judgement-you would know that Islam states that *gasp* groups of Jews, Christians, Muslims and other groups of people will go to heaven. it also states that people from all these groups including (you may wanna get yourself to your fainting couch for this next revelation) Muslim will go into hell. this is to do with the idea of fair judgement in Islam, because above all things it is taught that the Almighty is fair. for example is the teaching of justice in Islam-it is irrelevant if you are the most devout Muslim and your commit a wrong act against a dis-believer-you will have to atone for the sin because being Muslim holds no sway-injustice is injustice.

          “They are not using science. Unless, of course, you think that actual scientific evidence points to women being inferior”

          but thats kind of my point-they are saying its scientific fact when its not, just in the way many Islamic countries say what they do is supported by Islam yet its not, but its believed to be because idiots like you can be bothered to do their research.

          “-the people who insist women must wear it are the ones who oppress- ”

          You mean Allah? I agree.

          goodness yes Allaah is so oppressive, thats why in Islam he decided to show this by giving us rights not given to women before that time like the right to an education, to abortion and to divorce to name a few.

          again-i would really appreciate it if you didnt talk out of your ass.

          “I don’t think you’re that much of a misogynist, though.”
          you wanna know whats misogynistic? silencing women. there are many of my Muslim sisters who have to deal with this shit daily because people who are apparently all about womens rights have no problem silencing Muslim women or indeed using us as comedy props to make some sort of “point”. if you really cared about womens rights you would care about the rights for ALL women-and if you want to look intelligent, you would at least avoid the real basic pitfall of conflating Islam with culture.

          “For the record, though, I don’t believe in banning anyone’s religious garb.”

          oh look at you being all ” open minded!!!”. what flavour cookie would you like?

          • Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            “As you have brought Abrahamic religions into this-and Islam being one, i am only going to say this in relation to Islam, as unlike you i dont talk about things i dont know crap about.

            if you knew the first thing about islamic teachings about the day of judgement-you would know that Islam states that *gasp* groups of Jews, Christians, Muslims and other groups of people will go to heaven. it also states that people from all these groups including (you may wanna get yourself to your fainting couch for this next revelation) Muslim will go into hell. this is to do with the idea of fair judgement in Islam, because above all things it is taught that the Almighty is fair.”

            The Quran actually has different verses that seem to contradict that idea, such as 5:56-37. If you think that particular interpretation is incorrect, who are you to determine the original intention of such a passage?

            “for example is the teaching of justice in Islam-it is irrelevant if you are the most devout Muslim and your commit a wrong act against a dis-believer-you will have to atone for the sin because being Muslim holds no sway-injustice is injustice.”

            Infinite punishment for finite “crimes” is unjust, sorry.

            “goodness yes Allaah is so oppressive, thats why in Islam he decided to show this by giving us rights not given to women before that time like the right to an education, to abortion and to divorce to name a few.”

            Yes, we need Allah to determine whether or not we deserve rights. We can’t, you know, figure out that women are people on our own.

            Do you think verses like 2:222 and 2:223 help advance feminism?

            “you wanna know whats misogynistic? silencing women. there are many of my Muslim sisters who have to deal with this shit daily because people who are apparently all about womens rights have no problem silencing Muslim women or indeed using us as comedy props to make some sort of “point”. if you really cared about womens rights you would care about the rights for ALL women-and if you want to look intelligent, you would at least avoid the real basic pitfall of conflating Islam with culture.”

            Who is trying to silence anyone here? I’m giving my opinion in response to yours. What’s wrong with discussion?

            “oh look at you being all ” open minded!!!”. what flavour cookie would you like?”

            You keep mentioning how being critical of a certain belief leads to “silencing” people or taking their rights away. I’m letting you know that I’m not an advocate of forcing women to take off their religious clothing, even though I may disagree with their faith.

          • Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, 5:36-5:37. My bad.

          • Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            If you think that particular interpretation is incorrect, who are you to determine the original intention of such a passage?

            If you get 10 different believers to look at the same passage, chances are you’ll get ten different answers. Why should the interpretation of a nonbeliever be held above any of theirs?

        • Posted October 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          It shouldn’t be held above hers, but it also shouldn’t be held below as the opinion of someone “who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.” I’m sorry that, like the many Muslims Alita disparages, I wasn’t gifted with the ability to read Allah’s mind and determine what he really meant.

          What I’m trying to get at, though, is that “faith” is used as an argument here. Interpretations aren’t really based on factual evidence, they’re based on the presupposition that you’re some kind of theological genius and you’re special enough to know exactly what was intended by certain passages. Because of that, you’re stuck in a situation where you can’t really argue with someone who holds different or the same religious views, as they also “feel” they’re correct. My opinion is based on the time when the scriptures were written. Most religions are mutually exclusive, so that must mean many (if not all) religions are created by men, usually with the intent to control women, other people (like slaves), and their culture. As I’ve seen no evidence that any holy book is actually divine, I’m not going to risk endorsing something that was probably written by men with the intention of subjugating human beings.

          Women, especially young women, internalize passages from the Bible and the Quran, no matter how much to push them to the side and explain to them how much YOU think “god didn’t mean that”, even if it’s plainly written. Some verses in holy books are obvious in their meaning, like when they proclaim that menstruation is an illness. You can put whatever humanism-inspired spin you want on it, but if I’m ignorant to the advances of human rights, I’m not going to magically become a decent person reading things like that. The fact that you need to take things from the outside world to make the Quran or Bible “perfect” somewhat ruins their claim to divinity.

          • Posted October 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

            It shouldn’t be held above hers, but it also shouldn’t be held below as the opinion of someone “who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

            Wait. What? Of course the opinion of someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about shouldn’t be given much weight because…they don’t know what they’re talking about!

            Interpretations aren’t really based on factual evidence, they’re based on the presupposition that you’re some kind of theological genius and you’re special enough to know exactly what was intended by certain passages.

            So what does that say about *your* interpretations?

            Most religions are mutually exclusive, so that must mean many (if not all) religions are created by men, usually with the intent to control women, other people (like slaves), and their culture.

            Citations needed.

            Women, especially young women, internalize passages from the Bible and the Quran, no matter how much to push them to the side and explain to them how much YOU think “god didn’t mean that”, even if it’s plainly written. Some verses in holy books are obvious in their meaning, like when they proclaim that menstruation is an illness. You can put whatever humanism-inspired spin you want on it, but if I’m ignorant to the advances of human rights, I’m not going to magically become a decent person reading things like that. The fact that you need to take things from the outside world to make the Quran or Bible “perfect” somewhat ruins their claim to divinity.

            We don’t need to make it perfect because it already is. You see them as merely texts. You can pluck out a sentence here, a passage there, and claim understanding but you really don’t. You don’t understand because you don’t know about a believer’s faith and her relationship with her God. If that’s not for you, fine. But until you know about the love we feel when we worship, you *just*don’t*know*.

            For the record, I’m a Christian. I hate that people use my faith as an excuse for hatred, murder, bigotry, and imperialism. But I LOVE MY GOD! A person’s religion goes beyond rules and rituals. It goes to their relationship with their chosen deity. So the whole “religion is just a tool to oppress women” goes against all of the women who are lifted up and who succeed because of their relationship with their gods.

        • Posted October 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          i’ll try and keep this concice, but thats hard. apologies in advance.

          “The Quran actually has different verses that seem to contradict that idea, such as 5:56-37.”

          bit cunfused as the Quar’an has Surah’s not verses, i assume you mean them to be the same, when i looked it up its a passage about thieves. if you want to be a little more clear or even link to what you are looking at?

          “Infinite punishment for finite “crimes” is unjust, sorry.”

          never said it was infinite-that was not even part of the discussion. nice attempt at deviation though. This answer was in response to a specific point, my point being how Islam does not give favour to those who follow the faith-a fact that contradicts your sweeping claim that all religions do.

          “Yes, we need Allah to determine whether or not we deserve rights. We can’t, you know, figure out that women are people on our own.”

          again-was talking about at the time it was brought about, and guess what? at the time women had very little rights. again this answer is a direct response to your claim at the religion being sexist.

          “Who is trying to silence anyone here? I’m giving my opinion in response to yours. What’s wrong with discussion?”

          Discussion would be an exchange of ideas with evidence, all you have done so far is give your “opinion” that when i have challenged with examples you deviate from the original point in question in order to undermine my answers. I welcome discussion-this is not discussion so far.

          “You keep mentioning how being critical of a certain belief leads to “silencing” people or taking their rights away.”

          I am all for citisism of all ideologies, religious or otherwise, its important. what i am against though-is people using general ignorance and conjecture and making it out to be legitimate critisism and then when people like me who are in the group effected challenge such a view we are told our view is not valid. thats pretty much the definition of silencing in this context.

          “I’m letting you know that I’m not an advocate of forcing women to take off their religious clothing, even though I may disagree with their faith.”

          why is Muslim womens choice of dress bought into everything though? and why do you suddenly care what i feel given what you said previously? why feel the need to say this though if your opinion was’nt so skewed in the first place? especially as we are “so offended by teh hair follicles” but as you have brought this up, again, I would actually argue there is no such thing as religious clothing, i personally dont agree with things like the niqab, but i also believe a woman should be allowed to wear what the hell she wants and not be shamed for it because i believe in ALL women’s autonomy, religious or otherwise and i certainly would not ban any type of clothing-but i didnt feel the need to tack that on the end of my original response to prove anything. so i ask again-what cookie would you like? because they are going in the oven right now.

          also-Angel H, pretty much everything you said. thank you! and yes i love that tumblr-why is it when groups of people want to “liberate Muslim women” they dont actually want to listen to what Muslim women have to say? oh the Irony!

          • Posted October 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            also-Angel H, pretty much everything you said. thank you! and yes i love that tumblr-why is it when groups of people want to “liberate Muslim women” they dont actually want to listen to what Muslim women have to say? oh the Irony!

            I know, right? There are Muslim feminists who have been doing the work for decades, but I guess it’s not legit until some Westerners proclaim it so.

          • Posted October 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            Alita, you are awesome!

            also-Angel H, pretty much everything you said. thank you! and yes i love that tumblr-why is it when groups of people want to “liberate Muslim women” they dont actually want to listen to what Muslim women have to say? oh the Irony!

            I know, right? Muslim feminists have been doing the work for decades, but I guess its not legit until a Westerner says so. >:P

          • Posted October 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            “when i looked it up its a passage about thieves.”

            I apologize. I’ve attempted to add another post to correct myself, but it hasn’t gone through yet. I meant 5:36-5:37.

            “bit cunfused as the Quar’an has Surah’s not verses, i assume you mean them to be the same,”

            My understanding of the word “surah” is that it relates to an entire division of the Quran, not an individual segment or passage. Is the correct term “ayah”? It seems like verse is just one of the many translations of “ayah,” but I’ll try to accommodate your requests as much as possible. I’ll use “passage” until I get a clarification.

            ” never said it was infinite-that was not even part of the discussion. nice attempt at deviation though. This answer was in response to a specific point, my point being how Islam does not give favour to those who follow the faith-a fact that contradicts your sweeping claim that all religions do.”

            Al-Baqarah 2:25
            Al-Baqarah 2:257
            Aal-Imran 3:152
            An-Nisā 4:141
            Al-Ma’idah 5:9
            Al-Hajj 22:38
            Al-Hadid 57:12

            I did run into ” An-Nahl 16:97,” which supports your interpretation if you use the Muhsin Khan translation. However, the other translations all seem to include being a believer as a stipulation for rewards, not a variable. If Islam does not give favor to believers, are you saying that prayer is useless (as answering prayers is a form of favor)? Are you saying Allah doesn’t help people who reach out to him? Isn’t that the cornerstone of your religion?

            If people didn’t think that following a religion gave them any benefits, they probably wouldn’t waste their time practicing it.

            ” again-was talking about at the time it was brought about, and guess what? at the time women had very little rights. again this answer is a direct response to your claim at the religion being sexist.”

            It’s not a surprise that concepts of human rights evolve over time. Even if Islam were exemplary in regards to the concerns of women of the era (which may be a stretch), it is hardly a model now. Also, if Allah always existed, isn’t it extremely cruel that he “just decided” to give women rights after thousands of years? I’d rather give all of the credit to the accumulation of women’s blood, sweat, and tears than a potentially man-made deity.

            “Discussion would be an exchange of ideas with evidence, all you have done so far is give your “opinion” that when i have challenged with examples you deviate from the original point in question in order to undermine my answers. I welcome discussion-this is not discussion so far.”

            I’m actually the only one who has cited the Quran in this conversation thus far. Which one of my statements would you like evidence for?

            As an atheist, I could definitely press you for more evidence than I have. However, I respect you too much to call your opinions, thoughts, and experiences unfit for discussion.

            ” why is Muslim womens choice of dress bought into everything though?”

            I wasn’t the one who brought it up. It was relevant to the article everyone was commenting on.

            ” why do you suddenly care what i feel given what you said previously?”

            I felt I should clarify my actual beliefs to someone who is very worried (and rightfully so) about Western ideals encroaching on the rights of women. It was out of respect. Women know what’s right for themselves, but the origins of that knowledge are where beliefs seem to differ. I feel like rights are fought for, not given on a whim by a deity.

            “why feel the need to say this though if your opinion was’nt so skewed in the first place”

            Skewed by what?

            ” especially as we are “so offended by teh hair follicles” but as you have brought this up, again, I would actually argue there is no such thing as religious clothing”

            A lot of people wear certain clothing because they believe it will please their god(s). It’s not really fair to speak for everyone like that. I mean, I just see all clothing as clothing, too (that’s why I don’t give a fuck), but people wear certain things for different reasons.

            ” i personally dont agree with things like the niqab,”

            Why don’t you agree with it? I’m very curious.

            ” but i also believe a woman should be allowed to wear what the hell she wants and not be shamed for it because i believe in ALL women’s autonomy, religious or otherwise and i certainly would not ban any type of clothing-but i didnt feel the need to tack that on the end of my original response to prove anything. so i ask again-what cookie would you like? because they are going in the oven right now.”

            Again, I’m not sure why I should be antagonized for responding to the article and previous comments. It should be known that there ARE atheists who do care about a woman’s right to choose what is best for her own body and wardrobe.

          • Posted October 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            Again, I’m not sure why I should be antagonized for responding to the article and previous comments.

            You say that religious women are being controlled by men and then you troll for cookies wrt religious garb and you wonder why you’re being “antagonized”?

          • Posted October 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            One other thing: If you honestly have specific questions about Islam, I suggest you consult an Imam. Alita is under no obligation to justify her beliefs to you.

          • Posted October 4, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            “You say that religious women are being controlled by men and then you troll for cookies wrt religious garb and you wonder why you’re being “antagonized”?”

            When did I say that religious women were controlled by men?

          • Posted October 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            “One other thing: If you honestly have specific questions about Islam, I suggest you consult an Imam. Alita is under no obligation to justify her beliefs to you.”

            You’ve already admitted that everyone probably has a different interpretation of the Quran. Why would I ask an Imam for Alita’s personal beliefs? Also, no one said she had an obligation; if she wants to post, she’ll post.

          • Posted October 5, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            When did I say that religious women were controlled by men?

            “Most religions are mutually exclusive, so that must mean many (if not all) religions are created by men, usually with the intent to control women” ~ Source

        • Posted October 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          “Wait. What? Of course the opinion of someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about shouldn’t be given much weight because…they don’t know what they’re talking about!”

          “So what does that say about *your* interpretations?”

          I’ve already stated that my interpretations are based on the time in which the texts were written, not on revelation. It’s not a stretch to assume that in cultures where women are objectified, the religions that developed within those cultures reflected that notion.

          “Citations needed.”

          John 3:16 from the Bible

          “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

          Al-Mā’idah 5:116

          “And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?’” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.”

          How can contradictions like this be reconciled? Can these two different gods really exist at the same time?

          “We don’t need to make it perfect because it already is. You see them as merely texts. You can pluck out a sentence here, a passage there, and claim understanding but you really don’t. You don’t understand because you don’t know about a believer’s faith and her relationship with her God. If that’s not for you, fine. But until you know about the love we feel when we worship, you *just*don’t*know*.”

          The Quran and the Bible cannot both be perfect; they contradict each other. What’s more likely: that they’re both divine, or that they’re both man-made?

          “I hate that people use my faith as an excuse for hatred, murder, bigotry, and imperialism. But I LOVE MY GOD!”

          So you hate people who take the Bible seriously. Good to know.

          • Posted October 5, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

            I’ve already stated that my interpretations are based on the time in which the texts were written, not on revelation. It’s not a stretch to assume that in cultures where women are objectified, the religions that developed within those cultures reflected that notion.

            Again, religion is more than just text, rules, and rituals. It’s also about a person’s relationship with their diety. A person in modern times is going to interpret things differently than a person thousands of years ago, right?

            “Citations needed.”

            John 3:16 from the Bible

            “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

            Reading comprehension also needed apparently. You said: “Most religions are mutually exclusive, so that must mean many (if not all) religions are created by men, usually with the intent to control women, other people (like slaves), and their culture.” And I said, “Citations needed.” As in “Citations needed for the theory that most religions are created by men, usually with the intent to control women, other people, and their culture.”

            The Quran and the Bible cannot both be perfect; they contradict each other. What’s more likely: that they’re both divine, or that they’re both man-made?

            The Bible is holy to me and other Christians. The Quran is holy to Muslims. To me, it’s about respect. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe they’re wrong, maybe we’re both wrong. But that’s why it’s called *faith*.

            So you hate people who take the Bible seriously. Good to know.

            Again, reading comprehension needed. I have no idea where you pulled that from.

          • Posted October 5, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            Ooh. I missed this one:

            How can contradictions like this be reconciled? Can these two different gods really exist at the same time?

            I’m not concerned with Allah because I do not worship him. There is no contradiction. A person who worships in one religion doesn’t concern themselves with the gods of other religions. However, as I’ve stated before, I believe that all people should be free to worship or not worship as they please. Why is this so difficult to understand?

          • Posted October 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

            hello again-i will try to make this as concise as possible.

            “If Islam does not give favor to believers, are you saying that prayer is useless (as answering prayers is a form of favor)?”

            newsflash-Muslims are not the only people who pray. Islam teaches anyone who prays to the Almighty whether they be Muslim or not will get rewards.

            “Are you saying Allah doesn’t help people who reach out to him? Isn’t that the cornerstone of your religion?”

            hold on where did i even say that?!

            “If people didn’t think that following a religion gave them any benefits, they probably wouldn’t waste their time practicing it.”

            right i dont see why you are making comments like this when the answers i gave were in response to your original specific point about ALL RELIGIONS favouring those that follow them and my point is Islam in quite a few circumstances does not say this.

            ” Also, if Allah always existed, isn’t it extremely cruel that he “just decided” to give women rights after thousands of years?”

            according to the Quar’an the rights of women always existed, except due to that lil institution called patriarchy, they were pretty much left out hence why Islam was brought about in the first place.

            “I’d rather give all of the credit to the accumulation of women’s blood, sweat, and tears than a potentially man-made deity.”

            indeed women have had to fight for their rights, my point is my faith at least says we are already entitled to these rights and that we have to fight man made institutions to get them.

            “I’m actually the only one who has cited the Quran in this conversation thus far.”

            you havent though. you listed some numbers then expected me to jump through hoops in finding and answering them. give me a quote and i will answer it.

            “I felt I should clarify my actual beliefs to someone who is very worried (and rightfully so) about Western ideals encroaching on the rights of women”

            i am not sure if you are refering to me or to someone else-if you are refering to me then i dont see why you have written this, but given you have seemed to have misread/jumped to assumptions about things i havent mentioned then i can understand why you have made this remark.

            “Why don’t you agree with it? I’m very curious.”

            because i dont see the justification for it. but like we already said women should wear what they want.

            “Again, I’m not sure why I should be antagonized for responding to the article and previous comments.”

            pretty much what Angel H said

            “When did I say that religious women were controlled by men?”
            your argument against religion is that its a system that is created by men to control women (and i am not speaking on behalf of all religions, or saying either way as there are over 70 religions in the world, so i imagine some are. i would also argue that the mis-representation of Islamic teaching has also been used to this effect but my point is what Islam actually says is very different).

            “I’m sorry that, like the many Muslims Alita disparages, I wasn’t gifted with the ability to read Allah’s mind and determine what he really meant.”

            Because of that, you’re stuck in a situation where you can’t really argue with someone who holds different or the same religious views, as they also “feel” they’re correct.

            speak for yourself-i though you were about “discussion”? you wonder why i say your view is skewed? we get it, you don’t believe in God. the problem is you have been incredibly condesending from the get go, hence the answers you have recieved have questioned this and yes have also been condesending. you can make these points without such condescension. I have never claimed to “read Allah’s mind” in fact there are a few things i have pointed out above that you claim i have said when i have not and in fact assume i would disagree with you on such points.

            as i said in a previous comment-i have no issue with people critisizing/questioning Islam on what it ACTUALLY says. the difficulty is, especially with Islam-there has grown a culture on what people ASSUME Islam to say based on general ignorance, “what they do in the middle east” and taking their knowledge of Christianity as a template and assuming Islam is the same.

            “My opinion is based on the time when the scriptures were written. Most religions are mutually exclusive, so that must mean many (if not all) religions are created by men, usually with the intent to control women, other people (like slaves), and their culture. As I’ve seen no evidence that any holy book is actually divine, I’m not going to risk endorsing something that was probably written by men with the intention of subjugating human beings.”

            the reason you have recieved the answers you did was due to the condecending attitude and assumption that you are wholly correct on everything you said and anyone-including muslim women who may disagree with you are obviously in the wrong. its quite clear that you say yourself thats your “opinion” and its evident its based on conjecture-and honesty if i had been exposed to those same idea’s i would feel the same. in fact for many years i did-i did believe all that crap about my own religion, it was only when i had to do a class project which involved me actually looking at what Islam said about women my mind changed.

            you are making assumptions on religions (and i am not actually saying you are wrong as i do not know either way) unless you have studied all the religions of the world you cannot make such a claim. hence your conclusion is based on the same faulty logic you accused us as having.

            bringing this back to what the original ad was about in accordance to the Quar’an there is nothing wrong with the image above-and lets note it was IKEA and not Saudi Arabia who removed the women from the picture. pretty much this whole argument is about one group of people making assumptions on anothers set of, for lack of a better term, morals? and assuming anything Saudi Arabia does is Islamic-which was my main point.

            apologies if i have overlooked anything, tried to be concise. i think there should be a deep discussion on these subjects, perhaps a comments section is not large enough to do that though.

          • Posted October 6, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

            so, franziska, your are suppoedly totally right and knowledgeable, your opinion based on “facts” yet you say:

            “like when they proclaim that menstruation is an illness.”

            surely, you would know that, at least in Islam menstruation is NOT considered a form of illness, and that it is NOT punishment for “Eve causing Adam to sin” because in the Quaranic version of the story Eve is not blamed for “the fall of man”, and that women get many blessings asscioated with it-for example when they give birth they are bestowed great blessings that many (men) could never recieve.

            while i respect other opinions its kind of hard to take your patronising comments as being neutral when you cant even get what Islam says right. and the problem is many people WOULD take your comments as truth because you are spreading the general ignorance thats been around for many years.

            “You can put whatever humanism-inspired spin you want on it”

            -it appears your are pretty good at putting your own “spin” on it

            “but if I’m ignorant to the advances of human rights, I’m not going to magically become a decent person reading things like that. ”

            but according to you people are backward, unintelligent and controlling for reading things like that. so it only works one way? and you wonder why we question your reasoning?

            “The fact that you need to take things from the outside world to make the Quran or Bible “perfect” somewhat ruins their claim to divinity.”

            tbh i dont even know what you mean by this.

            “How can contradictions like this be reconciled? Can these two different gods really exist at the same time?”

            well, surely, you would know the answer to this seeing as you are oh so totally knowledgeable about all religions EVAH!

            but as i am getting a headache and just wanna end this i will spell it out:

            -Christian God and Islamic God are one and the same. In fact its funny how you use “Allah” when any person with the amount of knowledge you supposedly have would know that “Allah” is not a name but arabic for “the Almighty” hence for Jews and Christians whose language is arabic also refer to God as “Allah” and also why apart from quoting you once i have used “the Almighty”.

            -those two quotes you have given DO NOT contradict each other-as the biblical one states that one needs to believe in Jesus(pbuh) while the second one warns about worshipping Jesus(pbuh) as God.
            In Islam you cannot be a Muslim without reconising Jesus(pbuh). Even though Muslims do not believe in Jesus(pbuh) as the son of God and do not believe God has a partner the Islamic verse is specifically speaking about those who have worshipped Jesus(pbuh) in PLACE of God. This is pretty much the only thing Muslims and Christians differentiate when it comes to Jesus(pbuh).

            “The Quran and the Bible cannot both be perfect; they contradict each other. What’s more likely: that they’re both divine, or that they’re both man-made?”

            thats specious reasoning. so according to you there are only two options? Islam does teach that both Judaism and Christianity have truths but also got some facts wrong hence why Islam was brought about and is the last of the Abrahamic religions. hence this is why i treat my copy of the bible the same as i do my Quar’an’s and why despite popular belief Islam says you need to respect all people whether they are of your book, other books or no books at all. but surely you would know all this seeing as you based your opinion on facts and reading rather than conjecture-right?!

    • Posted October 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Bravo, Brava Suzan! This is the knife through butter comment we need to see more of. Say it with me… cultural relativism is a beautiful ice sculpture that melts in human rights hell. Many countries have inexcusable human rights concerning gender and sexuality, you know HUMANS, and religion is used to justify this. These countries and cultures must be taken to task for this, and no that does not make us “imperialist!”

  2. Posted October 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    On the bottommost basic level, that’s what the struggle is. Against the erasing of women’s existence!

  3. Posted October 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    “You say that religious women are being controlled by men…”

    Where did I say that?

    “One other thing: If you honestly have specific questions about Islam, I suggest you consult an Imam. Alita is under no obligation to justify her beliefs to you.”

    You’ve already admitted that everyone probably has a different interpretation of the Quran. Why would I ask an Imam for Alita’s personal beliefs? Also, no one said she had an obligation; if she wants to post, she’ll post.

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