Women in Christianity and Judaism
n the Jews’ heavenly book, the Torah, woman has always been looked down on and humiliated. For example, we read there that a father has the right to sell his daughter like a slave and she does not have the right to disobey his decision (Exodus, verse 7). According to this rule, the daughter (or a female) is an object or property and has no human value and grace.
In another place in the Torah, we read, “Eve (woman) was born from Adam’s (man’s) rib” (Genesis), and thus woman must always obey man. Men’s ownership of women originates in this very self-made claim concerning creation. This very distorted claim, whose original form is unknown to us, has been interpreted in different ways by Christian and Jewish scholars, including Paul, the founder of Christianity. In his letter to Corinthians (11: 8-9), he writes, “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man: for neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
In Judaism, Eve deceived Adam in the Garden of Eden into committing the sin of eating the forbidden fruit and caused his expulsion. Therefore, woman must always be punished as a permanent guilty species until eternity. According to the Torah (Genesis, 3: 6, 7, and 16), woman must be punished to the end of her life to compensate for Eve’s crime, resulting in her husband’s expulsion from the Garden of Heaven. A part of her punishment is her becoming pregnant and enduring labor. This part of the Torah considers a woman’s most important privilege over men (which is preserving human generation) to be her punishment and pictures her as an eternal sinful being. Such a judgment is a historical cruelty to women, and, has, unfortunately, turned into a cultural concept in the course of time and affected men’s behavior to women.
Evidently, such a judgment about women cannot be a divine message. As we will mention later, the Holy Qur’an, which is obviously a heavenly book, says that the forbidden fruit was eaten by both Adam and Eve and does not accuse merely Eve of this crime.
Unfortunately, most branches of Christianity follow this very Jewish view of woman found in the Torah. They have even intensified it by introducing some of the harsh and misogynistic aspects of Roman culture into it. As a result, the Church Fathers, in spite of the way Jesus himself talked to and treated women, speak quite unfairly and pessimistically about women. For example, we can quote Augustine who says that woman is not a human being; rather, she is a receptacle for the reproduction of men’s species. Some of the other early leaders of Christianity, such as Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, and even Thomas Aquinas, had a very low opinion of woman. They considered her responsible for all the pains and hardships from which human beings suffer (due to the Fall of Man). Thomas Aquinas also said, “Woman shoulders the load of the sin of humanity.” 
Some of the above ideas are taken from the Torah and some of them from the religious texts of Christianity. For example, it is written in the Book of Ecclesiastes (7, 26-28):
I found more bitter than death the woman who is a trap, whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are fetters; one who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. See, this is what I found, says the Teacher, adding one thing to another to find the sum, which my mind has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found.
In the eyes of Christian Fathers, a woman in comparison to man is like a servant in comparison to God. In Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians it is written, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” In the Epistle to the Ephesians, it is also written, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church” (5: 22–23).
These very wrong interpretations in Judaism and Christianity led to the development of a great number of false views concerning women’s character and created numerous problems for them in the course of history. Nevertheless, the truth remained hidden to all until the dawn of Islam. It was because of the above interpretations and views that the modernists of the early years of the Renaissance Period in Europe and feminists of the recent centuries started writing several books against religions and disseminating the idea that woman’s freedom and enjoying her true rights lie in abandoning religions. In fact, by referring to the text of the Torah and the books written by church authorities, they introduced God and religions as woman’s main enemies. However, if they had known about the Qur’an and Islam, they would have understood that it was, essentially, the prophets, true religions, and particularly Islam that taught women’s rights (and, basically human rights and values) to people and warned men against treating women with cruelty and mischief. In fact, Islam has recognized a supreme station for woman in society.
The historical realities (that are kept secret in the West) indicate that certain issues such human beings’ natural rights, woman’s rights, and other important judicial branches (such as international law and rights of minority groups) were parts of the legacy of Spanish Muslim that was transmitted to the priests and Christians who had won the war. Later they translated Muslims’ works into Latin and, during the Crusades, imitated them in terms of knowledge, philosophy, and ethics and made some adaptations from their works. European civilization was formed under their influence in the 11th Christian century and after that.
The translation of Muslim books on philosophy, law, and other sciences (mathematics, natural sciences, medicine, and astronomy), a major part of which had been obtained from Spain’s important cultural cities such as Cordoba, Toledo, Seville, and the like by Christians who had invaded Andalusia, were translated into Latin. In this way a great evolution occurred in the scientific and social thought of the Roman (Western European) Church, and some philosophers such as Albert and Thomas Aquinas, who completely followed Muslim philosophers such as the Iranian thinker, Ibn Sīnā, and the Spanish scholar, Ibn Rushd, came into being. The books they taught had been written by Iranian Muslim philosophers and became the basis for the discoveries made in Europe later. Concerning judicial issues, certain topics such as human beings’ natural rights and women’s rights and character which originated in the Qur’an and stood in total opposition to the views of the Church became the focus of attention.
With the transfer of Islamic civilization to Europe, certain topics that were new to the Church at that time, such as human rights and freedom, equality of men and women in humanity and grace, and freedom of speech and expression of ideas became popular among the priests and philosophers in monasteries and cathedrals. However, since all the translated books were in Latin, none of the ordinary people understood them, and thus the ideas and theories put forward in them did not become popular among the laity.
The European Renaissance was the natural outcome of the legacy of Spanish Muslims, the achievement of the Crusades, and was, to a great extent, rooted in the capture of Byzantine (today’s Turkey) by Muslims (the Ottomans). In this period, the realities about the human rights and the character of women entered the social domain, and contemporary intellectuals wrote some books on such topics.
After the temporary capture of Vienna (in Austria in 1529) and that of Istanbul (in Turkey in 1453 AH) and due to the Christians’ contacts with Muslims and the translation of their books into European languages, the Turkish Ottoman Muslims exercised a very powerful influence over European science and civilization. In fact, they became the origin of a philosophical revolution and created a new period in Europe.
Luther (d.1546) in Germany and Calvin (d.1572) in France rose against the dogmatism of the Roman Church. Hobbes (d.1679), Francis Bacon (d.1626), John Locke (d.1704), and Mill unveiled priests’ mistakes in their political and social philosophy and explained concepts such as human’s natural rights, freedom, and women’s rights to people.
Some writers such as Voltaire (d.1778), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (d.1778), Montesquieu (d.1755), and the writers of the Encyclopedia (18th century) opposed the Church and even Christianity, and wrote books on human rights and freedom, women’s rights, and their equality with men. Due to their defense of such issues, a number of ideas were expressed under the flag of feminism. We can still see the traces of such ideas in some societies.
As mentioned before, these European intellectuals’ defense of Islam was neither rooted in hidden inspirations nor in their superhuman ingenuity. Rather, it originated in the Europeans’ familiarity with Islamic culture and civilization and their translation of Muslim books between 11th and 15th centuries. This was done in spite of the great efforts made to conceal this historical reality from the eyes of Europeans.
Moreover, the spread of Islamic culture and civilization by neighboring Muslim countries ruled by the Ottoman government from the 15th until the 18th century played a significant role in this regard.
The dignity of human beings, including both men and women, human rights, and woman’s rights were new topics in 18th century Europe. However, they were known to Muslims since the 6th century AD (that is, since the time of the descent of the Qur’an and the rise of Islam). Nevertheless, it took Western society more than one thousand years to learn about these certain Islamic facts through the writings of European intellectuals.
Apart from this social factor, which caused a number of great social and political changes in Europe, there was another factor that played a major role in this regard: the French Revolution. This led to the transformation of feudalism (which depended on land ownership) to the bourgeoisie (focusing on capitalism and middle-class property ownership).
Some members of this bourgeois minority who were Jewish turned into the pillars of the French revolution and caused the downfall of masters and land owners, such as the Pope and priests, from the peak of power, wealth, and authority.
In the aftermath of the French social and political revolution, which affected Europe, the subservient and almost low-class members of the feudal system came to power. The rich Jews developed some organizations for themselves, moved ahead with the wave of revolution, and became the origin of profound influences in Europe including the following:
· Founding and taking control of several huge factories, industrial and commercial centers, banks, insurance companies, as well as benefiting from the services of a new social class called workers or the former farmers working under feudalists and land owners.
· Disseminating disbelief and quitting the church, adopting laity and secular life, and personalizing religion, which was a highly significant pillar in feudalism.
· Reviving the Roman, Greek, and Jewish cultures, denying absolute ethical principles, and spreading the idea of relativity in ethics.
· Disseminating the separation of religion and politics and preventing the church and priests from interfering with political and social affairs.
· Spreading immorality; uncivilized freedom, and women’s nudity and weakening the constitution of family in the name of women’s freedom.
· Using women as a vast work force in order to have obedient and cheap workers.
· Weakening the foundations of family and disseminating free relations between men and women and even homosexuality and corruption.
With the rise of this group, a new culture came to the fore, and we can say that the present form of Western culture is, in a way, the product of their attempts.
In this new culture, women had apparently been freed, were not considered the property or slaves of men, attained sexual freedom instead of their natural rights, started working freely in order to earn money, and achieved independence. However, in reality they suffered from a kind of hidden but new kind of group slavery in the production and service centers of capitalists (who had replaced the masters and feudalists).
The important point that we should remind here is that in the Enlightenment Period, in spite of the efforts made by theoreticians such as John Locke and Mill and the books they wrote in opposition to the Church’s misogynous culture and on human rights and women’s rights, freedom, and equality with men, the remains of the old Roman and Greek cultures and the ethnic traditions of certain European races did not allow people to enjoy equality in terms of social and other human rights, and did not view women worthy of having true freedom and independence. However, when Islam talks about human rights, it takes every single member of humanity into consideration and does not allow any kind of segregation.
For example, when John Locke, the English theoretician (1632-1706) talks about freedom and human rights, he does not have all people in mind. Rather, he means Europeans (or even only English people) and excludes women, slaves, African people, and Native Americans. He even referred to them as the scum that have absolutely no rights in human society and are owned by Europeans and must obey them.
He apparently believes in certain natural human rights and equality of all people; however, the point is that he always paid special attention to specific social classes, aristocrats and the middle class (the so-called bourgeois). A little scrutiny reveals that by human, he meant men rather than women. If he admired a woman, she must have certainly belonged to a specific social class. This was the very culture or tradition of ancient Greece and Rome.
Such thoughts and philosophical bases are still dominant all over the present West. All the Ku-Klux-Klans of the United States and the anti-Eastern and anti-colored people racists, consciously or unconsciously, follow such thought and culture, which originate in the Jewish racist tradition and Roman culture.
In all these historical cultures, whether Greek, Roman, Jewish, or Christian, woman is nothing but a tool for the man’s enjoyment and for serving him. She lacks the right to independent ownership even if she inherits the property or earns it through hard work. Even nowadays, in spite of the apparent changes and given titles, women are still wanted for the satisfaction of men’s desires and whims or for working in offices and factories. Even, a woman’s family name, which is an important part of her identity, still depends on her husband’s, and if she marries for a second time, she has to change her family name. This is because her identity depends on his and, of course, on his enjoyment and sexual satisfaction.
The rise of women’s reactive schools and movements, such as feminism, in the West is to some extent natural. This is because even today women are still owned by men, and their situation has not changed much. Thus feminism was a natural movement against this ancient European-American culture. Due to their long experience and close familiarity with this dominant culture, women coming from the lower classes of the society started writing in order to heal their wounds. However, nothing remains of their efforts but some words on the paper. The Western woman will never find a cure for her problems unless she learns about Islam and Islamic culture.
Unfortunately, this movement, i.e. the movement for the revival of women’s rights in Europe and the West, did not remain immune from the abusive hidden policies of anti-human groups. Such theoretical and philosophical reactions originated in a kind of secret and hidden politics that gradually spread its roots all over the West. It was not before long that it was revealed that such activities were a part of secret Zionist and Talmudian projects and fed on the related protocols and the manifests of their secret organizations. By discriminating against women and abusing their frustration with men, they lead half of the society to enmity against married life, pessimism towards the family constitution, and, as a result, to homosexuality, corruption, prostitution, and free relationships with men. In this way, they spread sexual corruption in the world. In fact, world Zionism considers this as a prerequisite for its absolute dominance over the world and its economic and political development.
More than four centuries have passed since the Renaissance and Modernism of Europe and the relative intellectualism of its people, and there is still vast propaganda for women’s rights in the world. However, the view of Westerners, both men and women, concerning women and their true place and value in the world is a defective one and does not introduce them as they really are and does not speak of their true rights.
For instance, one of the women who strictly defended their character and rights in Europe, Simone de Beauvoir, sometimes called a philosopher and even the founder of feminism in Europe, believes that the ideal character and situation for a woman is what existed in the communist system of the ex-Soviet Union! Everybody knows that at that time a woman was a slave-worker who was kept away from family relations. She was just a tool for the satisfaction of men’s sexual desires and had to earn her own money. In the words of the feminists, she lived to work and give enjoyment to men.
In her book, The Second Sex, while attacking the Church and Christianity, she presents a new scheme in which a woman enjoying dignity and true rights is assumed to be one who can work in the society like men and not under their supervision. Here, she can provide for herself, and nothing can stop her from prostitution and even homosexuality! The world she portrays is nothing but a purely corrupt and material world. However, this writer does not talk about woman’s old age, when she has no beauty and freshness and has to die in loneliness in the gutter.
This is the peak of the European movement of intellectual and philosopher women in introducing women’s rights and status. Clearly, this wrong perception will not go anywhere, and today women are still commercial goods and the slaves of capitalists. They are who they were before or even worse. This is because before this so-called Women’s Liberation Movement, girls had, at least, some security beside their parents in their families or beside their husbands and children.
Another woman studying women’s problems in the field of psychology believes that the problem is their nostalgia for being a man and, in her words, the complex of emasculation and not having organs similar to those of men. She says that the only solution to this problem (although impossible) is to remove these physical differences. These pseudo-scientific myths and superficial theories that are vastly disseminated and popularized are rooted in nothing but Freudian theory. They merely lead to limiting women’s characters and problems to sexual, anatomical, and bodily issues and do not help to untie the entangled knot of their problems.
Such supports and defenses that are worse than attacks, on the one hand, the sign of the non-Muslims’ weakness in finding the right path and helping women to recognize and attain their true place in the world. On the other hand, as confessed by some Western and European authorities, they reveal that the hands of extremist Zionists and Jews are at work here to deprive women of learning about their rightful place in the world. For centuries they have led the Western civilization and directed its social development. Their policies and philosophies have never succeeded in saving women from their medieval status and have, rather, deprived them of their piety and welfare and left them alone in a dangerous situation.
The above points present a brief summary of what is said about women in the West, in general, and in European society, in particular. They not only show that the ideas of anti-woman groups were wrong and rooted in a lack of knowledge of woman’s nature, characteristics, and talents, but also indicate that even those women who have defended their own kind in a period which is considered the most complete of all periods have not been able to accomplish this task correctly. This is because this group of women deals with the problem following an approach that is rooted in the traditional cultures of the newly civilized European societies and sometimes in their crude and childish pride.
Women’s greatest mistake in solving their problems has been mistaking the same cultural act which has caused their problems for the solution. In other words, women’s problem with men’s authority was their physical power that subdued women. However, unaware of other concomitants and tools of authority that exist in them, women looked for physical and economical power to escape men’s control. They believed that if they attain power they can be independent and free. Thus they tried to prove that a woman’s brain is equal to or bigger than those of men in size, and that a woman can also play a role in economical, political, and social affairs. However, they were ignorant of the fact that the criterion for evaluating a woman’s power and value is not muscular strength, wealth, or the ability to rationalize. Rather, the lack of these factors might sometimes lead to power. This is a very important point in solving women’s problems.
Some believed that if a woman does not accept becoming pregnant and a mother, forgets her delicate feminine emotions, attains physical strength and wealth, and wants the man for herself rather than vice versa, she will reach the level of man and obtain her true rights and place.
Such efforts made by European women did help to solve their problems in society but, rather, led to the rise of more obstacles before them. As a result, a third sex which was void of the advantages of both men and women was born.
The instrumental view of women in the West has gone beyond sexual abuse and looks at women as an economical and political means. In addition to being paid less than men for the jobs that they do, women’s sexual attractions are being used for promoting commercial products, marketing, and making more money by companies and factories. It seems as if women are only good for sexual purposes, and all the beauty and delicacies with which God has created them are merely for granting enjoyment to men and nothing else.
In order to solve women’s problems, we have to totally change our view of them and cast a new look at them while trying to learn about their true identity and status in the world.
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A New Outlook
We believe that there is only one solution to women’s historical problem, and that is a return to the natural laws and the desires that nature has put in human beings. This is because whenever man lives in harmony with nature and does not swim against the torrent, he can live in peace and comfort and attain his rights. Nevertheless, when he does the opposite, he has to lead a difficult life and experience failure.
Men and women are the two natural phenomena and children of kind Mother Nature. In order to find the path to welfare and prosperity and, possibly, attain one’s ignored rights, one must know human beings. This knowledge depends on knowing the natural essence of both men and women and the demands that nature makes on them.
After coming to know the status of men and women in nature, it is necessary to define human society and study their place there without closing our eyes to nature and its principles. Even human societies are natural phenomena and the creations of human natures and social instincts. The changes, motions, dynamism of human societies (as they are discussed is sociology), history, and the philosophy of history must be considered a group of those very natural laws.
If we wish to have an accurate knowledge of women and study related problems, we have to view the issue from two angles and deal with the problem in two fields: women in nature and women in society.
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. Tertullian introduces woman as the gate of Hell. Augustine says the woman is an animal. John Chrysostom says, “A woman’s beauty is the greatest sin against God. Keep away from her as you keep away from fire.”
. As another example, we can refer to a bishop’s words in the church assembly of Macon. He addresses all the members and wonders if women have souls! Or, another bishop asks whether women are human beings!
. Voltaire openly attacked Jesus Christ and Christianity and admired and defended Islam. For example, in his The Complete Works of Voltaire he writes, “Christians impose their religions upon others with the help of sword and fire. Oh, God, if only all European nations followed the method of Muslim Turks” (vol. 11, p. 207). For more information, refer to Islam in Voltaire’s View, Dr. Jawād Hadīdī.
. Locke himself worked at the English colonial office and made great profits selling slaves.
. Bourgeois means one who lives in a city (burg). It was a social class between the workers and property owners who were allowed to live in cities.
. Karen Horney, Psychology of Women.
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