Sitting across the road after travelling for four hours down the central eastern coast of Aus. Highway 1, while on a ‘Revive and Survive’ coffee break today, I was watching the demolition of a mosque… a centre for religious faith. (We gauge travel by hours… not miles in Aus.)
I had watched this mosque at Woolgoolga NSW being built over the decades and now it was being torn down… to me it epitomized religion in general. It was the second Mosque that I knew of in this little country town, a town renown for the ‘Elephant Mosque’ (it and I have been around since pre-politically correct days btw). It was built within a spit of that other one that graces the township and today it is being torn down. Riddled with the deadly asbestos it has now seen its last days. It’s a lethal Rot!
On reflection I wondered what accommodation for prayer and worship this mosque had enjoyed for women… I have recently heard of the lack of accommodation women have in such places.
In the Middle East, which is the home of these religions, women are delegated to grotty corners to pray, or put in cramped spaces and behind screens hidden from the eyes of men and separated from men for whatever reason. I have heard that Aus. is different, in that women worshipers are better accommodated and while women are still segregated to a lesser place than men, as in they still do not worship shoulder to shoulder with their men… I have guessed that they are considered lesser beings as with most religions. They are not eligible for a front row seat… or crouch, not even eligible to go unwrapped… unclean is another word used. I have often thought that men should just learn not to be so base’ and in a phrase… SUCK IT UP … control yourself for Gods sake!
When I posed this suggestion to the faithful I was told it was a dictum of their faith, uniformly; regardless of what faith it was. It was considered a means by which to protect women. Hmmm… I think they said the same of slaves in compounds or women in harems. The reality is they are considered lesser mortals in general within religion. Not only Eastern religions but most religions.
They go veiled in the Catholic faith as with the cloth on head brigade, and in most if not all other faiths are delegated to the congregation only, or to the menial tasks such as cooking and serving, childcare and cleaning etc. Even where they are accepted into the ministry… a recent event… they are exceptional to the rule. They are also usually masculinized.
So if women do not have an equal place before God, as equal as men… then he isn’t a God I would want much to do with. The strangest thing is that God was seen in the most ancient text (where there are text in existence) as a female, or at the least an asexual individual. Have you ever noticed that there ain’t many female primary deities’ around the place? Strange that give that we are more than half the population.
It was then that Yahweh or Ge (sp?) was seen as an identity, masculinized by the Religions of the world. They then gave him a general name when they interpreted the ancient text as ‘God’ ‘Allah’ or whatever, to align him with their patriarchal views and they also allocated him a sex.
Wouldn’t it be a scream if He was actually a She. She would be mightily pissed I think at how religion has treated her sisters! Women are after all the cradle of civilization… literally.
This has led me to consider that Religion… as created or modelled by some male prophet or group, is really a means by which men have used an opinion, faith or collective group to govern by right of gender. Sound familiar? Yep… they do it in politics, religion, commerce and the general social structures of the day. This too is a lethal Rot!
I wait for the day that women are treated equally as human and not some sub-species. That will be a nice day methinks.
I do not ask that women dominate these spheres of occupation… religion, politics or commerce as men now do… nor do I ask that we exclude men, as women are now excluded by the glass ceiling etc… by deign of the burden of bearing and raising young, nor by the domination of war mongering which is seen as a masculine occupation.
I ask only that we share the burden of government, responsibility and faith… as well as the burden of decisions, choices and policy. Is that really so much to ask for your sisters, your mothers, wives and daughters?
Equal opportunity and equal pay are issues in society today but I have seen that current system at work. Women are classified into the lowest of pay positions and when men are bought into these positions they suddenly find they are reclassified.
I have personal experience of this in Government employment. Women are no less breadwinners than men, yet they are allocated part-time positions generally at lower awards for no other reason than they are MORE responsible for the future generations. What a crap position management supports. In a just world they should be paid more… not less! It certainly isn’t the women that are running the show!
Think about it.
- Equal in Faith: Women Fast for Gender Justice in Religion by Lorie Winder (feminismandreligion.com)
I believe the buildings you are referring to are Sikh temples not Muslim mosques?
That is highly likely … it is no longer there now though. Either way… they are places of worship, a temple… a mosque… a beautiful scene… a ocean. Never was into nit picking. If I was wrong, thankyou for the correction non the less. 🙂
I used to clean the prayer room at the Uni when I worked there, if the women had their periods they weren’t allowed in the pray room as they were unclean.
They were built special wash cubical to wash their feet before prayers but no they would wash their feet in the hand basins in the public toilets that all have to use to wash their hands after using the toilets.
After the females used the toilet they would have to wash themselves, so was always picking up empty water bottles that they would just drop on the floor, for the cleaner to pick up, so you have a lot of them doing this, result lots of bottles on the floor which could easily cause an accident to the rest of the general public.
The males would wash their old fella’s in the hand basins after they had passed water, some pee’d in the hand basin or in the drain holes in the floor, could never work out why there was always pubic hair in the hand basin, my think was they were playing with themselves until I was told, I don’t even want to think how they washed their bums … they didn’t care about the public or health of other people, they would poo on the toilet or squat & shoot it all over the back of toilet & wall.
I could go on,
We all had to eat halal food because that is what they want, I remember one day, someone asked do you have halal food here, yes ….. my turn ….. ya got any bush tucker …. the girls behind the counter laughed, I got some dirty looks too …… they said you can’t say that, why, I said what if I were a Black Fella we don’t eat halal food … double standards
Another time, behind the old prayer room was a road, the gardener was picking up rubbish out of the garden & off the road which we had to do every day after lunch to keep it tidy, he said filthy pigs throw their rubbish every where but the bins & I was agreeing with him …. next morning my boss starts screaming at me that if I ever called the muslies filthy pigs again I would be sacked, same with the gardener, we said we were talking about the students in general throwing, I said you say it yourself about the students …. she said this is what went down, in the prayer room said you were standing out side the prayer room door calling them filthy pigs, so just watch what you say when your near the prayer room ……. 🙂 X