Burying Our Daughters Alive

In reference to Arabs burying their infant daughters alive pre-Islam,

Now they bury daughters in clothing, culture, rules, and with lashing tongues… I think I’d rather be buried in dirt and be done with it. —Coolred

Discuss.

20 thoughts on “Burying Our Daughters Alive

  1. This is goosebump inducing. At first I was like, isn't that s bit disrespectful? Shouldn't we be grateful for life? Then I checked myself. And realized all the implications of that thought. Grateful for life. Yes. Grateful for not being buried alive. No. Physical burying is equivalent to emotional burying. How does one even begin to see physical as worse (or less?) than emotional. That assumption is based on a hierarchy deep entrenched in overt physicality. Thank you for this.

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  2. Khadeeja, I think the whole "we should be grateful" reaction is something that has been beaten–sometimes literally–into the mentality of women. I was telling a woman about a year ago about how there shouldn't be a barrier (we were in a mosque) and she said, "No, no, we should be grateful for the rights we have in this country."This revealed two things:1. She knew the barrier was wrong (notice, she did not correct me and in fact suggested her ideal was without the barrier in her it could be worse implication); also, she mentioned the country instead of the religion–she knew her rights in Islam were not being respected2. Patriarchy had convinced her she was given rights and not born with them, and that she was so worthless that she should be grateful she was "allowed" any at allIt's also the "give the non-rapist a cookie" mentality. He's harassing you but hey! at least he hasn't raped you.These should not be our standards. We are far more valuable than this. And with all the depth and complexity in the Qur'an, chances are the verses commanding men not to bury their daughters alive were not referring to just dirt."For whenever any of them is given the glad tiding of the birth of a girl, his face darkens and he is filled with suppressed anger. He hides himself from the people because of the alleged evil of that glad tiding whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonour or bury her in the dust? Certainly, evil is their decision." –Quran 16:58-59

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  3. The quote is quite ungrateful…Please make the distinction b/w the concept of burying young women in Arabia from a culture that allows its women to CHOOSE to do whatever they wish. In the end, the power is in my hands…for those young Arab girls…that was never the case…

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  4. When did anyone fail to make the distinction? We all know this is an analogy. The very first comment talked about physical vs emotional burial. And you get to conveniently dismiss and erase every woman who cannot make a choice just because you're privileged enough to make choice.

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  5. almostclever

    Reminds me of what women say when they are being abused : Physical abuse is better than mental/emotional abuse.. At least when one is hit the bruise can be seen and the damage assessed.. Emotional abuse is all invasive, it gets inside our brain and doesn't let go, it becomes a part of us and changes the way we think about ourselves… And yet, we are supposed to be grateful because the abuse has simply moved from bruises (in this case being buried alive) to mind control… I have higher expectations for my sisters. Are we to be grateful because instead of being killed, our sisters now have this? :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nUI3TUdFCk&feature=feedrec_grec_index

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  6. As a woman who lived among and, yes suffered, at the hands of men who professed to be practicing Islam…I felt at times that they crowed about the fact that they had evolved (by force I would guess since god had to apparently demand that they do not bury their daughters anymore…or at the very least the prophet had to make it appear the less accepting choice in god's eyes)emotionally when it came to females and that they no longer bury their daughters. They point this out as in…see, this was us pre Islam…Islam has changed us to the extent that burying our daughters is no longer an accepted practice.And yet, we (Muslim men and women as well) do still bury them in clothing..clothing has replaced dirt…you cannot see a body that is covered in dirt…you cannot see a body that is covered in layers of clothing…along with the face for some females. We (still muslim men and women) want females to be silent (men shouldnt hear your voice), not smell (men shouldnt smell your presence, and not occupying the space that men consider theirs (stay home)….so, at times, when faced with this long list of don'ts…I found myself walking in an ever smaller circle trying to accomodate muslim men in what I could and couldn't do…where I could and couldn't go…etc. In the end I was left with the very deeply felt impression that, while female's presence must be tolerated (after all men do need women at the end of the day…and vice versa)men were quite happy to limit and restrict to the extent that the difference between living (such as it is) and being buried at birth…really didn't seem…all that different. Except that a female child buried at birth at least garners sympathy from god…enough to be mentioned….a grown female that has escaped being buried alive…is meant to suffer to gain god's pleasure and forgiveness etc. For what? for surviving death as an infant at the hands of the men who now make her adult life a trial and emotional rollercoaster?Like I said, I would rather have been buried in dirt and be done with it…if I knew what I would be forced to endure at the hands of men who spent the remainder of my life barely tolerating my existence…and believed they were and would be rewarded for doing so. And I concur that emotional abuse is far worse than physical abuse…I would take a broken bone over a broken soul any day of the week…in fact…I did. I survived the broken bones…but my soul is still in flux..working on it. Thank you, Nahida, for highlighting my comment. p.s. I meant no disrespect to anyone by that specific comment…if you felt that way…I apologize.

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  7. And I concur that emotional abuse is far worse than physical abuseHey all, I'm getting a little uncomfortable with this comparison. Firstly, the two go are often entangled in each other. It's not a simple separation to be compared like that. And second, there is a vast spectrum of degrees and opinions will vary accordingly, and to suggest otherwise we would collapse into that same it could be worse mentality. Let's not erase women who have endured physical abuse or emotional abuse depending on our "preferences." Either way will be an oversimplification, and any form of abuse is absolutely intolerable regardless of type or degree.

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  8. Not necessarily. I interpreted the quote as a continuation, not a comparison. (We are still burying our daughters alive.) And the last bit that can arguably make it a comparison, I read as a declaration of passion, not a comparison.

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  9. almostclever

    I am highlighting the point that some would say emotional abuse is "not abuse" just as they say a culture/society/gov't that represses women is "not abuse." Since it is not blatant (like physical abuse and burying our daughters alive) some don't see the abuse and instead feel grateful we are not being buried or hit.. The point is that these subtle forms can be just as harmful, if not more – and we need to see that instead of telling each other we should be grateful for what we have!What I hear from Coolred's quote is an emphasis on this point.I apologize if I offended anyone here, by no means am I insinuating that there is a hierarchy, what I am trying to say is that this quote resonates with me because I hear many abused women speak in the ways I highlighted in my first comment and it parallels Coolred's quote quite perfectly.I apologize for any discomfort felt by any.

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  10. Interestingly, of course, the "you should be grateful for what you have" argument has often been used by neoconservatives against Western feminists for "complaining too much." Also basically the same move that Richard Dawkins made in his disturbing recent fiasco.Re. the quote (powerful!) and its use of the female infanticide metaphor, it may be worth recalling a memorable line from Leila Ahmed's seminal book: "[T]he argument made by some Islamists, that Islam's banning of infanticide established the fact that Islam improved the position of women in all respects, seems both inaccurate and simplistic…" That said, there's also been some interesting research on infanticide in general in the ancient world, including pre- and early-Islamic societies.

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  11. Nahida, I do not mean to simplify physical abuse. I had to endure both physical and mental/emotional by both my father and husband…but I can and do have an opinion about it…personal though it may be. I cannot list the many many physical abuses I endured simply because they pass out of mind eventually (too numerous to recount etc) but I am still…at the old age of 42, trying to recover from the emotional/mental abuse I suffered. For me, hands down, it was the more corrosive, the more enduring, the more destructive of the abuses…because it has stayed with me. It echoes in my mind and resonates in my chest to the constant beat of my heart. A rhythmic chant that has never ever quieted to the extent that I can no longer hear it. My constant unwanted companion. My stalker if you will. I'm not simplifying…just giving my opinion from personal experience.

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  12. How about burying her inside the house?Which is like, what, the equivalent of a giant tomb.P.S., Sarah, I had a couple of women talk to me on the side to "explain" to me what the guy in the video was saying, because apparently I was too unaware to catch the splendor in his words.After we discussed verse 4:34, and we went through the common interpretation which is "beat lightly" without leaving marks etcetera etcetera with all the things that mean he can't really beat her, they end by saying "then why do you disagree with him?"And I'm just like… well, ONE I don't believe that's what the verse means. TWO hitting without leaving a mark as a last resort only in the case of salvaging the marriage is not equivalent to condoning hitting women with electrical cables or hitting a woman because she didn't prepare his food properly. That's called being an asshole. Which he is.So yeah. This is such a sad quote. I've never thought about it that way.Yalla, revolution soon. inchAllah.

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  13. almostclever

    Zeina, LOLz!! I guess I missed the splendor also.. Beat lightly… hmmm… those two words don't seem to go together… I also love how in the video he says "it is not beating, it is discipline." WOW… there is so much wrong with that, like ummm – when two people are equals does one "discipline" the other? Yea, no… He is advocating for a master/slave relationship and saying "it's in the Quran" to defend it.. He is a walking, talking stereotype..

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  14. You know my friend was explaining how he sees it and it clicked in my head. Imagine the time of the Prophet(saw), men used to beat all their wives mercilessly, no rights whatsoever, etc..All dudes want to hit their wives, the Prophet said "you know what? fine. but you have to use a toothbrush or something of the sort, and it must not leave a trace, and you must not be angry throughout, and it should only be for the purpose of saving the marriage, and you elbow needs to stay at your waist so as not to indulge yourselves in hitting. okay, now go hit wives." literally making hitting their wives ridiculous. He's like, in a good married household, like imagine we're having an argument and it gets heated and I feel like I want to hit you, so I'll say "woman, I want to hit you. stay here so I go get a toothbrush"If it's a good marriage, we'd erupt in fits of laughter and that would be the end of it.

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