Starving Women In Pakistan Barred By Muslim Tenets From Accepting Aid From Male Relief Workers

In Pakistan, religious prohibitions are increasing the death rate among women and children. Eighty-five percent of homeless individuals after the flooding are women and children. However, Muslim tenets prohibit women from receiving aid from males — leaving them in some cases to choose between starvation if they avoid the aid or possible beatings if they are seen accepting the aid from male aid workers.

More than 2,000 persons have already died and 20 million are displaced or in economic peril.

Relief workers are reporting an increase in rapes and abuse of homeless women. The relief is being scooped up by men, particularly when women are warned not to interact with male relief workers. This leaves it up to the children to try to grab the food. The article below quotes 12-year-old Shahid Muhammed saying, “When food is distributed the strongest young men grab it for their own families and push us children aside.”

Source: Salon

17 thoughts on “Starving Women In Pakistan Barred By Muslim Tenets From Accepting Aid From Male Relief Workers”

  1. mespo727272, your ignorance is simply astounding.

    This is what the Qur’an says about women. This is what it has said for the past 1500 years.

    O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good. (An-Nisa 4:19)

    The believing men and women, are associates and helpers of each other. They (collaborate) to promote all that is beneficial and discourage all that is evil; to establish prayers and give alms, and to obey Allah and his Messenger. Those are the people whom Allah would grant mercy. Indeed Allah is Mighty and Wise. (Al-Taubah 9:71)

    If both spouses decide, by mutual consent and consultation, on weaning [their baby], there is no blame on either. If you want to have your babies breastfed by a foster mother you are not doing anything blame-worthy provided you pay to the fostermother what you had agreed to offer, in accordance with the established manner. Fear Allah and know that Allah is aware it what you are doing”. (Al-Baqarah, 2:233)

    Narrated Mu’awiyah al-Qushayri: I went to the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) and asked him: “What do you say (command) about our wives?” He replied: “Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them.” (Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 11, Number 2139) “The best of you is one who is best towards his family and I am best towards the family”. (At-Tirmithy). “None but a noble man treats women in an honourable manner. And none but an ignoble treats women disgracefully”. (At-Tirmithy).

  2. Things certain Christians are barred from doing because of their tenets:

    Blood Transfusions
    Employing modern labor saving devices
    Getting Vaccines
    Using birth control

    I bet we can make a similar list about any of the major world religions, and quite a few of the minor ones.

  3. tomdarch

    Exactly! Still it’s fun to let our heads explode once in a while.

  4. Is this actually wide spread? This has the sound of the typical pressured reporter’s approach of finding somewhat isolated, extreme situations and broadcasting it world wide without being able to confirm if it’s the norm or not. From the editor’s and publisher’s point of view, this story is great. Here we are linking to and reading the story! Eyeballs meeting ads! Ka-ching!

    Think what you would report if you were a French reporter covering a widespread natural disaster in Appalachia. You might visit some extremely isolated “holler” and report back “Aid to rural Americans goes to waste because they don’t have teeth with which to chew the food!!!!” Sure, there are some seriously toothless folks in Appalachia, but such a story would be grossly inaccurate on the whole. But how would the typical Parisian reading your paper know?

    I don’t doubt that there are at least a few instances of women being culturally intimidated to not take aid directly from strange men. In the middle of a massive crisis, it’s probably hard to determine if this is wide spread.

  5. Surely stupidity isn’t a religious characteristic unique to Islam.

    Islam just has so much more of it than other religions.

  6. “…when population outstrips resources. ”

    I don’t buy that population has outstripped resources….greed and disproportionate distribution, corruption in the so called ‘authoritarian’ circles,and corporate negligence and corruption, these are also some of the things that have created these situations. It is really difficult to see beyond the religeous nonsense when you see grown men (and the young men that emulate them) treating women and children this way. But then it has and does happen here as well, it is not so blatant, not so in the news at the moment, but these things most certainly do happen here…and every single day they happen, a bank refuses a single mother a loan or doubles the interest rate she must pay back or refuses a school loan, or(well you see where I’m going….)
    and I agree w/ Buckeye when he says “These situations breed great courage as well as miserable failures of humanity.” … it just takes awhile for those courageous and compassionate actions to catch up…and lives are lost in the wait…

  7. Buddha

    Do you remember, as I do, one woman who was interviewed and she told of young black men slipping out and bringing back food, water, diapers, and baby food for them and their children. They did it over and over at the risk of their lives. These situations breed great courage as well as miserable failures of humanity.

    I couldn’t agree more about the thin veneer of civilization. We have more than enough evidence in the disasters resulting from those areas where resources run out or war or natural disaster decimates them.

  8. Sadly, both mespo and Buckeye are correct. What is happening in Pakistan is a man made religiously rooted tragedy, however, as one who lived in New Orleans during Katrina I will tell you from first hand experience that the veneer of civilization absent social support systems is as thin a the skin of the driest storage onion.

  9. From the Sudan to New Orleans the pattern is the same: Young strong men grab the limited food and water supplies and furnish it to their families first. Women and children are beaten and raped at leisure when no authority is present.

    Blaming religion is just an attempt to explain what what has always occurred when population outstrips resources.

    Anyone that remembers the iconic picture of the semi-starved mother, with her wretched children beside her, begging on the street in Germany following WWI has seen the face of the aftermath whenever there is a societal breakdown.

  10. franK:
    “How many comments before someone blames this on Islam, ignoring that this stupidity is “man-made” stupidity not exclusive to any one religions.”


    How about one, and here it is. This is symptomatic of persons so deranged or intimidated by their religion that they act against their own self-interest on account of some belief founded on myth, superstition, or some other delusion devoid of evidence or rationality. Your are correct about one thing however: it’s not exclusive to Islam, just exemplified in this instance by Islam. Faint praise indeed, though that Islam isn’t the only belief system that acts out of irrational or barbaric attitudes from antiquity.

    Lest you think some 6th Century text isn’t the culprit, and “gender apartheid” isn’t explicitly sanctioned, here’s few lines for you:

    Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women).
    ~Qu’ran 4:34

    O ye who believe! Lo! among your wives and your children there are enemies for you, therefor beware of them. And if ye efface and overlook and forgive, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
    Your wealth and your children are only a temptation, whereas Allah! with Him is an immense reward.
    ~Qu’ran 64:14-15

    Do you really doubt this religiously inspired and maintained cultural misogyny is the cause of the reluctance by Pakistani women to accept life-saving help?

    And here’s yet another revelation: both this and Islam are “‘man-made’ stupidity.”

  11. This is similar to the Chinese sex-selection fiasco in the making: it’s self correcting. We can point out the obvious outcome, we can offer help in an effort to avert the obvious outcome but the obvious outcome is still going to be the obvious outcome.

    How many comments before someone blames this on Islam, ignoring that this stupidity is “man-made” stupidity not exclusive to any one religions.

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