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The Role Of Women And Community In Christianity Versus Islam

1563 words - 6 pages

Christianity and Islam are two of the world’s largest and most recognized religions. They are both religions believing in one God and each has a holy book, the Qur’an and the Bible. Both books encourage belief in God and teach patience and honesty. They both also forbid lying and stealing and believe in some type of Heaven and Hell. So, if they have so much in common, why is there so much conflict between the two? This question is the exact reason why I chose to take World Religion. I thought it was important to learn and understand the beliefs of other religions so that I could better understand the issues affecting our society today. But that is easier said than done. It is hard to separate the actual religion from the outside influences and people using religion for their own purpose. In this essay I will focus on some of the ethical differences of these two cultures; the role of women and the view of community.
As society has changed throughout the span of life on earth so has the view of women socially and religiously. Both Christianity and Islam agree that women and men were created by God, but things are unclear from that point on. The Christian idea of Adam and Eve is illustrated in the Bible as follows, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (Timothy, 2.11-14). What this reveals is that they believe that Eve is to blame for seducing Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. The Islamic perception of Eve (Hawwa), the belief is that everyone is responsible for their own actions and both Adam and Hawwa were equally responsible for the sin of eating fruit from the tree. This is illustrated in chapter 7, verse 23 of the Quran, "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers”. This event was one of the most important events setting the position for women in each book.
In every country around the world, women's lives are shaped by the influences of both society and by religion. “The Quran, Islam’s holy book, mandates that women have the right to seek education, choose their own mates, work, possess and inherit wealth or property, divorce, and remarry” (Hurley 76). So despite the Quran’s clear support for women’s rights and equality, why do many people feel that Muslim women are oppressed? The hijab head covering worn by Muslim women has been in the news on and off for some time now and has been a topic of many debates. Here in America, one would feel this requirement on women as oppressive, but most Muslim women feel that this is a way to be looked at not for their beauty, but for their minds. The issues here is that people have a hard time differentiating between culture and religion, two things that are completely different but have a huge...

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