Why are some people attracted to Islam? Are Muslim women happy? Why do some Russian women want to marry Muslim men? Why do Arab migrants abuse European women? Pravda.Ru discussed these questions with journalist Anastasia Fatima Yezhova.
"Migrants from the Middle East and North Africa abuse European women. Numerous incidents have been reported in Germany. Yet, it is generally believed that Muslim men are supposed to treat women with respect, or does it go about Muslim women only? What is it like to be a woman in Islam?"
"A Muslim person is a person who lives according to Islam, the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet. A real Muslim man, who takes it seriously, will never encroach on the honor of a woman, whether she is a Christian or a Muslim woman. The Christians are people of the Scripture - they are respected in Islam, and their rights are protected in a real Muslim state. This does not apply to ISIL, of course.
"A Muslim man, who sexually assaults a Christian woman, most likely, does not respect Muslim women much either. Forcing a woman to a sexual act is a crime under Islamic laws. This crime is punishable by death penalty. Such actions shall not be associated with Islam.
"One shall not talk about such a notion as Muslim woman. The Islamic world is a very large world, in which a plethora of different peoples and cultures live and coexist. There are families that formally belong to the peoples that historically practice Islam, but in fact remain secular.
"Islamic laws, of course, give more freedom to a person. The brightest example is about the marriage law: a father has absolutely no right to force his daughter to marriage. If a marriage is entered into without the consent of a girl, the marriage is not valid, according to Sharia. Yet, there are families that are guided purely by their customs, and such things are commonplace.
"Another example is a marriage dowry, which, according to Islamic law, can be given only to women. In addition, the money that a man makes for his family is considered a family budget. Yet, the money that a woman of this family makes, is considered to be her own earnings only."
"What is the dominant category for a Muslim family nowadays?"
"That's hard to say. It appears to me that there are many secular Muslim families, but there are many traditional families too. If we take the notion of pure Islam from the point of view of Shiism - it is one thing, but if we take pure Islam from the perspective of Salafism, the Islamic State and Jabhat en-Nusra, it will be something completely different. These are so antagonistic forms of pure Islam that we can see them now clashing with each other in a direct military confrontation.
"I can talk about the Shiite Islam. First of all, it is the Shiite Islam that provides for a greater degree of freedom. In the Shiite system of law, if a girl has never been married, she needs to receive the consent of her Muslim father or grandfather. If she is divorced or widowed, she is free to solve the question of marriage independently. She can marry another man without asking anyone's permission.
"In principle, Islam postulates respect for women. In an extreme Salafi form of Islam, everything takes a perverse form. It goes about not only family law, but also about war and peace. Islam has never allowed the killings of innocent women, children and people who do not hold weapons against Muslims. Nowadays, this is what we can see very often. All those severe forms of violence, executions - it was a twisted mind that designed them."
"Why do you think Islam often goes down to such extremes?"
"Well, Catholic Christianity used to fall into the very same extremes. We can never imagine that Jesus (peace be upon him), who is revered in Islam as one of the greatest prophets and righteous men, could authorize the Holy Inquisition, the burning of witches and heretics."
"The Inquisition was a crisis of Christianity. Is Islam in crisis now?"
"I can not call it a crisis of Islam, because a huge number of Muslims do not believe that those savages represent Islam. This is a deviation, a dangerous perversion that is rooted, of course, in mental and psychological ailments of people. Interestingly, many of those people came from Europe. Is it because of the deliberately exaggerated tolerance of everything? Is it a consequence of the inhibition of masculinity in European countries, a blurred line between the sexes and natural relations between men and women? Is it because of the propaganda of sexual perversions in Europe? All that, and many other things, perhaps, produced the opposite effect, and people became very much attracted to their violent and aggressive traits.
"It's all there in every human being, and it will still find a way out, but this should be a constructive way out. You can bring up a younger generation on ideas of defending the homeland and struggling for justice, the way it was in the Soviet times, by the way. This aggressive masculinity thereby converts into a noble form, and we can thus raise our defenders and fighters for a better world.
"When all that is suppressed, when masculinity is degenerated, it may then come out in the form of rabid and completely unmotivated brutal violence. ISIL militants, for example, look like crazy people, who break loose to commit violence.
"In Islam, there is tolerance for the norms that people take for themselves. There are delicate aspects, like, for example, in Iran, where women are supposed to cover their heads. Yet, this is a subject of debate within the Shiite community. In the Shiite neighborhoods of Lebanon, for example, such rules do not work. A Christian woman can appear bare-headed, and nobody will dare to assault her honor. Lebanon is a multi-confessional state, where the Christian community is large. Many women wear revealing clothes, go to clubs and dance there, but nobody rapes them. This is the point of true Islam. What we can see at ISIL on in Germany, in Cologne, where women were abused on a city square, this is a rough violation of Islam."
Interview conducted by Lyuba Lulko
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru