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Open Thread Sunday 6/28/2009


Doha, Qatar, June 17, 2009:   Arabs across the Middle East have voiced serious opposition to a recent vote at the Doha Debates that Muslim women should be free to marry the man of their choice.

An opinion poll, commissioned by the Qatar-based debating forum, revealed over 85 percent of Arabs against the proposition, with the strongest objections coming from women.

The finding stands in stark contrast to the result of the last debate, held on May 25th in Doha, when 62 percent of the mainly-Arab audience voted to remove all restrictions on a Muslim woman’s choice of husband.

In the poll carried out by YouGov, 89 percent of women said it was prohibited for Muslim women to marry outside their religion, with the majority citing the Koran as the reason for their conviction.

More than 800 respondents from North Africa, the Gulf, Levant and Iraq took part in the online survey between June 4-9.

A large majority opposed arranged marriages, while a quarter thought it was unfair that Muslim men could marry outside their faith at the same time as women were facing restrictions.

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. iMuslim

    June 28, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    In addition, sister Yvonne Ridley appeared on a UK TV show this morning, where one issue discussed was the burka. This is what she wrote on her FB profile:

    “Yvonne Ridley appeared on the BBC’s The Big Question today to discuss Sarkozy’s banning of the burqa, and the real star of the debate was Umm Hamza but what about the Muslim ‘scholar’? How can someone Dr Taj Hargey get so angry on a Sunday morning? He was so aggressive towards the sister and he is supposed to be an example of a liberal-thinking man … as well as a scholar!”

  2. J

    June 28, 2009 at 4:29 PM

    “She finally has a home: Harvard”

    Subhan-Allah. A very moving story. Moved me almost to tears. Amazing young lady. May Allah [swt] reward her with all that is good, in this life and the next!

    I noticed that she has an Arab name and her mother doesn’t. Is Khadijah a convert to Islam? Anyone know?

    But wow, this is a truly inspiring story! Reminds me of another amazing story of a migrant Mexican worker who is now a neurosurgeon at John Hopkins:

    ” The life of Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a former illegal immigrant, may sound like a movie script, but it is no fiction. Twenty years ago, he hopped a border fence from Mexico into the United States and became a migrant farmworker. Today, he is a neurosurgeon and professor at Johns Hopkins University, and a researcher who is looking for a breakthrough in the treatment of brain cancer.”

    Seriously, these people put us to shame! Look at how much they do with so little!

  3. MR

    June 28, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    Alhamdulillah that the general population in the Arab world rejected the Doha Debate results.

  4. Ali

    June 29, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    Does any one here know about where I can find classes for non-muslims in Queens. I know two Visually impaired young women who want learn more about islam and they want to learn about it from a reliable teacher.


    P.S. Brother Amad the story about Khadija Williams is truely amazing.


    July 1, 2009 at 12:28 AM

    May Allah(swt) Preserve Shaikh Yasir,
    I believe the Audience were very confused just like the Brother who was sitting on the opposite side of Shaikh Yasir.
    And alot of the Audience were non-Muslims. I’m glad that they found the truth what lies in Muslim Women’s Heart when it comes to Deen of Allah(swt).

  6. Farhan

    July 3, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    That report doesn’t come as a surprise to me at all. Actually, it was more of a surprise to see ~60% vote in favor of that ridiculous proposition. Clearly the audience was heavily biased.

  7. Yasir Hilal

    July 5, 2009 at 12:27 PM


    I beleive debates of these nature are not very encouraging and truth revealing because of several reasons:
    1: Enough time is not given to speakers to speak out their point.
    2: A wrong opinion is left unanswered due to limitation in response time.
    3: It depicts to the outsiders that muslims are divided on what has been clearly specified in Quran and Sunnah.

    I strongly suggest that Sheikh Yasir Qadhi should come up with a lecture or a brief booklet on his experience on the Doha Debates and tackle each and every point that were made by other participants one after the other. It would be a good idea to answer them and that would be a good follow up on people that would be interested.

    This is the little this poor servant of Allah can suggest. May Allah accept all our efforts and guide us.

  8. Umme Ammaarah

    July 8, 2009 at 11:31 PM

    just for inspiration:

    last weekend, I was visiting a Boston suburb where i used to live a couple of years ago, and we stopped at the ICNE masjid at Sharon for Maghreb, and after the salah, this really simply&elegantly dressed hijabi lady next to me said Salaam, and started asking me about the area, and if it were a good place to move to, and about the attached islamic school for her young kids, and as we conversed i learnt that this hijabi muslimah was a PhD in aero-/astronautics from MIT, and was moving back from from Texas to join MIT again as a reasearch scientist. She has worked on NASA projects, and has a lot of acheivements to her credits. I felt probably like what a fan feels when he/she meets a favorite rock-star…so elated and so inspired. May Allah Ta’Ala make more of us successful in both Deen and Duniya, and make us the best of examples.

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