When I first read the title “Moroccan Women’s Integration of Family and Religion,” I was at once piqued. I am always eager to learn new insights into other cultures and religions, and Donna Lee Bowen gives an insightful account of her findings from the women’s lives she submerged herself in.
Islam is the dominant religion in Morocco, making the majority of its population Muslim. As I continued to read the article, I was presented with facts about Islam, and the people who follow it, that I had never heard before in a history class.
A controversial topic in Western Society is the inequality of Muslim women. But as Bowen points out, when laws and customs are taken out of their social context of course they seem unequal. One law gives twice the amount of a wife’s inheritance to her husband than vice versa. To members of Western society this screams of gender inequality, but the purpose of this law is to give male family members more of the inheritance so that they can take care of the women. Not unequal, but a check to make sure everyone in the family can support each other. Pondering over this example, and other examples that Bowen gives, I began to see parallels between Islam and Mormonism.
Moroccan, Islamic Woman (image from here)
How much anti-Mormon literature takes quotes and statements out of context, using them to slander our religion? How many people have been turned away from the Gospel of Christ because of a misconstrued myth about Mormon culture? It happens all the time to Latter-day Saints, and reviewing what I hear on the news and other media sources it happens to Muslims, as well.
Now I am not saying that every Muslim custom is misunderstood, but I believe that a religion that champions family and equal family roles deserves understanding. Ignorance is the main cause of misunderstanding, but knowledge can bring enlightenment. After reading this article, I believe that as a Latter-day Saint who seeks to enlighten those who misunderstand my beliefs and culture, I must first enlighten myself to my misunderstandings of others.
—BrookeAnn Henriksen, Stance: Studies on the Family
Grande Mosque Hassan II, a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco (image from here)