all material on this page © demetrios vakras
de-emphasis. 2004-05. Oil on canvas. © demetrios vakras
It is a matter of great shame in Islam to be a woman. However, there is much obfuscatory dishonest commentary from (some) Mohammedan women which is intended to deflate criticism of this religion by instead deflecting criticism of Islam by claiming criticism to instead be an expression of the bigotry of the critic. By this means criticism of the misogynistic component in that religion is blunted. The claim by some Muslims that Islam is not misogynist is generally supported by a concomitant claim: what appears to be misogyny is nothing other than an expression of profound Islamic piety. As such it is a religious right and duty.
According to the believers of this faith, the word of god is expressed via the medium, Mohammed, possessed by the angel Gabriel reciting the word of god, the Koran.
The Koran clearly and unambiguously declares the role and position of women:
Women 4:34: "Men have authority over women because Allah has made one superior to the other...Good women
The Cow 2:223: "Women are your fields: go, then into your fields as you please."
as is immediately obvious, these are directives for men.
Islam is a religion which is so offended by women that it demands the mutilation of women's genitals. What this religion thus in effect does is emphasise what it thinks a woman is by what it seeks to cover up or cut out. Early Arab/Islamic commentators on Christian women (from Byzantium) state clearly the intention behind the mutilation of female genitalia.
"Al-Jahiz [died 868/869 AD] states that Byzantine women are not excised [mutilated] and this is why they are among 'the most shameless women in the whole world.' Al-Jahiz also draws a direct connection between chastity and excision. Byzantine women have sharper passions because they are not subject to the procedure. The 'uncircumcised woman' he writes, 'finds pleasure, which the circumcised woman does not.' Because they find sex more enjoyable, they are prone to adultery. 'Abd al-Jabbar confirms this opinion, linking the failure to excise women with their sexual pleasure...He also mentions that Byzantine women are not veiled; even when married, they pass the people in the market with heads and faces uncovered, showing all their beauty." pp. 125-126, n. M. el-Cheikh, Byzantium viewed by the Arabs, ISBN 0932885306. Clearly then both the covering up of women and the mutilation of their genitals is intended to eliminate female sexuality - piety for Muslims.
The bulk of the Koranic misogyny of Islam derives from the Verse "The Confederate Tribes", written "At the time Mohammed had nine wives, apart from slave-girls." ( Dawood's Koran translation footnote). The intention of this verse was to dissuade other men from being tempted by Mohammed's wives and this was to be accomplished by their being ordered to cover up. Mohammed's insecurities have damned half the human race:
"Prophet We [Allah] have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave-girls whom Allah has given you as booty...This privilege is yours alone... You may put off any of your wives you please and take to your bed any of them you please. Nor is it unlawful for you to receive any of those whom you have temporarily set aside." The Confederate Tribes 33.49-51
Wives of the Prophet, you are not like other women... do not be too complaisant in your speech lest the lecherous-hearted should lust after you... Stay in your homes and do not display your finery as women used to in the days of ignorance. The Confederate Tribes 33.32-33
Prophet, enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers to draw their veils close around them... so they may be recognised and not molested. The Confederate Tribes 33.58
On a broader level this painting is a criticism of what this religion stands for. Every secular view is antithetic to it... & the Aphrodite of Melos  sports a gas-mask.... She's us, regardless of gender. The desolate landscape is what Islam seeks... The crescent moon is the symbol Islam uses to represent itself  and under which the world we know will be reduced to a barren wilderness.
Regardless of how vociferous the protests are, the wearing of what can only be described as a body-sack ("burka") is a rejection of any idea of a common humanity regardless of gender. The wearing of this "body-sack" is a means used by "pious" Muslim women to shame those considered "impious" on the sole grounds that they are "uncovered". Muslim women that do not cover themselves are compelled to cover themselves for fear of being criticised/shamed for their claimed impiety and promiscuity. The pressure of religious peers who believe that only a woman insincere in her piety would not cover herself over and refuse to undergo surgical mutilation of her genitals means that there is no choice for a woman on whether or not she should cover herself.
"2.16 The Hadith, which is
a collection of the sayings of the Prophet
However, there are 2 criticisms
to be levelled at the Hadith:
The importance of the Hadith to Islam is that the entire Sharia [Shari'a] - Islamic Law - is based on these sayings (Guillame, Islam, p.167) uttered by the ghost of Mohammed. Under the Taliban, Afghanistan gave us a foretaste of the perfect Islamic state ruled by the Koran, Hadith and Sharia - with the "culama" (Islamic Inquisition - on which the Roman Catholic Inquisition was modelled) making certain that faith is adhered to stringently.
Below is one example of a Hadith that demands a women's genitals be mutilated:
8.(Al Hadis, Vol. 1, p. 738)
Abul Malih reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Circumcision is
Sunnat (required by Islamic law) for males and optional for females."
Below is another Hadith which elicits a woman's duties to her husband:
Quotes From Sahih Muslim
 The Aphrodite of Melos is known better in her French pseudonym Venus de Milo. Found by a Greek fisherman off the island of Delos she was abducted by the French and now sits imprisoned in the Louvre.
 The crescent moon, symbol of Islam, is derived directly from the Sassanian Persians. The Zoroastrian religion of the Persians, and not Judaism/Christianity fromed the basis of Islam. Refer here for information off-site.