Home Quranet Chapter 11 What can we say to someone who discriminates against girls?
What can we say to someone who discriminates against girls?
Chapter 11

وَإِلَى مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْباً قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَاءتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَأَوْفُواْ الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ وَلاَ تَبْخَسُواْ النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءهُمْ وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلاَحِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ (سورة الاعراف, آية 85)

To the Madyan people We sent Shu'aib, one of their own brethren: he said: "O my people! worship Allah. Ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear (Sign) from your Lord! Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due; and do no mischief on the earth after it has been set in order: that will be best for you, if ye have Faith. (Surah 7, Verse 85)

Faten is in the eighth grade, a very good pupil who is liked by all the teachers. She is diligent, has initiative and likes to help her classmates. "A positive student who contributes to the atmosphere in school", her teacher wrote in her grade card. But when it comes to sports lessons, she feels uncomfortable. Her teacher, Muhammed, displays a better attitude towards the boys than the girls and in particular Faten, who is considered clever. Every time she proposes a game he replies that she is a girl and he expects different conduct from her. At every opportunity he emphasizes she is a girl and not a boy. At some lessons he simply makes the girls sit on the sidelines and does not allow them to take part. Faten is afraid to talk to Muhammed about any subject because he immediately replies aggressively and she sometimes thinks twice before turning to him, even on important matters.

Faten decided to talk to the school counselor and told her that she was simply scared of the sports teacher. She asked the counselor not to intervene herself in the problem but to provide her with tools to confront him by herself. They held several discussions and pondered how to answer Muhammed cleverly and without offending him. They did not find a solution.

At one of the sports lessons several days later, Faten plucked up her courage and suggested that a group of the boys play basketball against a team of girls. The teacher shouted at her: "You don't give up, do you, even though you're so clever?" and then Faten turned to him and replied: "Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due; and do no mischief on the earth after it has been set in order:" "God does not love discrimination between boys and girls", she added. "There is no reason for you to behave like that".

Explanation: many parents and teachers discriminate against girls. We know that not only is this unjust, and the Quran exhorts us not to discriminate or withhold, but that such conduct eventually damages a society and the discriminators themselves. A parent who discriminates against his daughter is ruining his connection with her. She could have grown to adulthood and developed her talents, succeeded and brought him great honor. A teacher who discriminates against a girl in his class may be preventing her from excelling and fulfilling her potential, and is betraying his mission as a teacher. The standard of the class would increase if the teacher also took into consideration the potential of the girls, and he himself would then be considered a better teacher. Since women constitute half of society, and women are the mothers of our children, any damage to a female's development is a mortal blow to society and to all of us. Faten did well to fight for equality and not to give in, and it is even more laudable that she recruited the Quran to aid her in her search for social justice and equality.