Humiliation is a sensitive issue in many Islamic societies because it influences how Muslims relate with the people who have different religious beliefs. Many Muslims are very sensitive to any action they consider humiliating to their religion and dignity. Any violation of this dignity provokes feelings of retaliation against people or societies perceived to be enemies of Islam and its teachings.
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The issue of humiliation is strongly related to gender because religious teachings have a big influence on cultural practices, which many Muslims observe (“Islamism Humiliation” 2). Both men and women living in Islamic communities are expected to observe these norms to fulfill their religious obligations. This paper will discuss the role gender plays in entrenching Islamic concepts of humiliation across the world.
Many Islamic societies value the role women play in their progress. The female gender is regarded as a valued treasure, which needs to be protected from any form of shame and humiliation. In many Islamic societies, any act of humiliation is taken as an insult on the ability men to protect their community.
Masculinity is valued in Islamic religious teachings because it is believed that men help protect Islam and its believers from unwanted foreign influences (Moisi 10). Muslims believe that masculine power deters people of other faiths from humiliating Islamic communities and people who live there.
In many Islamic societies, humiliation is taken as an affront to their men as it is compromises their ability to protect the dignity of their faith and its believers (“Islamism Humiliation” 12). Any act of humiliation is considered as a desecration of Islamic lands, likely to expose people living there to corrupt and immoral foreign influences.
Men living in Islamic societies feel motivated to revenge against perceived perpetrators of humiliating acts, which their societies go through. The concept of masculinity in Islamic societies mandates men to do all they can to maintain the dignity of their communities. They are required to protect women and children from any harm that may violate their dignity.
Therefore, they are required to restore the dignity of their communities by retaliating against those who, they consider, have humiliated them (“Islamism Humiliation” 14). Retaliatory humiliation is a practice that is deeply entrenched because it shows men living in Islamic societies as courageous and honorable.
They believe they are backed by God’s spiritual guidance, which enables them to easily vanquish their perceived enemies (Hafez 103). Retaliatory humiliation is used to make ‘enemies’ of Islam learn the wrath that awaits them if they dare offend Islamic believers and their communities.
Female chastity is highly valued in Islamic societies and any violation of a woman’s dignity provokes feelings of resentment and shame. Women are considered weak and vulnerable and need to be protected from any physical or psychological harm (Patai 78). Humiliation violating a woman’s purity can only be restored through retaliation.
This makes the male members of the society, in which such an event may happen, feel ashamed and powerless. They are mandated to restore this dignity by retaliating against people or organizations that humiliate Muslims. The rhetoric of humiliation in Islamic societies is used by women to show support for the male members of their society as they retaliate against perceived enemies of Islam.
In the case of the Quran burning incident in Afghanistan, rhetoric humiliation was used to denounce activities of US soldiers who destroyed Holy Scriptures. This portrayed insensitivity shown by US soldiers and alienated them from this society.
Hafez, Muhammad M. “Martyrdom Mythology in Iraq: How Jihadists Frame Suicide terrorism in Videos and Biographies.” Terrorism and Political Violence, 19 (2007): 95-115. Print.
“Islamism, Humiliation and the Political Mobilization of Masculinity.” Euben Essay (2013): 1-45. Print.
Moisi, Dominique. “The Clash of Emotions: Fear, Humiliation, Hope and the New World Order.” Foreign Affairs, 86.1(2007): 8-12. Print.
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Patai, Raphael. The Arab Mind. Tucson: Recovery Resources Press, 2007. Print.