Islam, Gloria Steinem and the Abuse of Women in Iran

Article excerpt

After reading Richard Grenier's ill-informed attack on Islam, one has to wonder whether or not a high school diploma is a prerequisite for employment as a columnist ("Gloria Steinem's lack of proportion," Feb. 18). Mr. Grenier begins his column well enough, with criticism of alleged ill-treatment of women in the Iranian legal system. If such mistreatment exists, it deserves to be criticized.

However, given the inaccuracies in Mr. Grenier's subsequent allegations about Islam, his credibility as a legal critic must be questioned.

Mr. Grenier mockingly refers to supposed verses from the Koran, Islam's revealed text, in which a man allegedly says, "I divorce you" three times and is thereupon divorced. These "verses" do not exist in the Koran. His faulty recollection of the Koran's text is matched only by his misreading of history.

While European men were meeting to debate whether or not women possessed a soul, Islam offered legal and spiritual freedom to those same women. More than 1,400 years ago, Islam eliminated the chattel status of women, prohibited the pre-Islamic practice of female infanticide and gave women full control over their earnings and wealth. …