Let's see how poor old "Karim" tries to defend the indefensible...
When Islam discusses the deficiencies of women, it is neither insulting them nor belittling them. Note to self: Must try this with Mrs Spinoza - "Darling, when I'm discussing your deficiencies, I'm not belittling you. It's evidently your paltry intellect which leads you to misunderstand me..." Some men, unfortunately, do precisely that when they quote the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that women "have a deficiency in their intellect and their religion". They take these words out of context as a means of oppressing women and putting them down. Really? Who'd have thought it? The Prophet (peace be upon him) meant something quite different. Oh? Do go on...He said: "I have never seen among those who have a deficiency in their intellect and their religion anyone more capable than women of swaying the intellect of the most determined of men." He is actually asserting here the power of women to influence men and sway their opinion. This is one of the distinctions that women, in their natures, have. Yes - but he is ALSO saying that women are a group characterised by their deficient intellects. Now who could POSSIBLY find offence in that?
He then went on to define precisely what he meant by these deficiencies. Listen, Muhammad old chap, as Mrs S says - when you're in a hole, just stop digging! In the remainder of the hadîth, some women asked him: "O Messenger of Allah, what is this deficiency in our intelligence and religion?" What a pity the hadith doesn't report the tone of the question of these long-suffering women .."Oh Messenger of Allah - do tell us why we're so stupid, won't you?" He replied: "Isn't it that a woman's testimony as a witness is half of the testimony of man?" They said: "Yes." He said: "This, then, is the deficiency in her intelligence. Q: Why is a woman's testimony worth half of that of a man? A: Because she is deficient in intellect Q: How do we know a woman is deficient in intellect? A: Because her testimony is worth half that of a man. Isn't it true that when she is in her menses, she leaves off prayers and fasting?" They said: "Yes." "Yes"?? Sisters! Come on for f*ck's sake! "Yes"?!? Is that all you can manage? "Must be your time of the month, dear!" "Oh- thank you for pointing that out. Thank goodness I have a clever, intellectual man in the house to remind me of these things." Jeez! He said: "This is the deficiency in her religion."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, simply used this phrase “deficient in mind and religion” to alert them to what he wanted to say to them. Er - as opposed to using words to confuse them, perhaps? The Prophet, peace be upon him, frequently uses such a method, inserting some words that may not be relevant to the point he wants to stress, so that they serve to attract the attention of his audience. OMG, girls! - he WAS using words to confuse you!
And what about the hadith which says Muhammad saw that the majority of those dwelling in Hell were women? This should be good...How are you going to argue your way out of this one, "Karim"?
To start with, the Hadith does not say that most women are in hell. It says that the majority of hell dwellers are women, which simply signifies that more women fail in this worldly test than men. And you think that's somehow BETTER?! Then the Prophet, peace be upon him, points out their failure, which I'm sure went down REALLY well...which is not based on denying God. Rather, it is denying kindness, particularly in marital situations. Here's the spade...there's the hole - we'll just leave you to it, oh Prophet. The Prophet, peace be upon him, has pointed this out in more than one Hadith, warning women against grumbling and frequent complaints. I do the same, Muhammad - but do they listen? Do they? No! They just carry on moaning and whingeing and complaining and...she's standing behind me, isn't she...He is also warning them here against denying kindness by their husbands, highlighting a failing that is often expressed in denying past kindness.Now all this patronising drivel may seem risible to those of us lucky enough to live without the hegemony of a ridiculous, medieval, clerical diktat. And indeed ridicule is often the only weapon we have to combat the evil of such hateful misogyny. But at the risk of sounding trite - remember that there are influential people, like Sheik al-Zindani in the video, at the heart of Islam who still regard it as acceptable to say (for example) that women are incapable of talking and remembering at the same time. And they use Muhammad's sayings and actions as reported in the ahadith (such as the ones above) to spread their obnoxious beliefs.