women and religion in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, & Sudan


source: Globalrevival.com

The Middle East is known for its strict culture. When thinking of the middle east, most would think that it is all related culture, since most countries there share a common religion, Islam. Islam is a religion that is mostly practiced in the Arab world. According to the Islamic Bulletin, Islam is the belief of worshiping God (Allah), and was introduced by the prophet Mohammad.

Although Islam is the dominant religion in the Arab world, it is not the only religion, in countries such as Egypt, Sudan, and others, Christianity is still practiced by a small population of people.

Saudi Arabia, a country located in the Arab peninsula, is the home to prophet Mohammad, and is very special to the Muslim world, because it hold the two most holiest places for Islam, according to Wikipedia.


A Saudi Arabia young woman

There are many culture differences between Saudi Arabia and other countries in the arab world such as Egypt. According to Every Culture,  women in Saudi Arabia have lesser rights than men. With that being said, Women can’t drive and are not allowed to travel without a male guardian. They also must wear a veil, and can not interact too much, if any with men outside their family. Also, citizens or foreigners of non-muslim faiths are not allowed to worship in public, at least. Opposite of the Egyptian culture, although Islam is highly valued in the country, women have more rights in Egypt than Saudi Arabia. For instance, women are not obligated to wear a veil, and can drive and travel alone to anywhere in the world. They are widely accepted to hold high position and interact with men outside their family. There are also many churches in Egypt, and although the christian minority is often discriminated against, it is still acceptable to build churches and practice other religions in Egypt.

Source: Sudan.net

A sudanese woman on her wedding day

Another country that borders Egypt is Sudan, and although it is close to Egypt geographically, Sudan has a much closer culture to Saudi Arabia than Egypt. Much like the Saudi Arabian culture, Sudanese culture is strict with the practice of Islam. Sudanese culture, is a lot closer to Saudi Arabian culture more than it is to Egyptian culture, women in the Sudanese culture are perceived as beings only made to nurture and take care of house chores, rather than working and taking care of financial expenses, as that is a man’s job in the household. There are many differences between Sudanese and Egyptian culture. Although Islam is still dominant in both countries, Islam is highly more strict in Sudan and Saudi Arabia than Egypt. According to Every Culture, Women have lesser rights than men in Sudan and religion must be applied to all aspects.

Recently in Sudan, a religion controversy has hit big news,  Meryem,  a Christian woman who was sentenced to death because she refused to renounce her christian faith is in jail, waiting for the courts to take action. Because of Sharia law, strictly practiced in the Islam faith in many muslim countries, Meryem, was sentenced to death because she holds on to her christian faith. According to CNN, US congress has asked the court to release Meryem, and let her practice her religion freely, because it is a human’s right.

Now although it is possible for countries like Saudi Arabia and Sudan to apply such law, Egypt in the other hands, will not sentence someone to death for religion, but will take measures if someone of the Muslim faith denies and changes his or her religion to Christianity, and in that case they could be punished according to Sharia Law. Another aspect in Egypt that is not common in Saudi Arabia and Sudan, is that a Muslim man can marry a Christian woman and the kids will take the fathers religion, but it is not accepted nor is it common for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian man.

Overall, women rights differ from each Muslim country to the other. There are countries with strict laws on women rights and there are some that are more lenient. The Arab world is very similar in the practice of faith and culture, but to a certain extinct, some Arab countries give women more rights than others.



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