Islamic brides at mass wedding

The other day I stumbled on this article about Islamic regulations protecting a foetus, trumpeted as evidence that Islam respects human rights. In fact, many of these “rights” don’t protect an actual foetus so much as a potential foetus, as many of these “foetus rights” are actually about how to choose a wife rather than how to treat a foetus. Some are about how to treat the child once born. A few are actually about the foetus, whose interests sometimes (!) coincide with those of the pregnant woman – but not, apparently, very often.

Here are a few examples. Read on.

1- The right of having known and contracted lineage:

This “right” of the foetus – the first one mentioned so clearly the most fundamental! – is effectively the right to know who its father is, and the right for its parents to be legally married. This apparently is the justification for marriage restricting women (but not men) to one sexual partner and limiting her options for re-marriage should her husband reject her or leave her widowed. Quite how such arrangements are necessary for the foetus isn’t spelled out (although the benefit for men is of course clear) and quite how the “lovechildren” of other communities suffer as a result of their parents’ “unregulated behaviour” is a mystery.

2- the right to have a healthy and chaste womb environment

The “healthy” part I almost buy – albeit primarily as a right of the mother to be healthy – but “chaste”? This section of the article treats us to an explanation of Islam’s criminalisation of sex offences – for the reason of keeping the “soil” of a woman’s uterus “healthy and chaste rather than exhausted or injured” – because, as we all know, “When diseases occur due to sex offences the first organ to be affected is the womb of the woman”. So sex crime is a foetus rights issues. Not a women’s rights issue. No sir. And that it is why it is acceptable to prevent sex crime by “forbidding Muslim women from interacting with strange men” – because it is the secure, chaste womb that is being protected, not the woman.

3- The right to have a strong genetic origin

This is why you shouldn’t marry any disabled woman. Nuff said.

8- The right to maintain fetus life

The jackpot! The foetus has a right to live!

Abortion is prohibited as only God has the right to take life away from the foetus. The foetus is a living organism even when it is still a sperm (and eggs? what of eggs?) so DO NOT KILL IT. Oh, except in “few established situations” determined by the Authorities. Eh?

9- The right to enjoy health life within womb

The right to health in the woman is a right for the mother to be looked after by her husband. Again, remember, this is not HER right, it is a FOETUS right.

Once the wife is pregnant then after she is divorced the husband is “entitled”* to pay all her expenses – at least until she gives birth. Oh, and Islam also protects the foetus by preventing women from working outdoors unless they absolutely have to. Again, confining women to their homes for their own protection is absolutely NOT about protecting the pregnant mother. It is about the foetus.

[* Possibly a translation error, but wouldn’t “obliged” be more the ticket in this context?]

10- Maintaining fetus good and benefit

Pregnant or suckling mothers need not fast at Ramadan. Again, please be sure to remember that this is not for their benefit, but for the Unborn Child.

11- Temporary hold of penalties for the pregnant

You don’t get stoned to death until after you’ve had the baby. Way to protect a newborn child – remove and physically punish, perhaps even to death, its mother. And, wait, there’s more. It’s all good news for the foetus, as we learn that in Islamic law the foetus is NOT GUILTY merely because it is born of a guilty mother. Fancy.

Repeat the chorus with me.
Foetus rights, foetus rights, foetus rights.
The foetus is a human being and has foetus rights.
The woman is a human being and – um –
Foetus rights, foetus rights, foetus rights.


DISCLAIMER – At least one person seems to have decided this is an anti-Islamic hate-site. (As well as an anti-male hate-site, would you believe.) It is not. In this post I am not knocking the True and Wonderful Islam of Peace, because I don’t know enough about it actually. I am knocking this particular misogynist interpretation of Islamic religious dictates which leads to (and celebrates) the conclusion that foetus rights trump women’s rights. OK?