Segregation: A cause of decadence or a cure?


Segregation: A cause of decadence or a cure?

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi

My interview with Sabaq E-Newspaper didn’t go well with most of its conservative readers.

The paper asked me about my stand that the best teacher for early education years of children is a female. I told them what I wrote here, that we misunderstood gender mixing, and all we need is to follow the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions’ example.

Women, then, had much more freedom to express their views and use talents for the betterment of their lives, families and society.

They were not grounded to their homes, separated from their environment and segregated from men the way many wished them to be, nowadays.

How come we do not allow them to drive and exercise, for instance, if they were allowed to ride camels and horses, do sports and even train to fight in the “Alsalaf Alsaleh” (our good ancestors) times?

Why can’t they teach little boys or participate in intellectual discussions with men, if they did so more than 1400 years before?

Are we progressing or going backward? Do we think we could be more Islamist and conservative than our Prophet (peace be upon him)?

The readers’ comments came in within hours — a thunder of anger and disapproval. Some 300 posts, before the comments section was closed at midnight, were telling me why I was so wrong.

They argued: We are not living in the golden era of “Alsalaf Alsaleh.” The holy people are not around any more. We live in a dangerous, degraded, unholy age.

Women are not safe, now, as men have lost their fear of Allah and Islamic morality. Even boys, under 10, are sexually aware, aggressive and dangerous. We can’t trust them to mix with girls. For all the above reasons, we need to segregate even more.

Those who call for women empowerment are definitely “liberal begs” who have no decency, morality or Islamic values. They strive to corrupt our society and lead us down the path of Western decadence.

What these people don’t understand is that our male attitude towards women is the result of full segregation. Males are not allowed to see the other sex since early age, let alone mix with them, or have any sort of dialogue. For them, women are a sensational mystery.

Whenever they have the chance to contact each other, both sides are not prepared. The sexual tension and gross misunderstanding rule their thinking and attitude. So more separation would only increase that tension and ignorance.

Here’s a result of our extreme segregation: Amna Bawazeer is a student of Nora University. She had a heart attack last week. The university security refused Red Crescent help for fear of gender mixing. An hour later she died!

Now to your thoughts and comments, dear readers:


“If women maintain their Islamic values, they will be respected by others, and won’t be subjected to any harassments. Men are not Ghouls and women are not lambs. It all depends on the laws of attractions!” T. Tawfiq


“I don t understand why gender mixing is constantly discussed. You may sit with our Permanent Committee of Muslim Scholars and ask them about it, instead of writing in English newspapers which are not read by the vast majority of Saudis.” Saad


“If a woman needs surgery, is a doctor not allowed to touch her body? The teacher-student relation in universities is the same as in government departments. A woman has the right to see men and discuss her issues in a respectful and professional manner.” Rehan

Negative mentality!

“Some feel that female students’ modesty is somehow tarnished when they mix with male instructors. They are mostly the old generation who practices and interprets religion according to their deeply embedded negative mentality.” Manong


“I know a professor who taught maths to girls via one-way Closed Circuit TV, where they see him but he can’t see them. Once, he finished an hour-lecture only to find out that there were no students in the classroom!” Faiz Al-Najdi


“A female is considered as no less than a male in Islam. However, religion has always been exploited for personal and political gains. I strongly believe that actions are judged by intentions. Why not make our hearts and thoughts pure so that we start treating each other in a more decent way.” Maria Khan


“Sister Maria, there is no exploitation here. Men do not gain by segregation. Women are still given the rights and respect they deserve. It is just that there is a natural attraction between men and women.” Saad


“What would happen here, if gender mixing was allowed with no control? Couples and groups of mixed genders and nationalities would be out and about in the open, everywhere.” Avid1111

— Dr. Khaled M Batarfi can be reached at and followed on Twitter: @kbatarfi