Concepts, General Concepts, Side Feature

Liberal Societies Remain Confused About the Rights of Women, Homosexuals and the Unborn Foetus

On 25th of May, Ireland voted in a referendum to overturn a constitutional ban on aborting the unborn fetus. The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, celebrated the result saying that the Irish public “trust and respect women to make their own decision and choices.” The anti-abortion campaign spokesman declared that “the unborn child no longer has a right to life recognised by the Irish state.”

Abortion is a topic that divides many Western societies, as they struggle with its legality, based upon their differing views over whether the unborn child has the same right to life as the mother. The subject is so divisive because their respective views are based on no more than emotional arguments, with no way to arbitrate between them. This is the ultimate problem within all secular societies, who can think of nothing better than voting on mundane and the contentious issues, effectively given the decision to whoever is the most powerful group at the time, which inevitably will be the group with the most vested interest and the deepest pockets.

The Irish prime minister commented “No more to doctors telling their patients there’s nothing can be done for them in their own country, no more lonely journeys across the Irish Sea, no more stigma as the veil of secrecy is lifted and no more isolation as the burden of shame is gone.” Abortion has been legal in Britain since 1967 so Irish women wanting an abortion would often visit Britain for that purpose. (BBC, 26 May)


Ireland has long been a very divided country, with a majority conservative catholic population, alongside a growing more liberal and increasingly powerful non-Catholic community. Just three years ago, however, Ireland followed the trend of Western countries legalising same-sex marriages in another national referendum.

These changes that are happening in the Irish society, as well as in most other Western secular societies, are an extension of the feminist movement and what they called the problem of women’s rights. At its core, the feminist and the more recent LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered) movements are driven by atheistic tendencies and a dislike for organised religion. Western societies have effectively been hijacked by the feminist movement, just as they are currently being held to ransom by the growing LGBT movement.

In the West, any pressure group with enough backing and an apparent grievance can easily manipulate the society for their own gains. As the past unjust treatment of women in the West had no rational justification, feminists were able to appeal to the emotions of the people, arguing that they deserved the same freedom as men. LGBT activists today argue that they should be given the same freedom as others too. The fallacy of these arguments could not be exposed by the rest of Western society, as the people had already taken freedom as a criteria for right and wrong and said that everyone should be free. This is a false belief and a false criteria as man is not actually free, nor should he aspire to be. Therefore, framing the problem as a problem of freedom is actually wrong.

In origin, there is no problem called “Women’s or LGBT rights”, rather, there are human beings with needs and instincts which gives rise to problems that need solving. One of those problems is the sexual desire, which needs regulating, lest it causes havoc and misery in the individual and society. The Western solution of giving free reign to these desires has not elevated humanity, nor created happiness, rather, it has created great misery for most people, as well as plunging humanity into the dark depths of misguidance.

Islam addresses the problem of humans as humans with needs and instincts that need regulation. This is a rationally correct view, while the Western view is built on nothing more than a historical European compromise, not a thought that convinces the mind.

The Western liberal ideology looks at the issue of homosexuality from an individual’s rights perspective, as the whole society is considered to be a collection of individuals, each with rights that need securing. There is a fundamental tension between the rights of the individual and the rights of other individuals. The liberal solution is to favour the individual’s rights, so long as he is not harming or encroaching on other’s individual rights. This is a flawed solution as its premise is flawed. Society is not in reality a collection of individuals, as those individuals have relationships and a system to organise their affairs as well. The Islamic view on individual rights does not ignore the reality as liberalism does, but it rather organised the rights of the individual and the rights of the society according to a precise system. Therefore, the liberal binary criteria of “not harming others” is inadequate for Muslims, as it does not consider the harm that is actually being done to the whole society.

Adopting this view of life which is based on benefit and freedom and includes personal freedom has resulted in a sexual frenzy. People have become loose to the point that societies in the West have become like herds of animals. Fornication, adultery, sexual relationships outside wedlock and homosexuality have become common.

As a result, the spiritual, moral, and humanitarian values have been lost in Western societies. The family unit has been destroyed, chastity has been killed, and honour no longer exists. The large number of births from fornication, adultery, and sexual relationships outside of marriage led to the legalisation of abortion in many Western countries.

In Western societies, it is the mother who has to look after the children born as a result of fornication, adultery, and relationships outside marriage; hence, it became an important issue for the feminist movement who advocate women’s rights. It is not surprising that on the same day when Ireland is celebrating its referendum result, one can hear women on the radio also celebrating it, complaining of the burden of raising children and calling it “a life sentence.” It is also a day when thousands of people attended a celebration and procession in the streets of Birmingham called “Gay Pride,” which is another well-orchestrated stunt of the LGBT movement, to draw attention to their “plight.”

In the Islamic world, abortion is not widespread because fornication, adultery, and relationships outside marriage are not common. When abortion is used, it is mostly used to save the life of the mother.

Islam gave a clear criteria and resolution to the West’s endless debate over the legality of abortion, just as it did on homosexual relationships and other sexual relationships outside of the legitimate marriage. It is allowed to abort the foetus in the early stages of formation before the Ruh (spirit) is given to the foetus, which is generally considered to enter the foetus at forty or forty two days. After this all Muslim jurists agree that it is forbidden except when competent doctors decide that if the foetus remains in the woman’s womb, it will lead to the death of the mother and the foetus, then in this case it is allowed to abort the foetus, and save the life of the mother. Saving lives is something that Islam calls for, so this aborting is considered as a treatment, and the Messenger of Allah commanded people to seek treatment and cure.

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا۟ ٱلنَّفْسَ ٱلَّتِى حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بِٱلْحَقِّ

“And kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause.” [Al-Isra’: 33]

وَإِذَا ٱلْمَوْءُۥدَةُ سُئِلَتْ بِأَىِّ ذَنۢبٍ قُتِلَتْ

“And when the female (infant) buried alive shall be questioned. For what crime was she killed” [At-Takwir:8-9]


Yahya Nisbet

Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain