on the other hand, it must be made clear that islam does not give woman the absolute freedom according to which western woman lives today. it does not give the man that freedom as well. if the western man fives woman this absolute freedom because he feels guilty of its dark history during which he deprived her of the simplest rights, enslaved her, possessed her property and abused her, islam does not find itself today in such a situation. it does not find itself obliged to give absolute freedom in compensation for an abuse that never took place. since its appearance islam granted woman her full rights at a time when western woman dare not even to dream of that. today, islam gives woman the same rights granted to her when it appears: no more and no less. according to the islamic vision, everything has limits and restrictions that govern and regulate human life so as not to succumb to the animal level where barbarism and instinct prevail. finally, it must be noted that the muslim woman is completely happy with the status granted by islam despite the attempt of some to promote the opposite. the evidence that arab and muslim women enjoy their full rights and a decent and happy life contrary to what the americans and westerners are used to hearing came from saudi arabiaitself that western media always presents as a bad example of a violation of women's rights.
on september 28, 2005 the new york times  and international herald tribune  published an article by steven r. weisman, who accompanied by karen hughes, the new head of the public diplomacy of the bush administration, during her middle east tour to try to change the u.s. image in the eyes of the islamic countries and listen to criticism of u.s. policies. "the audience - 500 women covered in black at a saudi university - seemed an ideal place for karen p. hughes, a senior bush administration official charged with spreading the american message in the muslim world, to make her pitch. but the response on tuesday was not what she and her aides expected. when ms. hughes expressed the hope here that saudi women would be able to drive and "fully participate in society" much as they do in her country, many challenged her. "the general image of the arab woman is that she isn't happy," one audience member said. "well, we're all pretty happy." the room, full of students, faculty members and some professionals, resounded with applause.
"many in this region say they resent the american assumption that, given the chance, everyone would live like americans.
"the group of women on tuesday, picked by the university, represented the privileged elite of this red seacoastal city, known as one of the more liberal areas in the country. and while they were certainly friendly toward ms. hughes, half a dozen who spoke up took issue with what she said.
"several women said later that americans failed to understand that their traditional society was embraced by men and women alike.
"there is more male chauvinism in my profession in europeand americathan in my country," said dr. siddiqa kamal, an obstetrician and gynecologist who runs her own hospital.
"i don't want to drive a car," she said. "i worked hard for my medical degree. why do i need a driver's license?"
"women have more than equal rights," added her daughter, dr. fouzia pasha, also an obstetrician and gynecologist, asserting that men have obligations accompanying their rights, and that women can go to court to hold them accountable.
"ms. hughes appeared to have left a favorable impression. "she's open to people's opinions," said nour al-sabbagh, a 21-year-old student in special education. "she's trying to understand."
"like some of her friends, ms. sabbagh said westerners failed to appreciate the advantages of wearing the traditional black head-to-foot covering known as an abaya.
"i love my abaya," she explained. "it's convenient and it can be very fashionable.""
many arabic websites talked about this 21-year old woman. this surprise that faced karen hughes that saudi woman is happy to wear the aba and does not care about driving or voting clearly indicates that the western world does not understand the reality of muslim woman and how she feels. it does not want to understand that she is happy with her life and satisfied with her religion. therefore, "helping" her to live according to the western lifestyle is in vain because she rejects this pattern of life in principle and abides by the islamic way of life. if the muslim woman is satisfied and happy with her status and way of life, why do some want to impose a different pattern on her if she rejects this altogether? if they really want to help the muslim woman, they should first consult her and know what she needs instead of imposing their slanted agenda on her. they should also stop portraying her as if she were living under the tyrant of man who deprives her of all her rights because this is groundless.
 new york times, 28 september 2005, by steven r. weisman. under the title:"saudi women have message for u.s. envoy"
 herald tribune, 28 september 2005, by steven r. weisman. under the title:"saudi women depart from the script"
 alarabiya tv channel web site, 29 september 2005and islamtoday website, 29 september 2005
* "women in islam versus women in the judaeo-christian tradition, the myth and the reality". by: sherif abdel azim, ph.d.- queensuniversity, kingston, ontario, canada.
نشرت هذا الكتاب الندوة العالمية للشباب الإسلاميسنة 1995، و يمكن الاطلاع على نسخته الالكترونية على الانترنت على الموقع التالي: http://www.islamworld.net/compwomen.html.