It’s rather easy to debunk these dawa hucksters if you have the ready made answers, thanks to Hugh at Jihad Watch.
Hugh Fitzgerald: “I’m a Muslim — Ask Me Anything,” Answers 24-29
Recently I offered 38 questions to ask those carrying signs proclaiming, “I’m A Muslim — Ask Me Anything.” Here are answers to questions twenty-four through twenty-nine.
24. This question goes to the matter of how women are treated in Islam. A Muslim man need only repeat “talaq, talaq, talaq” to divorce — according to the Sharia — one of his wives. If the Muslim Interlocutor (M.I.) claims that this is false, you should respond that Muhammad himself divorced a wife in this manner, as is reported in a hadith of Muslim (9:3493). You can also google “triple-talaq” to find contemporary rulings upholding the practice, and examples of it being used, not 1400 years ago, but today. Divorce for women is far more difficult. They can apply to a Muslim judge (qadi) for a divorce, but they must have a “good reason” for it (mere claims of incompatibility will not do). In one of the “canonical” collections of hadith, Sunan Abu Dawood, Muhammad says: “Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce when it is not absolutely necessary, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her.” Clearly the bar for wives seeking divorce is set much higher than that for triple-talaqing husbands.
25. This question again goes to the misogyny in Islam and the status of women. M.I. is likely to claim that Islam improved the lot of Arab women, compared to what they had to endure in pagan times. This is partly true. Islam did away with the practice of (female) infanticide that the pagan Arabs practiced. Another claim M.I. may make is that among the advances for women under Islam was the right to conduct business by themselves, citing Muhammad’s wife Khadija. But this claim is deceptive: Khadija was a successful businesswoman before she became a Muslim, or met Muhammad, so apparently this right for women to conduct business did not require the advent of Islam. M.I. will claim that the Qur’an provided women with explicit rights to inheritance, to property, the obligation to testify in a court of law, and the right to divorce. To which you are ready to respond that women might now have a chance to testify in court, but their testimony in Islam is worth only half that of a man. Quran 2:282: “And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not found then a man and two women.”