Sunday, October 23, 2005

Imagine You Are A Muslim Woman....

A remarkable piece by a Saudi woman academic, Badriyya Al-Bishr:

"Imagine you're a woman, and you are subject to assault, beatings, or murder. When the press publishes your photo [together with] the photo of the criminals and [descriptions] of their brutality, there are people who ask: 'Was the victim covered [by a veil] or not?' If she was covered up, [the question arises:] 'Who let her go out of the house at such an hour?' In the event that your husband is the one who broke your ribs, [people will say] that no doubt there was good reason for it.

"Imagine you're a woman whose husband breaks her nose, arm, or leg, and you go to the Qadi to lodge a complaint. When the Qadi asks you about your complaint, and you say, 'He beat me,' he responds reproachfully 'That's all?!' In other words, [for the Qadi], beating is a technical situation that exists among all couples and lovers, [as the saying goes]: 'Beating the beloved is like eating raisins.'

"Imagine you're a woman, and in order to manage your affairs you must ride in a 'limousine' with an Indian or Sri Lankan driver... or that you [must] wait for a younger brother to take you to work, or that you [must] bring a man who will learn to drive in your car, and will practice at your expense... because you yourself are not permitted to drive.

"Imagine you're a woman in the 21st century, and you see fatwas [issued] by some contemporary experts in Islamic law dealing with the rules regarding taking the women of the enemy prisoner and having sexual intercourse with them. Moreover, you find someone issuing a fatwa about the rules of taking the women of the enemy prisoner even in times of peace, and you don't know to which enemy women it refers.

"Imagine you're a woman who writes in a newspaper, and every time you write about your [women's] concerns, problems, poverty, unemployment, and legal status, they say about you: 'Never mind her, it's all women's talk.'"

Now, I have a scenario that I would like the ladies of the Left to consider.

Try to imagine that you are a Muslim woman almost anywhere in the world. Then remember that you were born in this country, where even Muslim women are equal under the Law; and the only things that keep them from pursuing their own individual ambitions and dreams are the cultural and religious prohibitions of Islam. Which, by the way, strongly and violently disapproves of anyone choosing to opt out of their belief system.

Of course, this is perfectly consistent with the tenets of multiculturalism, a late 20th century doctrine that praises the differences among various cultures and maintains that one culture is not better than any other. In fact, it positively extols the virtues of even those cultures where women are treated worse than dogs. As the gurus point out, who are we to judge?

Now, imagine that you are a truly progressive and liberated woman of the modern-day feminist movement; earnestly marching against the evil empire of America in support of ANSWER or UPJ or Code Pink etc.etc.; proclaiming the beauty of multiculturalism and denouncing American culture (by strange coincidence, the only culture that is assumed to be inferior and not considered "equal" by the multicultural gurus).

In fact, your behavior is aggressively enabling the very tyrannical regimes that humiliate and oppress women llke the courageous author of the above article; while trashing the culture that offers her and others like her freedom and opportunity she has never known.

But that's one of the more ironic aspects of freedom, isn't it? You are free to make bad choices and behave stupidly.

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