Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ex-Muslimah- Oppression Of Muslim Women Exists

"Marwa" is a "mostly-liberal" Arab, Middle-Eastern, ex-Muslimah, atheist blogger living in the U.S., and she's written an interesting response to an article she read on PolicyMic by Lauren Rankin. Rankin is a white, liberal feminist Western woman, who was being very critical of a series of tweets by Joyce Carol Oates equating the rape and sexual harassment of women in Egypt with religion.  Ms. Oates wrote:

Where 99.3% of women report having been sexually harassed & rape is epidemic--Egypt--natural to inquire: what's the predominant religion?
1:50 PM - 5 Jul 2013
Rankin launches into the typical accusations of Islamophobia, which she stupidly believes is a form of racism, claiming that it's patriarchy not religion that contributes to the oppression of Muslim women.  Marwa  begs to differ.

I love my feminist allies and friends, but sometimes white Western feminists get things all backwards when they try to speak about the experiences of foreign women of color. Especially if they’re talking about people they’ve never met, places they’ve never lived, religious and legal and patriarchal systems they are unacquainted with, and make broad, sweeping generalizations about those systems. This is such an example. I understand that it might be driven by a reflection of the voices of Muslim women who freely choose and cleave to their religion and rail out against accusations that they are being oppressed–what I do not understand is how the experiences and insights of free women with agency and self-determination can speak to the experiences of their sisters who do not have such freedom–the woman who is free to practice Islam or not, to wear hijab or not–this woman does not speak for me or my ex-Muslim and Muslim friends who suffer under Islamic systems any more than a Western woman does.

To be clear, I applaud the instinct to try to reduce anti-Muslim hate and bigotry. It is the approach here that I think is utterly misguided and frankly dangerous. Rankin is attempting to object to Islam being characterized in a monolithic manner…by characterizing it in a monolithic manner, as something that never contributes to or causes misogyny, rape, and oppression of women in Muslim-majority countries. And while I myself am a champion of trying to oppose anti-Muslim bigotry, I believe the strongest and most compassionate way of doing this is by resisting the characterization of Islam as a monolith. What has happened here is that Rankin has engaged in what I say is a dangerous refusal to examine the very real influences and intermingling of religion and patriarchy in violence and oppression against women and children in Muslim-majority countries.

The rest here on her blog Between a Veil and a Dark Place. It's an interesting read, not what some oppressed Muslim women and liberal idiots like Rankin would have you believe.

Marwa also wrote a great article about freedom and living in fear.


Caleb Powell said...

What Rankin said, and many like her, is so counter to "liberal" values. Rankin and ilk believe only Western ethnic groups deserve equal rights for women, recognition of homosexuals, and religious freedom, but she silences any legitimate criticism of Islam. She thinks those who suffer under fundamental religious governments are inferior and do not deserve what we in the West take for granted.

Incognito said...

Counter to liberal values, yes, but they consider themselves liberals. It def. is odd that they would champion the rights of a religious group that has no respect for the rights of those of other religious faiths or women, and that calls for the death of homosexuals. Go figure.