Ms .45's mp3/bureaucratic/gaming blog.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Muslim feminists and Hirsi Ali

Good little article in the Age today about the tragedy of high profile ex-Muslim feminist campaigners vs low profile Muslim feminist campaigners:

A hatred of Islam will not aid reform, Hanifa Deen

Unfortunately, Hirsi Ali's continual trashing of Islam alienates many Australian Muslim women activists who also see themselves as agents of change but who are not prepared to turn their backs on what gives meaning to their lives. They will not join in what they see as "Muslim bashing". The bitterness they hear in Hirsi Ali's voice overwhelms them and they observe how her unrelenting message — that Islam is brutal and uncompassionate — is avidly received. In the end, they circle their wagons in defence of Islam, their capacity to be self-critical lessens and they are diverted from the main game of questioning misogynistic traditions. The Muslim women I know don't want to be pitied — they want to be understood — yet unintentionally Hirsi Ali's denunciations have the effect of silencing them.
There are plenty of Muslim liberal activists we (ie Westerners) could be supporting. Here's a short list to be going on with.

Liberal Islam Network, Indonesia
Fatima Mernissi
Muslim WakeUp!
Aswat & Helem (gay rights)
Saudi Arabia Greens Party (illegal in KSA)

Interview with Hanifa Deen about Muslims in Australia

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