…Islam sets us apart from the rest of the world, the world of non-Muslims. We Muslims are chosen by God. They, the others, the kaffirs, the unbelievers, are antisocial, impure, barbaric, not circumcised, immoral, unscrupulous, and above all, obscene; they have no respect for women; their girls and women are whores; many of the men are homosexual; men and women have sex without being married. The unfaithful are cursed, and God will punish them most atrociously in the hereafter.
What happened to be a quick ten-minute browse through Exclusives the other evening, has landed me with a book that has caused my view on a top global issue to turn 180 and now be seen in a whole new light. And that was just after the preface.
By the end of the first chapter, I was worried that either an Allah-sent lightening bolt was going to strike me down or some fundamentalist Muslim would jump through my window ready to detonate. That is how intense this female author’s words are against the religion and way of living into which she was born.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage and fled to the Netherlands. She is there now, a member of their Parliament, and wow, but is she speaking out. She is under 24-hour guard because of her criticisms towards her religion of birth – Islam.
A man, Theo Van Gogh, who was helping her make a film about women and Islam…obviously not exactly in an endearing light….was murdered because of their project. He was speaking out in a country that allows for free speech, for reflection, and criticism of the powers-that-be. Against a religion that sees itself to surmount national borders.
Hirsi Ali’s book, The Caged Virgin, speaks out against a religion that refuses to look at itself critically. But it tries to exist within a global setting that promotes independent thought, critical evaluation, and equal gender rights.
As bloggers, we are aware of those people in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe who are in danger simply for posting their ideas and/ or experiences on the internet. Imagine if with this simple post I pissed off the wrong guy or group, and then what… I used my rights to speak up. Someone of a different cultural opinion took offence.
Who is allowed to dominate, take charge and guide the results of the situation?
Of course there is not right or wrong when it comes to cultures, that is why Western countries and cultures speak of “multiculturalism” when we hear stories of female circumcision (or mutiliation?) and female subservience (or is that oppression?).
Hirsi Ali criticises us for this too. She speaks out against those of us who say, “Each to their own” – but would never live that “Other” way of life ourselves. The multiculturalists, in fact, see the “Other” as the victim, and themselves still as the superior, who now is the protector. But the protector of what??
“Through their anxious avoidance of criticising non-Western countries, they trap the people who represent these cultures in a state of backwardness”.
When I lived in France I became incensed with the way the Maghreb men treated us “Western” women. Me being the not-so-quiet chick I am, I…uhhh…. “spoke” up. I ended up in more than one screaming match with some of these lecherous men. Once it was to the point that he was kicked out of the café and I was made to sit inside until we were sure it was safe for me to go.
I am not a whore. And I refuse to be treated as such or looked upon in this light. At the same time these men did not come over to France for a “cultural experience”. They came over to make money and to live a better way of life.
So who dominates in this situation? Who is allowed to have the outcome be to their liking? There is no right or wrong when it comes to culture remember.
“In principle, all Dutch Muslims have the same human rights, but owing to outdated religious opinions, they are scarcely capable of implementing these rights. It is mostly women who are affected…”
In the same way that in SA people who criticise the crime situation are told to leave, must those Muslim men and women around the world who detest or wish to review the “outdated religious opinions” be forced entirely out of Islam?
I can’t wait for Chapter Two.
[All of this was written on minimal sleep, through a head & eyes of at least 2 bottles of Jolly wine, some shots, some gin, some pub fighting & laughing. My body and I are at war. I am trying to beat it into submission. It is not surrendering easily.]