Thursday, October 26, 2006

Australia: Rape is Women's Fault!

Believe it or not but in my last years of high school, I had a history teacher who sometimes volunteered to vomit his personal views on women and religion. He sometimes digressed from the class to express some personal opinions.

One of the comments that I cannot forget until today is that when he said one time that women are like sweets (particularly Basbosa) if left uncovered, flies will stop on her. Hence, he believes that women’s best place is their homes and wearing headscarves. The man believed himself to be popular and funny. I always felt that he has got too many complexes at so many levels. And by the way, I did not go to a public/government school where teachers’ qualifications might be compromised. I went to a private school, so in fact there was no excuse to end up with such a teacher.

So I was about to start my university studies with a lovely message from my history teacher that flies will have me as a stop if I do not cover my head and stay at home.

Today, I was reading the news on the internet, I found another smart Muslim cleric who is the laying the blame of rape on women and guess why because that’s what women deserves when they do not cover their head. That’s because a woman can rape herself!

But the news is not coming from Cairo where I grew up and lived. It is coming from Sydney, Australia.

My history teacher was the messenger. In Australia, the message came from the original sources, one of the Muslim clerics who is still living apparently in the dark Middle Ages. No body informed him that in the western world women are treated with respect and dignity.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard called the remarks "appalling and reprehensible." I think this is the least he can say. If I fail to understand this dark mentality that forces women to dress in a certain code and lay the blame on her for every crime including an abhorrent crime like rape, how can the westerners who hire women as heads of state understand?

Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward said Hilali's comment was an incitement to rape saying “This is inciting young men to a violent crime because it is the woman's fault." This is a very polite way to put it. However, he should have continued the consequences of making women as the sole responsible for rape. Some pigs will come to claim that they have the right to punish women for their faults by making innocent men slip into raping women.

The only way I see for curbing this world phenomenon of spreading dark ideas is strong legislation that punishes those who insist to live in the dark middle ages. Arguing seems to me so futile. We are living in the 21 century and life is too short.

It is getting more pathetic by the second!

WAPO Promotes Taliban Women!

I did not know about this scary article until I received it from some Egyptian veiled women who are cheering the success of a wonderful article. It took me few seconds to realize the source. Guess what it is the Washington Post.

I have all the respect for the freedom of speech and expression. There is no doubt that everyone is entitled to express what he/she believes in. But at times when matters are taken to the extreme, I believe there must be sometime given to consider which values are promoted.

The article “How I came to love the veil”, published on Oct. 22, starts with this statement “I used to look at veiled women as quiet, oppressed creatures -- until I was captured by the Taliban.”

I have no problem of women burying themselves in the sand as long as they believe that’s what they want from life. However, those who believe that burying themselves in the sand believe also that they the ultimate righteousness and truth on earth and any other choices in life are punishable by words, stoning, killing or a suicide bombing in a subway or a bus.

When freedom of expression means taking the side of polygamy, stoning women for adultery, death sentences for minors, disinheriting women, denial to the right of divorce, discriminating against women, then I think some little time should be given to consider what is being published.

Exercising freedom of speech should not be that at the expense of really oppressed women who trying to gain any right in a tough battle. Instead of finding support, they find a confirmation that what they live and have is the right thing.

I want to say that this woman is completely out of touch with reality. She did not hear about honor killings where men go completely unpunished because he believes he defended his masculinity and the honor of his family. And the woman he kills becomes so cheap in front of the society and courts. She claims in her article “Violent men don't come from any particular religious or cultural category; one in three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime, according to the hotline survey.” It is true that violence exist in every society and religion. There is no doubt, but it is punishable. This woman lives in the U.K where every assault against women is punishable, however there are so many other muslim societies where women are struggling with courage to win so many rights that are taken for granted in many parts of the world.

I will exercise my right of expression and say as a Muslim that the Washington Post’s choice of this article is repulsive. And I admit that I failed to understand the purpose of publishing such a backward article. I do not know what values the WAPO is trying promote here? Who are they are serving? The Taliban Women! …

Monday, October 16, 2006

Why Saudi Women Should Drop the Right to Owing a Driver’s License

I have recently heard a discussion about Saudi women’s rights. One of the issues that was discussed is the battle over women’s right to get a driver’s license and another debate whether Saudi woman should be allowed to work in a mall or not.

I believe both debates are not in place. For me it sounds weird that Saudi women are trying to get a driver’s license without fighting to be recognized as equal citizens. Owning a driver’s license is a result not a right. There are so many women around the world who have no cars or driver’s license though they have the right to but they can go every day to work and they can compete with men. If western women can afford a car or two, they own it because it is freedom and it is a means to run errands and go to work.

It is not the issue of driving per se. It is the issue of finding the way to insert somewhere this simple statement “Saudi citizens are equal in rights and responsibilities”. I have to admit I am ignorant about Saudi legislation, but there must be a way to insert this statement somewhere in their Islamic legislation or jurisprudence to be the launch pad for countless rights, one of them will be the driver’s license.

It is meaningless to keep asking for the breadcrumbs and agree to be part of the breadcrumb argument. The breadcrumb or the driver’s license will be probably thrown upon the heads of Saudi women for show at certain point in time but not for real intention to make them equal citizens. Driver's license or working in a mall is not the core battle for true citizenship.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Akef's Muslim Brotherhood tells Straw to "Mind his Own Business"

Islam's Spokesperson Mahdy Akef of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is telling British leader of the House of the Commons and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to "mind his own business".

It is so funny that the MB in Egypt are not politically ambitious at the domestic front, but they appointed themselves to be the official mouthpiece for Islam.

It is needless to say that this is Straw's buisness. If Akef is not accepting women in Bikini, I believe Straw has the right not to accept women covering their faces.

MB were the ones who asked the Vatican for official apology.

MB were the ones who asked for boycotting Danish products and for official apology from the government on something was done by an independent newspaper.(Danish Cartoons)