Tears and fears made love and glory.

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I saw a poem today at islamgreatreligion that glorifys the condition of the traditional Muslimah.  As the rabid pro-female person that I am I had to do my own version of what it means to be Muslimah.

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The Slavery of a Muslimah Soul

Is Reflected Through Her Eyes

Eyes flowing with Tears unshed,
Growing resignation dimming the passion of her eyes.
Her “beauty” reduced to acts of servitude that degrade,
Overflowing with the need to comfort
The ones that deny her humanity.
She is like a blazing fire
Smothered beneath an ocean of inhumanity.
Her trust is to another’s strength,
Her slavery made glamorous;
Her ownership is preserved.
Taught to Fear Allah
She lives her life, each day; a rape of her soul.
Self worth for her comes from outside,
Her beauty a reflection of her service
With patience and kindness toward
Those who will tolerate nothing less from her.
As she gives each drop of love that remains in her soul,
Look into her eyes and see the tears unshed,
She owes you less than she is owed
For her soul is stronger than yours;
Her true beauty will only be seen
When her bondage ends, for the Love of Allah!

From the Moderate Muslim File: Kuwaiti women MPs refuse to wear hijab in parliament


Two female Kuwaiti MPs, Rola Dashti and Aseel Al-Awadhi, are defying the country’s powerful Islamist movement by refusing to wear the hijab, or headscarf, in parliament.
By Richard Spencer in Dubai

Published: 2:57PM BST 12 Oct 2009

(HH: You just know That is going to go over well. I wish them luck.)

The MPs, …, have angered their Islamist colleagues, who say they say they are flouting sharia, or Islamic law.

(HH: Somehow I think that these women are already aware of that fact. In fact that is the whole point of what they are doing as we shall see.)

One …is going further by demanding the scrapping of …regulations that says they have to observe sharia in parliament.

“You can’t force a woman going to the mall to wear a hijab and you can’t force a woman going to work to wear the hijab,” [said] MP, Rola Dashti…

Last week, the rector of al-Azhar University in Cairo, traditionally the principal seat of Sunni Islamic learning, banned women students from wearing the face veil in women-only classes and student dormitories, and was followed by other academic institutions there.

Students at Khalifa University in Sharjah, the most conservative of the seven city-states that make up the United Arab Emirates, have also reportedly been told to stop wearing the veil, known in Arabic as the niqab.

When electoral law was changed in 2005 to allow women in Kuwait to vote and stand for parliament, Islamists inserted a law-minute rider that “women as voters and MPs” would have to follow sharia. It did not specify precisely where or how.

Three Islamist MPs immediately protested when Dr Dashti and a second MP, Aseel Al-Awadhi, turned up at the Assembly without a hijab, the simple head-scarf that covers the hair and is compulsory for women in public in Saudi Arabia and Iran but optional across most Gulf nations.

One MP sought a ruling from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, whose “fatwa department” last week decreed that hijab was an obligation for Muslim women, without referring directly to the electoral law.

As a result Dr Rashti tabled an amendment on Sunday demanding that the sharia rider be dropped.

She said Kuwait’s constitution stipulated freedom of choice and equality between the sexes and did not incorporate sharia.

“There’s a group of people who know they cannot Islamise the constitution so they try to Islamise every issue when it comes up,” she said. “I’m going to examine anything that violates the constitution, taking it law by law.”

… A private citizen has filed a private suit against Dr Dashti and Professor al-Awadhi for not wearing the hijab, which is due to be heard before the country’s constitutional court later this month.

Read It All…

(HH: This stand could land these women in jail or get them or their families killed. Westerners do not realize just how big of a protest this is in the Muslim world.

Anyone who despairs of Islam ever reforming needs to scan the polls at Muslims Against Sharia and Saudi Controlled Al-Arabiya.

You will find the usual bedrock of anti-Semitism and sense of Muslim manifest Destiny that you might expect. But you will also find very strong minority currents of Western style Liberal thought. A great many people across the Muslim world would LOVE to be able to treat their religion the way most Western Christians do. As a personal comfort and guide that does not demand more than a normal, secular lifestyle can accommodate.

Their leaders are well aware of how slippery is the slope of reform. But these same leaders often find themselves backing this or that reform in order to protect their own power. This is known as shooting yourself in the foot.

With every reform established the hunger of the people for a normal life, free from religious or secular Big Brothers watching their every move, becomes greater and greater. Go ask the Soviet Duma how well Western Reforms go over in a totalitarian state but you might need a Ouija Board to make contact since that body is as dead as Stalin.

It is well not to forget though that even the most reform minded Middle Easterner often has other attitudes that they do even try to examine objectively. Such as the aforementioned anti-Israel/anti-Jew, Muslims are just awesome and Westerners are naive at best self-aggrandizement. But past history shows that once they allow for individual rights and secular law the end result will be the decay of the other superstitious and hateful traditions. It couldn’t hurt, as the Jewish lady said while spooning chicken soup into the dead man.)

From the eyes of a Muslimah; what a real patriarchy looks like


(HH here: It seems that it is not the leers and stares of Western men that Muslim women are hiding from in their veils. It is from MUSLIM men that they hide. This is a very interesting look through the eyes of a Muslim woman at the inequities of her society. Take note how she holds the West up as the sin qua non of RESPECTFUL behaviour toward women.)

by Hamida Ghafour

Hey, woman, wash my clothes!”

“How much do you cost?”

When I heard men shout these insults on two separate occasions as I walked down the street in Kabul and Abu Dhabi, respectively, I was stung.

Being stared or yelled at is just part of the experience of working and living in this region. But I never get used to it. Indeed women all over Asia and the Middle East are harassed constantly.

” The Abu Dhabi beach was quickly divided into two sections last year after women expressed their discomfort at gangs of laborers roaming about and leering. “Western women are targets, but so are our Arab, Indian, Nepali, Bangladeshi and Pakistani sisters. We are stared at, called names and sometimes assaulted by men. Which is why part of me cheered when al-Bawadi Mall in al-Ain announced earlier this week that laborers had been banned on weekday evenings and weekends following a litany of complaints about harassment.

The Emirates is the most female-friendly country in the Middle East. The Government’s efforts to encourage women to use public spaces is admirable. The Abu Dhabi beach was quickly divided into two sections last year after women expressed their discomfort at gangs of laborers roaming about and leering. Emirati men are courteous. They never stare.
By contrast, sexual harassment levels in Egypt are endemic. In the Punjab and Karachi, images of women on billboards are defaced or just banned.

(HH here: remember, in Egypt something like 70% of all adult women have been “circumcised”.)

When I lived in Kabul, cars with men at the wheel occasionally raced in my direction and swerved out of the way just before hitting me. A British-Asian friend of mine was once pushed into a ditch of raw sewage on her way home from a press conference in the Afghan capital. The Taliban used to say a woman’s place was in the home or the graveyard.

Across the region this message is given in many variations, but the gist is aggressive and clear: respectable women do not belong in the public sphere. And those who venture outside the home are objects of scorn or fascination. There is certainly an element of racism and snobbery in al-Bawadi Mall’s decision. The laborers are poor South Asians and Arabs. Although it may be offensive to westerners, in some Asian cultures staring is normal behavior. It is a popular pastime in India and Pakistan, where people stare at others to see what they are buying or wearing.

Many of the laborers in the Emirates have also had little exposure to the outside world because they are from small towns. When they move here, it is often their first contact with the rich and developed world. They have a natural curiosity about the way westerners live because they have snatched glimpses of it in films. European and North American expatriates have a lifestyle laborers can never hope to attain, and wandering around a mall on a hot Friday afternoon is an opportunity to experience that which embodies all the wealth, glamour and power of the West: the mobile phones, the high-definition televisions, men in clean, pressed suits, women in skimpy clothes.

I can’t blame them for that

(HH here: It is interesting how Middle Easterners often fail to see that the point of the West is not skimpy clothing but being free to wear what we want, skimpy or conservative without the intervention of controlling neighbors or thought police.)

” Men who have no shame at leering at women make clear distinctions between those who deserve respect and those who do not. “But the way many of them look at women is not the glance stolen by the man sitting across from you on the train in London, New York or Rome. In the West a stony look is enough to put an end to that. Instead it is a penetrating gaze that goes right to your core, combining lecherousness, intense curiosity or just hatred. It is sometimes accompanied by clicking noises meant to get a woman’s attention. It is humiliating.

(HH again: Note that it is not the gaze of the lecherous kafir that hurts and offends. It is the intense, over the top Muslim man who causes his sister pain.)

The images of the riches of the developed world beamed from satellite TV also send a second message: western women are easy. This is the fault of Hollywood films featuring bimbos and the proliferation of pornography on the internet. Yet western women are also fascinating because they are considered a third gender. They look like females but have the independence of men. Men who have no shame at leering at women make clear distinctions between those who deserve respect and those who do not.

(HH: Men who leer at women in this way are adept at blaming the women for their lack of control and politeness.)

This view reveals itself in small ways. When I wear long, loose tunics and trousers it is much easier to flag a taxi in Abu Dhabi. Drivers will invariably stop for women in abayas or, even better, the niqab, because they are perceived as modest and good. But the drivers sometimes breeze past a woman in a dress with spaghetti straps because they assume she has no self-respect.

(HH: I feel sure that is what the taxi drivers SAY, but knowing men as well as I do I would say that it has more to do with “good” being equal to “submissive and easy to dominate” and “she has no self respect” translating as “she had the nerve to not allow me to take advantage of her or disrespect her. Plus she looked me right in the eye!!!”.)

I have two wardrobes: one I wear in places like Egypt, Afghanistan and India; the other I reserve for parts of Dubai and Europe.

Many women wear a hijab to prevent unwanted attention but it doesn’t always work. In Egypt, harassment is part of daily life. In 2006, women in Cairo organized a demonstration with the slogan “the street is ours” to protest about the groping and taunting. In the 1990s, Moroccan women went on strike for the same reason.

Afghan women wear a burqa for safety: it is a barrier between them and the abuse. (HH: this means that unless a woman is in a burkha she is harassed and taunted and even offered violence until she “Chooses” to “embrace the freedom” of the mobile tent.) I sometimes wished I had one to slip over my head.
The concept of respect and the presence of a woman in public are linked. In most parts of South and West Asia and the Middle East, there are few opportunities for women to work outside the home, and education is partly to blame.

In Afghanistan, when I stopped at villages to talk to people, word would get out that a single woman was on the street and I soon found myself being followed by dozens of men pointing and whispering. They would often point at my pen: the image of a lone woman writing in an illiterate society was alluring.

If they are allowed an education, in many Muslim societies children are segregated from an early age. Girls are covered from head to toe and they are taught that any interaction between the sexes before marriage is forbidden. Marriages are arranged in their late teens and there are no opportunities for the sexes to mix.

As they grow older, boys fetishise the female body so even a glimpse of an ankle or a wrist is tantalizing. As adults, living in labor camps in the Emirates, they have no contact with wives back home, but there are plenty of Bollywood films for distraction with scenes of pouting girls in clinging wet saris dancing in the rain to heighten the excitement. By the time they encounter a blonde woman in jeans buying chicken at Carrefour … well, it all becomes too much.

In Kuwait, women have been trying to resist efforts at segregating men and women in schools to prevent this fetishisation. It would be easy to blame the lechery on the rise of political Islam, which emphasizes a traditional role for women and the need to protect women’s honor by limiting their mobility and access to the public sphere. But a colleague in Cairo once told me that she enjoyed going to Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations because the crowds of men always respectfully parted to allow her through. (HH: here we have the obligatory white wash of any responsibility belonging to Islam. I notice though that the author does not say how her friend dresses at these meetings. Can she walk through in jeans and a blouse? Or only in hajib or niqab?)

Most of the men here who leer at women know it is wrong. They are from cultures where they are taught to avert their eyes when they see a girl, out of respect for her father and brothers.

I recently moved house and hired a moving company, staffed by Indian and Bangladeshi workers. The foreman in charge was more interested in watching my movements than doing his own job. I finally snapped.

“Why don’t you get on with your work? What if someone stared at your sister like that?”

When it becomes too much I create a mental buffer zone to tune out the calls and stares. If that doesn’t work I try the shoe trick. When the offender shouts an insult, I stop, point at his shoes and laugh.

It subtly shifts the balance of power. And I won’t get arrested.

(HH: This woman has a game attitude but ultimately it is the attitude of a slave or prisoner. All the power is in hands other than hers and subtle ridicule is her only weapon.)

*Published by the UAE-based the NATIONAL on July 11.

The deadly face of Muslim extremism


Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan, National Post
Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The tragic death of a Mississauga, Ont., teenage girl — allegedly at the hands of her own traditionally minded Muslim father — has sent shock waves across the world. Canadians are justified in raising concerns as to whether this is a sign of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in their own backyard.

Aqsa Parvez, a sprightly 16-year-old, beloved of her friends and peers at Applewood Heights Secondary School, was only trying to be herself, was only wishing for a normal adolescence amid Canada’s rich cultural mosaic. Her father has now been charged with murder, and his son with obstruction, while a young life has been snuffed out — likely in the name of honour and Islam.

Radical Muslim men consider themselves ultimately responsible for the conduct of the womenfolk. This outlook is rooted in a medieval ethos that treats women as nonpersons, unable to decide for themselves what they should wear, where they must go and what they must accomplish in life. If their conduct is seen as contravening this austere religious outlook, they are invariably subjected to abuse.

The hijab in particular has become a thorny issue among Muslim families. It has been elevated as a sort of “sixth pillar of Islam” among militant sects. Young teenage girls are often lectured over the virtues of the hijab by their family members. Once they hit puberty, compliance is deemed a non-negotiable religious requirement.

Yet none of this is actually mandated by the Koran. The Koran, while speaking generally of modesty in dress and demeanour, falls short of specifying the details of that modesty. Scripture also makes allowances for non-compliance of religious edicts if the environment is not conducive to their observance.

The Koran exhorts compassion upon parents, caretakers and guardians of young girls. Yet some families instead exhibit a strict conformity to doctrine and dogma, which in turn leads to violence, bigotry and intolerance of alternative understandings of faith.

There is much discussion in Canadian society about the religious freedoms of those who choose to wear the hijab. We hear relatively little about the oppression of young girls who make the opposite choice. Seldom is their oppression from within their own community, or even their own family, cast as a human rights issue.

Consider, as an example, the Montreal mosque that recently posted on its Web site a warning to the effect that if young girls took off their hijab, they could end up getting raped and having “illegitimate children.” Other proffered risks included “Stresses, insecurity and suspicion in the minds of husbands” and “instigating young people to deviate towards the path of lust.”

As if the threat of rape and the fear of illegitimate children were not enough, these pre-teen girls were told that if they took off their hijab, they would cease to be Muslims:By removing your hijab, you have destroyed your faith. Islam means submission to Allah in all our actions.” Little wonder then, that Canadian girls walk away from sports tournaments rather than remove their hijabs.

Muslims need to stand up to this sort of emotional and religious blackmail by imams who spread the competing agendas of Saudi Arabia and Iran into Canada. Young Aqsa Pervez’s death cannot be reversed. But in her memory, we can at least challenge those whose message leads to rage and madness.

— Tarek Fatah is author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, to be published by Wiley & Sons in March, 2008. Farzana Hassan is author of Islam, Women, and the Challenges of Today. Both are members of the Muslim Canadian Congress(mcc@muslimcongress.ca).

Read it all by clicking on the title

Pretend Feminists take note: Muslim girls beaten for not wearing the hijab

Muslim girls who don’t wear the hijab all the time are beaten, says Gerd Fleischer, of Self-Help for Immigrants and Refugees (Seif).

“In my office, women cried brave tears over having to go with a hijab. Countless young women despairingly told me that they don’t have the hijab on all the time, they’ll get a beating.”

“These don’t dare appear in the public debate,” Fleischer told Vårt Land.

She’s upset that young Muslim women say they are free to choose if they want to go with a hijab.

She says that the proud educated women who appear with the hijab, know too that their sisters are coerced. But they speak little of it. Fleischer says it should be part of their women’s liberation to also support them. The coercion many women experience, is barely mentioned as an aside.

She says young girls have to move to other places in the country and live in secret addresses, also because they don’t want to go with a hijab.

“Parents often beat their daughters into obedience and virtue and the hijab as a rule constitutes part of the control,” says Fleischer.

She agree with Progress Party (Frp) head Siv Jensen that the women’s movement of the left in Norway doesn’t care about non-Western women.

Liberal politician Abid Q. Raja will head the parties work with the minority issue. He thinks the Labor Party (Ap) wronged the immigrants more than the progress Party.

“Frp just used scolding, but Ap completely neglected the problem areas for fear of being called racists. Not making demands from fellow citizens is not taking them seriously. We don’t need to be pissed on behind our backs,” says Raja.

Source: Aftenposten (Norwegian)