Thursday, 26 August 2010

the right to criticise Islam

I cannot speak Spanish, still less Catalan or Portuguese, but I can read Spanish for gist and am trying to make progress by looking at various websites.  This is one of them, Pilar Rahola.  She publishes some of her site in English from time to time and I find her views both interesting and mostly commendable.  She, like me, is a big fan of the French organisation "Ni Putes Ni Soumises" (Neither Whores Nor Surrendered), which has protected and empowered many French women, mostly young, mostly from ethnic minorities, most but not all Muslim.  Read her article here - she makes the interesting point, not made often enough, that those, like herself, who campaign against attempts to introduce medieval and barbaric theocracy into democratic (more or less) societies are not the ones who are attacking Islam - those in the mosques who call unveiled women "uncovered meat" are those who are against Islam.  Views please.

4 comments:

Shruthi said...

I'm not Muslim, but I live in India. So, to all women here, modesty is a big thing. A woman in a saree or salwar kameez or jeans and t-shirt or even a gunny sack would invite the same amount of male attention as would a woman in a burqa.
To me, a burqa looks inconvenient for one reason - Chennai is a tropical city, walking around in a black, synthetic garment in this heat and humidity is just plain uncomfortable!
However, I do believe in choice. If a Muslim woman chooses to wear a burqa it's her call. I, as a non-muslim and non-burqa wearer don't have the right to tell her to be liberated by showing the world what her fashion sensibilities are like and so on. If she wants to, she wants to...
One of the Muslim girls I know went from being a hardcore burqa wearer to someone who's moved out of home and to a new city and no burqa. Another Muslim girl I know went from being a pretty, young thing to a hardcore burqa wearer. I'm ok with both their decisions because they were made by women who chose to do what they did.
Having said that, I mind when religion is brought into school. If a Muslim male student is wearing a skull cap and beard, then why can't a Sikh student wear the turban and beard? Why can't a Hindu student wear caste marks? When people are creating neutral, non-spaces for society where choices can be made with an informed and unbiased mind, the need for people to impose their personal ideologies is tiresome to say the least...

I'm not sure if what I'm saying is even related to the article - I can't read Spanish - or to your post.

jane said...

well, no, Shruthi, I wasn't talking about what women wear, and neither does the article (it is in English so perhaps you can read it). You have the advantage of me as I have never been to India, but Indian women I know give personal modesty a lot of importance, although of course a saree reveals quite a lot of the body, which I think proves the point that you do not need to be covered to be modest. Where I agree with the writer is that those who promote suicide bombing with their speeches in the mosques, and who say that girls should not go to school (which I have heard said at a public meeting in Reading, UK, and nobody protested except me) are actively working against the values of Islam, and that they are wrong.

Anonymous said...

"uncovered meat".

Nice.

Telling that Islam is the house-religion of the left, as a quick scunt through a library copy of the Gruaniad reveals.

Jonny said...

I've never worn a burqa myself, but I wore a dark djellaba in North Africa, and it kept the sun off nicely, and there was a pleasant breeze around my interesting bits.