Mona Eltahawy Can't Bring Herself To Identify Islam As The Source Of The Mistreatment Of Muslim Women And Leila Ahmad Doesn't Want Her To Even Raise The Issue
Watch, and listen, here.
Note how careful Mona Eltahawy, when she discusses the young girls forced into "marriages" in Islam, not to mention the example of Muhammad with little Aisha. And when she says that it's a mix of things -- "religion, culture, law" -- that explain such things as clitoridectomy, she doesn't appear to realize that the "culture" is the one that is formed over centuries in a society suffused with Islam, and the "law" in question is that which takes as its guide, its model, the Sharia or Holy Law of Islam.
And note how grey-haired, thoughtful, half-Turkish Leila Ahmed, of whom one might expect better, keeps talking about the "liberals" (who are not quite as liberal as Western enthusiasts assume when it comes to Islam-prompted attitudes toward the West and Israel) of the "Arab Spring" without recognizing that it doesn't matter who starts a revolution, but who inherits it, and right now the Ikhwan rules the Egyptian Parliament and may take the Presidency as well.
Both are determined -- Ahmed more so, I think -- to protect Islam. And to the discerning and well-informed, their desire to protect Islam, its teachings and tenets and the attitudes that naturally are produced in societies suffused with Islam, vitiates their timid attempts to be, as Leila Ahmed is so often described, as a "feminist" student of Islam. She's a Defender of Islam, more deliberately so than the slightly more excitable Eltahawy who wants to Make A Splash (Eltahawy may remind some of Irshad Manji), but for her too, despite her claim that "for me my gender comes first" is determined to deflect analysis of the role of Islam -- the central role -- in what she calls "misogyny in the Middle East."
Posted on 05/31/2012 9:07 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald