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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Muslim Misogyny

I spied a Muslim woman in a store recently, dressed in a black hijab. Over the years, I have beheld many Muslim women in major cities, but I remain disconcerted by the sight. This particular woman kept looking at me, wondering, I suppose, why I was peering at her every so often. I look because I am curious - and appalled.

Unlike countless people who preach "tolerance," I know too much about Islam, which has proved itself one of the most sexist and misogynistic ideologies human beings have ever conceived. In fact, the entire purpose of Islam often appears purely to repress and oppress women. An examination of the blatant sexism and misogyny within Islam would require an entire tome, such wretched perspective occurring so continually throughout Muslim doctrines.

I glance at these women because I am searching for a reason why, in a country as free as any on Earth, they would deliberately cover their hair - or worse, their faces. I frankly feel like walking up to them, pulling the hijab or burkha off them, and saying, "You're free now!" Unlike the deranged savages who exhort their followers to slap, beat, rape or kill uncovered women, however, I cannot engage in violence against another's person.

I also can't turn my face away from Muslim women, because I see such suffering there. In consideration of the disgraceful treatment of women within Islam, I do not think it too harsh to say that Islam is to women what Nazism is to Jews. To me, the hijab is equivalent to the yellow star. As but one sickening example of this horrid notion, every day the genitals of thousands of girls and women are hideously mutilated, per "traditions" largely but not exclusively found in Islamic countries. Each day, women are viciously killed in the name of "honor," completely destroying any meaning of that word. Millions of women are enslaved, beaten, abused in every way imaginable. And on and on it goes, unrelenting, with only a miniscule minority objecting.

Where is the humanity when this type of suffering goes on day in and day out? Why no outcry about this human rights violation? Does the silence exist because "God" is continually invoked in order to justify this vile behavior? What good is "God" then, if such obvious evil is allowed to flourish in "his" name?

As the Greek sage Epicurus (341-270 BCE) said:
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
Humanity will only exhibit truly enlightened behavior when it ceases to allow criminal cowards to veil themselves with the patently unprovable and frequently puerile concepts of God. No matter how much one hides behind the sacrosanct concept of God, the fact will remain that abusing women is not religion.


Anonymous said...



If it were not for these things, they would not have known the name of Justice....



The GOD; and night, winter and summer, war and peace, satiety and hunger. He alters, as when mingled with perfumes, and gets named to the pleasure of each one.

Susan lewis said...

Many muslim women claim they take the veil out of choice and in respect to their god. What would be your response to these women?

Acharya S said...

Their opinions as to what any god would want constitute merely a matter of conditioning. In other words, had these women not been brainwashed by Islam, they would have no such thoughts. This fact means that no god person is dictating what they need to do with their hair or faces; it is MEN who are doing that, pure and simple.

I could just as easily say that my GODDESS loves to see the beautiful hair that She, as Mother Nature, endowed one of Her finest creatures with - and that it is an abomination to cover up such hair.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you. While I realize that when in America, it is purely their choice as to whether or not to wear it, to us as American women, it signifies repression, hatred and pure sexism. The fact of the matter is that until Islam's view of women changes in the manner that took Christians more than thousands of years to do it will be a sight we'll continue to see. Muslim followers see hating the way the religion treats women as simply western hatred but had they witnessed the number of years that it took women in Christianity to struggle for equality, they might understand that both religions oppress in much the same manner, it's just that women of other faiths or non-faiths fought back against the sexism and ideology that women are fragile, weak and inferior.

As a woman, I too, get infuriated when I see women walking silently behind the man, speaking only when spoken to and draped in a curtain from head to toe and it saddens me to think that these women are made to believe that simply because of their gender and sex organs that they must be sheltered, hidden, silent, etc.

As Mary Daly once wrote about, until the gender of a god (or prophet, for that matter) has been eliminated, women will continue to be oppressed.

Amos Keppler said...

As a man I, too get infuriated with Islam, in most of its ways. Then again I am against ALL religions. I see Islam and Christianity as two sides of the same coin.

It's about Power. Everybody is oppressed under the system of religion, some more than others, of course, since it IS a hierarchy.

Amos Keppler said...

when I see a woman wear a veil, I see chains.

absolutely said...

At the university where my wife works, female muslim students complained of being harrassed because of their choice of headwear. A day of solidarity was organised and all female staff and students were urged to wear a scarf to show their sympathy. Many staff did including most of my wife's colleagues (my wife did not). One who didn't however was an Iranian research assistant who just looked at them and said: "Are you all mad?".

Acharya S said...

Good for the Iranian woman! The Persians I've met have always been very intelligent.

How repulsive. That would be like Jews wearing yellow stars, or blacks sporting chains.


Criminy, what do I have to do, shake these zombies by the shoulders?

Steven Bently said...

It's a signal of pure bronze-age ignorance, some people prefer to live 2000 yrs. ago, I wish they would go back to the caves and stay there, but they will not, they prefer to be seen.

Jeff "Professor" Irick said...

Right on, Acharya.

You've hit the nail squarely on the head with your comment about conditioning. I knew an Iranian woman who was in Grad school at the same time I was(mid 80s). She was firmly convinced that American women were downtrodden. Perplexed, I asked her what she based that on. Her reply was, "They have to work in the fields." Pointing out to her that there WERE no "fields" in the area and that virtually all the women held positions as staff, faculty etc. on campus, and business professionals off campus had absolutely no affect on her view. Therefore, I thought a change of tactic was in order.

I figured that a bit of reasoning should suffice. I proceeded to compare and contrast the conditions of the women in her country with the women here. In all cases, such as being forced to be covered head to toe as opposed to wearing whatever you wanted, to being forced to walk three paces behind a man as opposed to walking wherever you wanted, to being allowed to speak only when spoken to as opposed to being able to say whatever you wanted whenever you wanted, etc., she seemed to be able to see that American women had essentially complete freedom whereas the Iranian women basically had none. Foolishly thinking that I had successfully reasoned her out of the erroneous view, I asked again whose women were downtrodden. Her reply? "Yours."

If that isn't a product of conditioning, I don't know what is. In truth, all the Abrahamic faiths share that sort of oppression and conditioning toward women. It's easy for those of us on the outside looking in to see it but the conditioning prevents those on the inside from seeing it. Indeed, it's equivalent to what you see in victims of abusive relationships. Humanity needs to free itself from the shackles of these oppressive and dangerous religions.

Anonymous said...

With regard to the mention of religious oppression, manipulation, and mind bending:

In what is referred to as the New Testament, Paul writes in Galatians 6:13...

"That is to say; neither they themselves that have been circumsised are keeping the law; but are wanting and willing for you to be circumsised...why ? So that they may (in regard to 'your' flesh) be making a boast !"

Seems the principle is alive and well in ?

Congratulations to the good professor, and to his care and reasoning toward's this dear lady. However, if one is satisfied with, or has become convinced they are to be someone's donkey, Heraclitus is right again when he says in Fragment 9:


"Asses choose hay rather than Gold"

Since this be true in far too many cases;

How sad, how very, very sad

Goose said...

Bravo on your best post ever (of course, I say that about all your posts). And bravo to Amos and Professor Irick for their great comments. I do not discern between one religion or the other -- they are all control mechanisms to some degree. Using religion to subjugate women even the slightest degree is bullshit, and should never be tolerated. In this country, based on a couple of articles I've read, there is a new backlash in churches against women teachers. Apparently, there is some New Testament text that says a women is not allowed to teach a man. There is no end to this total crap and until people start standing up and speaking out, this subtle abuse will continue.

I, Todd Daniel, do hereby, stand completely behind the comments of Acharya, and I'm not afraid to show my face. I do so for the betterment of this world, and for a more peaceful, just, and sustainable future for all.

Jeff "Professor" Irick said...

To Anonymous and Goose: Many thanks for your kind comments.

Yours In Reason,