Response To Yasmin Alibhai Brown
In January, 2008 The Star reported on senior British cabinet minister Jack Straw calling for Muslim women in Britain to ‘unveil’ another. Besides a few token scorn ful and dismissive Muslim responses in the UK and elsewhere to the call by Straw, one of those self-appointed western do-gooders who consider themselves the knights in shining armour awaited anxiously by ‘Muslim’ women like myself to “save” them from the perceived drudgery and oppression inflicted on them by their male co-reli gionists, Straw’s straying onto the realms of centuries’ old Islamic traditions and val ues was considered a non-event and was totally ignored. Since there was not a single reported case of a veiled Muslim woman anywhere jumping up and proclaiming her new ‘liberation from ‘veil oppression’ because of Straw’s intervention the message from the other side was clear: Muslim women accept of their free volition and choice the need to don the veil, burkha or scarf as well as their role in Muslim societies as the modest, inwardly mobile home-makers a role many a western woman only now accepts is her lot..
There is now the spectre of another self-appointed duo of saviours of Muslim women in the form of Claire Soares and self-hating Muslim (?) Yasmin Alibhai-Brown with their biassed and sensationalistic stories of alleged abuses of Muslim women ( 5 May ) with their sweeping generalizations against all Muslim societies as women abusers.
Shamelessly Soares, while conceding that Delara Darabi confessed to murdering her father’s wealthy cousin and was convicted of the crime, has the gall to condemn the woman’s execution as some form of targeting of only women for abuse. What the mur murderess’ paintings has to do with her sentence and execution is beyond reason.
It has certainly not dawned on Alibhai-Brown, ranting about four distinct and isola ted cases ( of which the report sale by a man of his daughter in marriage needs the most virulent condemnation and demands that the father be locked up for life ) that “in the UK young girls are covered up in hijab as a matter of choice” and notwithstan ing it being disgraceful, backward, terroristic, savage, degrading and obscurantist ( all provocative appellations used by the author).
Roxana Saberi is a convicted spy who confessed to her crime and, as always happens with convicted – especially Euro-American – felons the confessions are withdrawn on ly when Alibhai-Brown type of journalists, on the lookout for sensationalistic stories about Islam/Muslims/Arabs, pull a case out of a hidden bag and pay the dollars for the stories. Justice must take its course and the convict must pay the price.
Not surprisingly Alibhai-Brown has had the good sense not to attempt to record any Muslim country where the law validates abuse of women. Perhaps there are such countries in the non-Muslim world. Pray enlighten us Yasmin Nightingale.
Of course abuse of women, children and men can never be and is not condoned in any civilized society and this includes the Muslim world. And of course it is offensive for any man ( or woman ) whether in a Muslim or non-Muslim country to stare at a female with lust as happens every day and everywhere ( don’t the women dressing provocatively or semi-nude not invite this solicited attention? ) so why this sorry state of affairs in Muslim societies deservers special mention just does not make sense. Perhaps Alibhai-Brown will ask herself whether she does not secretly desire a second from the roving eyes of the hundreds of sex-starved males the world over.
It is the notorious Muslim apostates like Tasleema Nasreen (of Bangladesh and now India), Salman Rushdie (of India and now New Zealand) and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (of Somalia and now the US after her illegal sojourn in the Netherlands) who base their whole notion of “freedom” for Muslims on one thing and one thing alone – remove and/or outlaw the veil in all its forms and voila their Muslim female charges will be free, free and free just like the freedom (?) brought to Afghanistan and Iraq. And notwithstanding that true western-style democracy means allowing the people to opt for a religious/theocratic state and practices – so why not let them?
I am a 41 year old professional Muslim woman. Like most Muslim females I don the veil and will not dream of leaving home without my whole body fully covered and ha ving at least a scarf over my head. This I do by choice and not under pressure from my husband, son or father. My friends and family members do likewise and do so out of choice. In my travels to Muslim countries I have met dozens of Muslim women with exactly the same views as I have. None of us has asked for or want the Nasreens, Rushdies, Ben Alis, Jack Straws or Yasmin Alibhai-Browns to “fight for our liberation” and liberation from what? Modesty in dress and adherence to age-old values.
No Messrs Straw and company: you do not speak for Muslim women and we do
not want you to speak for us. All we ask is PLEASE LEAVE BE to suffer (?) as you so firmly believe we do by following our God-given shariah. Perhaps you should consider devoting your energies to liberating women in the western world from the self-invited oppression in the form of cheap flaunting of their bodies and beauty and jettisoning of age-old traditional roles and values which see more of our sisters (Muslim and non-Muslim) living out their lives artificially as pseudo-males to prove they are free.
If freedom means freedom of choice then why is my decision to veil my face or cover my head considered self-oppression?
Incidentally to Aluibhai-Brown – who cares whether you drink wine or whisky or shake the hands of strange men. Why the cheap shot at us “backward” Muslims who, unlike you, know the limits to our freedoms and are happy to lead our lives as ordained in the Holy Quran and as shown to us by the Holy Prophet Mohammed S A W.
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