"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Submission: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam -
The Theo van Gogh Film (10:59)

The film's title is a direct translation of the word "Islam". The film depicts the mistreatment of women born to Muslim families. The film was shown on the Dutch public broadcasting network (VPRO) on August 29, 2004. It portrays a Muslim woman as having been beaten and raped by a relative. The bodies are used in the film as a canvas for verses from the Qur'an.

This is the film that Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh was killed for. An Islamist fanatic murdered him most brutally and desecrated his body. His collaborator on the film, and the screen writer is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Dutch member of parliament and activist for Muslim women's rights. Originally from Somalia, and herself genitally mutilated at a young age, Ali has emerged as an articulate voice in her autobiography "The Caged Virgin".

Christopher Hitchens has written an excellent piece about Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Slate (5/8/06)


Hitchens' concluding paragraph:

"After being forced into hiding by fascist killers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali found that the Dutch government and people were slightly embarrassed to have such a prominent "Third World" spokeswoman in their midst. She was first kept as a virtual prisoner, which made it almost impossible for her to do her job as an elected representative. When she complained in the press, she was eventually found an apartment in a protected building. Then the other residents of the block filed suit and complained that her presence exposed them to risk. In spite of testimony from the Dutch police, who assured the court that the building was now one of the safest in all Holland, a court has upheld the demand from her neighbors and fellow citizens that she be evicted from her home. In these circumstances, she is considering resigning from parliament and perhaps leaving her adopted country altogether. This is not the only example that I know of a supposedly liberal society collaborating in its own destruction, but I hope at least that it will shame us all into making The Caged Virgin a best seller."

A new book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali titled "Infidel" is due out in February 2007. Illustration below is from the new book.



Tags: Islam, Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, female circumcision, Christopher Hitchens,

2 comments:

Asila said...

I am a proud Muslim woman; the offence this movie poses is beyond words. However, I will attempt to remain objective and set a few facts straight.
1-Submission (Islam) means a Muslim is to submit to God alone, never to submit to any creation of God (money, power, human or otherwise).
2-Muslims, men and women, never cover their faces or wear shear clothes during prayers .
3-In a relationship between a man and a woman, the difference between purity and sin is simple: a marriage contract that guarantees the dignity and purity of the relationship and grants many privelages to the woman and the offspring.
4-The Prophet’s biography teaches that a father must marry his daughter to a man of her choice, even if this is against the father’s preference for a wealthier groom with a better status.
5-A Father is not allowed to marry off his daughter without her consent. The Islamic court is obliged to take the side of the daughter in such a case.
6-A woman who does not like her husband for no obvious reason is free to leave him, all she has to do is give back some of the dowry he gave her, if any.
7-A woman can request from the Islamic court to grant her a divorce plus financial compensation and alimony whenever there is a valid reason. A valid reason may be a drinking problem, a chronic bad breath, an incompatible social background, infertility, beating or even a husband’s attempts to make his wife leave him in order to get back the dowry or to save on the cost of divorce. Such an attempt on the husband’s part is clearly prohibited according to the Holy Quran.
8-Insest is prohibited by Islam.
9-The mutilation of women’s genitals is an ancient African ritual that has been practiced for thousands of years before Islam. Islam requires the circumcision of Muslim men only. However, partial circumcision may be suggested only for women with oversized genitals where hygiene and comfort are a major concern. Islam considers the human body to be sacred and forbids mutilation unless there is a medical necessity.
10-It is true that many women, Muslim or otherwise, suffer from male chauvinism, however, this is not acceptable by Islam. The Quran teaches Muslims that men are self-evidently more powerful than women, so they need to observe that God is Omnipotent and that they should fear his avenge if they are unfair to women.
11-The case portrayed belongs in an ignorant, chauvinistic society that does not understand Islam. Islam combats illiteracy and injustice.
12-Islam encourages the education and nurturing of girls and women. Actually, the Prophet-appointed physician was a woman.
13-Today’s professional women practice (relative) modesty in the workplace. This helps to draw attention to their contribution, performance and wisdom rather than their looks. The modern necessity for a woman to be sexually appealing to all men all the time is a product of media brain wash.

steadyhabits said...

Thank you for your comment.I am curious about the following assertion from your response:
-The mutilation of women’s genitals is an ancient African ritual that has been practiced for thousands of years before Islam. Islam requires the circumcision of Muslim men only. However, partial circumcision may be suggested only for women with oversized genitals where hygiene and comfort are a major concern.

Who determines that a woman's genitals are oversized?...and what exactly constitutes oversize genitals?