Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 at 8:46 pm
Many Muslim women in the West are living in isolation and constant fear of violence from the men who control their lives. In families that live according to fundamentalist Islam, men and brothers have free rein to beat and kill women and girls who do not conform to their standards. Mona Eltahawy writes and lectures about these issues.
“In the so-called ‘clash of civilizations,’ Muslim girls and women are the biggest losers. In fact, Eltahawy says, Muslim girls and women are paradoxically being murdered by their relatives for integrating too well.
A recent case in point: Canadian teenager Aqsa Pervez was murdered by her father after she refused to wear the hijab. A statement from the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations called it “result of domestic violence, a problem that cuts across Canadian society and is blind to color or creed”.
Muslim writers Tarek Fattah and Farzana Hassan provide an example: A Montreal
mosque recently posted on its Web site a warning to the effect that if young
girls took off their hijab they could be raped and have illegitimate children.
The same site caution ed that not wearing hijab might lead to stress,
insecurity and “suspicion in the minds of husbands,” not to mention the fact
that it might instigate “young people to deviate towards the path of lust.”
Hope she doesn’t have to wait much longer.
Also this week, American National Public Radio (NPR) has posted two articles featuring Turkish-born German activist Seyran Ates, a lawyer who was forced to quit her practice after Islamic radicals threatened to kill her.
The status of Muslim women is the litmus test, Ates says, for integration of their communities into European societies.
But she believes the situation is getting worse in Germany, with more and more Muslim girls as young as six years old wearing headscarves, and more and more girls being kept away by their parents from sports and biology classes in school.
Her most recent book, The Multicultural Mistake, criticises Europe’s condescending and excessively tolerant attitude toward repressive sub-cultures in European societies. Without effective integration policies, she fears that Islam will only gain more influence in Germany.
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