Thursday, February 06, 2014

Remember the Femen Protests?

Remember the Femen women who protested topless last spring in support of Amina Tyler, "a Tunisian woman who [had] posted topless photos of herself protesting religious oppression," as reported by Paul Schemm and Diaa Hadid ("Muslim Women Vs. FEMEN: Topless Protests Inspired By Amina Tyler Seen As Counterproductive By Mideast Feminists," Huffington Post, April 10, 2013), among other reports in other news services?

Of course, you do!

Well, so does one young Muslim woman, who decided to send a chador-clad Muslim superheroine to teach those Femen-ists a lesson:

The superheroine draws a sword in response to the Femen-ists' words. I suppose there's a sort of symmetry to that action, depending upon placement of the "s" in "sword" and "words." Anyway, once the Femen-ists are cowed and under control, the superheroine accuses them of ignoring women. Eh? Hmmm . . . okay, got it -- by concentrating on Amina Tyler, they ignore most women -- I guess. And the lesson? Here:

The Femen-ists have been hung out (hanged?) to dry (to die?), or so this cartoon panel implies. And the lesson? Free speech has a cost? (One's life?)

At least, this superheroine recognizes that women do face problems in the Muslim world, as we see here, here, and here. The cartoonist herself seems well-intentioned, but her true enemies are not the so-called 'Islamophobes,' but the Islamists, who themselves are accountable for what would better be called "Islamistophobia"!

But where is the line to be drawn between Islam and Islamism?

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At 2:57 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Is it a historical line, perhaps; drawn somewhere in the 1980s when the US (and Saudi Arabia) supported and cultivated the anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan?

That is, before the fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s there was no Islamism, there was simply Islam. I have heard accounts, for example, of people traveling to Afghanistan in the 1960s and describing the people there as being generous and kind to visitors.

At 4:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Photographs from the 1960s and 70s reveal Kabul to be a modern city where men and women studied and worked alongside each other. Like women in South Korea during that time period, Afghan women wore either traditional dress, or at leat a headscarf and long skir or ordinary Western female apparel.

As for our Muslim superhero, she has more in common with her Western counterparts than she may realize, for she is not only strong and unafraid of men, she also displays a trim figure with a low waist-to-hip ratio., highlighted in the headless shot. Ah, the conundrum of orthodox Muslim women striving to look conventionally attractive (note: I specifically used the word "attractive," not "beautiful," which has a broader, asexual meaning) while conforming to the dress code.


At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree with the blogger's apparent viewpoint that Western do-gooders need to MYOB and let Muslim women handle their menfolk, except in places where women are completely stripped of economic and political rights, such as Afghanistan when it was under Taliban control.


At 8:11 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Carter, it's a tangled issue. I will say only that from looking into the Qur'an, the Hadith, and the Sira, which form the Sunnah, I can see where Islamists get their ideas on what Islam is.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sonagi, while I also believe that MYOB is generally a good principle, I think -- like you -- that there are cases where speaking out is necessary. FGM, though not a specifically Muslim practice, needs to be openly opposed, for example. Moreover, Muslims living in the West have to accept Western views on free speech rather than trying to limit it so that nothing negative is uttered about Islam.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with you on FGM, which is a permanent physical disfigurement of girls who have no power to refuse.

Muslims in the West do not have to accept free speech. They do have to accept social and possibly legal consequences if they attempt to restrict free speech.


At 8:39 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

They're free to speak out against free speech . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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