the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
OP - March 19, 2014, 12:29 PM
the lies of 'Islamic Feminism'
Back in the day, I, too, was a Muslim feminist - like many “revert” women are. Like many revert women need to be.
In person, I was charismatic and a quick talker. I had a healthy supply of hadith and Quranic quotes up my sleeve. I had historical examples. I was ready to go at any moment.
I'd patiently listen to a non-Muslim critic cite things like the veil, things like the mahrem system, smiling to myself, ready when they completed to bury them with examples of how women were respected and revered in Islam - how Islam came along and kept the female babies from being buried, how it came along and guaranteed rights for women to protection, to property, to inheritance, to respect.
How, in the modern day, I had the freedom to work, to not work, to hoard my money and sleep on it like a dragon and keep it from my husband if I so choose - and how many Western women get to do that?
I'd tell them that, for everything that looked like the men had control over us, we, in some other way, had advantages and control over him. That, when our souls are being judged, we will be completely equal. That, when you hear of extreme cases of women being controlled and subjugated, that is not Islam. It is the culture. It is the faults of men. In fact, those men were anti-Islam. Their behavior flew in the face of it.
And those non-Muslims who were not very educated on the matter were dazzled, were confused, surrendered quickly and politely, agreed that the Islam they see and hear and read about must not be the one that is the true Islam.
And, of course, every Muslim who heard me saying these things agreed enthusiastically, beaming, excited to hear their beliefs so justified, gave me their mashallahs and alhamdullilahs and thank God there are still some proper Muslims in the world who know the truth, and young people like you are just what we need in the future.
We need some converts who cast away their bikinis in the west to don the hijab, who rejected Western ideas of freedom and found true freedom in Islam. We need some fucking champions.
But the truth finally caught up with me: even if I could lie to these people, I couldn't lie to myself.
I never believed in the feminist nature of Islam because the rights of women were so compelling; I had to search and justify and scrape together evidence of our rights, dust them off and cling to them because I believed in Islam.
Eventually, I had to reconcile with the fact that not a single feminist trick I had was without its counterbalance in Islam that negated it, that belittled it, that made it impossible to achieve unless I were lucky.
And even if rights were unconditionally allowed to us, were gifts from God, He passed the gifts onto the men and lets them decide whether to deliver them to us or to hold them over our heads.
I think the most perfect example of the disconnect for me is when I talked non-Muslims into surrender.
They surrendered easily, with only a few examples. But why? Was it because I was just that great of a debater?
Was it because I had my act together?
No. It was because they very often knew the true meaning of respect. Of freedom. Of rights. They truly knew and truly believed that I had every right to my religion, that I could elect to wear the veil, that I could be happy and somehow in control under the watch of my guardian.
They were always ready to allow me to make my own decisions, even if they sounded so foreign, so strange, so backwards, even if they disapproved of it, even if they rejected the very premise of my beliefs. They never denied me respect, they never denied me alliance, they were still eager to treat me as an equal and as a friend.
But what becomes of all the rights of a Muslim woman when she doesn't toe the line in Islam?
What becomes the right of a woman in a Muslim country, a Muslim marriage, a Muslim family when she makes up her own mind?
The right to believe what you want to believe is never the right of a Muslim, and there are consequences for trying to seize it.
The novel rights of a Muslim woman are only hers if she earns them and has been blessed by a decent circumstance. She earns them not by being a woman, not by being a human being, but by being a good Muslim. If she deviates too far, the rights are gone.
They are taken from us, and then some. They were never ours to begin with.