Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Women, Islam and Judaism

This piece from the Times provides an interesting corrective to the rubbish of which we hear so much about the niqab (the veil which covers the face except for the eyes).

The comments are the usual depressing round of Islamophobic cack for the most part. I did like the one which said that "covering the face is unacceptable in western society". Strange when you consider how many heroes of popular culture do it, whether you take Batman and Spiderman, or Zorro and the Lone Ranger. And a moment's thought (and reading of the comments) shows that it isn’t facial covering which is unacceptable to these people but Islam: the niqab as just a visible sign of the cultural other that terrifies them so.

As for the argument forever being wheeled out that the niqab (or indeed the hijab which is the one like a headscarf) is a sign that Islam is a religion which degrades women and denies them equal rights with men, especially in marriage, I am looking forward to watching this programme which I recorded last week. (Bandwidth up here isn't up to watching it online.) I wonder how all the Islamophobes who find feminism a convenient figleaf will react to it. The only discussion I've found so far is on a forum at The Sun's site, where predictably the programme's contant was wholly ignored and the comments were all about how wicked Islam oppresses women. Well, gosh.


At 09 August, 2009 18:36, Anonymous Phil said...

Not sure what your point was here - I think there's room for more than one religion which treats the sexes unequally.

At 09 August, 2009 20:43, Blogger Rob said...

I think that was my point, actually. There is a tendency in some quarters (including pretty much all the tabloids) to view oppression of women as a uniquely Islamic vice, whereas women's situation varies immensely as you go from one Islamic country to another. Nor, obviously, is it common throughout Judaism. I know that a steady stream of Hindu women have unfortunate accidents where their cookers explode and tragically the kitchen door is jammed, and that these cases seem to be mostly new brides whose dowry had been felt to be insufficient. There was a case reported recently from Nigeria of a Christian (or perhaps that should be "Christian") sect which has a nasty habit of killing women it deems to be witches. And there are plenty of misogynistic practices which aren;t related to religion at all, most obviously female genital mutilation.

I did find it revealing, though, that several people felt it worthwhile posting comments to the Sun on the C4 programme which had nothing to do with its content, or Judaiam, but which merely trotted out the tired old Muslim-women-all-get-stoned-to-death-or-killed-in-honour-killings shtick.

At 09 August, 2009 20:45, Blogger Rob said...

Here is a link to the Nigeria story.

At 09 August, 2009 21:04, Blogger Rob said...

The witchcraft issue clearly doesn't only target female children. Nor, as this video shows, is it restricted to Nigeria. Grim.


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