Friday, February 16, 2007

Letter From a Muslim Woman

One of the responses to Dinesh D’Souza’s recent works (see note below) is from an unknown Muslim woman who helps us understand some of the underlying causes of Muslim unhappiness with the spread of western culture. Since Muslim terrorism is a world-wide phenomenon, existing in places like Darfur and Indonesia, as an explanation, there is obviously much more to it than the elevation of women’s rights, but it raises an interesting question: where are the womens’ rights groups? Why do they and other left-wing organizations turn a deaf ear to human rights abuses by Islamists? Why do they support the cause of the Palestinian terrorists over an Israeli population that has turned itself inside out to find a peaceful solution that doesn’t involve their own extermination?

Excerpt of the letter:
“What threatens patriarchal Muslim communities are not the excesses of Western societies but its very norms. Individualism and the relatively equal position of women manifest themselves in the opportunities females have to pursue education and economic independence. And these principles of individual freedom and equality, even Mr. D'Souza will agree, are neither Right nor Left, but simply American. There is no way that Muslim women, in great numbers, can be granted similar opportunities without it eventually shaking their societies at their very foundations. Whatever else the Taliban is obtuse about, they understand perfectly the concept of the slippery slope - allow a girl child to be educated at all, and you never know where she will end up - perhaps like me, with only tangential ties to some of the core values of the conservative Islamic community I was raised in.

When I go back home to my country of birth, as I frequently do, I see the changes that education and economic independence have wrought in a once very orthodox community, which slowly allowed its women a more Western lifestyle. Women are waiting longer to get married, having fewer children (going against the Islamic obligation to increase the "Umma" - the community of Muslims), going out of the home to work, often choosing a spouse against the wishes of the family, and initiating divorce in numbers that were unthinkable in the past. The great strength of Muslim societies, the stability of its families, and the cohesiveness of its communities, is beginning , in some places, to fray at the edges and the anxiety provoking question for those who care about this, as I do, is -how much can the foundational thread of conservative Islamic societies, -women's submissiveness, and their economic and social dependence on men - be pulled out, without it unraveling the entire fabric?

In the face of this challenge there are those who believe that the solution lies in reverting to fundamentalist Islam, and among such people could well be some future terrorists. There are others who know there is no going back. To do so would be to tolerate, for instance, some of the rules that governed my mother's life. No leaving the house without a chaperone, no signing your own marriage certificate, and most tragic of all, no going to school, no matter how much you love to learn. Or it could mean, as it did with a schoolmate of mine, a seventeen year old girl would be forced to marry a fifty six year old man, because her family forced her to. If she could have fended for herself, she may have fled her family. But she could not, and went through the marriage ceremony tears pouring down her face.

How can Muslim societies strike a balance between the needs of the individual and the need of the community so as to stay true to some of its better traditions and avoid the breakdown of family and society that has taken place in the West? There are no easy answers to that, and certainly none so easy as staying as far away as possible from pornography, or even making it more difficult for a woman to get a divorce. If Mr. D'Souza has any advice to give on this issue, I would like to hear it. Turning the TV off when Britney Spears appears, I know to do on my own.”

D’Souza’s recent book, “The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibilty for 9/11”, places blame for Islamic terrorism on the debasement of American society by the left.


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At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This lady makes some good points. I believe that Dinesh D'Sousa is going to be on the O'Reilly Factor tonight. This fellow is very knowledgeable about what is going on, both here and abroad. I really believe that our leaders need to listen to this man.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Watchman said...

Haven't you heard Joe, the leaders in power since November do not want to listen to D'Sousa because that would be a conservative way of thinking. These people want us to lose the war, just to make Bush look bad and gain more power. Leading Iraq to democracy is the last thing they want to do, not to mention having sympathy for Islamic women.


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