“You can’t speak about feminism unless you’re a woman.” “You can’t write about transgenderism unless you’re transgendered.” “You can’t opine on homosexuality unless you’re a homosexual.”
Ok, then you can’t comment on the Islamic tradition historically unless you are from those time periods and have used a time machine to reach us in the present.
No more Muslim feminists telling us about the “patriarchal nature of Islamic scholarship historically.” You weren’t there 500, 800, 1200 years ago to know what it was like for women then, so HOW DARE YOU presume to speak on their behalf?
No more LGBTQIA activists telling us how Islam historically misunderstood homosexuality/transgenderism. You weren’t there 500, 800, 1200 years ago to know what it was like for such people then, so HOW DARE YOU presume to speak on their behalf?
No more reformists in general pontificating about Islamic tradition and the need for a “reformation,” etc. You weren’t there 500, 800, 1200 years ago to know what it was like for the populace then, so HOW DARE YOU presume to speak on their behalf?
How can these feminists, activists, and reformists talk about these things when they weren’t there to experience it for themselves? How can they lecture us on something that is so far removed from their time and place?
And while we’re at it…if you’re a Muslim woman from Egypt, HOW DARE YOU talk about the needs of Muslim women in Pakistan or France or anywhere else. If you’re a homosexual from a upper-middle class background, HOW DARE YOU theorize about homosexuality for lower socio-economic brackets? If you’re a Muslim reformist from the Bronx, HOW DARE YOU assume to know what it’s like being a Muslim from Queens.
Point being, anyone can draw whatever arbitrary lines to silence criticism. Usually this is the go-to strategy for those who are too scared (or too dense) to engage and evaluate an argument based on its own merits, so they make these shrill cries of protest, as if anyone is really fooled.
In sum, I’ll gladly refrain from speaking my mind about feminism, homosexuality, transgenderism, etc., if people would reciprocate and stop talking about Islamic law as inherently oppressive to women, homosexuals, the transgendered, etc., as if they have the first clue about any of it.
My problem is with those who feel like they can get on their soapbox to bash Islam as it has been lived, practiced, and taught for centuries but then try to shame and bully into silence those who criticize their ideologies and practices.