Muslims need to step back and reevaluate whether they want to jump on the bandwagon of every last liberal feminist cause that flops onto the social media scene. Here are 3 pressing questions Muslims should be asking.
1. Is this latest hullabaloo really about sexual harassment?
If you pay attention, the clear answer is no. As many of the metoo’ers are eager to admit, this is about institutions, structures, language, and the very essence of what it means to be a man and a woman. This is about making the subtext of anything and EVERYthing sexual violence and rape.
I have commented on this phenomenon before. The only moral truth liberal feminists recognize is that rape is wrong. But this does not mean that they stop their moralizing and righteous indignation on matters that strictly pertain to standard cases of rape and have nothing to say about anything else. Rather, liberals moralize and pontificate about everything under the sun, but do so using the language of rape.
Were you passed up on a job position that a man ultimately got? That’s institutional rape! Did your dad not allow you to disagree with him when you were in high school? That is pretty much rape. Did your boyfriend ignore you when you were trying to tell him about how hard your day was? Yup, that’s rape.
I am not exaggerating. This is literally the stuff that comes up under #MeToo.
Now you might ask, but Daniel, stop being unreasonable. Certainly some women have dealt with harassment. Don’t their voices deserve to be heard?
Yes, but how and where they express themselves is not something that can go unnoticed. Should their voices lend support to a social media campaign that in effect, if not intent, is aimed at undermining the moral character of all men and undercutting traditional male-female familial structures?
So effective is this campaign, that regular men who would be hard-pressed to hurt a fly now consider themselves rapists or rapists-in-the-making. Don’t believe me? Check your feed. You can see all the “white knights” using their platforms to weep real tears of self-loathing. “WHY oh WHY can I not stop raping women?!” they lament, rending their garments in passionate displays of virtual self-flagellation that would make the most ardent masochists blush. These are men who now, more than ever before, see themselves as disgusting predators. “Why can we not stop ourselves from being sexual tyrants?” asks one particularly concerned fellow. “All men are trash!” ejaculates another.
If all male-female relations are inherently marinating in the poison that is “internalized patriarchy,” then how can any daughter trust her father? How can any wife trust her husband? How can any female congregant trust her imam?
The point is, she can’t. She can never trust any man, especially not any man in authority over her. This is how feminism seeks to dismantle traditional family structures and traditional religion. And it’s all working out according to plan, partly thanks to Muslim bandwagoners.
2. How did Muslim societies traditionally deal with harassment?
I asked my mother and grandmother about whether they had experienced any harassment on the streets of Iran growing up. This was an era in Iran where society was already in the process of Europeanization. What people wore in public was already determined by European fashion, e.g., skirts, suits, makeup, etc., but the underlying social structures were still Islamically intact.
So my grandma immediately said that only the girls who dressed provocatively were harassed. I guess she didn’t get the memo on “slut shaming.”
My mom said something very interesting. She said that there were plenty of loose girls who also liked to go flirt and have fun with the loose guys. What characterized these individuals was that they were not from good families. Why would the family you came from matter? I asked. Well, there is an element of tarbiya, i.e., how one was raised. Good families raise their kids with the right morals, so that they grow up knowing the right way to dress, to speak, and generally how to interact in public around the opposite sex, etc.
The other element of family is that, having a good family meant that they were always around and looking after you. If you were walking to the market or school, you were bound to have cousins, uncles, aunts, in laws, etc., who also happened to be around and about the neighborhood at any given moment who would see you. If they saw you messing around, they would tell your parents and other family members and this would cause you shame. Or if they saw that you were being harassed, they would intervene out of ghayra and make sure no one was bothering you. They might even physically attack the harasser and they would make sure that his family knew he was behaving in such unseemly ways.
The point is, the extended family structure found in Islamic societies meant that people in society knew each other and were around each other physically and socially. This fact protected women and men from destructive sexual behaviors through this holistic system of mutual family support. The structure of the family was of utmost importance. But it is precisely those structures that have been gutted and systematically dismantlement by the liberal feminists throughout the history of colonization and Europeanization of the Muslim world, through among other things, campaigns like this #MeToo nonsense.
So, to recap, feminists strive to destroy the societal structures and institutions that protect women and men from things like sexual harassment and assault, and then when sexual harassment and assault inevitably increase in society, they blame men and insist that men are inherently corrupt and need to reform themselves in line with liberal feminist moral norms in order to redeem themselves from their “original sin.”
This is what I have always called: The Hypocrisy of Feminist Outrage.
3. How is today’s #MeToo campaign related to past instances of racist feminism causes?
Finally it is incredible to me that the #MeToo crowd has ignored the sordid history of mobilizing sexual assault for the purpose of political campaigns. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the early feminist movement used “rape by the negro” in order to mobilize white society against blacks. Early feminist figures like Rebecca Ann Felton proclaimed:
“When there is not enough religion in the pulpit to organize a crusade against sin; nor justice in the court house to promptly punish crime; nor manhood enough in the nation to put a sheltering arm about innocence and virtue—-if it needs lynching to protect woman’s dearest possession [i.e., her sexual innocence] from the ravening human beasts—-then I say lynch, a thousand times a week if necessary. […] “if it will save one white woman I say lynch a thousand black men.”
Sound familiar? Religion is not enough. Justice through due process is not enough. We need to lynch! We need to save women through a public campaign of violence and shaming! These are the intellectual forbears of the modern feminists who have dutifully followed in their footsteps. Except instead of targeting one specific race, they target one specific gender.
As a more recent example, consider all the social media noise regarding the “rapist refugees.” European women were claiming that hordes of Syrian refugees were roaming the streets of Germany and Holland, savagely raping any woman they came across. This exploded into a full blown social media blitzkrieg. As it turned out, virtually all these claims were fabrications. But the intended purpose was done. European society had been mobilized against the barbaric refugees. Laws were passed, policies were enacted. The rest is history.
The same feminist tactics and dialect that were used against blacks, refugees, native americans, aboriginals, and Muslims are now being used against men in general. This is what #MeToo is really about.
I was born and raised in Afghanistan. Sexual harassment and rape were more common everywhere, and had nothing to do with family status or what you wore. Most rapes or harassment happen with close family members or friends of family. Walking on the street for women and girls were always hazardous when it came to men just wanting to touch any parts of your body no matter what you wore. I remember we had to carry our big books in front of our chest to cover our breasts from being touched while going or coming from college. It so typical reaction of that part of the world to just say “ she is from a bad family wearing provocative outfits” 😡
tl;dr: women who are raped “dress provocatively” and don’t come from “good families”. It’s true, he asked his mum and and nan. Sensible muslims and skeptics around the world are embarrassed for you.
You should probably delete this article .
“ I asked my barely literate grandmother to tell me about finding a cure for cancer and she said in her days people from good families didn’t get cancer because they had no Doctors and no cancer medication . And anyway everyone does because a jinn ate them “
Dies . Not does obviously
What an absurd false analogy. So because his grandmother does not have a cure for cancer, her assessment of the moral safeguards and failings of her society have no value?
I suppose Ismail has a cure for cancer, otherwise he can’t fairly comment on this article…
This is a satirical piece, right?
that’s what i’m hoping too…
This article and the mindset behind it are what’s wrong with men. Truly pathetic.
We ( the woman of the world) are asking you to do one thing… **speak to other men about the very real harassment women experience**.
And **this** is how you do that???
I want *you* to re-read *your* article but keep one hand gesturing towards an imaginary MALE listener. Seriously. .. notice as you read this piece about the male-abuse-of-women… notice how your imaginary listener just insists on being female.
Can you write another article that addresses the male-role-in-the-male-abuse-of-women.
And while you write… Keep your hand out and keep looking for your male listener/reader.
Is it possible to fairly deal with the crime of sexual harassment and advocate for the safety and well-being of women, while also being cautious of calling everything sexual harassment, and while also being keen on preserving traditional family and social structures that are grounded in prophetic teaching?
Does one obviate the other? Are they mutually exclusive?
If you want to advocate safety for women, then why aren’t you advocating for more lectures, khutbahs, and interventions that teach men to control themselves and stop objectifying women?
“When everything has been decided, Satan will say, ‘God gave you a true promise. I too made promises but they were false ones: I had no power over you except to call you, and you responded to my call, so do not blame me; blame yourselves.’” (Qur’an 14:22)
Men can control themselves, as made clear by this verse. Khutbahs are always obsessing over the way women dress, but never about the behavior and sexist attitudes of men.
“If you want to advocate safety for women, then why aren’t you advocating for more lectures, khutbahs, and interventions that teach men to control themselves and stop objectifying women?”
How do you know what kinds of khutbahs I “advocate” for or against? Have you spoken to my local imam?
But your point is fair. Both should be advocated: khutbahs on men not being predatory on women, and khutbahs on women (and men) dressing modestly. But it’s not like you have to pick only one or the other…
I don’t need to speak with your local imam. It’s common across the board that our community focuses more on policing how Muslim women dress than Muslim men.
Muslim men should be educating other men on ways we can challenge sexism and misogyny in our communities. You say we should do “both,” but so far, the focus is exclusively on blaming Muslim women.
Nail on the head
“You say we should do “both,” but so far, the focus is exclusively on blaming Muslim women.”
I honestly haven’t a heard a khutbah on “Islamic rulings and etiquette on modest dress” in my entire life. And I certainly have never heard a khutbah “blaming women” for being assaulted.
No matter how much it might bother some people, modest dress is part of the deen. And yes, so is being kind and honorable to women. Praise be to God, I’ve heard many hadiths on honoring women in both khutbahs and Sunday Islamic school (as a child). But the significance of the latter issue (of honoring women) doesn’t mean the former one (on modest dress) is nonexistent, or insignificant, or expendable. Faith entails that we accept all teachings of scripture, and not fall into reductionism in what we espouse of scripture.
The irony must be lost on you or you probably just didn’t know, but using a quote from a known white supremacist, Rebecca Ann Felton to degrade a concept that was originally started by a black woman named Tarana Burke, 10 years ago; and you talk about history?
Your ahistorical, illogical and simplistic argument can be refuted on a myriad of levels. You should probably just delete this whole article, in fact you should probably stop writing, because your research skills are lacking (“Mom, will you be my primary source, I don’t know who to research and if I do real research I will be proven wrong), and because you’re a terrible writer.
A Muslim male who stands with his sisters and doesn’t victim blame, like you are doing, you cretin.
Another Muslim men who strives to stand in solidarity with Muslim women and against victim-blaming.
It’s a good thing you asked your mom and grandma. Now we all can benefit from this load of crap. I know women who are covered and have been sexually assaulted or who have been harassed. It has to do with dumbass men. If this is satire, it’s not funny.
Do cases of modestly dressed women being harassed negate that immodestly dressed women are harassed more? Did the article ever claim that women who cover are never harassed?
He basically blames victims of sexual harassment. How do you not see that?
Instead of obsessing over the way women dress, why don’t we lecture Muslim men to stop objectifying women? Where is the outrage from you or Daniel against men who harass and assault women?
Response to Kaash:
So the possible stances on this issue are only two: either (1) women can never do anything that might be a factor of being abused, or (2) women should receive full blame for being abused, with no blame on predatory men?
There’s NO third perspective: that men who harass women are fully at fault *for their crime*, AND women who dress immodestly go against the standards of revealed ethics, and their wrong decisions are a factor in facilitating harassment against them.
Because I acknowledge this third perspective, I don’t see that the article blames victims of sexual harassment. Men who assault are still to blame for their satanic wrongs. And women who make unfortunate bad choices in their dress and demeanor invite those demonic actions. Prophetic teachings of modesty are a general protection, even if cases exist where modestly dressed women are harassed.
Your third perspective is flawed because it still relies on the logic that women are to blame for how they dress. How do you define “modesty”? That is subjective. And, as many Muslim women have already pointed out here, wearing a hijab, niqab, or even a burqa does not prevent sexual harassment and assault.
Are you implying that if you saw a woman who wasn’t dressed “modestly,” you would harass her?
The larger problem is the culture of sexism and misogyny that exists in our societies and communities. Daniel does not say a word about the responsibility of men. As is typical in so many masjids, Muslim men stay obsessed and focused on blaming Muslim women for how they dress.
We should be focusing on implementing intervention programs that teach men to NOT harass, not assault, not rape, etc. Programs that teach men to RESPECT women and their choices.
“Your third perspective is flawed because it still relies on the logic that women are to blame for how they dress.”
I don’t think we’re working from the same assumed premises. I acknowledge that any man who harasses or assaults any woman is fully deserving of blame for his criminal act. It’s a great wrong, and God will punish such criminals, whether in this life or the next. They are never excused for such wrongs, regardless of how their victims were dressed/their behavior/etc.
I also acknowledge that God Almighty has sent down certain prescriptions for women’s (and men’s) dress that entail modesty. If a woman does not follow that, then yes, there is some blame on her for not following scripture. (But it’s much less blame than that on a man who assaults a woman.)
If you do not agree that dressing contrary to the dictates of scripture is wrong, then we are not working with the same basic premises. So we’ll just be talking past each other.
If you agree, then I am asserting that generally speaking, one of the wisdoms of the dress code of modesty from Islamic scripture is to protect women from harassment. It is a general wisdom, meaning there will always be exceptions (i.e., modestly dressed women are also harassed), but exceptions do not negate the general principle of which they are exceptions.
The “definitions” of modesty are found in the books of Islamic law. There are minor differences of opinion on details, but overall consensus of the basics. There is nothing subjective about it.
If you think the above premises suggest that a man who harasses a woman is not at fault if she were dressed immodestly, then either you simply want to argue and attack, or you’re unable to deduce conclusions from premises.
All the best.
What stands out is your silence on the reality that Muslim women who wear hijab, niqab, or burqa STILL get harassed by men. This is because these men do not respect women as people; they view them as objects.
This is why, regardless of what your interpretation of “modesty” is, women cannot and should not be blamed for how they choose to dress.
The responsibility falls on us to not only lecture other men about challenging the objectification of women, but also to raise boys and men to RESPECT women as equals and human beings.
Women with low self esteem like this authors mother encourage their male children to think like rapists .
Once a man is a rapist it doesn’t matter what a woman might wear around them.
I hope the author of this piece can get some mental help / re orientation but I doubt he can unlearn the lessons of his depraved childhood . It takes both IQ and morality to do that .
Ad hominem attacks evince the weakness of one’s argument.
Rape has more to do with power, sex is a tool to obtain it, no matter how fully or not dressed a woman is.
trash… trash…. TRASH…..
Daniel, I heard there’s two neutron stars that collided together a few days ago. Why don’t you put your brain energy on that? Cuz, quite frankly, I don’t think you understand shit about women’s issues. This is an (admittedly) well-written piece of garbage. Regardless, I look forward to reading what you think about stars and whatever crap is happening 2 billion light years away. Have a great day! Sincerely <3 V.
I can only hope this is meant as some pathetic attempt at satire as it is hard for me to imagine some one is capable of such mind-numbing stupidity.
Why is your grandma your source?
Daniel, we feel sorry for you-genuinely. Your sister went missing at the hands of a known child sex offender. I know you wish you were there to protect her like you mentioned about male members of a family should be doing for their female family members. I know that when the news broke about the Craigslist ad and Steve Burgess, you wanted to blame feminism. You want to blame a system that your sister worked in (posting an ad about being a math tutor) and you blame feminism for all of this-women working, not listening to their male family members etc. You unfortunately have a very very very limited scope of what the issue is but, you contradict yourself constantly. You want justice for your sister and made a Facebook post about her missing in October 2016. You wanted to highlight that you have a personal connection to the issues of feminism because of this. You wanted people you know what you’re talking about. But unfortunately as personally affected as you were, you don’t speak for us. You don’t speak for the women abused and assaulted INSIDE of their homes. You don’t speak for the girl who had brought a Maulana to justice in Chicago and you criticized the entire ordeal questioning whether assault even happened in the first place. Yet you demand justice for your sister, you demand that the perpetrator of the crime be put back into prison, you are quick to highlight HIM as a sex offender but everyone else? You question. And you blame liberalism, you blame feminism, you place the blame and the guilt you have inside on everything else. We really do feel sorry for you.
Well, you said what I have been holding my breath about. Dear son really needs a therapist before he posts again.
Wow, that is heart breaking. He really is blaming the wrong people. How can he not see that the United States is built on misogyny and sexist oppression against women – the very thing that he perpetuates in his articles?
The United States is a feminist and egalitarian society.
That is why they bomb Muslim countries- to spread American feminism into those country. If America was patriarchal, why would they force feminism onto other countries
Wrong. The U.S. is a white supremacist, capitalist, imperialist, heteropatriarchal settler colonial state.
Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color have speaking writing and speaking about this for centuries. You should read their work. By calling the U.S. a “feminist and egalitarian” society, you are ignoring the enslavement of Africans and genocide against Indigenous Peoples.
White feminist organizations that supported war against Afghanistan are complicit in white supremacy. Sexual violence against Indigenous women, Black women, Muslim women, and other women of color is rooted in U.S. imperialism and colonialism. There is nothing “feminist” about that.
By centering white feminism as “default feminism,” you are being complicit in the erasure of women of color and their efforts to fight against sexist oppression – both interpersonal and institutionalized forms.
I can’t speak on what people attribute as rape to ‘institutions’ (and everything else, based on the way you say it). I can only speak to my own rape at the hands of my (then) husband – a Muslim.
There is no rape inside marriage in Islam
The reason the mother and grandmother cannot tell this writer if they were ever abused is because he himself will think they were loose and will slut shame them. So of course they they tell him what he wants to hear. They know how he thinks. And that’s the case for many families. Revealing this to people closer to you is hard because even your own family might think you are loose
My god. You are a real piece of shit, aren’t you?
Wow LizBeth… such a coherent and logically sound response can only come from an ideology that has profound ethical foundations. You really demonstrate how feminism is unassailable in its logical coherence. Not to mention, its ethics and etiquette! Bravo!
Wow AK, you have demonstrated what textbook tone-policing looks like. Bravo!
Tone-policing applies only if used to detract from the validity of an argument — to criticize the tone of a statement instead of rebutting the argument. LizBeth made no argument. She just employed a crude ad hominem that reveals her lack of refinement.
It’s just an example of how radical liberalism and feminism have no grounding in the Prophetic Way.
No, LizBeth gave a valid response to an article promotes victim-blaming and misogyny.
Are you saying victim-blaming and misogyny is grounded in the Prophetic way?
LizBeth’s comment: “My god. You are a real piece of shit, aren’t you?”
Kaash, kindly elucidate the argument entailed in that phrase.
No, I’m not saying “victim-blaming” and “misogyny” are from the Prophetic Way. If the article promotes those things, then LizBeth could have demonstrated how, and refuted those notions. That would have been a valid response. Crude ad hominems are never “valid responses.”
Even when engaging Pharoah, perhaps the greatest misogynist ever, Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) were commanded to speak gently with him. And that was my original point: when an ideology drives people away from etiquette and respectful refutation (even when refuting great evils and injustices), then that’s a sign of where that ideology comes from.
Radical liberalism screams for justice yet will curse anyone who dares to examine its assumptions and inferences. (“You are a real piece of shit, aren’t you?”)
The Prophetic Way advocates for justice, yet its saints will pray at night for its opponents. (“O Allah, forgive my people, for they know not what they are doing…”
All the best.
Speaking of kindness, do you consider this statement grounded in the Prophetic way? These are the words of Daniel:
“The most cowardly people are Muslim progressives, reformers, liberals, SJWs, etc. They are absolutely nothing without the cultural backing that affirms their stupid opinions on Islam and life in general.”
Just go to his Facebook page and you’ll notice he’s always taking shots at Muslims who identify as activists, progressives, leftists, feminists, etc.
It’s funny how conservative Muslims like to talk about the Prophet’s (pbuh) kindness when it serves them, but it’s often the radical leftists who remind you that the Prophet also resisted against oppression.
If you someone spreads injustice, then there is cause to speak out against them. Did the Prophet (pbuh) not say to challenge injustice by either your hand, your tongue, or your heart?
I don’t blame people who respond in the way LizBeth did because Daniel is constantly using ad hominem attacks against people who disagree with him, especially women.
I am not defending Daniel if he makes a statement similar to LizBeth’s comment of “You are a real piece of shit, aren’t you?”
I condemn Daniel equally for any comment like that, directed against any individual. (Condemning a group is different though, so long as no persons are specified. The example you quote from Daniel is of a group… i.e., general proponents of an ideology.) I don’t know of him speaking like that to any individual.
But again, even if Daniel regularly speaks to individuals like LizBeth did to him, the point is that her comment STILL should not be made against him, just as his shouldn’t (IF he speaks like that). We have to condemn both. But you are saying she is CORRECT in that statement because in your view, Daniel is so bad: “I don’t blame people who respond in the way LizBeth did because Daniel is constantly using ad hominem attacks against people who disagree with him, especially women.”
Again, worse than Pharoah? Because even Pharoah was to be addressed with gentleness and respect. Kaash, by defending LizBeth’s gross comment, you stand on very weak moral ground. I’m fully willing to condemn similar statements, whether made by Daniel or any conservative Muslim. I don’t follow him on Facebook. I only read this article, and I saw no such statement from Daniel. Why can’t you condemn her statement, while still arguing for your overall feminist view?
LOL, you’re sounding like an Islamophobe now. “Do you condemn this? Why aren’t you condemning?”
If you have such a difficult time understanding what a human response to oppression is, there’s only so much I can explain to you.
You can’t perpetuate dangerous myths and victim-blaming attitudes against women and then expect all of them to respond in a way that you want. It doesn’t work like that.
You can’t be lecturing people about the Prophetic Way when the Prophet (pbuh) himself stood up against oppression. Him and the early Muslims protested against the oppressive norms and practices of the Quraish.
For you to lecture people about being kind to oppressors is hypocritical and derails focus away from the actual issue here: Daniel’s shameful misogyny.
I love how you blame women’s inherent lack of trust in parental, patriarchal, and authoritarian males as the intentional ‘dismantling of traditional family structures’. How could I have ever thought that the lack of trust stemmed from actual abuse of said trust? How silly of me. You’re so right, clearly it was all a liberal feminist plot.
WTF is wrong with your head man? Seriously, elderly women are raped in old age homes. Explain that one. You sir are definitely part of the problem.
Bunch of BS. So new arrivals to town with no family to look after them, widows and their children, those whose parent failed to do their duty are all bad people. Why? Because mom says so. That is your Islam. That is not an Islamic society. That is a patriarchal society. And a lot of people get raped and harassed by relatives and neighbors. What about those Iraqi women whose homes were entered by soldiers?
I have total respect for men who realize that a woman is not a toy and that they will be aswerable to Allah for their own actions, irrespective of what the woman wore and her character.
“So new arrivals to town with no family to look after them, widows and their children, those whose parent failed to do their duty are all bad people.”
Huh? How did the article imply that?
“And a lot of people get raped and harassed by relatives and neighbors.”
When did he claim this never happens? But do those instances negate the general safety mechanism of having extended family around as protection? Does a woman not feel safer if she has brothers and cousins who will defend her if harassed?
Feminists from the FITNA group are trolling this article!
That’s right. And you are next!….oouuuuu…Watch behind
MRAs think they’re being oppressed by Muslim women. Hilarious!
Seriously this is a joke right? Just bc liberals do some things wrong doesn’t mean you need to go to the opposite extreme. Guys need to control themselves regardless of how women are. This article is amazingly wrong.
Yeah, tell me about it. How could anyone be so obtuse to write an article saying “guys shouldn’t control themselves”?
Anyone who argues that if women dress immodestly then they’re setting themselves up for potential harm, is clearly suggesting that guys are never to blame if they assault women.
There certainly isn’t a middle ground of “guys must control themselves, always” AND “women should take measures to protect themselves, which includes conservative attire”… both can’t be true, right??
You’re missing the point. Not once does Daniel say Muslim men should take responsibility in challenging the objectification of women. Not once does he tell men that they need to stop objectifying women.
Read the article again. He writes about men as if we are the victims, as if Muslim women are persecuting us. The blame is put entirely on feminism — and Daniel deliberately ignores feminism as defined by Black women, Indigenous women, Muslim women, and other women of color. He goes after white feminism only because he knows that by acknowledging intersectional feminist movements (which have historically criticized and spoken out against white feminism), his argument will fall apart miserably.
It’s utter nonsense.
How do you define “objectification of women”? If a decent, loving husband who fulfills the rights of his wife and treats her with kindness, REALLY enjoys intimacy with her because of her physical features, is he at fault for objectifying his wife during intercourse?
Is being attracted to women for their physical traits inherently wrong? Or only when the attraction is for a woman outside of marriage, and if it translates to transgressing upon such a woman?
This is why adopting the language of liberalism and social justice is dangerous. Sexual intimacy due to physical attraction by definition has some level of objectification, and that is not wrong if between a man and his wife. It is wrong outside of that relationship.
Also Kaash, you can criticize Daniel for not emphasizing enough how wrong it is for a man to assault a woman. But that doesn’t take away the substance of his argument on the dangers of feminism.
If he wrote ten articles next month on how wrong it is in Islam for a man to sexually harass a woman, the argument in this article is the same. So to refute Daniel, you would need to demonstrate that feminism in fact does not threaten traditional family structures, or that if it does, that has no bearing on sexual harassment in society.
1. Objectification is exactly what the word sounds like: reducing someone (in this case, women) to an object. To objectify women is to not view them as people, as human beings with their own autonomy. To objectify women is to view and treat them like “things,” like property, as if you have ownership over them.
2. You’re talking about attraction and sexual intimacy, which are profoundly different than objectification. Nothing wrong with being physically attracted to someone. What I’m addressing here is about harassment, assault, and rape – just because you are physically attracted to someone doesn’t mean it’s permissible for men to harass women and violate their rights.
3. How consenting people choose to express their sexual intimacy is between them. The objectification I’m referring to involves violating women’s rights to their own bodies and selves.
4. How does feminism threaten family structures? First off, we need to address the fact that I’m not talking about mainstream western/white feminism. The feminism I advocate is intersectional and led by women of color. What’s Daniel’s response to that? That Hazrat Khadijah (pbuh) threatened the family structure because she was an independent business woman who proposed marriage to the Prophet (pbuh)?
Second, we must understand that feminism is a movement that seeks to end sexist oppression. Full stop. How does ending sexist oppression “threaten” the family structure?
Third, the real force that threatens family structure is misogyny. Yet Daniel is silent on that. Why? Why are there shelters for Muslim women who need places to stay after escaping intimate partner violence?
> accuses Muslims of being lazy if they support a sexual harassment awareness campaign
> proceeds to argue with a lazy observation on the situation
Cool story bro. Do you opt for riding a donkey instead of a car to because that’s “traditional” to you too?
Terry Berry’s logic:
Modernity gave us cars to replace riding donkeys. This improved travel speed.
So if Modernity offers new gender definitions/roles, and new family structures, then it necessarily follows that this will improve society.
Impeccable reasoning! If a new era brings a single positive change, then ALL ideas of that era must be positive! Terry Berry is the Avicenna of our times.
Feminism is a movement for equal rights.
In modern times this has branched into two directions:
1) Preserving equal rights. Such as the right to be treated as equals with respect to the law, so the right to not be victimized to the same extent as men.
2) Preserving equal privileges masquerading as rights. Such as the right to express yourself and be independent, cornerstones of modern Western culture. In other words, let women do and behave as they’d like, just as how men can do the same.
Many men have a problem with this. But they’re basically arguing that dressing in a manner that attracts attention (#2) correlates to being victimized (#1).
This is fundamentally unfair and illogical for a number of reasons.
1) The correlation is a voluntary association made by the chosen actions of the people, mostly men in this case. So just choose to not make them correlated.
2) It is modern society’s job, through government especially, to safeguard the rights of the people. This includes women’s right to their own bodies and to not be victimized. This has been the function of government going back nearly 300 years now in some cases. This isn’t new. So just do as we said we’d do.
Pretty simple solutions. Don’t correlate rape as an automatic response to sexual attraction (because then you remove agency from the equation and in essence argue for rape being not a willful act, and thus not criminalizable), and give people the equal rights we said we would, hundreds of years ago.
Besides, all the modern forms of cultural expression by women that irk these men so much were actually designed and forced on the women through manipulative tactics by men. Look to your own first.
“1) The correlation is a voluntary association made by the chosen actions of the people, mostly men in this case. So just choose to not make them correlated.”
Not all societal correlations are man-made projections. Some correlations are identified as objectively real in the world.
“Pretty simple solutions. Don’t correlate rape as an automatic response to sexual attraction (because then you remove agency from the equation and in essence argue for rape being not a willful act, and thus not criminalizable)”
Correlating rape as an automatic response to sexual attraction does indeed remove agency on the part of the criminal. But I haven’t seen anyone argue that…
However, to recognize that sexual promiscuity between unmarried men and women is a factor that further incites bad men to use their agency in wrongful deeds of harassment, assault, or even rape, does not remove agency of those men. A moral agent can be in an environment that facilitates wrong behavior, or in an environment that makes wrong behavior more difficult. Recognition of the role of environment does not negate moral agency.
Your guest talk/lecture opportunities should decrease after this article, insha’Allah.
> So effective is this campaign, that regular men who would be hard-pressed to hurt a fly now consider themselves rapists or rapists-in-the-making. Don’t believe me? Check your feed.
I don’t see anything like this in my feed and I certainly don’t feel this way. I think you may be projecting your own guilty gut reaction onto other men.
> The point is, she can’t. She can never trust any man, especially not any man in authority over her.
I can sort of see where you want to go with this, but that’s not what happens. Women are encouraged to trust their romantic partners at the expense of their friends and their friends at the expense of their families. And the same goes for men. This is part of a wider, well observed trend.
Western culture makes romantic relationships an idol unto itself. So, being “in love”, which includes trust, becomes an obsessive focus of people’s lives. It’s almost the opposite of what you’re claiming. They are still looking to trust men, it’s the authority part which you have a problem with and which has changed.
> The point is, the extended family structure found in Islamic societies meant that people in society knew each other and were around each other physically and socially. This fact protected women and men from destructive sexual behaviors through this holistic system of mutual family support. […] So, to recap, feminists strive to destroy the societal structures and institutions that protect women and men from things like sexual harassment and assault, and then when sexual harassment and assault inevitably increase in society, they blame men and insist that men are inherently corrupt and need to reform themselves in line with liberal feminist moral norms in order to redeem themselves from their “original sin.”
Actually, these old cultural institutions were dismantled in the capitalist revamp of Western culture back in the 18th century. In their place, the government (as a tool of wider society) took on the responsibility of protecting the populace and enforcing social norms. This was the catalyst for women’s and minority’s rights movements since the government now held a lot of moral authority.
Tribalism (which is honestly what you describe) was seen as primitive (we might argue, ‘foundational’). Having a modern government meant all people everywhere should be afforded the same rights, on paper and in practice. Whereas in the old tribal system, women from more well connected and powerful tribes enjoyed more rights than women, and even men, from less powerful and influential families. This remains the case in many Muslim and other third world countries.
This new system has been in place for so long, the underlying foundational structures (family, even tribe) have deteriorated and are now gone, which is what you’re trying to complain about. But this is more a case of “use it or lose it” than some concerted conspiracy.
Muslim civilization had many institutions in the past which no longer exist today as well (in fact, some exist in the West but not in the Muslim world). It’s just “use it or lose it”.
> These are the intellectual forbears of the modern feminists who have dutifully followed in their footsteps. Except instead of targeting one specific race, they target one specific gender.
What? So white supremacist feminists (in a time where, admittedly, white supremacism was a normalized ideology) gave way to female supremacist feminists? You haven’t proven a connection, you’ve just taken a roundabout way of restating your opinion yet again: That you think modern feminists believe women are superior to men and seek to disenfranchise men and enslave them (I assume that’s where you’re going with this I suppose). Drawing a comparison between advocating for the supremacy of a gender to the supremacy of a race doesn’t prove anything, it’s just another way of restating your opinion.
I’m sorry Daniel, but you’re going to have a hard time attracting people not disconnected from reality. Men still own and control the world and most of its power structures. That simple fact is what’s keeping your Islamic Alt-Right campaign grounded in case you hadn’t figured it out. That’s also why most of your audience are juvenile young men. I might have listened to you too when I was 18.
I have been in full abaya with others in a group and still deliberately bumped into and touched by men in places like Mecca, Medina, and Najaf. Would you still blame tarbiya and dress code?? Seriously, it has nothing to do with family background, class, dress code, or creed, and everything to do with gender.
This is what I got from the article: “I am Daniel, and I have no idea what my role is as a man anymore, please help me by shutting up all these women and men who have been molested and by Allah’s book been violated and oppressed, because I represent all men out there. My limited view of the world has led me to ask my mother and grandmother who obviously have all the answers, which ironically sound exactly like the things women and girls are told to keep them in line and controlled. Since women are not controlled already enough, let me just write this whole article, expressing my shear insecurity as a man in this 21st century with my 19th century mentality and call it Islamic, that way I sound legitimate and make an absolute fool of myself”. Let me guess next article will advocate for all women to go back in the kitchen and make him a sandwich.
LOL. So true.
Too many munafiqeen in the comments section
Looooooool keep pretending that your white-passing secularly-raised Iranian self knows better than black women what feminism is – remember the rest of us were disillusioned about the US long before you decided to have your little born-again moment about it. Haul your ass back to the 1880s and tell Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells (THE woman who called out the lynchings which you try and use as a shield for your sorry excuse for an argument) that when they identified with feminism and fought for women’s rights and founded entire women’s orgs, they were “complicit in lynchings” and just “didn’t know what real freedom was”. Or pardon me, did you not know that black women were crucial to women’s rights movements in the 1800s? Sorry, what was that – you didn’t know they existed because you only care about black people when you can use their bodies in your arguments, whilst not being invested in black thinkers or black lives? What a surprise!
Lord grant you healing from your obviously unresolved pain, and Lord protect others from your poison.
I really hope Daniel reads your comment. It’s so important.
Please note “Ahmed” is also simetimes using the handle “AK”
Pls use the unique icon to follow one person’s comments.
You mean someone is pretending to be two people to show that there are more people defending Daniel than there actually are?
Uh can’t read full article. It’s too pathetic. *Misogynist*
Really disappointed brother. That you don’t seem to understand the plight of women who are screaming for help. Or should I say, #YOUTOO. I have spent money listening to hear you speak and I am amazed by your ignorance and insensitivity of women. Women who are covered, women who meet all of their sharia obligations of modesty are still sexually harassed, yes! USTOO
Its not fair to say, women are asking for it by their dress. Men are to lower their gaze. I know countless Muslim men who do not know how to do that, who use their position as religious scholar to prey on women. So don’t go there and make generalize what women are doing to deserve this type of treatment. And when I said METOO, I wasn’t complaining about not getting a job, I was talking about RAPE ! So ask for clarification if you don’t understand or want to understand, but please don’t ever assume, especially as a up and coming leader and preacher. Have a great day, Assalamu Alaikum Wahramatullahi Wabarakatu
There are a few things that stood out to me in this article. The first is your misuse of the term liberal feminism. What you’re really referring to is radical feminism which is all about the abolishment of the patriarchy. Liberal feminism seeks an equal playing field for men and women in all aspects of life, especially in the work force. Another point was your use of feminism in general when you stated, “This is how feminism seeks to dismantle traditional family structures and traditional religion”. In this quote you sound a little like Pat Robertson when Robertson referred to feminism as, “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians”. Islam is actually quite in line with the basic definition of feminism which is one of the reasons I was drawn to Islam. It elevates women to a higher status, encourages education, does not limit women in leadership roles, and also does not force women to be barefoot and pregnant. I think you may want to do a little more academic research about this topic.
My first encounter was in a fair. I had at least 12-14 cousins, family and my very own brother with me. I was in class 5 and did not even realize what happened. My brother saw it happening but couldn’t stop it or even protest it, he left the scene in a second. What a crap 💩 this writing is!
I cannot really understand what the author is trying to say, however, calling him name for voicing his opinion is not justified. Suppose someone parks his or her car in a rough neighborhood and leaves the key in the ignition. If his car gets stolen would it be OK to ask him why he left the key in the ignition? Here is my advice:
Don’t leave keys in the car.
Make sure you lock it properly.
Try not to leave it unattended in a rough neighborhood.
And the counterargument would be “don’t the properly parked and locked cars get stolen”? The answer unfortunately is yes, but I believe the probability will be much lower.
Whether you agree with my advice or not it is up to you. But calling names is not fair. Do you think I am an apologist for thieves, or am justifying their action or worst I am their enabler? Is common sense advice construed as blaming the victim?
The solution presented from the other side is very simple — Parents should teach their sons and daughters to not commit theft.
I often appreciate your reflections, but this one is way off. :/
In fact, it’s simply reiterating the idea that women who are sexually harassed are “asking for it” which isn’t something any man who cares about his sisters in Islam should even insinuate, let alone someone who cares for human beings in general and a seeker of the truth.
Do you know how many men and women are sexually abused as young children? By the religious uncle, the grandfather who was always at the masjid, the cousin who everyone thought was so good? The imam or the Qur’an teacher. People no one would have ever suspected in a million years.
Those of us who work in the field of counseling know better, and so while it would be nice to just say it’s the breakdown of family which is the cause, unfortunately, it’s not true in any way shape or form and there is no simple scapegoat available.
And it’s tragic that you have failed to have respect for all the women who have chosen to share their voices in this campaign. Women who aren’t “blazing feminists” with some political agenda, rather, women who shyly decided to step forward, many of which I know personally.
Women who have been hiding their secrets for years but this campaign gave them the bravery to speak out. And many other women are reading silently and feeling relieved that they aren’t alone but not ready to post publicly.
And I’ll go out on a limb and say there are a lot of men feeling the same way because sexual abuse isn’t uncommon for young boys and young men.
Whatever tiny majority of people participated for some kind of feminist rant against men is nothing compared to the tides of women who participated because they felt safe to admit that they too have been sexually harassed.
This problem is an ancient one, not a modern one.
I encourage you to ask your SISTERS in Islam about their experiences – because you won’t have to look far to find them.
Actually, the whole movement started from and consists primarily of these “victims” in Hollywood. They have been selling their dignity for fat pay checks for decades and, once their beauty had faded and they expired, they finally retired and “spoke up”. Sorry but that wasn’t “rape”. They had a choice. They were asked if they were willing to have sex to get a promotion or not. They chose to do so to fatten their pay check. If my boss came to work and asked me to have relations with her for a promotion and I choose to do so, it’s not rape. It’s a bad choice I made.
What an awful horrible disgusting article. Guess what? Once a molvi who I trusted to teach me Quran at the age of 10 tried to show me pictures of naked women. Was that my fault too?!
Do us a favour and stop writing crap.
^For some of those commenting, your spirits are certainly in the right place. You want protection and the best treatment for women. But can you consider, that it’s only fair to assume this too about whomever is bringing their argument, even if you disagree with them? Isn’t it better to argue for the truth without insulting others, and while assuming the best of others? I have my arguments and beliefs also, and I believe that you will eventually see them, or maybe I will change my understanding, because I believe you are my sincere brothers and sisters, and I will listen and share with you and be patient with you until you die.
I would suggest you take this piece down. Its in poor taste and I urge you to spend more time understanding the hardships of your sisters in Islam before critquing them for unfortunatr matters out of their control.
I have one question, with no prejudice to anything said above.
Is there something in islam that TELLS a man to harass a women? I have truly wondered about how it goes together.
NB, I am not at all saying they are rapists! NEver Merely referring to disrespectful ways they address me and bother me when I pass on the street in, say, Brussels. I am neither loosely dressed not loose.
And the chordes of young muslim men who spoke to me on streets, followed me, tried to become physical after a short conversation on completely different things (about their culture and country) when I traveled in Morocco, dressed moderately and paying respect.
No, there isn’t. Islam teaches against objectification of women, and that all women should be respected.
The problem is sexism and misogyny. I’m sorry to hear about your experiences. All men, including Muslim men, need to be called out on this behavior and we need more intervention programs to teach men to NOT objectify, harass, and assault women.
Daniel will accuse you of making stories up because he himself is a victim-blaming misogynist. I would also argue that he is an Islamophobe since most of his hatred is directed at fellow Muslims.
No matter I agree or disagree with a blog I never comment, so this is my first time to have feel too strongly to ignore. As a Muslim woman grew up in Egypt, as a social historian, as a scholar on gender and sexuality in the Middle East, particularly on issues of sexual harassment, I testify that what’s written here express a view of an A-hole pseudo intellectual male jerk. You’re simply advocating rape-culture as long as the rapist is a Muslim male and call to silence the Muslim female victims!
Total complete trash. You should be ashamed that you wrote this, and are intentionally misleading people. Astaghfirullah.
Dude, you’re nuts. You are a walking, breathing MRA. You even use their language:”You can see all the ‘white knights’ using their platforms to weep real tears of self-loathing.”
Here is the thing, men who are protective of women and stand up for them are strong and masculine, thus, they get respect, love, sex, and faithfulness from women. Men who are not strong and protective of women get cuckolded and treated like they are lowly.
You keep leaking over and over in all your articles and comments your disdain for men being Qawwam-providers and protectors of women. If you believed men are Qawwam, you would praise “white knights”.
Lol don’t equate Qawwam to white knights 😂
I think this is your worst article. The connection between laws on refugees being passed and the “rapefugees” hoax is simply not true (check the timing). Please retract this article since it damages your credibility more than anything else.
As a proud Muslim, I can’t believe you actually wrote the following. This is unfitting any educated person, let alone a preacher….
> So my grandma immediately said that only the girls who dressed provocatively were harassed. I guess she didn’t get the memo on “slut shaming.”
> My mom said something very interesting. She said that there were plenty of loose girls who also liked to go flirt and have fun with the loose guys. What characterized these individuals was that they were not from good families. Why would the family you came from matter? I asked. Well, there is an element of tarbiya, i.e., how one was raised. Good families raise their kids with the right morals, so that they grow up knowing the right way to dress, to speak, and generally how to interact in public around the opposite sex, etc.