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>Take a look at http://www.unn.ac.uk/societies/islamic/, which
>challenges some of these myths that are frequently trotted out.
And in the section about women it says "The status of woman in Islam
constitutes no problem." I must admit it lost some credibility with
me after that. :)
It also contained quite an attack on secular humanism, and states
that "....the clergy. These were the Trojan horse, because instead of
leaving the religious camp to the libertarian camp, they started
working on religion itself by new re-interpretations and new exegesis
of the texts to render lawful and permissible what has been unlawful
and reprehensive along the whole history of those religions. Many of
those clergy themselves fell prey to the germs they were supposed to
fend off." Memetics, it's everywhere.
However as Lawrence pointed out, it is wrong to talk about the kinds
of abuses which may occur in some areas as if it applies to all of
Islam. Perhaps we should stick to your experience since I think you
are trying to make a point here, and I am just muddying the issue at
this point with what I am trying to say. I do think that if you were
open to seeing these things from the women's point of view, and
appreciating their dilemma you might be one step closer to helping
change things. Let's see if we can salvage some sort of productive
discussion from all of this.
> >That they are powerless.
>Or stupid? How dumb must a woman be to willingly throw away a power
>that is so intrinsically Woman's and Woman's alone? Yes, many women
>do throw away their power. And for what? Money. Prestige. Such power
>can never be excised by force. It is willingly given... nay, thrown
This makes me think of both Malcolm X and Stephen Biko, who said that
in order for African Americans (in Malcolm's case) or Africans (in
Biko's case) to change they must look to themselves. It is a
necessary first step to recognize your power and to recognize the
ways in which you surrender it before you can reclaim it. I think
there is something of value in what you say, although I also sense a
little bit of hostility?
> What about all those other invisible drones littering battle-fields
>or shovelling dirt in coal mines? I don't see much of this fabulous
>patriarchal prestige among them.
Again I see a parallel between what you say and the civil rights
movement here in the US. MLK began to expand his movement to address
poverty issues, which he saw as inextricably entwined with these
other issues. I think the parallels exist because we are still
talking about the dynamics of power and oppression. Or to be more
memetically correct. We are looking at the ways in which memes
enable their hosts to exploit other members of their species - or
cause their hosts to be exploited by other members of their species.
>The choices we make are votes cast in favor of what we think the
>culture should be. My purchase of a car is a vote in favor of
>destroying the environment, even though I don't like doing this. For
>this reason, my only credible choice that proves my love for the
>environment is to get rid of the car, and even, to shun my culture.
>Anything less is just an excuse.... unless, perhaps, the effort in
>sustaining the silent war we wage exceeds the benefits we obtain
>from our culture. How many of us contribute more than we get?
There is nothing that says that our memes or our culture necessarily
represent our best interests. The dilemma you describe is eternally
human. Do you have any suggestions of how these women you describe
could do the equivalent of refusing to buy a car and shunning their
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