Sunday, July 24, 2005

Female Arab Columnist Says,
"God Belongs To Me Too."

Mona Eltahawy is a columnist for the New York-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. In this article, published by the Washington Post she declares that she is fed up with the Islamofascists murdering people, and murdering her own religion:

The July 7 London bombings did it for me. Perhaps it was because my parents moved us from Cairo to the British capital when I was 7 years old, and so London was my childhood "home." Or maybe it was because our route to work and school every morning crisscrossed those same Underground stations that were targeted.

I'm sure it was also those dog-eared statements that our clerics and religious leaders read out telling us that Islam means peace -- it actually means submission -- and asking us to please forget everything they had ever said before July 6, because as of July 7 they truly believe violence is bad. Their backpedaling is so furious you can smell the skid marks.

Some are not even bothering to put their feet on the pedals, such as the 22 imams and scholars who met at London's largest mosque to condemn the bombings but who would not criticize all suicide attacks.

Sayed Mohammed Musawi, the head of the World Islamic League in London, insisted "there should be a clear distinction between the suicide bombing of those who are trying to defend themselves from occupiers, which is something different from those who kill civilians, which is a big crime."

In a classic example of laying blame everywhere but at our own door, Musawi actually criticized the Western media (for supposedly confusing frustrated young Muslims) rather than those scholars who had blessed suicide bombings as long as they targeted Israelis.

Suicide bombings are the Muslim weapon of choice not only in London and Israel but in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. They are killing Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and yet our imams and scholars cannot condemn them.

As I said, the London bombings did it for me. Or maybe it's the knowledge that the more these faceless cowards strike, the more Muslim men in the West like my brother are pushed onto the stage of suspicion. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Ehab -- who spends virtually all of his time caring for his cardiology patients or fulfilling his role as husband and father -- was one of the 5,000 Muslim men questioned by the FBI; two years later he was among the thousands more who had to submit to being fingerprinted and photographed as part of a special registration.

But most of all, the London bombings rid me of all patience with the excuse that "George Bush [or Tony Blair or take your pick of Western leaders] made me do it." We don't know who was behind Thursday's explosions, but an Arab analyst told a satellite channel that if Blair hadn't learned the mistake of the Iraq war, these new attacks were a firm reminder.

I never bought the explanation that U.S. foreign policy had "brought on" the Sept. 11 attacks, and I certainly don't buy the idea that the Iraq war is behind the attacks in London. Many people across the world have opposed U.S. and British foreign policy, but that doesn't mean they are rushing to fly planes into buildings or to blow up buses and Underground trains in London.

I was against the invasion of Iraq and would not have voted for George Bush if I were a U.S. citizen, but I'm done with the "George Bush made me do it" excuse. We must accept responsibility for this mess if we are ever to find a way out.

And for those non-Muslims who accept the George Bush excuse, I have a question: Do you think Muslims are incapable of accepting responsibility? It is at least in some way bigoted to think that Muslims can only react violently.

We all must ask a host of difficult questions. How about beginning by acknowledging once and for all that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a Muslim issue? It is a dispute over land that too many clerics and religious leaders, radical or otherwise, use to flesh out the victimized-Muslim scenario.

Yes, Palestinians deserve a state, and, yes, Israel must end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

But rather than dwelling endlessly on these issues, we would do well to spend time encouraging our young people to become more active members of their communities and to not live caught between two worlds: a Muslim one at home and in the mosque, an "infidel" one outside.

And what about assimilation? It is not bigoted to ask Muslims if they are integrating into the societies they are living in. Just as the British government has responsibilities toward its citizens, immigrants included, so too do those immigrants. Muslims ask for time off work for prayer, for example, and they often get it. But are they truly living in Britain or are they perpetuating an existence that even their relatives "back home" long ago left behind? Domestic policy is too often ignored by many Muslims who are more concerned with Palestine, Iraq or any other place where Muslims are believed to have suffered injustice.

I raise these questions because London might have done it for me, but I'm not done with Islam. The clerics and the terrorists will not take it away from me. God belongs to me, too.

Women are the Thomas Jefferson's and Thomas Paine's of the Revolutionary War against Islamofascism. Women like Hirsi Ali, Mona Eltahawy, Irshad Manji, Oriana Fallaci, and our blogosphere's very own Pamela from Atlas Shrugs, and Dymphna from Gates of Vienna, are necessarily the most powerful voices raised against the Islamofascist tyranny.

Why do I say necessarily? Because, you will notice, whenever I recite the litany of offenses that constitute the Islamofascist assault on civilization, the very first I cite is the fact that Islamofascists keep HALF THEIR POPULATION IN SLAVERY; that is the female half.

Under the Islamofascist tyranny of strict Sharia law, women are not allowed to make choices about whom they will marry, whether to be educated, whether to work, what to wear, or where to go. People who are not allowed to make such basic decisions for themselves have had their freedom of choice absolutely obliterated. They are slaves.

It is, apparently, hard for us here in Western countries to process this idea. We think of slaves as being people who are chained, and forced to live in little huts on the back of a plantation. We think of slaves as people who pick the cotton and dig the ditches. But, the basic definition of a slave is:

One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household.

It is true that women do have the right to demand a divorce under Sharia law, but as they don't have the right to make these other decisions for themselves (especially the right to education and work), divorce is a choice for poverty, and a life of being ostracized.

I want to be clear that I am speaking here against not only the idea of the enslavement of women under Sharia, but against it's practice in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Sudan. The life of a woman in these countries is at the will of the men in their lives, and is as degrading and inhuman as those men choose to make it.

We must be clear about who our enemy is in this war. Just as surely as during the Revolutionary War, or the Civil War, or any other war, for that matter, the reasons for our fighting are legion, and include economic, as well as territorial concerns, but the enemy we fight is the same; that is, the forces who would take freedom from individuals, and hand it to a tyranny.

Islamofascism must end, and as women are the individuals most abused by it's existence, so women are also the most eloquent voices against it.