If you’ve been following the jihad news from Down Under, you’ve no doubt heard of “Cat’s Meat” Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali. He’s the Australian imam who condemned the provocative behavior of Western women, who invite their own rape by dressing and behaving in a flagrantly provocative manner.
According to an article in The Age, Muslim women are resisting the patriarchy. But this resistance doesn’t include any opposition to Sheikh Hilali. In fact, the sheikh is considered a stalwart supporter of the rights of women, a jihad warrior against the patriarchy.
How can this be?
Muslim Women Start Fighting Back
MUSLIM Australian women are starting to fight back against a repressive patriarchal system in which controversial Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali is seen as a champion of women’s rights, a Melbourne University conference will hear today.
Leading Muslim spokeswoman Silma Ihram says new voices in the Muslim community, especially women, are bypassing the mosque as increasingly irrelevant — but the lack of structure also makes space for radical groups to seek recruits.
OK, just for the sake of argument, we’ll assume the sheikh who considers unveiled women to be the equivalent of uncovered meat is somehow a champion of women’s rights. But what is this “lack of structure” that allows the radicals to come recruiting in the mosques of Australia? And what does the sheikh have to do with it?
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Ms Ihram, a noted educator who will present a paper to a National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies conference today, is one of several speakers about Muslim women fighting back from “second-class status”.
In her paper, she defends Sheikh Hilali, who sparked outrage two years ago when he compared scantily clad women with uncovered meat, saying he is considered one of the most outspoken supporters of women’s rights.
She says he was the main supporter for setting up the Muslim Women’s Association despite objections from his own male-only mosque board, and is reputed to support women’s choice in marriage, divorce and ethnic intermarriage.
She told The Age that the sheikh changed his message depending on the audience. “He has a conservative patriarchal community (at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque), and he’s going to address them in a way they feel comfortable with.
Now it becomes clear: Sheikh Hilali is a secret women’s libber who has been forced to adopt regressive rhetoric by the exigencies of intramural politics. He’s not really an atavistic exponent of the patriarchy; he’s one of its most dedicated enemies:
“At the same time he has to deal with younger Australian women, whose rights he is championing. So he has this contradiction: he says one thing to one group and another to another. A lot of imams have this problem.”
And the lack of women’s rights among Muslims has nothing to do with Koranic doctrine:
The paper says Muslim women in Australia are still denied essential rights spelled out in the Koran, but access to a Western education and feminist discourse is helping them contest “centuries of selective male interpretation of the Scriptures”.
Thank goodness Western feminism is allowing Muslim women to throw off their false consciousness and fight back against the patriarchy!
The article goes on at length about the new subversive ideas among Muslims in Australia about gender roles and the rights of women. What it highlights, however, is a question that I’ve often wondered about: how feminism will reconcile its radical ideology with that of Islam.
We know it has to happen, since the Socialist left in the West has cast its lot with that of Islam. Socialism has to be made compatible with Islam, so the ideology of the Left has to be restructured somehow to include Islam. How will that occur?
This article gives you an idea: the tenets of Islam actually represent the legitimate aspirations of women, which have been suppressed by the patriarchy in both its Western and traditional Muslim variants. But pure Islamic ideology is the true friend of women everywhere, and will help them throw off the yoke of male oppression in all its forms.
Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali, far from being an enemy of women, is an advocate for women’s liberation. Muslim women are in the vanguard of the revolutionary forces that will overthrow the patriarchy.
War is peace! Freedom is slavery! Ignorance is strength!
And Islam is the truth that shall liberate the Sisterhood.
Hat tip: Nilk.