Blogging things that make me vaguely uncomfortable, that is. I do believe she’s requiring me to think.
I don’t get this unspoken idea in the white West that Muslim (esp brown) women are somehow more lost/mindless/submissive/in-need-of-saving than women of other faiths. It seems the bodies, sexuality, and general suffering of many Muslim women are just fine to trot out when they serve the interests of various Western war machines or the egos of some feminists. But there’s almost no respect for the personal agency and intelligence of women who choose to practice Islam in certain ways. It’s too much for people to try and listen before deciding they Care More and Know Better.
No, if a woman is Muslim, then it’s Islam holding her down– class, cultural, familial, racial, colonial*, layers are blotted out completely. And don’t let her tell you different! Even if she identifies as feminist!
Catch the rest of her post on the complexities of restrictive religions and how they are reported. Don’t miss the comments, either.
Samia also posts links to writing she finds thought-provoking. This last set is particularly good, so good that even while I strongly suggest you go read the rest, I’m stealing this video. Note that it applies very well to discussing behavior in general, not just in the context of race.