Shaheen Hashmat has thoughts on Islam and Honour Abuse.
It’s not just Islam. On the other hand it’s not completely independent of religion either.
I look back on my own experiences and I know that religion was used as justification for absolute control and horrific abuse. Some awful things were done to me by my family.
That’s the thing, you see: it’s used as justification. Nothing else can do that as effectively. One of the projects of atheism is to make it less effective that way.
It doesn’t work to say “I forced my fourteen-year-old daughter to marry a man of fifty because we’re socialists.” Or “…because we’re Federalists” or Labour or Tory or Christian Democratic or Communist or Libertarian or Masons or golfers or vegans or teachers or plumbers…
…or anything you can think of, other than religion.
…the point is that I was made to understand the absolute inferiority of my place as a female in my family, and when I was old enough and had learned how to ask questions about this without courting further abuse (because to question the rules of oppression would be to question absolute authority), I was told that this was the way things are in Islam. The head of our family apparently said once that ‘women bring nothing but shame, from the day they are born, until the day they are buried.’ In my personal experience, intense abuse was closely linked with religious rhetoric.
But there is a lot of Islamophobia, she adds. And yet…
But I will say this: I have nothing if not a right to question, criticize and ridicule any type of Islam that seeks to oppress women in the same way I was. I am deeply angered by those who dare to suggest that my story (and others like it) fuels Islamophobia and that I too could be deemed Islamophobic. There are those who claim to provide a platform and a voice to marginalised individuals in one breath, and then in the next accuse a survivor of the Bosnian anti-Muslim genocide of being Islamophobic before blocking her on social media, simply because she very politely questioned an editorial decision to publish a post defending gender segregation in UK universities, written by a spokesperson for an extremist organisation! You couldn’t make this shit up!