"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Response to Obama's Cairo Speech

Hat Tip: Phyllis Chesler

In response to Obama’s speech in Cairo but here’s what Ayaan Hirsi Ali had to say in an interview with Jeb Golinkin for the New Majority.


President Obama’s speech didn’t do much for Muslim women. He defended their rights in Western countries to wear the hijab. He didn’t touch on Muslim women being confined, being forced into marriages or being victims of honor killings: These traditions and principles in the Koran and in Islam are being practiced in the West. He didn’t address that. I think he was just appeasing the Muslim world because they perceive–they have these notions that Muslim women in Western countries–are not allowed to wear the headscarf or cover themselves. I mean you can wear whatever you want in the United States.

In Egypt where he spoke, women who do not wear their veil in public are subjected to very obscene remarks on the street and even sexual assault. Nowadays, even if they are covered they become victims of the same things: That is, in public, in Egypt, as a woman, you run 80% of the time the risk of being assaulted simply because you are a woman walking down the street. They are forced into marriages; their testimony in countries where Sharia is law is just half of that of a man. They can be divorced with no rights. They need guardians, a married guardian or they cannot sign any legal papers. The President simply did not address Sharia or Islamic law in relation to women.


Aleta said...

This sends chills down my spine and then makes me so damn angry! This is horrible - to think we are "advanced" in this day and age - are we? Truly? That this is happening ANYWHERE in the world, disgusts me.

Mum-me said...

When my mother visited Israel a few years ago with a friend (female friend) they didn't give it a second thought. When they arrived they said they were lucky that the local tour guide took them under his wing, and he escorted them wherever they went introducing my mum as his younger sister and her friends as his older sister. She said they were treated much more politely (than the other single women on the tour) in places like Jordan, and even in Jerusalem, because they had a male guardian.

I was astonished. I never though two older, married women traveling together would be frowned upon by the muslim men. I always thought it was just the young, unmarried or newly married girls who were treated so harshly.

My mum also said because it was so cold she wrapped her scarf around her head, covering everything but her eyes. She didn't do this our of respect for the local customs but because she was cold. (She hadn't though to take a warm hat.) Interestingly she claims she was given preferential treatment at tourist sites and shops, and her tour guide said it was because of the headscarf.