The Islamic View of “Feminism”

Gatestone Institute, by Nonie Darwish, July 13, 2017:

  • What the West needs to know is that in the Muslim world, jihad is considered more important than women, family happiness and life itself. If we are told, as Linda Sarsour said, that Islam stands for peace and justice, what we are not told is that “peace” in Islam will come only after the whole world has converted to Islam, and that “justice” means law under Sharia: whatever is inside Sharia is “justice;” whatever is not in Sharia is not“justice.”
  • Rebelling against Sharia is, sadly, for the Muslim woman, unthinkable. How can a healthy and normal feminist movement develop under an Islamic legal system that can flog, stone and behead women? That is why Sarsour’s jihadist kind of feminism is no heroic kind of feminism but the only feminism a Muslim woman can practice that will give her a degree of respect, acceptance, and even preferential treatment over other women. In Islam, that is the only kind of feminism allowed to develop.

Muslim activist and Women’s March organizer, Linda Sarsour, has helpfully exposed a side of Islam that is pro-Sharia and pro-jihad:

“I hope that … when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”

Although Sarsour later protested that the word jihad literally means “struggle” or that “our beloved prophet … said… ‘A word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader, that is the best form of jihad,'” that is not what the word jihad means in general parlance to anyone you might ask in the Middle East. The people there know only too well that if they even tried to speak a “word of truth” to someone in power, that could possibly be the last word they would ever utter.

The word jihad is not a matter of left or right or liberal or conservative, except when it being manipulated to repackage and sell as something warm, fuzzy and non-threatening to trusting people in the West.

In Sarsour’s world, women who do this are called feminists, but, in reality, they are as dangerous to women’s rights, the peace of a nation and stability of its government as male jihadists.

At a recent Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention, Sarsour urged fellow Muslims, in an openly racist speech, to wage jihad against the “fascist” and “white supremacist” White House, be perpetually outraged, and not to assimilate. She mentioned 9/11 not as a terrorist event waged by Muslims against Americans, but as a day that triggered victimization and Islamophobia against Muslims by America.

Americans got upset just because they were murdered? As the saying goes: “It all started when he hit me back.”

Even though Sarsour later claimed her use of the word “jihad” meant non-violent dissent, that is not what the word is taken to mean in any Muslim country. There, it means only one thing: war in the service of Islam. In addition, her speech did not sound peaceful. It clearly sounded more like a call for an Islamic uprising against the White House.

Linda Sarsour’s recent speech calling to wage jihad against the “fascist” and “white supremacist” White House did not sound peaceful. It clearly sounded more like a call for an Islamic uprising. Pictured: Sarsour at the Women’s March on Washington, on January 21, 2017. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Sarsour apparently identifies as a feminist. Sarsour’s kind of feminism, however, embraces the most oppressive legal system, especially for women: Islamic religious law, Sharia. Sarsour’s feminism is supposedly for empowering women, but it twists logic in a way similar to how Muslim preachers do when they claim that beating one’s wife is a husband’s way of honoring her.

Pro-Sharia feminism is a perverted kind of feminism that could not care less about the well-being of oppressed Muslim women. Sarsour’s logic concerning women does not differ much from that of Suad Saleh, an Egyptian female Islamic cleric, who recently justified on Egyptian TV the doctrine of intentional humiliation and rape of captured women in Islam. Saleh said, “One of the purposes of raping captured enemy women and young girls was to humiliate and disgrace them and that is permissible under Islamic law.” There was not even a peep in Egypt’s civil society about such a statement.

Here is an Australian Muslim woman calling beatings by husbands a “blessing from Allah”.

Muslim feminists seem to think that they must defend Sharia and “Allah” before any other consideration — including women. Musdah Mulia, a Muslim professor, who also claims to be a feminist, maintains that Islam is a religion of equality. She has said, “blame Muslims, not Islam, for gender inequity.” Muslim anthropologist Ziba Mir-Mosseini has argued “The problem [for women in Islam] has never been with the text (the Koran), but with the context.” That means, presumably, that the problem is everyone’s fault except for the sources themselves: Islam, the Koran and Sharia.

The reason Islamic feminism has been perverted is because over centuries it had to conform to Islamic law, Sharia, which regulates to a fare-thee-well all behavior of women, men and children. Many Muslims, however, seem to be in denial that the main goal of Sharia is to promote life under the bondage of Sharia as good and healthy. Sharia therefore becomes a convoluted way of coercing people to adapt to tyranny.

In London, for instance, devout Muslim women, while wearing a full black niqab, are seen carrying signs protesting British law, supporting Sharia and threatening Europe with another Holocaust and another 9/11. Here in America, the angry mother of the Tsarnaev brothers, responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing, instead of apologizing for what her sons did in a country that welcomed them, warned that “America will pay.” These are the kind of women that Arab TV places on pedestals. The message to Muslim women is that this is the only kind of feminism Islamic society will tolerate.

“Muslim feminism” is essentially the feminine form of jihad: women defend Sharia, promote jihad, and even emulate the Islamic “virtue and vice police” against other women.

Strong and assertive women do exist in Islam, but to stay strong and respected they have to sell women who want to escape the tyranny of Sharia. Because of the tremendous pressure from life under Sharia, Muslim women have developed a warped form of feminism: a kind of coping mechanism like a “Stockholm Syndrome,” where the captive believes that if he is nice to his captors they might treat him better. Like kidnap victims trying to merge with the thinking of their kidnappers in order to survive, women in the Islamic world have learned to defend Sharia and be protective of Islam’s reputation as priority number one. That is what Linda Sarsour is advocating today as “feminism.”

If such Muslim feminists truly cared about women, why are they not dedicating their work and effort against the rape and oppression of Yazidi, Christian and women of other sects who are being abused and tortured by Muslim men not only in the Middle East but also in Europe? The only women who are coming to the rescue of women being raped in the Middle East are Western women — unfortunately not Muslim “feminists.”

Most hijab-wearing Muslim women tell Western audiences that they are not oppressed and are proud of their “protection” under the hijab or the niqab.

What the West needs to know is that in the Muslim world, jihad is considered more important than women, family happiness and life itself. If we are told, as Sarsour said, that Islam stands for peace and justice, what we are not told is that “peace” in Islam will come only after the whole world has converted to Islam, and that “justice” means law under Sharia: whatever is inside Sharia is “justice;” whatever is not in Sharia is not“justice.”

The cruelty of life under Sharia produces two kinds of women: the aggressive and proud, and the doormats. The aggressive Muslim “feminists” often turn their aggression not on the cruel system, but on weak women who are victims of Sharia — because it is so much easier to turn on the weak than to take on a system that has the power to harm, jail or kill you; and they hope to be praised and rewarded for supporting the system that abuses them.

The system, at its origins, was designed to please men — promising them anything and everything if they sacrificed their life on earth and their earthly wife and family for jihad. In such a system women, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness had to be sacrificed:

“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (Surah Al-Baqarah [2:216] – Quran)

What Islam wants is for men to kill the enemies of Allah and get killed to expand Islam and then presumably go to paradise. Women’s welfare has therefore become an inconvenience to Sharia to say the least.

Strong Muslim women know what they should do if they are to enjoy a certain level of power and respect in Islamic society. They must never defy Sharia, but embrace it. The rewards for compliant Muslim women may explain why most of the Muslim college professors sent by Saudi Arabia to teach Americans never criticize Sharia but claim it to be harmless and even liberating.

An Islamic “Sarsour style” of feminism has to be Sharia-compliant in the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mode. Such women have a high degree of tolerance for domestic violence and oppression of other women whom they can regard as “dissolute” or “bad.” After being indoctrinated under such a cruel legal system, Muslim feminists end up taking pride in conforming to Sharia while condemning the supposedly “bad” women who do not conform. Whatever unpleasant acts might happen to these other women, according to many Muslim “feminists,” those women brought it on themselves by not accepting Sharia.

Centuries of sacrificing family happiness for jihad have taught Muslim women that they are an inconvenience to men who supposedly would prefer to be doing jihad. Thus the “wise” Muslim woman molds herself and others to fit into Islam’s priorities. Islam calls any woman who rebels “nashiz” (“rebellious”), a derogatory term. Under Sharia, a husband could lock up his nashiz wife at home for life and get three other wives and enjoy his life while she is locked up.

Rebelling against Sharia is, sadly, for the Muslim woman, unthinkable. That is why during the “Arab Spring,” not one Muslim woman carried a sign against the oppression of Sharia in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. How can a healthy and normal feminist movement develop under an Islamic legal system that can flog, stone and behead women?

That is why Linda Sarsour’s jihadist kind of feminism is no heroic kind of feminism, but the only feminism a Muslim woman can practice that will give her a degree of respect, acceptance, and even preferential treatment over other women. In Islam, that is the only kind of feminism allowed to develop.

This Islamic oppressive view of women is now creeping into Western cultural views of feminism. Recently, USA Today celebrated the hijab as symbol of feminism.

It is important that this brand of “pride in bondage” kind of feminism that people such as Linda Sarsour are trying to “sell” not be “bought” by the good-hearted, but insufficiently informed people in the West.

Nonie Darwish, born and raised in Egypt, is the author of “Wholly Different; Why I chose Biblical Values Over Islamic Values”

Also see:

Linda Sarsour’s Muslim Identity Politics Epitomize Feminism’s Hypocrisy

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Although she thinks a President Trump will turn back the clock 300 years, Linda Sarsour forgets that Islam never left the Middle Ages in its view of women.

The Federalist, by Shireen Qudosi, January 24, 2017:

A Frankenstein’s monster of identity politics, the Women’s March on Washington heaved through the streets of DC one day after the inauguration in a fit of depraved hypocrisy.

That hypocrisy shadows activist and National Co-Chair of the Women’s March Linda Sarsour. In the past Sarsour has railed against women spotlighting misogyny in the Muslim world. She openly advocates for including sharia law in the United States. Yet sharia law would dwarf her march’s half a million turnout to 250,000, because under sharia a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s.

Sharia law would also punish the female protestors for vulgarity in publicly displaying “pussy caps” and other brazen symbols of womanhood. It would also allow men to beat their wives and daughters for participating in the protest. Although she thinks a President Trump will turn back the clock by 300 years, Sarsour forgets that Islam never left the Middle Ages in its primeval view of women.

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Venerated by leftists, Sarsour now rides the great beast of modern feminism much like the “god-King” Xerxes in “300.” This weekend she and other heads of the Soros-connected movement protested against a democratically elected president. This is a Palestinian woman protesting about the democratic process in the freest country in the world.

Sarsour is also handsomely funded by New York taxpayers and supported by other elevated women in a nation that gives equal space to women’s voices. These rights do not exist in Islamic theocracies, where we find the real war against women—something Sarsour seems to deny—and where the democratic process is a fantasy.

Yet Sarsour, much like many in the Women’s March, continues to see a legitimate presidential election through the filter of the third world. A day after the election, she tweeted: “We can disagree & still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of humanity and right to exist.”

Read more

Liberal Support for the American Flag Hijab is an Endorsement of Slavery


By Tawfik Hamid (h/t Clare Lopez)
shepard-greaterthanfear-1-5550x7400-5690Shepard Fairey (the artist behind the 2008 “Hope” poster depicting then presidential candidate Barack Obama) produced a new set of images for President Donald Trump’s inauguration. One of his posters features  a Muslim woman wearing the American flag   as a hijab. The real irony here is that the Muslim hijab was originally designed as, and remains today, an intentional and literal symbol of discrimination and extreme disrespect and humiliation not only for women, but for all humanity. Many ideologues (be they of the liberal left or Islamophiles or whomever) are apparently blind to, or unaware of, or simply choose to ignore the fact that   traditional and unopposed Islamic teaching (which is to say, mainstream modern Islamic teaching) unambiguously states:
  1.        The Hijab is a dress code in Islam that was designed to distinguish “free” from “slave” women. According to Ibn Kathir (one of the most reputable interpretations of the Quran), and according to almost all authentic and approved Islamic theology and Sharia legal texts, the hijab exists to differentiate between free women and concubines so that free Muslim women will not be accidentally molested. Slaves and concubines (actual modern classes of human beings in Islam) enjoy no such protections.
  2.     Only “free” women are allowed to wear the hijab and cover their bodies. For example, Tafseer Ibn Kathir (again, one of the most reputable authorities in explaining the Quran) discusses the context (Asbab al-nuzil) of hijab verse Quran 33:59. According to this Tafseer and to most authoritative Islamic books men in Medina (the first capital of the Islamic Caliphate) would look at a Muslim woman, and if she was fully covered in the hijab they understood that she was a free woman and therefore refrained from sexually molesting her. On the other hand, if a woman was without a hijab, they marked her as a slave girl and [direct quote] “jumped on her to have sex.” In other words, according to traditional Islamic teaching, the command of the hijab was specifically to distinguish between slave and free women so that the early Muslims would not mistakenly rape the latter.
[Note: This religious teaching may explain the wave of sexual harassment and rape of European girls by many male Muslim immigrants].

3.     A slave woman is not allowed to imitate free women in wearing the hijab. If she dares to do so, she must be punished (“because her body is cheaper than and inferior to that of a free woman”). For example, Umar Ibn Al-khatab (one of the foremost disciples of prophet Mohamed) used to beat any slave girl who dared to cover her body as the free Muslim women did. Thus free Muslim women became distinctive from the slave girls. “When Umar Ibn Al-khatab travelled in Medina … If he saw “Ama” or a slave girl, he would beat her with his Durra [a special type of stick] until the hijab fell off and he would say: ‘How come the ‘slave girls are trying to emulate the free women by wearing the Hijab!'” Tabakat Ibn Saad.

4.     Free women must wear the Hijab when they reach puberty to decrease their sexual allure. According to Hadith of prophet Mohamed: “The Messenger of Allah turned away from his daughter Asma and said, ‘O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of puberty (i.e. to become sexually attractive) , nothing should be seen of her except this and this’ and he pointed to his face and hands.”

5.      Free women who are supposed to wear the hijab will go to hell if they do not cover up with this dress. “Narrated by Abu Huraira that Prophet Muhammad said: women who are covered and naked at the same time [Kasiat Areat: does not cover their body completely] … will never go to paradise or even smell it.” Sahih Muslim

The above theological references are only few examples of many that illustrate the true symbolism of the hijab. It is truly hard to comprehend how the western liberal left has sunk to such a level that it can blindly accept, endorse, even promote a blatantly discriminatory dress code that supports slavery, explicitly defines women as sex objects, justifies sexual harassment and even rape, and then prescribes punishment for women who do not wear it. It is almost beyond imagining.
In brief, Liberal support for Slavery MUST Stop!

The Poisoned Veil: Are Muslim Women’s Rights Worth Fighting For?

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I am pleased to announce that Brad O’ Leary has written this exhaustively researched book on the oppression of women under sharia using, in part, archives from the Counter  Jihad Report. This is the value of a counter jihad news aggregation site for writers and researchers.

In the introducton O’Leary states his reason for writing the book:

I am writing this book because I have six daughters, six grand-daughters, and four great-grandaughters. I don’t want them to become socially or emotionally involved, date, or go into business with people who have brought values with them that are inconsistent with the values my daughters and grand-daughters fought for and won, which is basically the quality and  the personal power as females to decide their lives based on their own views, not someone else’s views.

The book includes some interesting polling data on attitudes in the United States towards some aspects of sharia that O’Leary commissioned in conjunction with Zogby Analytics. The book views the Islamic reform movement favorably and is in favor of a Donald Trump presidency for his stance on immigration. The resource section at the end of the book is impressive. I can recommend this book for anyone looking for a comprehensive and personal analysis on Islam, sharia and Muslim immigration issues.

Press Release:

Flawed vetting process and language barriers bring immigration problems

AUSTIN, TX – 9/27/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — An informative and controversial new book called The Poisoned Veil: Are Muslim Women’s Rights Worth Fighting For? is the 27th by the author, Bradley S. O’Leary.  The book points out that if immigration is indeed increased to 100-200,000, more money has to be spent for the vetting process to hire more Arabic-speaking citizens and females who speak Arabic because most Muslim families won’t allow the female member to be interviewed by a man.

Many of the families coming from the Middle East have lived under political leadership or in a society that has legalized many of the problems outlined in the book. In America, many of these practices are crimes, and Mr. O’Leary gives us suggestions on how to improve the vetting process so women coming into the United States can understand their new rights and privileges, while teaching the men how to live with equality in our democracy.

The book explores Islam and Sharia law in its oppressiveness to women and denial of equal rights with men. It looks at its approval of honor beatings and killings. The law denies women’s voices, keeps them segregated, forbids equal rights and the freedom to work, seek education or have any independent freedoms at all. They are hidden behind a veil and forced to do whatever men demand.

The book delves into the following issues, many of which are crimes under American law:
-the demand for a woman to accept a forced marriage
-the laws which allow Muslim men to have up to four wives and to marry girls as young as ten
-the interpretation of a Muslim man’s right to physically enforce his will on his wife or children
-the barbaric practice of forcing young girls to be subjected to female genital mutilation, or sexual blinding, an act that has been condemned by the United Nations and Western governments, but is allowed and supported by Muslim religious leaders
-the logic behind why a woman’s voice isn’t worth the same as a man’s in court
-the problems nations in Europe and around the world have in blindly accepting Islamic refugees
-the solutions to protect Islamic women from these atrocities

The book is published by Boru Books and is available on Amazon, Kindle and CreateSpace.

Media Contacts:

Company Name: Boru Books
Full Name: Bradley O’Leary
Phone: 3108046957
Email Address: bradoleary@aol.com
Website: www.thepoisonedveil.com

Mohammed, ISIS and Women. ((This is actually taught))

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Published on Apr 15, 2016 by Hazem Farraj

In this video, we will search Islam’s past to conclude whether ISIS’ abuse of women and their slave-trade is warranted or not. The answer may surprise you. The ONLY valid opinion to believe is the source of authentic Islamic doctrines. Everything used within this video is considered authentic credible sources.

The Muslim Man’s Sexual “Rights” Over Non-Muslim Women

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Frontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, Feb. 12, 2016:

In word and deed, in Islamic and non-Islamic nations, Muslim men appear to think that non-Muslim women—impure “infidels”—exist solely to gratify their sexual urges.

First, consider the beliefs and actions of those committed to waging jihad for the cause of Allah, such as the Islamic State:

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old [non-Muslim] girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted. He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her. When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion. “I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to” Allah.

Yet such behavior is not limited to fanatical jihadis, who have “nothing whatsoever to do with Islam,” as most fools and liars will assure us; rather it permeates the totality of Islamic culture.

Consider recent events in Pakistan: three Christian girls walking home after a hard day’s work were accosted by four “rich and drunk” Muslims—hardly ISIS candidates—in a car. They “misbehaved,” yelled “suggestive and lewd comments,” and harassed the girls to get in their car for “a ride and some fun.” When the girls declined the “invitation,” adding that they were “devout Christians and did not practice sex outside of marriage,” the men became enraged and chased the girls, yelling, “How dare you run away from us, Christian girls are only meant for one thing: the pleasure of Muslim men.”  They drove their car into the three girls, killing one and severely injuring the other two.

Or consider the words of human rights activists speaking about another Muslim man’s rape of a 9-year-old Christian girl: “Such incidents occur frequently. Christian girls are considered goods to be damaged at leisure. Abusing them is a right. According to the community’s mentality it is not even a crime. Muslims regard them as spoils of war.”

Once relegated to third world countries like Pakistan and ISIS-controlled areas, the subhuman treatment and sexual abuse of “infidel” women is becoming a common fixture in the West.

Thus recently in Germany, a group of Muslim “refugees” stalked a 25-year-old woman at night, hurled “filthy” insults and taunted her for sex.  One told her that “German women are there for sex,” before reaching into her blouse and trousers and groping her.

These recent stories from Germany and Pakistan are identical—Muslim men harassing non-Muslim women on the assumption that it’s their Islamic right and privilege—except for one difference: the German “infidel” escaped with her life, whereas the Pakistani “infidel” was murdered for refusing to gratify the sexual desires of her Islamic accosters.  As Islam’s presence continues to grow in Europe, this difference will quickly fade.

Already there are other, more subtle similarities between “third world” Pakistan and “first world” Germany.  In the report about the manslaughter of the three Christian girls in Pakistan, we find that “Other girls in the local area are now too scared to travel at night and are being accompanied by the men in their families.”  In Germany, “The latest reports from Dortmund [where the “German-women-are-there-for-sex” anecdote transpired] paint a terrifying picture of a city where it is now unsafe for women to go out at night for fear of being attacked and raped by refugees.”

Indeed, less than a month earlier, on New Year’s Eve, 1,000 Muslim migrants, also apparently thinking that non-Muslim women exist for one thing, went on a raping spree in Cologne and elsewhere, leaving hundreds of “infidel” women violated, beaten, and traumatized—the same way “infidel” women living in Muslim-majority nations often feel.

Of course, well before the migrant crisis, Europe had and ignored ample lessons concerning what happens when Muslim populations grow.   In Britain alone, where a large Muslim minority has long existed, countless British girls in various regions have been sexually abused and gang raped by Muslims who apparently deemed it their Islamic right.  Said one rape victim: “The men who did this to me have no remorse. They would tell me that what they were doing was OK in their culture.”   Days ago a judge told 12 Muslim men that they “took such terrible and heartless sexual advantage” of a 13-year-old British girl before sentencing them.

A Muslim imam in Britain confessed that Muslim men are taught that women are “second-class citizens, little more than chattels or possessions over whom they have absolute authority” and that the imams preach a doctrine “that denigrates all women, but treats whites [meaning non-Muslims] with particular contempt.”

Another Muslim convicted of rape in a separate case told a British court that sharing non-Muslim girls for sex “was part of Somali culture” and “a religious requirement.”

And there it is: Whether seen by “pious” Muslims as a “religious requirement”—as cited by an ISIS rapist to his 12-year-old victim—or whether seen as part of Pakistani (Asian) and Somali (African) culture—in a word, Islamic culture—the subhuman treatment and sexual degradation of non-Muslim women and children by Muslims who deem it their “right” is apparently another “exoticism” the West must embrace if it wishes to keep worshipping at the altar of multiculturalism.

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Also see:

Documentary Exposes Islamic Abuse of Women

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Religious Freedom Coalition, By Andrew Harrod, PhD. June 1, 2015:

“Women under the Islamic rules” are “slaves to a dictatorial, theocratic regime that does not consider them human,” states Iranian-American women’s rights activist Manda Zand Ervin in the documentary Honor Diaries.  While Ervin decries that “Muslim women are being ignored” in their plight “by the whole world,” Honor Diaries, now entering an international screening campaign, gives voice to these often overlooked victims.

Jasvinder Sanghera, a British Sikh woman, opens the film with her personal history and indicates thereby that misogyny worldwide originates not just in Islamic culture.  At age 14, her family kept her home for weeks until she agreed to a marriage already arranged when she was eight, similar to many of her six adolescent sisters forced to leave school and marry.  One burned herself to death to escape a bad marriage in a culture where divorce is not honorable.  Sanghera elaborated how she ran away from home at April 20 and April 23 Washington, DC, presentations of the film at Georgetown University’s Mortura Center and the Rayburn House Office Building respectively.  Since this flight 35 years ago her family has disowned her and does not have any relations with her children.

Honor Diaries, however, focuses almost exclusively on Muslim females in examining what the Afghan-American women’s rights activist Zainab Khan describes as “one of the most alarming human rights issues in the world.”   The film cites statistics such as the World Economic Forum’s listing of the ten countries worldwide with the worst gender disparity, nine of which are Muslim-majority.  Canadian human rights activist and author Nazanin Afshin-Jam points particularly to the “gender apartheid” in her ancestral Iran, a country that became an “instant theocracy” in the 1979 Islamic Republic’s founding.  Before the 1979 revolution, recounts her American colleague Nazie Eftekhari, Iranian women like her mother and grandmother were unveiled professionals, but after a “100 year journey forward…overnight they took that step back.”

Honor Diaries highlights specific abuses faced by Muslim females such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriages.  “These marriages are consummated through rape,” states Iraqi-American Sherizaan Minwalla of the Tahirih Justice Center.  A Yemeni girl personifies this brutality by recounting her “husband” simply covering her screaming mouth during sex at the age of eight.

Such issues are not merely far away in Muslim-majority societies, but also affect free countries like the United States.  Tahirih estimates as many as 1,500 forced marriages occur here annually and the Center for Disease Control considers 150,000-200,000 American girls at risk for FGM.  “No doubt in my mind you have a big problem,” Sanghera states, but America’s “victims are hidden” (at the Mortura Center she discussed having already heard of forced marriage threats in America after only nine days here).

The women’s rights activists in Honor Diaries like the Pakistani-Canadian Raheel Raza discuss as well how they face hostility for addressing Islam’s women’s rights controversies.  While calling “Islam…my spiritual journey,” she analyzes how “‘Islamophobia’ is a recent construct…to deflect any criticism of Islam and Muslims,” a “manufactured term…used to just silence people.”  The American Muslim Raquel Saraswati, meanwhile, is “afraid all the time” in the face of physical threats, “but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be courageous.”

Similarly mentioning physical threats, Sanghera at the Mortura Center additionally cited canceled meetings during her American visit, amounting approximately to a “50/50” open/closed doors ratio.  Indicative of this unwillingness to hear, the ubiquitous grandstanding Muslim gadfly Saba Ahmed left during the middle of Sanghera’s presentation and Honor Diaries extract screening.  Raza at the Rayburn presentation also mentioned intimidation against her agenda of “expose, educate, and eradicate” from organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), but abuse victims appear at Honor Diaries screenings with thanks.

Saraswati in Honor Diaries raises a “very difficult question to answer” about the women’s rights abuses therein profiled, namely “is this Islam.”  Pakistani-British Muslim Qanta Ahmed states that FGM, something that “does not appear in the Quran,” is “not advocated in Islam in any way, shape, or form,” yet overlooks various non-Quranic Islamic canons supporting FGM.  The Iraqi-American Christian Juliana Taimoorazy notes that her coreligionists “did not adapt to honor killings” in their Iraqi Muslim surroundings, but Raza counters that these murders also exist, for example, among Indian Hindus and Sikhs.

Interviewed at Rayburn, the Sikh Sanghera also stated that the “experience of honor abuse is actually the same” among British Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh South Asian communities, yet noted other Islamic variations.  In her experience the “absolutely barbaric” practice of FGM occurred in “predominately Muslim communities.”  The United Kingdom’s Bangladeshi Muslims also exhibited a “higher prevalence” of marrying girls under the age of 10.

At the Rayburn presentation, though, Arizona police detective Christopher J. Boughey, an adviser to Honor Diaries and the AHA Foundation of former Muslim and film participant Ayaan Hirsi Ali, had a more singular focus on Islam.  “All of these cases are almost identical,” he said of his work with honor killings, something that for him in North America had been a “completely Muslim experience,” he elaborated in an interview.  These murders formed along with forced marriages and FGM a comprehensive “control situation” and “systematic breaking down of someone’s will.”

Amidst such bleak analysis of Islam’s treatment of women, Raza’s Rayburn interview offers cold comfort with her theological analysis.  Questioned about support for FGM and child marriages in the canonical biography of Islam’s prophet Muhammad (hadith) and Islamic law (sharia), she responded that “I really don’t give that much precedence to hadith and sharia.”  She dismissed much of this Islamic orthodoxy as “man-made created stuff for the benefit of the men” and argued that “there is so much garbage in hadiths” given their often contradictory and dubious nature.  Abuses like FGM are “tribal practices that have existed long before Islam.”

For spiritual guidance on abuses of women “I go back to the word of God,” Islam’s “source and it is not in the source,” Raza declares with reference to the Quran, even though Quran 65:4 indirectly references child marriage.  Contrary to almost all Quran translations, she asserts that female Quran interpreters like her find no support for wife-beating in Quran 4:34.  Such interpretations come from the “mindset of the male elite who have been translating the Quran.”  Referencing the Quran’s oft-(mis)quoted verse 5:32 (“whoever saves one—it is as if he had saved mankind entirely”), but not the following brutal verse 5:33, she proclaims that “I take the higher law.”

Honor Diaries is essential viewing for investigating Muslim misogyny and those brave women, both within and without Islam, who combat it on the basis of bitter personal knowledge.  Yet the film at times contradicts itself and its feminist activists with what could be called pious hopes that all such abuse is an aberration from, and not anchored in, Islamic doctrine.  Objective observers will have difficulty finding in Islamic canons Raza’s understanding of a merciful “God of all human beings.”

Andrew E. Harrod is a researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School.  He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies.  He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.