Sunday, March 11, 2012

How Muslim Women and Jewish Women are Treated On the HuffPo

Do you remember this Huffington Post article from a few weeks ago?

On the Huffington Post, anything can be used to prove how cruelly Jews treat their women, from salary differences to speaking on panels. Seriously. And I don't feel I need to remind you about the field day that they had with the ultra-Orthodox scandal in Israel that began with an assault on a young girl.

Now I couldn't help but wonder: Would Muslim women be portrayed the same way on the Huffington Post? i didn't have to wonder for very long. The Huffington Post will cover the lives of Muslim women both in America and in the world, but only in a happy go lucky way. And we have the perfect example of this in an article by  called "Muslim Women Take Back the Mic On International Women's Day." 

Right from the beginning I understand what they are trying to say and why they said it. But we can also see a problem right from the first paragraph:
"As Muslim women born and raised in America, we are tired of hearing everyone -- politicians, pundits, men and women of other faiths (or those not adhering to any faith) -- talk about Muslim women without ever stopping to listen to what we have to say about our lives."
I understand that point of view. It's annoying to listen to everyone around you tell you who you are and what you should be thinking. But by the same token, these two women are born and raised in America. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and 0.2% of them live here. That makes these two women just as unqualified to talk about the lives of Muslims in general as any right-wing pundit who snarls "they're all terrorists." But the Huffington Post is glad to take them on anyway.

I wouldn't mind that point of view so much if they made it clear that they were talking about American Muslims and weren't so flip toward foreigners:
"In many cases, our experiences are negated or dismissed as inauthentic by virtue of comparison to the circumstances of some women in other countries, e.g., burqa-clad women in Afghanistan or child brides in Yemen.
"What about child brides in Yemen?"
Wow. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if, say, Abraham Foxman wrote "what about women being spit on in Jerusalem?" I have a feeling the child brides in Yemen actually care a lot about their situation, you two, and it really doesn't help your case to whitewash it. But let's see what they have to follow up with:
"There is no denying that there is subjugation and oppression of women committed by Muslims, in the name of Islam, the world over -- just as we know there is injustice occurring everyday against women of all faiths, in all countries, in the name of religion politics, and ideology....But the experiences of some Muslim women do not negate the experiences of others. The voices of Muslim women are diverse, and our individual experiences authentic." 
Funny how the abuse of women by the Haredi in Israel didn't get the "oh sure things are bad here but they're bad everywhere so who cares" treatment like Muslim women did here. The above paragraph seems to sum up the article pretty well: Experiences of Muslim women are diverse so stop criticizing Muslims for mistreating women because that isn't true everywhere. A legitimate point of view. I just wish the Huffington Post would apply it equally.

Oh, and by the way, an article by Ayaan Hirsi Ali on honor killings was thrown into the HuffPostCanada section. It has less than 60 comments.

1 comment:

  1. "Experiences of Muslim women are diverse so stop criticizing Muslims for mistreating women because that isn't true everywhere"

    Of course they are diverse, but according to you, you can only talk about the woman living around your block, as you can not have any idea of what happens in the next city, let alone the next district, region or country.

    P.S I would have wanted to post my name, however among the option, I could not find the appropriate one.

    To summarize it all, sociology has very little value as every one is different.

    While that is true, that no two people are equal, there are similarities among people sharing a same religion, culture, background or ideology, and it does not matter whether they are in Antarctica or Bangladesh or maybe South Africa.


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