#KolenaLaila: From a Radical Feminist to a Liberal: You Suck

Source Belief Net

Ever since my “teenage-hood” days, I followed the assumption that befriending writers, filmmakers, sculptures and those who’re interested in arts and revolutionary books are necessarily people with free minds, and hence, are people who won’t disrespect me as a female or the way I chose to live my life. I was not only wrong, I was also simplistic.

Today, large number of these people who used to be my friends have become/are becoming my enemies, for they, as the masses, they begin their sentences with the same line a lot of sexist people do: “A woman should/shouldn’t be/do bla bla bla….”.

First I want to give you examples of how liberal women and men prove to be sexists as they’re trying to be free from “conservative” values. Some of these people consider themselves feminists, progressives, thinkers, and activists, pro women and LGTBQ rights.

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Iraq's New Surge: Gay Killings

Excellent article on the killings of gays in Iraq written by Rasha Moumneh appeared yesterday on Foreign Policy:

Western attention has always focused primarily on sectarian attacks in Iraq. Yet al-Sadr’s militia and its counterparts in countless neighborhoods and towns have long had other targets in their cross hairs. These men claim to bear the banners of religion and morality, defending against any transgressors. They paint themselves as the caretakers of tradition, culture, and national authenticity — which often means keeping women, as well as men, in their rigidly enforced traditional roles. Ironically, they sell their violence as a means of security: Amid the total upheaval of Iraqi society over the last eight years, many people regard any relaxing of gender roles as a threat to public order, undermining patriarchal power. And since the coalition forces failed to provide security after the invasion, such cultural conservatives have moved in to fill the role. Many aimless, unemployed advocates of rigid traditionalism have taken up the task with their guns.

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Berkman Center's Study of the Arab Blogsphere: Map and Terminology

On June 2009 Berkman Center’s Internet & Democracy team published a study that analyzes and maps the dynamics of the Arabic blogsphere. The research included 35,000 active Arabic blogs across 18 countries in the Arab-speaking region and the goal for the study was to:

Produce a baseline assessment of the networked public sphere in the Arab Middle East, and its relationship to a range of emergent issues, including politics, media, religion, culture, and international affairs.

So here’s the map of the study:

As you can see, some of us, Arab-speaking bloggers, are categorized into  “Muslim Brotherhood” bloggers,  “Secular reformist” bloggers,  and “Islam focused” bloggers.  The rest of the categorization is country-based.

First, I am not sure why the word “reformist” is associated with the word “secular”, are seculars inherently reformists? and what are they reforming exactly? that fact that our societies are not secular? and for some reason, that what needs to be reformed in our region? I am not sure why “secular” bloggers can be “reformists” while “Muslim Brotherhood” bloggers or “Islam focused” bloggers cannot. Can’t Islam be reformist?

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we are what we protect

Indeed this line is precisely right.

Take the occupation of Palestine for instance, many people blog and voice their support for Palestinians’ rights, but their very support stems from different reasons. Some defend Palestine for they see it as an Arab country, and since they define themselves as Arabs they feel that their duty is to support an Arab country against a foreign one. Those are not my friends.

Some defend Palestine for the sake of Islam, for the majority of Palestinians are Muslims and Muslims around the world feel that they should support their brothers and sisters in faith against another faith.Those are not my friends either.

Some see occupation per se, injustice, apartheid and crimes against humanity. Those do not defend nobody they relate to, those rely on no ideology or faith system to formulate their “political” stances, those oppose injustice whatever it might be on whomever it might be. Those are my family.

Hence we find the latest group blog opposing any form of injustice, be it by Zionist occupation, by capitalism, imperialism, be it by patriarchy, by homophobics, by racism against immigrants and foreign workers, you name it.

They do not “defend” certain people or oppose others, they oppose flawed thoughts that paved the way for the emergence of racists, sexists and criminals we see today and we do see tsome of them among the first two pro-Palestinian groups I presented above.

It’s not a virtue by itself to blog for Palestine really, and I do not relate to every pro-Palestinian blogger, not to every pro-LGTBQ rights blogger either, for while one might be blogging for the liberation of a certain people she might be blogging also for the marginalizing of others, and for that, its not the object one’s fighting for that interests me, but the process she’s following to reach that object. This very process, is what makes of you and me.

Justice is the only virtue I believe in. What you protect is indeed what you are.

On "prostitution"

That’s one of the readings to Islam that doesn’t make sense to me: we are against “prostitution” because sex is “prohibited” since the couple aren’t married, but I guess zawaj el Misyar and Zawaj Al mut3a aren’t prohibited cause sex is practiced under “marriage”, so it’s legal.

It’s not just “Iraqi” women” that are “forced” to offer sexual services in order to survive, it’s the whole world system where a woman’s body becomes a service TO a man’s body that is a recipient to that service.  it’s sexism that should be prohibited, not “prostitution”.

and that’s why Zawaj wl Misyar and Zawaj al Mut3a are actually more sexist than “prostitution”, because they are legalizing sexism, and sex service of a woman to a man.

but hey, that’s legal, remember?

The Delusion of the "War on Islam"

“It is clear that the problem is not Islam, but a resistant Islam, and, to be more specific, the problem is solely the “resistant” part, since any other formula of Islam is acceptable…The struggle against imperialism is a multidimensional class struggle. Religious subterfuges are either tools to buy time (interfaith dialogue) or tools that strengthen the imperialist project and weaken its opponents (clash of civilizations)…The main issue is not that of a Muslim, Christian, Jew, or non-believer. The issue is that there is an oppression and exploitation that must be confronted. In this context, a Jew who calls for the elimination of the Zionist entity “Israel” is an ally, whereas a Muslim who establishes relations with it is an enemy.”