Friday, April 13, 2007

Muslim women

From The American Muslim:

To appreciate the absurdity of what it can mean to be a Muslim woman today you need a few fools

Enter stage right: German judge Christa Datz-Winter, whose claim to infamy was her refusal to grant a fast-track divorce to a German Muslim woman who had complained that her husband beat her. The judge said both partners came from a “Moroccan cultural environment in which it is not uncommon for a man to exert a right of corporal punishment over his wife,” and she cited passages in the Qu’ran that she said sanction physical abuse.

How cruelly ironic for the unfortunate wife who tried to make the most of western laws that are always waved in the face of Muslims as the pinnacle of civilized behaviour if only we would learn from them. Here was a Muslim woman who really did need to be saved from an abusive husband – not the ‘Evil Muslim Man’ imagined as lurking in all our closets, but the real thing – a brutal man who beat his wife. Right at the moment when she pushed to take advantage of those laws, the Muslim woman who really did need to be saved was kicked back – by a woman no less – into the arms of the very misogyny that the West is always trying to save us from.

So we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

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