Why Do They Hate Us? A Continuing Conversation

26 Apr

. Z. (post was to Leila Ahmed’s response to Mona Eltahawy, but the link actually went to Sondos Assem – all in Foreign Policy – here’s the response I liked


And the one I didn’t like –

and Leila’s response

and the original article “Why Do They Hate Us?” (a play on George W. Bush’s nonsense)

So I am debating with the “friends” of Mohammed Fadel here on Facebook:

Sherifa Zuhur: The response that shows up is by Sondos Assem (who represents the Freedom and Justice Party) It shows us just what we have to look forward to — a rehashed 1950s argument that women’s plight will be fine once society is “developed” and other ills “fixed” – gender issues are not important and no need to talk about misogyny (or racism, or hatred of minorities or any of those items now being denied)

Ata Abdulbari Leila Ahmed dropped bombs … her proof of spiritual liberation through Hijab is compelling and I think squelches the feminazi crap of Eltahawy that women are unaware of their being “oppressed” by Hijab. One simply must compare Tawwakol Karman to Eltahawy to see what religiously – and spiritually concerned/inspired women can produce 🙂

Sherifa Zuhur excuse me, but Tawwakul Karman has done and said nothing to promote women. She agreed with her own party’s policy of not permitting women to run for office, and moved up its ranks. She was recognized as an activist and sadly, her own compatriot who really worked on behalf of women – Raufa Hasan, a true reformer is forgotten. To promote the Islah Party is fine in the name of “democracy” is fine, if your own party then triumphs. To be a journalist and activist on human rights and a profound supporter of the Egyptian revolution as Mona has been and to call for a revolution in the way that women are being treated is not “feminazism” Leila Ahmed by the way does not wear hijab, does not “promote” hijab and the hijab does not prevent misogyny, sadly.

عمر عبدالله (this name appears backwards so it’s Amr Abdullah from King’s College!) Does the writer really know the young women she is promoting Mahfouz and Karman? Or she is just riding the wave with these names? If the American Media is what made Tahaway then who made Karman? Now we know a but more about Mahfouz from the few temper tantrums she had after the elections and the failure to create a revolutionary council for herself and her friends from Facebook to rule Egypt from.

Ata Abdulbari Your not excused Sherifa … produce the clear unadulterated words of Karman saying that women should not work within politics and I will agree – her deeds as well as the thousands in Yemen speak for themselves. I know Dr. Ahmed does not wear hijab but you missed the point I made which was that Muslim women do see spiritual liberation through hijab – does not matter to them how you or ElTahawy see it either – and yes Feminazism is the call of ElTahawy and her kind who seek to force women to remove the application of their religious right – true liberty as they see it – in wearing Hijab and/or Niqaab, as each woman sees personally fit to do. What Leila Ahmed clearly pointed out is that the Hijab for many Muslim women is not a male-instrument of misogyny but one of spiritual awakening and liberation, such experiences are well documented and can be witnessed in the many women who refute the hell out of Mona and her rabid atheism … ElTahawy is a miserable failure and Muslim women in the real battlefields know that she is a feminazi out to subdue their faith and therefore her illegitimate pleas of servitude to ego/whim/and anti-religious rhetoric will be unheeded by those women who know well their supreme worth!
Does the writer really know the young women she is promoting Mahfouz and Karman? Or she is just riding the wave with these names? If the American Media is what made Tahaway then who made Karman? Now we know a but more about Mahfouz from the few temper tantrums she had after the elections and the failure to create a revolutionary council for herself and her friends from Facebook to rule Egypt from.

Sherifa Zuhur As I wrote, Karman followed the ORDERS of her party – she didn’t have any of her own words and it is her own party, islah, which felt that its electoral successes are more important than legitimizing women as political candidates. She rose within the party, not outside of it, and NOT by being a reformer for women’s rights. What are her “deeds” on behalf of women. Nothing directly. I am not saying she is against women – but she is for Islah, not women. Go read a bit. To `Amr, yes, I know Mona, and I know her well. And I know Leila and I know her well. Leila is an academic operating in the academic mileu, and Mona is a journalist operating in that mileu. Oh — really must I explain all this because after all, I’m just a stupid woman, I couldn’t possible know what I’m talking about!

Sherifa Zuhur And I couldn’t possibly know anything about the hijab or why women wear it either, right?

عمر عبدالله How about Miss Mahfouz? Sherifa can tell us.

Sherifa Zuhur oh no, I cannot tell you great men anything because you have no respect for me, my work on women, my knowledge of the issues – you would prefer to tell me and Mona what to think. And what to wear. and don’t laugh too hard and don’t raise your voice and don’t complain about anything. Oh, no, Mona shouldn’t complain about being sexually assaulted or having her arms broken. Nubians need their rights, the poor need their rights, the bedouin need their rights, the left, liberals, Freedom & justice and the Noor party need their rights, but oh NO, let’s not talk about women needing their rights.

عمر عبدالله Half of the Nubians, Beduians are women and they will benefit all of them. And most of the poor, liberals, Freedom and Justice, Salafis and other outfits are women too. So women get lots of rights.

عمر عبدالله What I enjoy most most when ideological women start tearing each other to bits and pieces. What did Karman do to you to say she is not a person of her own rights?

Sherifa Zuhur as for Mahfouz … no, I don’t know her personally. What matters is that she courageously demonstrated when others were not & she called for people to come out and demonstrate so that the deaths of those young men who set themselves alight would not be in vain. That matters. And no, sir, women do not benefit automatically when men do. They need to be equal members in society as a whole and in their own communities first in order to obtain those benefits. Read my work, I don’t plan to waste another minute writing to you.

Ata Abdulbari You’re right Sherifa, I have respect for women who respect women and their right to be free enough to make the religious decisions they so desire – without others forcing them to do what they want, including men. Such respect therefore does not include the spiritual-rapist ElTahawy and those who support her in her blatant feminazism! Simply because one is part of Islah does not mean that you support all of their stances. I am a democrat – does that mean that I support all the democrats seek in the way of abortion? Gay Marriage etc? No … and I could easily move up the democratic party’s ladder just as well if I desired. So the challenge stands for you to bring forth Karman’s words that are anti-women – or is that you you assume what she stands for by her party affiliation? Or is it that it scares you that women are given a voice in a party you detest for your own bias reasons?

Sherifa Zuhur Ata, read what I wrote – I did not say Karman is “anti-woman” . .. I wrote that she is not a woman’s right’s reformer, she doesn’t work on women’s issues, she was working for democracy in Yemen so Islah could compete, and Islah did not allow women to run for political office in the past, like Erdogan’s party in Turkey – women could campaign for the men, but not run.

عمر عبدالله What is wrong with women campaigning for men? Is not this the case in the US where most members of all elected bodies are men and they have most campaigners for them women? Why American candidates care so much about their looks on TV? Is not this to dazzle women? Why not Tahawy and you take a stab at this in one of her rants in FP? or better write something saucy about Arab women for an audience so keen on our sauce?

Sherifa Zuhur now read what you wrote – that “party you detest for your own bias reasons?” Why do you claim I am biased? Why do you claim I detest Islah. I am stating a fact which is universally known, that the party did not allow women to run for office. If there were no electoral law, Nur would not let women run for office and it didn’t permit their faces to be shown. But the law stated women had to be on the ballot. This not about “like” and “dislike” -these parties want to win voters and they don’t care about promoting women or changing the way the public thinks about women leaders, they just want to win seats. But without women in these seats and also men who support women, laws can be changed that will hurt women, and new laws that are needed, will not be introduced. Incidentally, Mona is not an aetheist, she is a Muslim. And I do not dislike Karman, I hope her example brings more women into leadership. Now, sorry, back to work.

Sherifa Zuhur There are millions of things wrong with the U.S. To run for office one has to be a millionaire. One party is severely anti-woman, guess which one. But that is a tangent to divert attention from the important subject of the fantastic Arab world which effected several revolutions and got rid of dictators – was all that done and all those martyrs created so society could stay the same – with the same old brutality and lack of respect and hastiness to judge others?

‫رغم وجود ملايين الامور الغلط في امريكا لكنكم تسوقوه كجنه الله في الأرض لأن اعلامها يمنحكم الفرصه للعن المجتمعات العربيه وتحقير المرأة العربيه. 30 سنه من سطوه سوزان عليكم.‬
(sorry, thanks to Word, this won’t print coherently – use Arabic tool & you’ll see it)

عمر عبدالله Any party has the right to field any candidate whome the party believes will win. Forcing women on a party tu run only weakens the party. The party can show its real stand on women issue through the legislative process and through its econmic and social programs. No to the quota system and no to the stupid idea in some countries having a ministry for women, we need women for the ministries.

Sherifa Zuhur women definitely need a quota as long as men like you think it is OK to castigate women who dare try to communicate with you!

عمر عبدالله I love women when they talk with me. Why would I castigate them?

عمر عبدالله Running a political party is not like running a social club — quotas are part of the history.

Sherifa Zuhur thank you, and the 315 friends of M. Fadel who had no comment … Quotas are badly needed because of men like you who think women would treat a political party like a social club. Quotas can address the historic damage done by exclusion from the public sphere and discrimination. Never mind, you men in the UK still have your men’s clubs.

One Response to “Why Do They Hate Us? A Continuing Conversation”

  1. jhshannon April 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Wow. You wield a strong rhetorical sword but these guys I’m afraid are not interested in learning, only in debating and forcing their opinions. I have had enough experience with ideologues in my own family let alone in various communities to know that what normally passes as debate is little more than what my Sittee called a “pissing contest” among men. It’s sad. I am learning a lot from these engagements with Mona’s article and as a result am rethinking a lot of things – my approach to teaching, to the notion of quotas, and to what I think I know about the cultural baggage of the region I love (which love has blinded me to certain things, and made me accentuate others).
    Keep it up!

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