‘End the Erasure of Women’ is…

… one of this blog’s categories, and it’s always easy to find oodles of news stories about our nihilation (def.: “to encase in a shell of nonbeing“). Israel’s ultraorthodox always provide comic relief on this front (though their significant responsibility for spreading catastrophic coronavirus throughout Israel is no joke – maybe the Israeli government should force a little education on the germ theory of disease onto this appalling population): Their latest is the refusal to allow women’s names on streets named after women… But when the streets are not entirely haredi-owned, some compromise is unavoidable… So okay they’ll let the women’s last names appear…

More significantly, hard-line Muslims in Malaysia are harassing social reformers who want to make veiling truly optional (the law says it is, but…) for women. Predictably, the powerful shariah courts are going after dissenters because – like the writers at Charlie Hebdo – they “insult Islam.”

“Malaysian Muslims are unfortunately subjected to arbitrary rules like this due to our dual legal system,” [the author of a book critical of veiling] said, adding that Muslims should be allowed to opt-out of the Shariah legal system.

Yeah duh. Why does Malaysia have two legal systems? Why do some idiots want England to have shariah courts?

I’m dreaming of a white…

peace deal … Time to get our whores of all ages inside of sheets again.

Photo, by Abdul Majeed, found here.

‘He said she had since shed her niqab and took joy in wearing colors.’

How interesting! When an ISIS member’s lawyer wants to justify her having been allowed to return to Norway from Syria’s Al-Hol camp, he goes right to her niqab-dump! Why ever does he do that? How interesting that he clearly thinks we’ll be … reassured about something… consider it something positive and good… that a woman has rejected the niqab…

Yet my burqa:my freedom, and my niqab:my freedom have become international memes; the world’s press routinely publishes I love my burqa and you’ll never take it away from me opinion pieces. We are intended to find Islamophobic this man’s implication that removing the niqab – and hey wait a minute – –

How do we know she didn’t dump it under duress, desperate as she is to get Norwegian medical care for one of her children?

“The woman remains a security concern,” [a local terrorism expert] acknowledged. “But at least she will be under control and surveillance in Norway. Apart from France, no European-born returnees from the war in Syria [have] carried out new terror attacks in Europe.”

Oh yeah right apart from France… As in – apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play…

Bringing her back to Norway is bringing down the Norwegian government; but after all what a good idea to let this “ISIS Wife,” as the NYT headline absurdly calls her, back in the country.

Keep calling these chicks ISIS wives. Go ahead. I mean, that’s all the poor stupid dears were, right? Mobile vaginas immobilizing themselves for a time in ISISland in order to produce babies for one husband after another. No other personal identity here, and certainly no moral agency and certainly no slave holding or beheading applauding or propaganda issuing… The sexism with which these women are being received in Europe and America is astounding.

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UPDATE: Norway’s ruling coalition has disbanded after the populist Progress Party (FRP) left the government, partly due to the repatriation of a mother with suspected ISIS links from Syria.

The Prime Minister said there were no options, but there were. Bring in the child for treatment while the mother stays behind and works out her citizenship options. She grew up in Norway and presumably has family there who can look after the child. She has a Pakistani background, and one of her husbands has (had?) Chilean roots – she may qualify for citizenship in those countries, or in whatever country her other husband came from (he is not identified in news stories).

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ANOTHER UPDATE: So as the thing becomes a big story – a whole government falls because someone thought Norway needed to repatriate and permanently surveil an ISIS militant – we can scan a big ol’ page of news stories about it and find not ONE reference to this woman as an ISIS militant. Let’s see what we find… ISIS spouse, ISIS widow, ISIS bride, ISIS wife… Occasionally we get suspect, woman, returnee… But take a look and you’ll see overwhelming use of the reductive, sexist formulation. Do we call ISIS men ISIS husbands? Why not?

More on Teaching and the Burqa.

Jocelyn Maclure and Charles Taylor write:

[A teacher cannot wear the] burqa or niqab in class and still adequately [discharge] her duties as a teacher. On one hand, teaching necessarily entails communication, and covering the face and body does not allow for nonverbal communication. On the other, one of the teacher’s missions is to contribute toward the development of the student’s sociability. It seems reasonable to think that wearing a full veil establishes too much distance between the teacher and her charges. In short pedagogical reasons may be involved to justify the prohibition of the burqa or niqab among teachers.

The ‘Fuck the Veil’ Movement Proceeds Apace.

Not that Iran cares about so many of its women – including a high-profile Olympics champ, who has defected to the Netherlands – very militantly casting off compulsory veiling. Put them in jail if they’re here; ignore them if they’re there… But swaddled masses yearning to breathe free can prove quite pesky if they’re truly able to… mass. We shall see. Indications are excellent. Even in places you’d never expect it.

M.G.’s efforts to get his wife to wear a niqab…

… had consequences.

Italy on Saturday expelled a Moroccan imam back to his home country because of what it said was his support for the Islamic State group.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese cited reasons of state security in sending the 41-year-old imam, identified only as M.G., back to Casablanca.

[T]he imam had expressed support for the late IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and shared jihadi propaganda on Facebook. [H]is Moroccan wife … also filed a formal complaint against him for abusing her because she refused to wear the covering niqab.

The article goes to note that Italy has been spared much of the terrorist violence other countries in the region have suffered, no doubt in part because of

its program of expelling suspected extremists. Since it began in 2015, the program has resulted in 462 people being sent home, including 98 last year.

An honest and thoughtful take on the burqa from Brandon Robshaw.

It’s rare – because politically incorrect – for academics to admit that burqas pose a real problem in intellectual settings. Instead they end up saying the most moronic shit about the glories of teaching silent invisible women. So bravo Robshaw for stating the obvious but still socially unacceptable: Burqas make teaching pretty much impossible. Good on Robshaw, too, for disposing of the whole Islamophobe thing.

If someone offers arguments why the burqa should be banned, you can call them an Islamophobe if you like – you might even be right – but you haven’t engaged with their arguments. Even if the arguments are advanced without sincerity, they still need to be judged on their merits. Someone else who decidedly wasn’t an Islamophobe could come along and advance the same arguments, and then what could you say?

We’re getting there, folks.

Although she opts for the conventional bookending approach, Jillian Kestler-D’Amours nonetheless demonstrates how far we’ve come in press coverage of the international, ongoing, burqa-banning story.

Yes, in covering the ban in Quebec, the writer begins and ends with the difficulties one Muslim woman there has had because she veils. UD looks forward to the day when at least a few writers covering burqa and/or hijab bans will bookend their articles with arguments that some forms of veiling represent “an affront to Muslim women.” Or begin by noting the women of Iran and Saudi Arabia who are organizing, at great personal risk, to rid themselves of veils. Or how about bookending articles with comments from Frenchwomen who used to veil and now don’t (because it’s illegal), and who report feeling as if they have been freed from prison.

But this is only a quibble. UD is actually thrilled by this article, because it’s yet another indication that under the pressure of rapidly globalizing burqa bans in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, more and more journalists are finally approaching the subject with a sense of balance. Kestler-D’Amours acknowledges up front the popularity of veiling bans in Quebec; she quotes generously from government officials making the case for integration, and at no point calls anyone in favor of bans islamophobic. She is, in short, even-handed; like most rational people reporting on the subject, she has surveyed the spectacular majorities for banning in most countries of the world (here’s an example, from one of Europe’s holdouts), and, whatever her personal views, has accepted this as a reality to be taken seriously.

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Indeed it’s time opponents of veil bans (which means virtually all journalists) grew up and stopped with the nahnahnah islamophobe business. The numbers (over 80% of the French supported the ban; over 70% of Germans would support one) and the laws are against them; it’s getting worse every day; and the only sensible route, it seems to ol’ UD, is for people writing about bans to make an effort to put themselves inside the heads not merely of people who want to wear veils, but also of people who object to them. In the immortal words of the immortal: You know something’s happening but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?

‘Chris Melzer, a spokesman at the Berlin office of UNHCR, said German attitudes toward the hijab do not necessarily emanate out of Islamophobia. “Many in Germany think that headscarves display inequality, and women’s equality is very important in Germany,” he said. Other than Islamophobes, a section of German intellectuals see the hijab as a symbol of oppression, a misogynous tradition.’

Again, hurray. More and more often, as UD has been noting here, articles about various forms of resistance to women who veil dedicate at least a few sentences to the possibility that this resistance is not islamophobic.

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The term Islamophobia is … used to silence discussion on issues like the niqab – despite the fact that its use is hotly debated by Muslims around the world. Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria have all passed various laws opposing the wearing of garments like the burqa and niqab. These bans are often motivated by security concerns, but they also make it clear that face-covering is not a central practice in Islam. These nations see the niqab as deeply divisive, not only in Western societies, but in their own Muslim-majority societies too.

But rather than argue its case, groups like the Muslim Council of Britain seek to shut down debate altogether. By painting arguments like mine as bigoted and beyond-the-pale, they aim to wrest control of the conversation in favour of another view: that Muslims are perennially demonised and objectified by the very same societies, and media outlets, which allow us to freely express our views.

  Qanta Ahmed

Lord of the Flies…

ladies’ version.

Oh, those girls!

Get longer lashes…

… the sharia way.

Because after all haredi women DO have a function, and IKEA should acknowledge that.

So next year’s IKEA catalogue for this community will not eliminate women in their entirety from its pages, as last year’s did.

Next year’s will feature vaginal canals.

Jessica Darden, a Professor at American University…

…does a much better job than UD (her effort here) responding to a NYT column urging repatriation of ISIS members:

Bryant Neal Viñas writes that the United States should take back “those Western foreign fighters who do not have ‘blood on their hands’ — didn’t kill any coalition forces overseas — and are willing to admit they made mistakes.” This definition of ISIS’s crimes erases women’s participation in this conflict as both victims and victimizers.

By focusing on combat with coalition forces, Mr. Viñas conveniently ignores the kidnapping, rape, torture and enslavement of Iraqi and Syrian women. He also doesn’t acknowledge that both willingly and by force, thousands of women mobilized for ISIS.

Most of these women will not meet the international legal threshold of “foreign fighter,” but they were essential to ISIS’s ideological and operational missions. The women of ISIS served as wives and mothers, yes, but also as propagandists, members of a brutal morality police, slave owners and, toward the end, even combatants.

As ever, The Onion nails it.

“Ms. Muthana is an accomplished ISIS member in her own right, having joined one of the top terrorist organizations in the world at the age of only 20,” said FAIR spokesperson Keith Finneran, explaining how terms like “ISIS bride” and “wife of ISIS soldier,” routinely used to refer to Muthana in news headlines, are derogatory in that they credit the woman’s hard-won contributions to the war on infidels to her husband… [Y]ou shouldn’t refer to Muthana as a “female terrorist” either, because the countless hours she’s allegedly spent online calling for the death of Americans makes her just as much of a terrorist as anyone else.

“Yeah I knew about those things and I was OK with it… From what I heard, Islamic-ally that is all allowed so I was OK with it.”

Show me the way to go home
I’m ISIS and I want to go to bed
And after all Islamic-ally you know
It’s wonderful to cut off people’s heads


I’m a Brit and she’s from Alabam
We find ourselves in something of a jam
So listen while we sing our little song
Show me the way to go home.

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