Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Forbidden Intersectionality: Liberal + (Ex) Muslim

Some of you may have seen my interview on Cracked recently. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak on a larger platform. Below is a blogpost thats basically an extension of my thoughts from there:

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Being of Muslim background in the West right now...in this Trumpian, 'rising far right' era is tough enough as it is....but being a secular, non-religious person of Muslim background is a whole other level of fucked up at the moment...

So many of us thought there weren't others like us, questioning Islam, questioning conservatism in our communities...because these things just aren't talked about. The risks are too great especially if you're living in a Muslim majority country like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia (the two places I've lived).

And when, through the internet, we found each other....us secular/agnostic/atheist types of Muslim background were just so relieved that there were others...that there was a growing voice for us...that we banded together on something that doesn't tell you much about a person's values: rejecting/challenging religion.

Now...as the political climate changes in the West, we see the cracks in the ex/reformist Muslim movement more obviously than ever. There are those of us who were coming at it from the angle of opposing conservatism, rightwingery whatever form it may take, and others who were specifically only opposing Islam. As a result the people who prioritize opposing Islam alone, are happy now to side with the Western right. Some even going as far as joining anti-Muslim movements, the alt-right, supporting Trump, etc.

Back in the old country, expressing doubt about religion or challenging cultural boundaries can mean serious consequences. At the very least resulting in alienation and being ostracized, disowned, ex communicated (we are not free from this consequence in the West either) ....and at worst it means things like blasphemy accusations, death.  So I do understand where the anger and bitterness some have is coming from (I don't excuse it, but I can see what created it).

This taboo and loneliness surrounding Islamic apostasy is also why finding others simply to align with you on this one thing feels so big, that almost nothing else matters.




However, as more and more of us come out and express ourselves, we begin to see the diversity among Islam's apostates too.

Still we are often lumped in as one, and even at times put on an unnecessary pedestal in the western atheist scene when discussing Islam. I hate to be the one to say it, but ex-Muslims can be wrong in their assessments and opinions of Islam too, like anyone else. And if they are allying with the Dave Rubin's and Kekistanis of this world then it's increasingly important to see beyond the 'ex Muslim = they're infallible when it comes to speaking about Islam' view. Ex-Muslims too can overshoot in their criticism or overreact, tainting a movement that began with thoughtful critique.







Yes the stigma and risks that come with apostasy in Islam are high and frightening. I'm a living example of how high the stakes are, I have to work under a pseudonym to feel safe.

But at the same time, it's important to keep in mind that things aren't always that intolerant and there are all types of people in countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia too, people who are struggling to be heard - further silencing them with generalizations is not only unjust but also counterproductive if reducing extremism is the goal. Liberal, accepting-of-apostasy Muslim families do exist there, but sadly in small numbers. It is voices from those minorities that need to be empowered...but so rarely are.

Instead, the narrative that Muslims are always conservative rules the airwaves in the West, be it left or right leaning media.

Yes...there are crazy mullahs saying ridiculous, vile, intolerant things (often focused on by the right) ....and yes there are hijabi women who need our solidarity (often focused on by the left), but Muslim existence isn't limited to these simple caricatures - yet most representation of them is (and no, I'm not drawing a moral equivalence between vile intolerant mullahs and peaceful conservative Muslim women who wear a headscarf).

It's been incredibly hard to break that mould...and the few instances of people trying to represent the more secular, liberal types of Muslim existence are met with a huge amount of resistance from all across the political spectrum. I mean....we already have so much to deal with from within the community, that tacking on these external battles, simply for a foothold... for a place to say "I'm here, and I exist"...are disheartening and exhausting.

As if dealing with angry Mullah’s against fun and freedom wasn’t hard enough!




Image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7IpMIhR6Yg

The left, the rightMuslims and non Muslims too, can all be hurdles for secular, liberal and progressive Muslims.


This is so incredibly untrue, as secular, liberal portrayals of Muslims are only
just starting to break through into the mainstream. While we have a whole
host of characters that play the token religious character, or 'the terrorist', etc. 

There's really no winning as a 'secular Muslim'.
People want to shove you into a box with extremists and nothing will stop them.





"Why don't Muslims tolerate apostasy, it's outrageous!" - well here's a Muslim woman
expressing support for people who have left the faith, and this is what she has to hear.


Why Don't Muslims fight for LGBT rights? Some do. And when it's not the western far right trying
to get them to adhere to a literalist interpretation of Islam, it's a Muslim right-winger who wants to drag them back.


Muslims lie. There you have it. Because lying is totally unique to Muslims.
There really is no winning. As a liberal+Muslim, someone always turns up
to either discredit that you're truly liberal or that you're truly Muslim.
And thus, 'Forbidden intersectionality'. 


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As an ex-Muslim, I still very much consider myself a part of the Muslim community - like any secular Jew or Christian would consider themselves connected through culture, shared history, family, holidays, etc. Never before has my need to identify and stand in solidarity with the Muslim community felt more pronounced, than in a time Muslim registries and Muslim bans are casually being spoken of in mainstream discourse. 

This is truly terrifying for anyone of Muslim background. 

When it comes to things like the registry or being barred from entering the US, I don’t think secular, non-believer status matters. And when it comes to hate crimes, I'm pretty sure no one will bother checking how devout you are, either.

In fact, there have been many victims of anti-Muslim hate crime that just happened to have brown skin, or weren’t even remotely Muslim

All this certainly complicates things for those of us from within who do have legitimate critiques of the community and of Islamic fundamentalism. How do we demand progress in a political climate rife with anti-Muslim sentiment?


Battling Homophobia in a Muslim context

The orthodoxy Islam still commands worldwide in its adherents is unmatched by most other mainstream religions in the 21st century. For example the countries that still carry a potential death penalty for homosexuality are largely Muslim

Three years ago I wrote and illustrated an anti-homophobia children’s book set in Pakistan, called My Chacha (uncle) is Gay (you can get a copy here).



As I mentioned in my Cracked interview,

"I was delighted when it got picked up by some schools in the Toronto area and was used as a resource for The Day of Pink (which is an anti bullying initiative)."

The book was read out in classrooms and assemblies, and the response was incredibly supportive at first. Then, as parents 'discovered' that not only were their children read an LGBT-positive book *gasssp* ...but were read one set in Pakistan, the outrage began. 

Many claimed it was an assault on their religion, and a misrepresentation of it. Some said I was attacking the moral fibre of the ‘Muslim family', I received countless death and rape threats. Some referred to me as Wajb ul Qatal - 'worthy of killing’, they wished STD’s and Sharia punishments of being 'stoned to death' upon my *fictional* character Chacha.

This went on for quite some time. 







The most amusing comments called me 'Satan’s daughter' or compared my children's book's evilness -evels to that of Salman Rushdie’s notorious Satanic Verses! I am not worthy, but I’ll take the compliment with pride.

In Toronto a radio show broadcasted calls from angry parents, punctuated with a few obligatory calls from people defending the book. Some parents threatened to sue the school board, and predictably the LGBT supporting liberal school board backed away from such a book. It was never used in an official capacity again.

There were warnings being circulated on Islamic sites that people should protect their children from corruption, as they too could be exposed to this gay-turning, soul-sucking 15 line picture book.

As I said on Cracked,

"Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) published a blog post claiming that the school board was the one bullying parents into teaching their kids about LGBT diversity. I was branded an ‘Islamophobe’ and that was it - a resource that many children/teachers enjoyed and found useful was no longer available."

When Muslim communities have problems with integration or accepting values like being LGBT positive, the way to tackle that would be precisely through such resources. But often in the face of accusations of Islamophobia even books about love and tolerance are tossed out as controversial. It's the kids who lose out the most.

Just recently, a conservative Islamic lecturer discovered my book and posted about it's 'evil agenda', sending a fresh new batch of threats and haters my way.

(click to enlarge)

On the other side of this battle right wing non-Muslims accused me of trying to ‘sanitize homophobia’ in Islam and said that nice gay uncles like this simply didn’t exist in Pakistan, that I was painting a rosy picture of what it was like to be gay in a Muslim country, that Chacha would have been stoned to death in reality. I mean…it was a fictional children’s book, thus obviously simplified to a great degree. It's incredibly frustrating that If ever people from the Muslim world are challenging things and pushing boundaries the Western right often wants to pull them back to standards that Islamists would be proud of. 

For one side I was an Islamophobe, for the other a sanitizer of Sharia. And that pretty much encapsulates what it's like to discuss Islam as a liberal (ex) Muslim nowadays, caught between a rock and a hard place. 

It's like walking a tightrope...you point out there's homophobia in Muslim culture and you risk that being grabbed and used by people who want to ban Muslims.

What do you do, when stuck at this impossible junction... Being liberal and Muslim is unacceptable...invisible even.


Image from Cracked.com

It simply doesn't fit the narrative - but being liberal and ex muslim is also an overlap that many days, seems unmaintainable.

Often, you are not accepted by fellow liberals in the west (because Islamophobic) or you're not accepted by those who are interested in critiques of Islam because those circles are increasingly becoming anti-sjw, anti-feminist, anti-left...

Having few and mild opinions about the Western far-right is appreciated by many in the audience that will inevitably be drawn to you for your criticism of Islam. They usually tell you to stfu about Trump ...and accuse you of Taqqiya (an obscure concept in Islam which I only heard about in the West) if you don't, because they want to get to the 'good stuff'...the part where you confirm their ideas about generalizing Muslim immigrants, and act as a shield from accusations of bigotry.




We-ell thats not gonna happen with me....and I can't seem to keep quiet about Dave Rubin and Gad Saad, Peterson, Shermer...I certainly won't be going on Breitbart or Rebel Media to talk about how there's no place for Islam on the planet. So.....that leaves me walking a rather lonely path....and as you can read in my tweet above, often has me wondering what my place is in all this. If it's even worth it to try and counter the avalanche of bs, that seems to be coming from within the ex-Muslim movement...bs like, 'Islam can't be reformed', 'there's no place for it on the planet', 'Islam is worse than Nazism.'

I mean, at this point the discussion really seems to have left the grown up table.






The Term Islamophobia Adds to the Confusion

The waters are so muddied, that the term really does more harm than good. Allowing any criticism of Islamic fundamentalism, homophobia, etc. to be labelled as 'Islamophobia', gives right wing fundamentalist Muslims a chance to shield the religion from valid criticism. It's essentially the same thing as right wing Christians trying to shield their religion from criticism. Think of the absurdity of the 'War on Christmas' to get a feel for how 'Islamophobia' sounds to us. That's why I prefer the more precise term, 'anti-Muslim bigotry'. The problem is not theological criticisms of Islam or criticisms of literalist interpretations, it is the generalizations, hatred and fear-mongering around Muslims.

Seeing the confusion surrounding this, the Western far-right swoops in to claim that "Islamophobia" isn't real even when its being used to describe blatant anti-Muslim bigotry. The cries of "Islam is not a race", while technically true...ring hollow in a climate where brown people are targeted based on their skin colour and appearance.

And thus the cycle of confusion continues.

As anti-muslim sentiment skyrockets, the emboldened far-right uses this opportunity to gain more support. As the Western far right lashes out at Muslims, the Muslim far-right uses that opportunity to also gain more support.

And the rest of us, are well and truly fucked by them both.


The Hijab Debate

The Hijab is a hot topic, both within Muslim circles and outside. Well-meaning Western liberals tend to overcompensate in their desire to make Muslims feel accepted and can end up championing conservatism from our communities. This is particularly tricky now, because Muslim women are in actuality being attacked for their modesty garments. So in the West, it's not exactly on the same footing as opposing something like a Christian purity ball or virginity pledge - though it largely comes from the same place and regard for women.

As a woman who grew up in a theocracy, Saudi Arabia, I was forced to wear modesty garments by the state and have encountered "morality police" on several occasions. I have seen them hit my mother's ankle with a cane for letting her headscarf slip. The memories are not pleasant.

So...for me, it's rather distasteful to see the constant celebration of modesty garb. It leaves me feeling very isolated from my fellow liberals, who I assumed would stand with me in opposing body-shaming of women in my culture too. Simultaneously, I can understand that it has become hard to oppose a garment that is causing women to be targeted.

My personal solution to this is that I stand in solidarity with hijab and niqab wearing Muslims when it comes to bigots singling them out because they are visibly Muslim. But I still vehemently oppose the concept of a requirement for women to cover up so as not to invoke lust.

Both things can and should be done together. One can show solidarity with hijabis without championing the hijab as some great symbol of liberation, which it clearly isn't, as many Muslim girls and women continue to be forced into modesty against their will.


The Media gives little coverage to Muslims who don't 'Look like Muslims'

There is so much noise around supporting the hijab that non hijabi Muslim women are drowned out. This results in a very one dimensional coverage, that yet again perpetuates the stereotype that 'Muslim' is synonymous with 'conservative Muslim'. Even Playboy Magazine isn't immune to this and had to get in on the hijab celebration!

Another example of this misguided support is the Shepard Fairey poster from the Women's March.




An admittedly powerful, iconic poster of a woman in a US flag hijab was displayed as part of a series. It was seen as a symbol of resistance, as the 'anti-Trump'. But it's hard for women like me to get behind one form of conservative symbolism to oppose another form of conservatism. So I created some artwork accompanied by a short audio message explaining that we do indeed need to show solidarity with hijabi Muslim women, but perhaps this wasn't the best method since there are many connotations to such a garment, not all positive



Despite my clearly liberal sentiments and disclaimers that it was not to be used by people spreading hate towards Muslims, despite my opposition to Trump expressed in the audio message the post was widely retweeted by Trump fan accounts as well.

It seems there's almost nothing we can do to prevent this.

Either you suffer in silence under the homophobic, misogynistic Islamic far-right, or you risk emboldening the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant Western one. 

In fact both LGBT and women's rights in Islamic countries are causes appropriated by the Western far-right now. In Alt-Right/Lite circles, you'll see gay rights used as a white nationalist tactic, it's deeply concerning and sinister that an ideology so troubling can be dressed up as 'human rights'.

They use these things as a cudgel, a mere pretext to bash Muslims with.

The trick is to express a faux-concern over these things not being up to par in the Islamic world, while having little regard for the same in your own part of the world. I cannot tell you how many Western anti-feminists champion women's rights when it comes to Islam, but will callously tell Western rape victims that they are privileged because at least they don't live under Sharia. 






Difficult Dualities

Whether it's accusations of Islamophobia or fears of emboldening anti-Muslim hate, either way, we are silenced. Just like any culture we too should be able to criticize our own, without being branded sell-outs, traitors or Islamophobes.

Except there is one problem.

In this complex political climate there *is* an actual loss of credibility too, which I covered in my interview;

"As more and more Muslim Reformers/Ex Muslims either get on the Trump Train, defend the Muslim Ban or join the Alt Right."

And on the left, secular, liberal Muslims continue to not be adequately represented. This tips the scales massively towards high-visibility of right-wing critics of Islam. 

Well known Ex-Muslim Breitbart Editor, Raheem Kassam, has said things like "If Merkel took a million rapey migrants, Hillary will take 20 million"

We also have the 'red-pilled' ex-Muslim types, who believe no Muslims are peaceful.






Now I as an ex-Muslim can tell you, that this is not representative of *all* ex-Muslims obviously, and there are many compassionate, progressive people among us. But the movement has taken an undeniable rightward turn without many denouncing the bad actors that are nudging the movement further towards Pepe

This is definitely not what I signed up for. 

YouTube shows that regularly feature alt right/lite figures will also court ex and reformist Muslims to come and criticize Islam from their platforms. 

When you go on Breitbart, or Rebel Media to criticize Islam - how can you complain that the Left won't take your voice seriously.

Credibility is a two way street. 



I would urge my fellow liberals to not champion Islamic conservatism and I would urge my fellow ex-Muslims to not prove critics of the ex-Muslim and Islamic reform movements correct by allying with the Western right and supporting/downplaying things like the Muslim Ban. 

This rightward shift of Islam critics has even produced a Trump-supporting, anti-multiculturalism Imam, would you believe it?  

2017, what a year!

The Imam once put out an 11-step plan to crack down on Wahhabism, a literalist and harsh interpretation of Islam. It sounds reasonable in theory, but reads more like an authoritarian plan to put ordinary Muslims under strict surveillance. Australian media has dubbed him the 'Fake Sheikh' 



 ABC states,

 "...Unsurprisingly, Tawhidi's tales about Sunni Muslims' shadowy plot to instate Caliphate have been enthusiastically embraced by the far-Right, including Reclaim Australia. Perhaps less expected is the extent to which Tawhidi himself has courted such groups. In the lead-up to last year's federal election, he made offerings of roses to roadside anti-Muslim Liberty Alliance and One Nation posters, as if the face of Pauline Hanson belonged not to Australia's most recognisable anti-Islam campaigner, but a titian-haired deity."



 


He throws around terms like 'Fake News' and 'Lying Left' - reminiscent of Trump himself. 

It's no surprise the term 'red-pilled Muslim' is also seen in comments from his fans. I honestly never thought I'd see that combination of words, but 2017 is full of surprises. 




I hope that one day, just like Sam Bee or The Daily Show, progressive Muslims can earnestly push for change without getting lumped in with or enticed by those with an anti-Muslim agenda. 

Islam is not a monolith, neither are its adherents nor its critics. Just like Islam can be interpreted and practised in a million different ways so too can criticism of it come from different angles and politics. It's important to be aware of the general Trump-era anti-Muslim climate, but its also important not to erase the few secular, liberal and progressive Muslims that exist. 

Recognize that people in my position are fighting a battle against bigotry from all angles. 

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Female Shariah Judges: Women Oppressing Women, that's Feminism!

The other day I came across this atrocious, laughable satire-like Al Jazeera piece which framed a female shariah judge handing out punishments to women for adultery and shit as “feminist”. 

Yes, you read that right. 



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'Female', 'empowered' and 'Islamic law' are words that simply do not go together, unless you’re hardcore into mental gymnastics, sort of like the alt-right #TradLife women who think REAL women’s empowerment is to free them from the shackles of feminism where they have to work, so they can stay home and raise babies and do laundry (which is real freedom). 

[Not that there's anything wrong with that if you choose it, but there is something wrong with shitting on women who work outside the home]


I make these comparisons to the alt right so my fellow lefties who often (out of good intent to protect marginalized minorities) slip into romanticizing conservative Islam, can recognize this form of dishonest rightwingery too. Conservative Islam is just the stauncher, stricter sibling of Western conservatism. It deserves no protection and is a roadblock to progress, just like the far-right is in the West. Shielding the Islamic right from criticism and standing up against anti-muslim bigotry are two different things entirely...and the quicker the left can understand how to separate the two, the better equipped we will be to combat the Western far-right who exploit the left's confusion and weakness on this. 

To see how it feels watching Shariah sanitized or Islamic Conservatism glamourized if you are from a Muslim background, check out these videos below. They are vile, disgusting and backwards. So too is Islamic religious law that places women beneath men, that orders them to dress modestly lest they 'invoke lust'. 

It's the same kind of nonsense as these clips...keep that in mind when reading the next 'burqa is empowering' 'mohammed was a feminist' article. Those are our #TradLife women.



(clips via @vinikako)

Anyway, enough of this great friend and ally of Rubin...back to the Al Jazeera piece. 

The article states,

"One day she could be sentencing an offender to be CANED for breaking Islamic law, the next could see her giving a man permission to take a second wife. Islamic law enforcers are not often credited with being feminist pioneers, but Judge Nenney fits both those descriptions.” (emphasis mine)

Are you fucking kidding me? How is this a real quote…one day you’re granting permission to cane women for not being modest enough, and another you’re granting a guy permission to add women to his marriage-harem, luxuries that are not afforded to women….and somehow you are a fucking *feminist pioneer*? 

So...because you’re a woman who got a job as a judge....to help further oppress women under a disgustingly patriarchal religious system of governance…putting all that nasty stuff aside and focusing on the fact that you know…you got this 'high powered job' in a 'male dominated industry', obviously means you’re a feminist shattering stereotypes - this is very much from the Rubin playbook. 

“Putting aside the content of his tweet” - surely you have seen Rubin's commentary where he asks to disregard the content of the atrocious thing in question, as he goes on to defend or downplay it in some way. 

Shariah-fauxminism is just a deeper shade of what PJW of Infowars peddles when he thinks ‘blocking' Marine le Pen is un-feminist. Let that sink in.
As if women HAVE to be on board with Marine le Pen's vile politics simply because she's a woman. Isn't PJW a critic of 'sjw' identity politics? I guess its ok to use the stupidest and simplest form of ID politics if it suits your far right agenda. 

Yet another critic of 'Identity politics' is seen engaging in it here:

(Clip via @vinikako)

Rubin claims liberals are *racist* for not liking Ben Carson (riiiight because the only reason they don’t like him must be his race - never mind the guy Rubin is actually speaking with here is a guy who blames slavery on blacks and says the Jews chose the holocaust. This is a guy who goes on David Duke's show to say vile things about Jews. And the 'real racism' that Rubin spots in all of this is liberals not accepting Ben Carson....because of his race. 

It's the same shallow twisted logic…from far-right apologists everywhere. They don’t really care about gender or racial equality but like to pretend they do. They appropriate the language of feminism and racial equality to use it for their own means. I've seen this before with Islamists, and I see this now with Rubin and other panderers to the alt right/lite.

I have a long, lonely road ahead of me convincing fellow atheists that lean right, that PJW, Rubin, are advocating for the same bullshit that so many call out in right-wing muslims…and I have to simultaneously convince my fellow lefties that yes even though muslims are an increasingly persecuted minority, and we should stand against anti-muslim bigots every step of the way…that letting this kind of bs slide just fuels the fires of hate. 

It's crazy the Al Jazeera piece describes this shariah judge as a feminist pioneer right? Surely all my fellow skeptics can see that! Well, guess how Rubin describes this guy Sotomayor, this friend of David Duke.....“A black man challenging stereotypes". *facepalm* doesn't quite cover it, eh? 

Rubin himself would be happy to point out the stupidity of the Al Jazeera article, as would many of his fans...but point out the same ridiculousness on their side and you will promptly be shunned as a 'regressive' intolerant of 'diverse viewpoints'.  




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Drawing these parallels is important because it helps show the bad reasoning, similarities and flaws on both sides of the coin here. In both cases its people pandering to the far-right, and masquerading as ‘liberal’ …hijacking the language of liberals to push a far-right agenda. Be it Islamic or Western, it's the same BS in varying degrees.


It’s important also to point out both, so the story isn’t hijack-able by either side's conservatives. And with the rise of the far-right in the West, it’s important to show that these things are mirror images and given power, can be dangerous even here, in the West. 

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Now, back to the article in question: 

"She made history in Malaysia last year when she was appointed one of the first two female Syariah (shariah) High Court judges in this Muslim-majority nation.”

Woweee, she made HISTORY, she’s just a woman challenging stereotypes…right Rubin? 

"And the 42-year-old mother of three doesn't shy away from imposing the harshest punishments prescribed by Islamic law.”

Look at this badass mommy of the year here….she isn’t shy or meek like people expect Muslim women to be….in fact she imposes some of the HARSHEST shariah punishments, hows that for bold and assertive? Hmph and they say Muslim women are subservient and oppressed. Here she is, oppressing the fuck out of others….and you’re gonna tell me she isn’t empowered. Puh-leez. 

"When I'm on the bench, I'm not a woman, I'm not a man. I'm a judge," she says. "I need to deal with the case fair and firm, to follow the law, no bias.”

You hear that? She’s fair and UNbiased…if you don’t count the 7th century anti-woman bias inherent to shariah. 

And here’s something for you naysayers who don’t believe Malaysia is a hub of progress in the Islamic world;

"In Malaysia, more women are pursuing careers in the Islamic justice system, from judges and lawyers to court mediators.”

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I mean for fuck's sake…is this not something directly out of the handmaid’s tale? ...Where women are taking charge in roles that insure the subservience of women, and are being hailed as some weird-ass, backwards feminist icons for it? Fml. 

What is even the point of highlighting this:

"Malaysia appointed its first two female Syariah (shariah) judges in 2010. Now, 27 of the country's 160 Islamic court judges are women.”

It reminds me of when the ethnostate advocates of the alt right embraced Tila Tequila (of Vietnamese origin) as a great person bringing 'diversity' and furthering their cause (their anti-diversity cause, that is.)

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Shariah judges are there to help beat women into submission, quite literally… having more women participate in this isn’t a fucking feminist achievement to be proud of. 

"Other countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan also have female Islamic law judges, however, some religious scholars argue that Islamic law does not allow women to hold the position.”

You see? See how progressive Malaysia is? 

"We feel that it's extremely important for the courts to have a balance in terms of gender because a lot of the issues involve women. So we need some level of balance in the way in which they deliver justice and also gender sensitisation of the justice system.”

Oh fuck me. 

The level of pretzelbrain it takes to think that a gender balance in people 'fucking women over' is a good thing is beyond me. You know, the morality police industry is far too male-dominated, we really need some gender balance among those who whip women for immodesty.   -___-

"Judge Nenney also hears "khalwat" cases, an Islamic offence where unmarried men and women are found together in "close proximity".

She says in the most serious cases, she sentences offenders to six strokes of the cane, a 5,000 ringgit fine ($1,166) and a one-month jail term.

Some critics have suggested that female judges may favour women, but Judge Nenney denies being more sympathetic towards women."

How very ‘feminist’ indeed. Nothing says feminist like corporal punishment for close proximity to the opposite sex. It would be funny as an Onion piece, but in reality it’s just sad.  

Oh look at this women’s advocate here, how very noble, 

"Judge Nenney is hopeful that the rising number of female judges will help change the perception that Syariah courts do no treat women fairly.”

"She says her female clients often find it less difficult to appear before a female judge and court officials.”

Hmm yeah I know when I’m being sentenced to a caning I’d rather receive the sentence from a woman than a man. #YayFeminism

"She is studying both Islamic and civil law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, but has already decided to pursue a career in Islamic law because she says civil law is "man-made law”.

When you truly believe in 'the cause', you might even help lay down some core laws...then wonder why the men get all the power and credit. 

You yourself ultimately end up being mistreated, because woman.... Well you were a part of making that happen...







"To me, it was quite difficult to reach this position. I needed to compete with the male officers," she says. "But it's not about gender now, it's about your qualification."

Ah...true egalitarianism...Nice. Do check out this warm, feel good success story about a struggling woman who finally achieved respect and equality.

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