Feminism as Islam
Feminismus jako islÃ¡m
MuslimovÃ© majÃ obecnÄ rÃ¡di feministky asi stejnÄ jako feministky muslimy. PÅesto je feminismus jako islÃ¡m. ProÄ?? ProtoÅ¾e:
a) islÃ¡m je hlubokÃ½m a vÃ½znamnÃ½m myÅ¡lenkovÃ½m hnutÃm s ustavenou, zajÃmavou tradicÃ.
b) islÃ¡m je pestrÃ½ a mnohorozmÄrnÃ½, nabÃzÃ spoustu cest a smÄrÅ¯.
c) islÃ¡m klade otÃ¡zky, kterÃ© nikdo jinÃ½ neklade, a bez nÄj by bylo naÅ¡e myÅ¡lenÃ chudÅ¡Ã.
d) to nejviditelnÄjÅ¡Ã ze souÄ?asnÃ©ho islÃ¡mu jsou extremistÃ©, zjevnÄ nebezpeÄ?nÃ nejenom sami sobÄ.
Interesting, if slightly fallacious analogy appeared on a Czech website. It goes like this:
"Muslims generally like feminists about as much as feminists like them. Nevertheless, feminism is like Islam. Why? Because:
a) Islam is a deep and important intellectual movement with an established and interesting tradition.
b) Islam is multifaceted and multidimensional offering many paths and directions.
c) Islam poses questions which are not posed by anyone else and whithout which our thought would be only the poorer.
d) The most visible aspects of today's Islam are extremists who are obviously a danger more than just to themselves."
The analogy is interesting and the author goes on to explore the concept of Islam as a young immature religion which hasn't undergone reformation (he calls it 'paradigmatic loss'). This is an appealing analogy that I've subscribed to for a long time but it carries with it certain danger. It only allows us to see Islam through the perspective of our own past - and implicitly subscribes to the 'end of history' thesis - maintaining a 'Hegelian' teleological view of history.
By the time he reaches d, the author, as so many others, simply starts to believe the conservative propaganda on both Islam and feminism. The fact that he cites the discredited Bernard Goldberg (author of the misguided Bias) makes it pretty clear. The problem is that the visibility he takes as evidence is not (to a large extent) controlled by the proponents of either movement. A hundred sexually harrassed or assaulted women do not warrant half the attention as one man who loses a job as a result of fair-treatment lawsuit. A hundred muslims killed by landmines left over some brave soldiers certainly do not command as much attention as one suicide bomber. Our willingness to see (make visible) is the problem not 'their' willingness to do.
In short, it might be worth asking the question (as the president of Iran recently did) is it feminism and Islam that need to change or is it us?