Saturday, November 13, 2010

This time, it's a Islamist WOMAN who condones marital rape

In the UK, TV broadcaster Islam Channel has caught some heat this week for various comments that justified domestic violence. Most notably, one by a female host that seemed to think it's ok for a husband to force himself on his wife.
From The Guardian:


In a programme first broadcast in April last year, Ofcom ruled that the Islam Channel host Nazreen Nawaz condoned marital rape when she said: "And really the idea that a woman cannot refuse her husband's relations this is not strange to a Muslim because it is part of maintaining that strong marriage. But it shouldn't be such a big problem where the man feels he has to force himself upon the woman."

The channel also broke the broadcasting code by encouraging violence against women, in a Q&A session on marital violence, and for labelling women who wore perfume "prostitutes".
The broadcaster, which was fined £30,000 by Ofcom in 2007 for a series of breaches, also broke impartiality regulations for broadcasting one-sided coverage of international affairs and the Middle East conflict.
Now, I'm not against Muslims, but I am strongly anti-extremist and anti-f*cking-idiot. And Nazreen Nawaz falls firmly into both categories. Despite being a clearly intelligent person - she's very articulate and is a qualified dentist - she constantly supports a outdated and misogynist view of the role of women. She's also previously suggested that women should not be in charge of Islamic countries. Nawaz is the UK's female representative of Hizb Ut-Tahrir, a group that has previously been banned in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Turkey, because they consider it too extremist.
Now I'm down with multiculturalism, but as far as I'm concerned women's rights are more important than anyone's right to perpetuate or promote practices that oppress women.

And this brings me back to the issue of the burqa, which some countries are trying to ban. While I appreciate that this is a very complicated issue, I have previously expressed my sympathy for the moves to ban it. Because while banning a woman's right to wear a burqa is an oppressive act, the burqa itself is oppressive. Much is said about the burqa being a woman's choice, yet Nawaz is an example of how indoctrination to extremist versions of any religion can make women incapable of making sane choices in their own best interest. When a woman can proudly say on television that wives must not refuse their husband's advances, and that marital rape does not really exist, this is evidence that she lacks the real-life perspective to make a rational decision on this matter. A choice to accept oppression - be it a burqa or a husband's unwanted sexual advances - is not really a choice at all.

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