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Old 01-18-2006, 11:53 PM   #1
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Extreme Islam and Fear of woman linked?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060118...y_060118141719


BERLIN (AFP) - British author Salman Rushdie said the West had failed to grasp the extent to which Islamic extremism was rooted in men's fear of women's sexuality.
Rushdie told German weekly magazine Stern that his latest novel, "Shalimar the Clown", dealt with the deep anxiety felt among many Islamic men about female sexual freedom and lost honor.

When asked if the book drew a link between "Islamic terror and damaged male honor", Rushdie said he saw it as a crucial, and often overlooked, point.

"The Western-Christian world view deals with the issues of guilt and salvation, a concept that is completely unimportant in the East because there is no original sin and no savior," he said, in comments printed in German.

"Instead, great importance is given to 'honor'. I consider that to be problematic. But of course it is underestimated how many Islamists consciously or unconsciously attempt to restore lost honor."

When asked why he probed the issues in his new novel in the context of a love triangle, he said: "It has a lot to do with sexual fear of women."

Rushdie, 58, said that much of the anger toward the West was provoked by that split on sexual issues.

"(It is) because Western societies do not veil their women. Because they do not defuse this potential danger," he said.

The Indian-born Rushdie, who lives in New York with his fourth wife Padma Lakshmi, told Stern that he has lived without security protection for seven or eight years.

"I go where I please," he said. "I went to India often in the last few years, which I enjoyed."

Rushdie was forced into hiding after the late Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious edict, in 1989, calling for his execution because of alleged blasphemy and apostasy in his novel "The Satanic Verses".

The author had a 2.8-million-dollar bounty placed on his head by a Tehran-based foundation.



That may be a source, but you do have other sources that can lead to that kind of extremism. You have the west medling in their affairs. You also have a religous culture that also wants to embrace the future too. Alot of this extremism has to do with The US not pulling out Afghanistan after the Soviets lost in taking controll of Afghanistan.
Other factors include helping the Israelis finding a spot in the holy land. And European interference in the 19th century.
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:23 AM   #2
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I'm not too familiar with Rushdie's writing (of course I know who he is), but the title of this thread summarizes a Law & Order episode I saw recently. Perhaps this is where they got the idea.
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
I'm not too familiar with Rushdie's writing (of course I know who he is), but the title of this thread summarizes a Law & Order episode I saw recently. Perhaps this is where they got the idea.
That Law and Order was the first thing that popped in my head when I read this...
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Old 01-19-2006, 01:26 AM   #4
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I really should stop watching 3-4 hours of L&O a day (well, in my defense, I'm usually working or doing homework at the same time)
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:49 AM   #5
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Hmmm...all very interesting. Rushdie, on a good run, is capable of genuine brilliance. Midnight's Children is definitely one of the high points of 20th century Indian literature. Whatever else he is or isn't, he's definitely a maverick, and that always has its upsides and downsides.

Rushdie is from a Muslim background; I'm not, so I find it hard to evaluate just how on-target he is with (theoretically) insider portrayals of cultural mindsets like these. I'm a bit skeptical of the idea that "male honor," per se, can be framed as a uniquely Islamic precept, and particularly of the idea that this can be chalked up to the absence of salvation and guilt. I would want to know more about just how he defines male honor and guilt. Jews don't believe in original sin or saviors either, but we certainly have a concept of guilt (though perhaps less of a concept of shame, to the extent that that word sometimes suggests seeing humanness as an inherently debased state). I suppose to a point there is such a thing as a uniquely Jewish concept of male honor, menschlikheit for example, but the Western/Christian world is hardly without its own concepts of "manliness," ranging from the noble to the crass.

Fear of women's sexuality is another concept that I find it hard to imagine a truly unique Islamic angle on. Yes, veiling is in some ways a "negative" proscription entailing fear of lust and vulgarity, but it is also a "positive" exhortation to modesty and humility, which, as Judah mentioned in the "Dutch burqa" thread, does indeed have its male counterparts--Islamic men are obligated to follow various injunctions regarding modesty, as well. And again, it's hardly as if the Western world has no history of expecting women's clothing to conform to various modesty-based standards, nor of expressing contempt, shock and titillation (which is really a form of shock) at women who violate those standards. Also, ANY woman, from anywhere, who's traveled extensively (and sometimes men as well) can tell you painful stories of being treated with contempt, shock and/or titillation by locals reacting reflexively to the foreign values expressed by her/his clothing, whether it's a chador or a dhoti or blue jeans.

And as the "other sources" Justin pointed out indicate, "damaged male honor" can also be a code word for feelings of national, ethnic or cultural humiliation--the perceived trashing of a cherished collective identity to which one is proud to belong. This one is DEFINITELY not uniquely Islamic, and fuels all sorts of conflicts all over the world. It is hardly uniquely male, either: women may play different roles in maintaining such group identities than men do, but that does not make them immune to hatred of those whom they feel have humiliated their people (and who have "inferior" values to boot).

P.S. My guess is Rushdie wrote this book long before that Law & Order episode aired.
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:18 AM   #6
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I think many people have a fear of women, of womens' power, sexuality, etc- not just Islam.

And there are many other forms of religious and nonreligious extremism that occur as a result of that fear.
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I think many people have a fear of women, of womens' power, sexuality, etc- not just Islam.

And there are many other forms of religious and nonreligious extremism that occur as a result of that fear.
There may be similar "fears" across religious/cultural lines - but how are they applied?

Lacking perfect equality should not be a basis for excusing abhorrent inequality.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


There may be similar "fears" across religious/cultural lines - but how are they applied?

not allowing women to control their reproductive choices

is an example men's fear of women's sexuality
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:15 PM   #9
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Woman are powerful. I believe the Native American Tribes in the east had woman choose the council or chief I believe. Woman have alot of influence.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:35 PM   #10
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I've got nothing against Muslims, but I started to read the Koran last year and never could finish it. It's not the kind of books I put any importance in, and I could never ever believe what's written in it, for the simple reason that for me it sounds just like a re-mix of the bible, the big difference being that it tells you what to do, what how much you will burn into eneternal flames if you don't. Horror novel, perhaps ?

But for continuing with your subject... I'm already talked with some Islamists about women rights and how they were threated. One of them, which was a fervant believer of the Koran, told me they had to hide for other men not to "steal" them from their husband. Pride, honnor thing, mostly. He told me also that after doing all what is written in the Koran, women would have a great place in Heaven. And I thought at that moment "What a horrible manipulation !"

But it's the first time I hear about the fear of female sexuality. On tv, a caucasian woman explained once how her African husband stayed on shock when he started touching her clitoris. She also mentionned he never did it anymore because it traumatrised him a bit. Might be the reason 2 million girls a year get their clito cut. What a horrible practice...

But what really scares men ? What is so horrible about the body of a female ? Tell me...
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:42 PM   #11
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Well for me nothing, a womans body is a beautiful thing, in fact the human body is a beautiful thing. I think it may have to do with their religion and how strict it is on sexuality and other sorts.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Lacking perfect equality should not be a basis for excusing abhorrent inequality.
Exactly
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:52 PM   #13
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Wafa Yaslam Bin Laden (Wafa Dufour) is certainly free from that yoke.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
not allowing women to control their reproductive choices

is an example men's fear of women's sexuality
Interesting. Care to expound on the thought?
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Lacking perfect equality should not be a basis for excusing abhorrent inequality.
Of course, but I don't really see how the Rushdie article ties in with that. The practice of veiling, per se, is hardly an adequate criterion for diagnosing abhorrent inequality.

I guess I'm just getting really tired of seeing The Veil reflexively and habitually portrayed as an all-purpose catchall motif for what are, in reality, highly complex and multifaceted structures of discrimination and disempowerment. And the blanket assumption that veiling must first and foremost be a humiliating badge of shame and fear, and little more.

Now, when you have (choose as many as you like) veiling as absolute requirement for leaving one's house in safety + no female participation in the political process + no formal education for girls + acceptance of beatings as a way to discipline your wife + honor killings of women who willingly or not engage in illicit sex + forced abduction and selling of girls and women into prostitution + no women's rights to control their reproductive destinies + no say for women in who they're married to or when + compulsory clitoridectomy (which is practiced by Christians and animists as well as Muslims, by the way) + inadequate access to sound gynecological and prenatal care...THEN yes, you have abhorrent inequality. But at that point, you're talking about a juggernaut of forces far beyond what's entailed by "sexual fear of women."
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