Saturday, September 29, 2012

Power or Other?: Violent Muslim women in the news

In recent news, Muslim women have been highlighted for their violent actions towards in men in their society.

While comparing different articles reporting on the incident of the unnamed Iranian woman (whom I will refer to as the Bad Hijabi for convenience) who beat up the cleric who policed her for her 'bad hijab', I couldn't help but marvel at the remarkably imaginative accompanying photos:

Okay, all women in Iran wear black chadors, we get it. But there’s a class and ideological dimension to the chador, just as there is a class and ideological dimension to the women in Iran who wear manteaux, show some (highlighted) hair, and wear visible makeup. In fact, just like many of the harassed women, Bad Hijabi was probably dressed like this:
By showing Iranian women as black tents, living in a country where women's rights are in a 'sordid state', these articles serve to compare Iranian women to their Western counterparts who are fighting to 'go topless'. The lack of women's rights are framed to focus on what they cannot wear and what they cannot do, even as similar restrictions on what they cannot wear are underway in FranceNetherlands, and Canada. Once again, we are invited to pity these Muslim women who must live under such repressed conditions, and support their efforts to fight against the  men who hate them.

But it's not actually about the hijab. In her article, Golnaz Esfandiari gives a historical explanation as to why the Bad Hijabi 'lashed out' at the cleric. According to Esfandiari,

"For the past 30 years, Iranian women have been harassed, detained, fined, and threatened by the morality police, security forces, and zealots over their appearance. Women have fought back in different ways, including by pushing the boundaries of acceptable dress and criticizing the rules, which apply only to women...
Of course, when the same type of incident is reversed -- a "badly veiled" women beaten in public by police -- it’s simply a necessary enforcement of the dress code."
It is only against this long context of the double standards of policing, punishment that women fight back. Yes, women – in her article Esfandiari also lists some other clerics who have been beaten up by other women for the same reason. While one could argue that Bad Hijabi’s violence is only in response to male violence, many members of the basij, or morality police are women. Could we start seeing Bad Hijabi as rightfully demonstrating her personal and political dissatisfaction through violent means? A rational actor who interacts with her surroundings?

As Laura Sjoberg and Caron E. Gentry write in their book, 'Mothers, Monsters, or Whores: Women's Violence in Global Politics':
"Instead, women who commit violence have been characterized as anything but regular criminals or regular soldiers or regular terrorists; they are captured in storeyed fantasies which deny women's agency and reify gender stereotypes and subordination."
These authors argue that when women are violent, their violence is often explained by their gender. Narratives of violent women often categorize them into the mother, monster or whore narratives: women are violent in order to protect their children, because they are mentally disturbed, or to fight against their sexual possession by men. The following case is a fitting illustration of all three narratives.

A few weeks ago in Turkey, Nevin Yildirim shot and beheaded her rapist after she was refused an abortion, and she is now awaiting trial for murder. According to her quotes, Nevin is constructed as a protective mother ("Everyone would have insulted my children"), and mentally unstable as she mutilated the rapist’s body (“I knew he was dead. I then cut his head off”) and displayed the head in the village square -- after being a victim of repeated physical and moral assault (“I knew he was going to rape me again”).

On the other hand, she had a clear ideological intention for her actions (“I saved my honour”) and seemed to have made a rational decision by killing the rapist ("Since I was going to get a bad reputation I decided to clean my honor and acted on killing him. I thought of suicide a lot but couldn't do it.")

However, just like Bad Hijabi, the articles on Nevin Yildirim guide the readers towards conversations about women’s rights in Turkey, abortion restrictions (here and here), the salience of honour in Turkish culture, the mental health of women who face rape, or even all three topics. Rural Muslim women are depicted to be living in such terrible conditions, where they cannot get justice when they seek it and are so desperate to the point of committing violence. Their violence always has a socio-cultural or psychological reason; they aren't just ordinary criminals.


Although the media may intend to showcase the bravery of these women who dare to fight back, their violent actions actually serve to make Muslim women the 'Other', and consequently, construct the self-image of Western women. These depictions of Bad Hijabi and Nevin Yildirim serve to in fact, reassure women in the West that they have indeed the freedoms to dress, have abortions and seek justice for rape, even though reality is a bit more complex in their societies.

These articles raise important questions: Are we fascinated by these women because their violence transgresses the norms of behaviour expected of women (and Muslim women especially)? When does violence become unacceptable and when does it become special and celebrated?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What is hudud?

This article originally appeared in Dutch in "Achter Tralies" (Behind Bars) Al-Nisa, Islamitisch maandblad voor vrouwen (Islamic monthly for women), 31st year, No. 9, Sep 2012.

Let's look at two most talked-about hudud punishments often brought up when talking about implementing sharia law: cutting of hands for theft, and stoning for adultery. It looks at the differences between divine and contemporary meanings of relevant terms such as hudud (limits), qat’a yadd (cutting of hands), saariq (thief), fasaad (disorder), zina (adultery), and jaldah (lashes) while also reflecting on the instrumentalisation of hudud law by Islamic authorities in the contemporary context.

What does hudud mean?
As a noun, hudud appears in the Quran to refer to specific rules or laws decreed by God to us concerning fasting (2:187), divorce (2:229-30, 58:4, 65:1), and the inheritance of orphans (4:11-12). The observance of these hudud, or limits, differentiates believers from disbelievers (9:97, 9:112), who will face different consequences (58:5, 58:20, 9:63).

The contemporary use of hudud refers to punishments formulated by the first generation of Muslim scholars after the Prophet’s death for acts that are considered to have violated a ‘right of God’. Under Islamic criminal law, ‘hudud crimes’ include apostasy, consuming alcohol, theft, robbery, zina, false accusation of zina and treason. Different madhahib, or schools of thought, exclude one or more of the above, and various permutations appear in different Islamic legal systems across the world. For example, Iran’s Islamic Penal Code includes all these crimes in addition to the crime of ‘pimping’. On the other hand, the Indonesian province of Aceh has flogged offenders for drinking alcohol, gambling and adultery. Malaysia has recently caned for zina and gambling, but not for alcohol consumption.

While the Quran details specific punishments, different sentences are carried out in practice. Although the Quran prescribes (a specific type of) flogging as a punishment for (a specific type of) adultery, stoning is the punishment of choice for adultery in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Northern Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sudan.[1]

Cutting the hands of thieves
Amputation of a hand as punishment for theft or treason is a literal rendering of qat’a yadd (‘cut off hands’) as a punishment for saariq 5:38) and qat’a yadd wa rujul (‘cut off hands and feet’) for fasaad (5:33). Saariq refers to habitual stealing; acts that would create a great sense of insecurity in a society. Fasaad refers to bloody crimes, widespread corruption, or great disorder.



Elsewhere in the Quran, God ‘cuts off’ or defeats those who disbelieve (3:127, 6:45, 8:7) or reject God’s signs (7:72). The unity of mankind can sometimes be severed or ‘cut apart’ (2:27, 13:25), or one’s path to God can be ‘cut off’ or obstructed (29:29, 22:15, 69:49). Only palm trees are literally chopped down (59:5).[2] The same phrase is used to describe the women in Surah al-Yusuf who were brought in by the governor’s wife to try and seduce Prophet Yusuf. When they saw him, they ‘cut their hands’ (12:31) -- an alternative translation to this is that they ‘exhausted their efforts’ in trying to make him sin.[3]

Yadd (‘hand’) refers mostly to our ability to create or destroy, or God’s power and authority,[4] and only a few times as literal hands (e.g. 2:249, 4:43, 5:6, 6:7). However, literal understandings form the basis of the punishment of cutting off hands for theft (5:33) and the hands and feet for treason or rebellion (5:38). For example, in Northern Nigeria two men had their hands amputated for stealing a farmer’s bull, while during Somalia’s civil war, ‘cross-amputation’ (amputation of a hand and a foot from opposite sides) was carried out to incite fear and encourage compliance with Islamist groups.

This punishment may not act as a sufficient nakala (5:38) or deterrent for the contemporary nature of theft. Even though white-collar crime involves huge amounts of money, it is often the most disadvantaged in society who are convicted for small-scale thefts. Keeping in mind Quranic goals of social justice, a poor man stealing bread cannot be a habitual thief, but a manifestation of society’s collective failure to look after their poor.[5] Amputation may deter him and other desperately poor people, but it also allows the state to close a blind eye to root problems of conflict or inequality. In fact, during his rule, Caliph Umar turned a case of property theft by a servant against his master. When the servant explained that he stole to feed his family, Umar faulted the master for failing to provide sufficient food and shelter.

A more logical interpretation is that the state should ‘cut off’ the ability of habitual thieves to steal, cause disorder or run away. Most legal systems today obtain this outcome through imprisonment, which also allows for repentance and making of amends (5:39), which prevents long-term burdens of imprisonment on the state. Furthermore, the Quran specifies that offenders who present themselves to the authorities before being arrested could also be pardoned (4:64).

What to do with adulterer(esse)s?
The term zina encompasses all forms of sexual immorality and lewdness. In the Quran, the need for four reliable witnesses to such acts (4:15-16) imply that if done in private – as most adultery is – punishment is to be left to God. God specifies 100 superficial lashes[6] to be carried out for public adultery done by al-zani and al-zaniyatu, or habitual adulterers (both men and women) since such recurring activity done openly would cause great imbalance and disorder in society. The need for an audience to witness the punishment (24:2) implies that public humiliation, and not torture, is the main goal.

The story of Prophet Yusuf, who was accused of zina, teaches that the testimony of the witnesses should be cross-checked with other evidence.[7] In that case, the punishment for female offenders is to confine them in their houses so that they would not spread their immorality to others, until they repent or change their ways, in which case we should leave them alone (4:15-16). More importantly, those who accuse innocent women of zina should be punished with 80 lashes, and their testimony to never be accepted again (24:4).

Institutionalised Islamic criminal law instead prescribes stoning for adultery, a punishment specified in the Torah, and not in the Quran.[8] Since the justification for stoning relies completely on a hadith and not found in the Quran, its label as hudud is questionable. Such inconsistencies between the hadith and the Quran remain controversial.

Today, stoning is often implemented in an arbitrary way, without due trial or process. It also targets those who do not have the means or status to avoid conviction, and many more women than men.[9] The patriarchal nature of many Islamic legal systems today also manifests the lack of convictions for false zina accusations or rape, even though the Quranic punishment for zina is the same. Worse, in the case of Pakistan, raped women who seek redress are instead often convicted for zina![10]

In summary, only public and recurrent sexual immorality by men and women, with four testimonies and evidence, should be punished, with a public flogging to humiliate them and confinement to keep them away from society until they repent.

Conclusion
We are encouraged to observe God’s hudud in whatever has permitted to us with regards to fasting, divorce and inheritance.[11] After Prophet Muhammad’s death, fiqh scholars elaborated on punishments for ‘hudud crimes’, which were eventually implemented by various leaderships until today.

Although these punishments represent the maximum penalty and aim to act as a deterrent, they often disproportionately punish the weakest sections of society. The fact that less harsh penalties as suggested in the Quran, such as confinement, making amends, or pardon, are hardly implemented hints at the instrumentalisation of hudud to enforce restrictive rule or to impose order in an atmosphere of instability. The insertion of hudud laws into a country’s existing legal system is also sometimes a way to display how ‘Islamic’ a country is.

Looking at the Quran holistically also surfaces other punishable acts, such as harassment and false accusations of zina. It is reasonable to say that God’s limits are not enforced correctly today. Instead of seeking justice and redress for those who seek it, the partial enforcement of hudud produces unjust outcomes, which is possibly worse than not implementing hudud law at all.
--
References
[1] Article 146 of Sudan’s Criminal Act 1991 provides that the penalty for adultery by a married person is execution by stoning, while that for an unmarried person is 100 lashes.
[2] It also appears to literally mean the crossing of a valley, in 9:121.
[3] Shabbir Ahmed (2007) ‘Quran as It Explains Itself’. Date. Available here.
[4] Yadd appears more than 100 times. For some examples of yadd as human ability, see 2:79, 2:95, 3:182, 4:62, 4:91, 2:195, 4:77, 4:91, 5:11, 5:28, 2:237, 5:64, 5:94; as God’s power, see 3:26, 3:73, 5:64.
[5] The concept of shubhah, or doubt, in Islamic criminal law stipulates that any doubt about the offender’s guilt (i.e. whether he is truly a habitual thief, or not in need of the stolen goods) should suspend judgment and leave his punishment to God. See Muhammad ‘Ata al-Sid Sidahmad (1995) The Hudud: The Hudud are the Seven Specific Crimes in Islamic Criminal Law and their Mandatory Punishments. Petaling Jaya: Muhammad ‘Ata al-Sid Sidahmad.
[6] The root for ‘lashes’ is the same for ‘skin’ (4:56, 16:80, 22:20, 39:23, 41:20-22).
[7] His governor was told to look at whether Yusuf’s shirt was torn from the front or the back, which would indicate whether Yusuf or the governor’s wife was guilty (12:26).
[8] Some hadith recount that the Prophet ordered two Jews to be stoned, because they were bound by specific laws sent to them in the Torah. See Sanaz Alasti, ‘Comparative Study of Stoning Punishments in the Religion of Islam and Judaism’, Justice and Policy Journal 4(1). The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Spring 2007.
[9] Chanté Lasco, ‘Legislative Focus: Congress Condemns Executions by Stoning’ Human Rights Brief 10, no. 3 (2003):43.
[10] Rahat Imran (2005) ‘Legal Injustices: The Zina Hudood Ordinance of Pakistan and Its Implications for Women’ Journal of International Women’s Studies Vol. 7, no.2 (November 2005).
[11] It is also interesting to note that the injunction to observe these hudud, or limits of God (9:97, 9:112) are found in Surah at-Tawbah, which means repentance.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Muslimah Paralympians

I'm really pleased to be a regular writer over at Muslimah Media Watch now, alhamdulillah! I will primarily write for them, but also share my posts here. This post was originally published there.

You can still look forward to the same 'ol posts on Qur'an, Malay traditions and of course, hijab (haha). 
--
Last week I was in London, moonlighting as a cheerleader. My sister represented Singapore in boccia for the first time ever, and I was absolutely excited to see her play in the Paralympics.

Source: Voxsports
In between matches, a friend remarked:
"You know, your sister looks like such a good Muslim."
In Islamic discourses, disabled people are generally portrayed as being “special” or closer to God, but also “imperfect.” In the Malay archipelago, there are several du’a related to children that couples are taught to recite. The supplication from Quran 3:38 in particular stands out – Prophet Zakaria’s du’a asking God for offspring that is tayyib (Arabic, meaning “good” or “righteous”) is often translated and explained in Malay as sempurna or tidak cacat (Malay, meaning “perfect” or “complete,” i.e. having no disability of any kind). In parallel, we are also taught a du’a asking God for protection from Shaitan harming one’s baby. Following this logic, it’s not surprising that Malay society sometimes views disabled or deformed newborns as being a trial or burden from God, or the result of Shaitan’s influence.

Mental illnesses in particular are the most susceptible to being viewed as possession by jinn. I once had a niece who had schizophrenia and many relatives would speak of her as being possessed, before she was given medication to control it (it seems these chemical jinn in the brain respond well to drugs!). Since in mainstream jurisprudence, akal (Malay for rational state of mind) is a requirement for the validity of acts of worship such as fasting or prayer, those with mental illnesses growing up in Muslim families are often exempted from these ibadah.

The physically-disabled are not discouraged from taking part in communal Muslim life, but physical barriers often stop them from doing so. In Singapore, mosques (as any other building) built after 1990 have to be accessible, and older ones are slowly upgrading to include lifts and ramps. However, there are still a number of mosques in older or historic neighbourhoods that remain inaccessible. This mosque for example, recently provided a tent-like, fully-curtained space outside the male main prayer space for women who are too weak to climb two flights of stairs to the women's space. But Muslims who cannot even climb stairs have no way of entering the mosque.

When my sister and I went to Sunday school in our younger days, the mosque was not wheelchair-accessible. We had to round up two or three young men each week to carry her wheelchair down three big steps to where the classrooms were, before rearranging the wall panels to let her into the classroom. This process was repeated after class. Many thanks to these young men, but sometimes I wished that we didn't have to make such a grand entrance into class every Sunday.

Recently, a Facebook friend highlighted a disabled volunteer for a Ramadhan activity. Other volunteers were surprised to see this istimewa (Malay, meaning 'special') young boy on crutches come to help out with activities at the mosque. While older volunteers are already happy to see youth serving their community, this young boy was not singled out for his age, but for his disability.

Another example of how disability trumps Muslim identity is the portrayal Muslim athletes in the Paralympic Games -- to put it shortly, non-existent. Reams of articles were written on Ramadhan (here, here and here) and Muslim presence in the Olympics, but the universal fascination with Muslim women's bodies and freedoms put a special focus on Muslim women competing in hijab (here, there, everywhere), while pregnant, or competing despite their conservative countries. Invariably, these would be accompanied with photos of how they covered up (sometimes to show a stark contrast with their non-Muslim counterparts).

Without getting into a discussion of hijab as a marker of piety, a quick Google image search reveals heaps of  hijabi Olympians, but nothing at all for the Paralympics. Surely there were Muslim athletes at the Paralympics -- my sister is one, and I definitely saw a few hijabis from Iran zipping around in their wheelchairs in the Paralympic Village. Or are Muslim athletes only interesting when they wear hijabs and have lithe bodies?

Search terms: muslim+olympics

Searh terms: muslim+paralympics

The Paralympics has always received less coverage than the Olympics, so it makes sense that Muslim Paralympians receive proportionally less coverage than Muslim Olympians. (The Olympics coinciding with Ramadhan was probably another factor.) But what I find fascinating is that the the coverage on Muslim Olympians has been almost exclusively oriented towards hijabis, whereas coverage of Muslim Paralympians is practically non-existent (with the exemption of the Jordanian team sex charge and the Bosnian sitting volleyball team). Muslimah Paralympians, situated in the intersection of gender, religion and disability, represent a slice of society that are celebrities for only disabled Muslims (or Orientalists that view being Muslim/a woman/disabled as triple oppressions) and are barely covered in mainstream media.

Where were the celebrations for female and male athletes from Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt who won gold medals in powerlifting, javelin, athletics, and archery? Zahra Nemati is the first of Iran’s female Paralympians to win a gold medal in archery, Egypt’s Fatma Omar won her fourth consecutive gold in powerlifting, and Maroua Ibrahmi’s gold in the club throw was picked up by MMW last week. And silver medals? There were Algeria’s Mounia Gasmi in club throw and Safia Djelal in javelin, and Egypt’s Heba Ahmedand Iraq’s Randa Mahmoud in powerlifting.

Fatma Omar. Source: Paralympic.org
Maroua Ibrahim and Safia Djelal. Source: Zimbio
Mounia Gasmi. Source: Zimbio
Randa Mahmoud. Source: Zimbio
Heba Ahmed. Source: Zimbio
No abled person wants to be disabled, therefore no one wants to aspire to be a Paralympian. At best, young disabled Muslims look to them as role models, but for most of the general able-bodied population, they are either our source of inspiration our an outlet for our charity and pity. 

And how did my sister fare? She almost made it to the semi-finals, if not for the narrow loss of a tie-breaker with Korea. But she's happy. Success is not always a gold medal, because inshallah she represents possibilities for all boccia athletes in Singapore, and especially Malay Muslim para-athletes.

Team Singapore! Source: Author's own.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Illustrating the hijab matrix: Box #4

Last week on 4 September was World Hijab Day, meant to celebrate the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab. It was started when France banned the hijab in public schools in 2004 under the constitutional concept of laïcité (French for secularity/separation between church and state). While reading this article on tactics aimed to shame Muslim women into wearing headscarves over at Jezebel, this comment by regina_filange caught my eye:

"...I'm a former Muslim women who still wears the hijab. I wore it initially as a preteen for cultural reasons. I didn't understand the implications of being covered until I was actually taught about what it means through a muslim religion class specifically for female teens, where I was constantly told that I had a responsibility to cover myself and avoid the gaze of lustful men who just couldn't control themselves. Five years later, I'm and [sic] athiest, still living in my conservative parents home.
I wear the hijab, knowing that the second people see me people assume I'm an oppressed, uber religious, homophobic, backwards women. Sometimes I don't get that judgement, but the commenters here have reassured me that people can still look at a women, not at all know her story, and judge her that way."
As I mentioned before in my posts about the hijab matrix (Part 1Part 2), some women do not consider the hijab an obligation from the divine, but wear it anyway (Box 4 of the matrix). The commenter perfectly illustrates this with reasons why a woman would do so.
"In America, I know a lot of women wear the hijab because is a symbol of their faith. Some, of their culture. Some because it helps them, in a western country, present themselves as a conservative person, because the hijab has come to represent that more than anything else. Dressing modestly depends on the environment, and in America, I don't think the head scarf is neccesary to be modest. Or, that was my liberal interpretation of modesty within the religion, back when I needed to tell myself these things so I could remain faithful.
I now wear a head scarf for that reason. For example, I also wear skinnies and get a little tacky fabulous when it comes to matching, but wearing a headscarf in America, around most people who don't understand or give a shit to learn about what the hijab means, is like putting a sticker on your head that says you're not interested in doing something a conservative girl would (not)."
When she wore the hijab, she held dual views on it: she felt it was her responsibility in order to "avoid the gaze of lustful men" although she didn't think it was necessary for modesty. However, she now wears it even though she is an atheist, because the hijab is a marker of modesty and conservatism. By wearing one in America, she signals that she is a conservative person.

Another commenter, biokase, contributes another example that illustrates Box 4 (hijab for no divine reasons):
"My personal experience with why some women choose to wear the hijab mostly comes from my sister, who is a Muslim convert and did her doctorate in psychological therapy in the Muslim community. My sister does not wear it in everyday life, but often does so as a means of fitting into/blending in with the community when working with Muslims."
Whether this convert believed that the headscarf was obligatory or not, she wore it for clearly a social reason. I learnt a new thing here, that both Muslims and non-Muslims could be wearing it for social reasons!

Monday, September 10, 2012

My sister, my inspiration.


I'm back from London, where the Dutchman and I, along with a ragtag group of friends, were supporting my sister at the Paralympics! I first wrote about disabilities last year, when I helped her in Belfast. Earlier this year I helped her in Porto, and these events and experiences are always helping me to think about things in a new way.

These posters caught my eye -- aren't they just lovely? All kinds of people (and animals!) are represented without resorting to stereotypes or caricatures.


But I digress. 

My sister is awesome and she has been my inspiration for... pretty much my whole life. In primary school, she fell down twice in school and I was awed that she wasn't put off from going to school and manoeuvring the absolutely-not-step-free school in a wheelchair. In secondary school, I was awed by her abilities in math and science.

In junior college, I never caught up to the amount of community service and social work she was doing (but I tried!). In university, I was awed by how she smoothly caught up with missed modules after spending an entire semester in hospital, and still got a decent GPA (I got the same GPA without the hospital stay, lol).

And then, she did something that I can't do with my two arms and two legs: she goes and represents Singapore at the Paralympics! First time Singapore has a Boccia athlete for the Paralympics, and the first Paralympics for her.

Of course she's happy.
Not a surname, but still correct.

I was bummed that I couldn't come with her to help with caregiving, but I found my niche as a cheerleader. Thank you RGS (my single-sex secondary school), for all those years you taught us all to cheer with our diaphragm with voices lower than the boys, even. It was put to good use because one boccia match lasts more than an hour. Six balls per end, and four ends in total, we gave her all we had!


We watched her play six matches: three to reach the quarter-finals which she lost in a tie-breaker to an athlete ranked No. 2 in the world, and then she played two more matches to finish 7th.

She put up an awesome fight, and I'm so proud of her I could burst. Love you, Kakak!


Do you think she's awesome, and an example for Muslimahs, wheelchair-users and anyone in general?
Then like her official Facebook page here!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Maryam talks back.

At the beginning of Ramadan this year, a KONY2012-like video started making rounds on social media. It gave a twist to the white saviour trope with a dash of neo-colonial religio-cultural imperialism and condescension.

I’m referring to #SaveMaryam, an initiative from Mercy Mission Worldwide to raise awareness about Muslims converting to Christianity in Indonesia. In the campaign video, Maryam is a 16 year-old Indonesian who converts to Christianity because the support from a Samaritan helpline and the love from her newly-converted Christian friends help her overcome problems at home. The convincing proselytisation of Christian missionaries who mimic Islamic practices and words, spreading their messages far and wide through TV channels, are contrasted with her alleged lack of access to Islamic knowledge in Indonesia, supposedly only through Friday sermons.

But why is Maryam, even as a symbol of an “entire generation of Indonesians,” yet another Muslim woman who needs to be saved by the West?
--
Read the rest of my article over at Muslimah Media Watch!

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