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Original Essays | July 24, 2014

Jessica Valenti: IMG Full Frontal Feminism Revisited

It is arguably the worst and best time to be a feminist. In the years since I first wrote Full Frontal Feminism, we've seen a huge cultural shift in... Continue »
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The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam

Muslim woman, June 26, 2007

As a Muslim woman who has always followed Islamic teachings faithfully and was raised by a fairly religious family, I am amazed at Hirsi Ali's ignorance and distortion of the Islamic faith. What Ali seems to have experienced is the backward traditions associated with tribalism that has nothing to do with Islam. Throughout the book, Ali provides very little credible support for her distortions on Islam. I honestly believe, should readers want an accurate representation of Islam and its treatment of women, this is definitely not the book to read, as it is far from the truth. Hirsi Ali mentions nothing of Islam's respect for women and Prophet Mohammed's success in ending ignorant, pre-Islamic practices such as the killing of female babies and the treatment of women as nothing but sexual objects. Contrary to Ali's claims, Islam elevated the status of women by enabling them to work, own property & inheritance, and even join men in battles. Examples from Islamic history are sufficient to refute Ali's lies, as history shows that Muslim women were working, owning property and even proposing to men in marriage, even before Western women started to slowly gain their rights. What Muslim and non-Muslim women experience today in the developing world is a result of corruption, poverty and patriarchy and not Islam. Furthermore, United Nations and Amnesty International reports show that female genital mutilation, which Ali inaccurately ties to Islam, are African tribal practices, carried out by traditional Muslims and Christians alike. As for forced marriages, this is another traditional practice common in many non-Muslim cultures, such as India for example. One could go on and on and easily refute every single claim made by Ali. The bottom line is, if Ali was capable of lying about her background to win assylum in the Netherlands, then one can expect her to lie about anything to win her way up. It is just unfortunate that Muslims who have great respect and love for their religion, have to pay the price for her lies.
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