MEMRI TV Transcript below the fold.
Watch herÂ here.
Mona Eltahawy, who has flaunted her lesbianism, thinks she is bravely confronting and analyzing the problems of Egyptian, and other Arab, societies. But she can’t discuss what Islam teaches about the status of women — that they are inferior to men in abilities, and that that their testimony is worth less than that of a man, they are entitled to less in inheritance than their brothers, they are regarded by Muhammad as objects of booty (think of his Jewish and Coptic sex slaves, and much more, in the Qur’an and Hadith, and these teachings, and the example of Muhammad, the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) with his own nine wives and two concubines, is well known to Muslims, as Eltahawy herself knows. But she can’t allow herself to recognize that the problem with Islamic societies is Islam itself. So she talks about “feminism” and asserts, preposterously, that she is both “Muslim and secular,” and wants religion in a Musilm society, for Muslims, to be a private thing, a personal relationship with God. That’s not possible in Islam, and she ought to know it. But she, and others who dislike the effect of Islam when it is followed, refuse to discuss truthfully the Problem ofÂ Islam. So be it. Al-Sisi may not be an Ataturk, but he’s doing what he can. UnlikeÂ Ataturk, he rules over an Arab not a Turkish population, and Arab ethnic identity reiinforces, does not offer any alternative to, an Islamic identity.
But Al-Sisi is a kind of war hero — the “war against the Brotherhood” being his version of Gallipoli — and he takes power when the nation is near economic collapse, as Ataturk assumed power over a Turkey that had just lost its empire and was in danger of being reduced still further within Anatolia. Of course Al-Sisi, and the people around him, are appealing to the vast primitive masses primitively –Â what else can they do? But they may manage, or at least in their useful demonization of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying awkwardly to, constrain the power of Islam. And that’s good. Ataturk did that in Turkey, and as a consequence about 1/4 of the Turkish population is truly secular, and lives, more or less, on the same intellectual planet as does Non-Muslim Man. That’s a great achievement.
Eltahaw is of value in the non-Muslim West as an example of the limits, and apparently permanent self-delusion, of the “secular” Muslims who simply can’t make the break — as Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Afghin Elian, and Ibn Warraq, and others too, have done. Scared? Worried about what the abandonment of Islam would mean for her future, or perhaps for her (hoped-for, dreamed-for) abiliity to help change things in Musiim societies for the better? But Islam itself, even if itÂ lies dormant for a while in the hearts of some, can come back at any time, even in those raised in the West, in a secular milieu but who, for one reason or another, including personal setbacks that no government can prevent, decide to return to that old time religion, the faith of their Musilm fathers, as a consolation and a crutch.
Watch Manji here. Her physical flamboyance, and her refusal or inability to correectly identify the problem — Islam — for Musliims themselves — Â will no doubt put you in mind of Irshad Manji. Hard to tell them apart.
Transcript of Eltahowitzer’s Fantasy Islam
Egyptian-American Activist Mona Eltahawy: Revolution Should Target Patriarchal Rule at Home
Following are excerpts from an interview with Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American journalist and human rights activist, which aired on BBC Arabic on January 5, 2014:
Interviewer: You say that the Arab Spring revolutions will not be complete without a revolution of the women in the Arab world. Why is that?
Mona Eltahawy: Women in the Arab world face two revolutions: a revolution against the regime, which oppresses men and women alike, and a revolution against society, which oppresses women specifically. The revolutions that started off as political revolutions – against Mubarak, against Qadhafi, against Ben Ali – must enter the home and become social, gender-based revolutions, against the regime within the home. The revolutions must target the patriarchal regime in the home, the “Mubarak” that lives in our minds, in our bedrooms, and in our living rooms. The revolution must be social and gender-based at the same time.
Society as a whole was pleased that men and women fought these oppressive regimes together. But when women look to their right or their left, they realize that society itself is oppressing them. Society is now trying to send women back to the home – not just the regime or the Islamic movements, but society as a whole – and we must fight this.
In Egypt, for example, we chanted: “Bread, liberty, and social justice,” but it is impossible to gain bread, liberty, and social justice and dignity, as long as half of society is oppressed.
Many people in the Arab world think that when we talk about feminism, we are importing ideas from the West. No. we have local feminism, and we must talk about the great women of our society. Take someone like Umm Kulthum, for example. She was a great woman, who started off as a simple country girl.
Interviewer: But perhaps the feminist movement is accused of importing Western ideas because it has committed itself to many Western concepts, such as sexual liberation, as well as the way the feminist activists present themselves. You, Mona, don’t look like the Egyptian activists or like regular Egyptian girls. Wouldn’t it be better if these notions were introduced into society step by step?
Mona Eltahawy: The human rights organizations faced the same problem. When they began to operate in the Arab world in the 1980s, they were accused of importing Western notions. They were asked: “What is all this human rights stuff? These are Western ideas, which don’t belong in the Arab world.” The challenge was a great one, but today, there is awareness in Egyptian society, the “simple” people know that they have rights, and that they cannot be tortured or beaten up in a police station. We in the feminist movement are facing the same challenge.
I am Muslim and secular at the same time.
Interviewer: Is that possible?
Mona Eltahawy: Of course. As far as I’m concerned, religion is between me and God. I absolutely do not believe in mixing religion and politics, or in what the Islamic movements are doing when they wrap the two together. My religion remains at home, and is between me and God, and in the public domain, I talk about rights, social justice, and social dignity.
I was in favor of ousting Morsi, but I am totally against having General Al-Sisi rule Egypt, and against Egypt returning to military rule. The revolution in Egypt did not only talk about “bread, liberty, and social justice,” but about an end to the military regime which has ruled Egypt for 60 years. I am against both…
Interviewer: But the Egyptian people loves Al-Sisi.
Mona Eltahawy: They can like him as much as they want…
Interviewer: He enjoys great popularity among the Egyptian masses.
Mona Eltahawy: They can like him as much as they want, but I want, justice, liberty, and an end to torture and to arrests of political dissidents. We need to bear in mind that military rule is what led to all the problems from which Egypt suffers today.
The regime in Egypt has never really left. We started a revolution, but the regime remained the same. Every new ruler who comes to power continues the path of Mubarak, and treats the Egyptian people as if it has not changed a bit, because the regime has not changed. But Egyptian society and the people have changed, without a doubt.