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I asked a question about why little Muslim girls are walking around covered up and you would have thought I killed Jesus. Western liberals kill me with their cognitive dissonance when it comes to Islam.. How can feminist liberals not understand that patriarchy is worse in such religions and worse in Middle-Eastern and African cultures? As an African I’m perplexed by this... Anyways I’m spending my day reading Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.. one of the few African ex-Muslim women brave enough to speak. What are your thoughts? Do you question Christianity but won’t question Islam? How do you figure that’s a progressive thing to do?

Ruetres 5 Dec 30

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Driving through London yesterday, I was dismayed to see more and more young girls wearing hijab - all to stop the lust of men. If this isn't sexualising children (cover up your hair or you might tempt a man to sin!), I don't know what is. It's a disgusting religion/culture which should have been assigned to the rubbish dump centuries ago.

Thats only half of it, men are supposed to dress modestly as well. That seems to be forgotten in western society but there are rules in middle eastern societies about it.

The worst is that a woman can be beaten by the clothing police, or her husband, just for removing a small part of her cover. No one finds respect for women in such a hate. Or children thrown back into a burning building because they're not covered.

@Treasurehunter - a smoke screeen to justify the nonsense. I have yet to see a man covered from head to foot in a burka, and the blue ones in afghanistan have narrow footspace so the livestock (sorry women) can't run away.

@GoldenMean - or homosexuals thrown from rooftops. How anyone can defend islam is a constant horror to me.

I was in Libya much less conservative society (from a Muslim point of view) and there were dress code expectations of men there. Women were allowed to wear trousers and even flew passenger airplanes. I have lived in other Muslim country but there was no burka there either. So it is essentially a cultural problem. The world over people have twisted religion to suit their ends. It is a human trait.

My point exactly... if I had asked this question in regards to white girls, a nuanced conversation would have ensued in which we talked about not slut shaming girls and not sexualizing children.. but because it was brown and black girls, everyone was defensive and I’m somehow hateful for asking this.. even though I’m black myself and have every right to question patriarchy in regards to how it affects girls who look like me.

@ThatpersonIam I will for sure add that to my reading list right now.


Completely with you. In the words of Sam Harris "liberals need to start acting like liberals ". This tolerance train has mislead many people to believe only radical islam is bad when in fact 50% or more of the Islamic community would prefer Shari law be implemented in government and 2 women are equal to 1 man. Ayaan is probably one of my biggest heroes due to her courage and civility in light of everything she has experienced and still experiences. Someone like that should be the spokesperson for liberal views not this live and let abuse BS.

Ayaan is incredibly, incredibly brave.. What is don’t understand is Western liberals are all for feminism and will to te death for white women to have their freedoms but are passive and even downright supportive of patriarchy in brown and black cultures and religions ????

@Ruetres I think the biggest problem stems from two things. First the criticism of a cultures, to a very left wing liberal, "sounds" like racism(though islam is not a race). By this standard criticizing the KKK would be racist because white supremacists are technically a culture, albeit a criminal one. The second is the muslim apologest excuse that criminal actions in the muslim community are politically driven. While this is true, that's due to the heavy political undertones of the religion itself. The Quran has many examples of political doctrine to be used to spread belief. Make no mistake radical and even moderate Islam is equally a political practice as a religious one. Naturally I would not want to criticize harmless religious practices or make someone feel they should not be proud to display their culture openly, however these things should be addressed soberly, without the delusions that elements of the religion are not patriarchal at their core.


We should not tolerate intolerance. Not tolerating intolerance is not itself intolerance, but I think our fellow liberals who defend Islam do not understand it and misuse the word Islamophobia.

So true.. it really comes off as cognitive dissonance to me... because how can liberals be all for women’s rights but oh no you can’t touch Islam?


As a person brought up in a Jewish household, I questioned Islam since I found out about it. We prayed three times a day, they had to do five. We had two-day holidays, they had three-day holidays. We had a six-pointed star, they had an eight-pointed star recurring motif. The two religions are tightly linked at the monotheism level, but I always thought Islam was a snotty younger brother trying to out-do the older brother. I have NO problem criticizing a belief system that calls for honor killing of girls who marry but whose husbands do not publicly declare them to be virgins.



I'm definitely with Ayaan and Sam. Challenge all bad ideas fearlessly, especially when the actions they inspire cause real harm to people.


There is a difference between criticizing a religion, criticizing the impact religion has on the lives of people and criticizing people or even trying to force people to do or not do something. I deeply detest islam, i deeply detest the way women and gender relationships are treated and regulated in islam and i have no idea why anyone would choose to believe in all that nonsense. But if a woman believes and accepts those rules for herself, why should i have a right to force her otherwise? She should get all the help to change her opinion and freely decide otherwise. But this will not be achieved by e. g. outlawing the hijab.
A much bigger problem for me is the impact of religion on children: they do not decide freely. And genital mutilation and circumcision are bodily assaults and mutilations they will never be able to undo. That should be outlawed by all means and immediately.

I think outlawing the hijab might give oppressed women the opportunity to say "I can't, it's against the law" if they want to, as they certainly won't be able to choose not to wear it themselves.

Yes, but remember for any change that has given women liberation someone had to ask questions, someone had to demand better and fight... so we can’t just be silent because people choose this religion, especially when it comes to the rights of girls and women... we should challenge FGM and child marriages etc even if it doesn’t impact us.

@GoldenDoll I think that is a good point, but my concern is this: every law has to be a compromise between restricting and protecting freedoms. Outlawing the hijab would protect the freedom of women who do not want to wear it, but feel unable to otherwise not wear, while at the same time limiting the freedom of women who want to wear, for whatever reason (tradition, religion, cultural identity etc.) So the question is: does the law help enough to justify the limitation of freedoms? And also: will it actually work that way? Maybe many of the oppressed women will actually get even more oppressed then by e. g. not being allowed to leave the house at all? So we have to ask, maybe there are better ways instead to solve this, maybe by solving the actual problem here: giving more power and protection to women. Safe places, laws that allow them to not get hassled etc, simple legal procedures for them to oppose the pressure of men etc.
That may be more complex to do, maybe even more costly, but i think it would be fairer and more effective.


Not the liberals i know, they question the muslin religion too but there just isnt that many muslims to begin with and liberal back muslims in their right believe that if they so choose to believe that. What is happening in america you have christian extremists pushing for laws that would band muslims from moving to america specially in the south


If fanatic "Christians", instead of dragging their children through Target Stores screaming __ are going to hell, would attend get-to-gethers or develope friendships, they could share in graceful attitude, their ideas and be much more at peace. Fear is the driving force with Conservatives of all stripes. How dare others be equal? What would happen?


That sounds stupid. As Ali says, Islam is as horrible as any religion. Men rule and fear women. That's why they must crush them down. All patriarchies fear women, but Islam is at the top of the un-godly (ha) treatment. She wants to un-brainwash women as to this cruel inequity.

Good luck to her.

It’s a big job. I as a black woman try to do this in my everyday life as well.


Bill Maher calls out liberals for this all the time and he takes heat for it. Liberals are terrified of appearing to be intolerant since we spend so much time calling out intolerance. Since Muslims are under constant attack by conservatives, liberals feel the need to come to their defense. I agree with this to a certain extent, but I don't think we have to go out of our way to defend Islam's treatment of women.

Liberals are fearing themselves into a despot-ruled hierarchy.

I hear you... But someone has to start fighting for the rights of girls and women. It’s so necessary.


I have no problem with questioning Islam. It's just another religion based on the belief in a Big Sky Daddy and that makes it fair game. The Babes in Bags thing isn't universal, though. Not even the hijab is universal. Do I think the bag thing is ridiculous? Oh, yes indeed I do. It is borderline terminally stupid. That being said, I prefer to keep my criticism on the religion itself and not so much on the garb.

Sent you a message, but there was a problem with that. So, I'll do it here: @Ruetres -- A little rearranging and you would be Reuters. Then we could all get our news from 'the source.'

What do you write, kiddo, and how long have you been at it?



I don't like any religion. There's always that hidden control thats in there. It sounds good sometime but there are secrets that normal people don't know about. They say religion has morals and principles. I say you can get the same from scholars thats studied humanity and have determined the rights and the wrongs in the world. People forget that some man wrote the religion to began with.

All religious morals and principles are based on controlling somebodies. Work your magic with suffering people and they'll believe anything. Sad shame that it lasts so long. Will humanity ever grow up?

@GoldenMean. Thank you for your comment.

@GoldenMean good question.. when I look at Middle-Eastern and African cultures which I’m a part of.. I just want to cry.. I don’t know when the deep beliefs in deities will end.. it’s just sad sad!

@Ruetres. Thank you for your comment.


I like this post. I hate the objectification of women, especially in the name of religion. Now I am not as spicy as I was in my youth, and I rarely confront people on their absurdities anymore. I am guilty of being well established in my career and I can't afford the distraction. While I can't get in anyone's face and confront them, I think the steady push of logic, education and freedom of information will turn the tide on this. We live in a great time where any curiosity can be quenched with a few keystrokes and I think this will make a better world. It will enable everyone to question everything, which I think is essential to a well lived life.

Yes, and gosh I wish more people who looked like me understood this!

I wished I looked like you.


I find the Islamic treatment of women, and Hasidic treatment of women offensive. That being said, each culture has a right to conduct its own affairs in its own way. What we need to do is bring about an awakening in such communities about the treatment of women.

I don't agree that each culture has a right to conduct its own affairs in its own way. FGM is against the law in this country, and yet it still goes on. Just because it's "cultural" doesn't mean it's ok.

But as someone from an oppressive culture, I must have the courage to confront and challenge patriarchy as it pertains to girls who look like me.. that’s the only way change will come.

You can only do so much between countries. Sometimes you have to just look after your own affairs and deal with other countries diplomatically.


Westerners know very little of Islam to the point they're afraid of it because they see it as a very brutal religion not realizing that so is Christianity. The world has a long way to go before they realize the sham that religion is. It's an extremely powerful tool to control the masses. If you take that away from them they lose their power over the masses. What then? Martial law, I'd expect.

SamL Level 7 Dec 30, 2017

I don't have experience of christian extremism as I live in England, but I do have first hand experience of shocking declarations by scared muslim women here in the uk, and yes, I'm afraid of it.


Islam is a worldwide religion. Much of what we see in this behavior is tied into Arab culture. I suspect Muslims from areas not contaminated by Arab regressive beliefs are a bit more enlightened.


I can only speak for myself, but I think ALL religion is EVIL, particularly the Abrahamic religions. Most are extremely misogynistic. I don't believe any of them serve any useful purpose. Like I said, I'm only speaking for myself. I base my positions on personal observations and research I have done. At their core, I believe they are all about crowd control, and forced conformity.
I really have no idea why most people do the things they do, or make the distinctions they do between religions. Any "belief system" that advocates genital mutilation, for any reason, should be eradicated.

Yes it should... so insanely barbaric!!


I find all religions are on a very uneven playing field when it comes to sexes ie seems to suit insecure men and make them a lot more important than woman especially Muslim woman but then again look at nuns. right off the bat, GOD is seemingly male and woman are made from a small bit of spare bone. it's just manipulation with the face of help and friendship.


I question all religions equally. Though, for some reason, the mainstream media seems to champion "brave women wearing hijabs" in situations where it's unnecessary to wear head coverings, or it might actually present a safety issue. Still, wearing a hijab is visually promoting a religion just as someone wearing a giant cross. The fact that many countries have laws that require women to wear hijabs or burqas, and then women being applauded for wearing them seems as though they're appluading the same people who wrote those oppressive laws.
It makes no sense to me.

In Pastafarianism, we wear a colander. Anywhere someone is able to wear a hijab, I should be able to wear my colander.

To me it’s very much cognitive dissonance and people ignore the fact that women all over the Middle East are actually forgetting for the right to not cover because it’s enforced upon them and punishable by law if they don’t cover 😟 try explaining their hat to western liberals.



I agree. Muslim women are abused and oppressed. I am not saying they are the only one, I am saying they are abused and oppressed.


Covering women head to toe so that they do not tempt men tells me that Muslim me cannot control themselves and behave. It's a way to control women. It tells me that they are ruled by basic instinct and cannot think and control their behavior. That still does not keep some of them from committing acts of sexual violence toward women.

I think religion is what brought these attitudes to us. People not religious don't realize that patriarchal fear and hate began those attitudes long ago. Just think, in beginning times male and female were equal. Had to be. Some man somewhere decided to begin this, whether you call it deity-given or not. Like herd animals, those men wanted to make sure only THEIR seed was planted. Before that notion, all was equal.

If there were no wack belief that sex is evil, no one would care how people are dressed. Patriarchy. Men, if you feel pressured, look in the mirror and evict your fears.


OH I criticize Islam All the time.

The pillars and rituals of Islam heavily indoctrinates Muslims in dogma to the point of self brainwashing. If done from an early age, the reason why you see young Muslim girls in religious attire, Muslims would lose a critical component of their rational thought in being able to see their religion in a critical light.

If a new religion demands its followers to recite scripture that states that religion is the only righteous one and only that religions leader has the word of god and do all this 5 TIMES A DAY: We would most likely call this new religion a cult


I read Infidel, amazing eye opener about islam...and here is my abhor of all organized religion... I question everything....


Pretty sure atheist/agnostic folk dissmiss all religion as fantasy. Like staring at a dot on a wall until it rules your perspective. You can try to snap them out of it?


I personally see patriarchy stronger in Muslim countries. I am a feminist liberal. I question all big 3 religions. Even the extreme sects of the Jews-chasidim have restrictions on women's place in their society-dress, dietary laws and activity ceased on their Sabbath.

But in islam women are openly acknowledged to have only half the worth of a man. I used to teach English to asylum seekers, and the saddest thing was the Somali women who told me they were "so happy" to receive only half what a human with testicles does.

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